Atlanta: Race winner interview

Chevrolet Silverado Wins At Atlanta Motor Speedway Ron Hornaday Scores His 27th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Victory RON HORNADAY , NO. 6 GM GOODWRENCH CHEVROLET SILVERADO - QUALIFIED 18TH, FINISHED 1ST: "Man, is this special for us. I can't...

Chevrolet Silverado Wins At Atlanta Motor Speedway
Ron Hornaday Scores His 27th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Victory


"Man, is this special for us. I can't thank Kevin and Delana Harvick for the opportunity to drive this GM Goodwrench Silverado. The bad part was I didn't give Bobby (Labonte) credit for the finish. I thought it was Dennis Setzer. Dennis had raced me hard earlier on and all I saw was the fender and those Silverados look the same. He (Dennis) raced me really hard and we had gotten close to one another so when I went in that last corner headed for the checkered, I hit the apron and got a little loose. But, I thought I have to give him a little room, maybe not as much as I did earlier so I will drive up the track just a little. Coming across the line, come to find out it was Bobby (Labonte). Bobby and I raced each other so clean those last two laps. He got a pretty good run on me there on the top but the RCR power under my hood let me pull him by just enough out of four as we came down for checkered.

"I didn't know for sure who I was racing but I would have done the same thing no matter who it was, it was going for the win. We are coming down for the white flag and Ricky, Ricky Carelli is my spotter and we had a lot of competition together. I did not want to see that green-white-checkered even though I am probably one of the strongest people in favor of it and I have pushed to have it, but when you are leading it and the truck we had needed longer runs, maybe 20-30 laps, and we only had three laps to get it up to speed and to get it done, I knew I had to get a good start. I short shifted it to make sure I didn't spin the tires and got a good jump on the green and here comes, whoever it was (meaning either Setzer or Labonte) -- another Silverado was coming. I just hit the apron a little bit going in to four and wiggled up a little bit. I knew I couldn't turn it back down cause it is going to get loose. I don't think we touched going into four but I know we touched a little bit coming off of four and that was all I needed. Maybe we didn't touch, if there was anything at all, it is just one of those deals, it is air. It is hard to tell whether there was contact or not.

"What a cool race. The guys in the pits won this race for me. We were pretty free at the beginning of the race, then we got better, then we got a little free again. But these guys on the GM Goodwrench crew made some adjustments on that first stop that helped us go toward the front then on that next stop, they got me out second. All I had to do was drive that rocket ship tonight. The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet was just really good. I can't say enough about all the support we get from Chevrolet and Kevin and Delana believe in me.

"I never thought I would run wide open at Atlanta. I think the last 30 laps I never lifted. I never looked in my mirror so it was pretty cool.

"I was pretty confident when we tested down here but the problem is you can get over confident. I would run 10 laps out there wide open and say to myself 'Ok, it is time to come in and make some changes before you try something stupid and you are going to wreck this thing and we had two really good trucks when we tested.' It was a hard decision to decide which one to bring back, but Wally (Rogers) made the right choice. We brought the one we raced at California. We only made one adjustment and then an air pressure adjustment on the right side. My guys did an awesome job on the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado. That is why it is an American Revolution!

"After the race the motor guy said we had to take this thing to the chassis dyno and I said 'No we aren't cause I am going to blow this up after the race and burn the tires. I tried to blow it up but these RCR motors are unbelievable, the fond something this year and I am very proud to have them doing our motors.

"My ole buddy Jack Sprague came up and gave me a congratulatory bump on the cool down lap as we came out of four which brought back a lot of great memories. He and I had some great battles in the old days, lots of races just like this.

"This is a great night for our team. I told Wally after practice that the thing drove like a Cadillac and not to touch a thing. We knew we wouldn't qualify that well but we knew we would race good and I guess we did. I can't thank RCR, Chevrolet Silverado, man this is cool -- I won Atlanta."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer