RON HORNADAY WINS CRAFTSMAN'S 100 GRAND BONUS AT NAPACARD 200 by Owen Kearns Jr. MONROE, Wash. -- Ron Hornaday has 100,000 more reasons to be thankful for the creation of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Hornaday, the tour's only two-time...
RON HORNADAY WINS CRAFTSMAN'S 100 GRAND BONUS AT NAPACARD 200 by Owen Kearns Jr.
MONROE, Wash. -- Ron Hornaday has 100,000 more reasons to be thankful for the creation of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Hornaday, the tour's only two-time champion and current point leader, celebrated the 100th series race Saturday with a resounding, $140,100 victory in the NAPACard 200 at Evergreen Speedway.
The win was Hornaday's 25th and, as one of four drivers who had competed in every NCTS race, was eligible for a $100,000 winner's bonus posted by series sponsor Craftsman.
The total payoff was the first triple-digit prize in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history and was more than $55,000 greater than the check Jack Sprague cashed for winning at Las Vegas last November.
Sprague, also chasing the Craftsman bonus, passed Stacy Compton and Ron Barfield during the race's final eight laps but had no time left to challenge archrival Hornaday. He trailed by 2.059 seconds at the checkered flag, marking the second consecutive race the pair had finished one-two.
Hornaday, who took the lead for good on the 162nd lap when he passed Butch Miller's DANA Corporation Dodge on the race's fifth restart, is the first driver to post back-to-back victories since the final races of the 1997 season when Joe Ruttman won at Phoenix and Las Vegas. He previously won a 150-lap series race at the 0.646-mile Evergreen Speedway, in 1995.
Driving the NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Silverado, owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc., Hornaday averaged a slow, 59.654 mph. The race, delayed 30 minutes by showers and halted three times for an hour 55 minutes by several more downpours, required more than four hours to complete.
Thirteen of the first 15 laps ran under caution, the initial seven required to finish drying the track surface. Showers descended at the lap 28 mark and halted further green flag activity until the 52nd serial.
None of this, however, could rain on Hornaday's parade -- not even damaged sheet-metal when he backed his truck into the outside wall as the Palmdale, Calif. veteran performed a post- victory doughnut.
"We'll have to put a new quarter-panel on this thing but I'll do it myself," quipped Hornaday, who in his jubilation had forgotten a malfunctioning brake pedal. "Some people seem to think this new Silverado body is no good but I'm here to tell you this body is awesome. In two races in two weeks, we've got two wins now. We had the same setup we had here last year. All we had to do was play with the fenders a little bit."
Ironically, defending race winner Sprague found himself in the same position as Hornaday in 1998 -- too little, too late.
"I was saving myself all day and saving it and saving it. Then, there at the end, there wasn't time to save it any more," said Sprague, who complained of a late-race push. "It's pushed three weeks in a row and I don't understand it."
Barfield, who beat Hornaday off pit road to lead 91-94, settled for a series-best, third- place effort in Gloy-Rahal Racing's Icehouse Beer Ford. Compton, whose Royal Crown Cola team switched from Ford to Dodge in the off-season, took fourth to record his third straight top- five finish. Mike Wallace, starting 11th in a 30-track lineup set via 1998 points and entry postmarks when a soggy track canceled Bud Pole qualifying, put the Team ASE Racing Ford into the No. 5 spot.
Rick Carelli, another Craftsman 100 Grand pursuer, took sixth-place, trailed by Dennis Setzer, Mike Bliss, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle. Eighteen of the event's 25 finishers went the 129.2-mile distance.
Hornaday's second win of '99 enabled him to extend his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point lead over Compton to 45 points -- a gain of 15. He again led the most laps, 185, from the inside front row.
Other leaders were Sprague, Barfield and Miller, who elected not to pit his Dodge under caution on lap 158 in favor of enhanced track position. With four worn tires, however, Miller was no match for Hornaday, who scooted past easily when the race resumed on lap 162. The fourth Craftsman 100 Grand-eligible diver in the field finished 16th.
Next event is Saturday's Dodge California Truck Stop 300 at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.
Bud Pole Award -- Time trials not held
NAPACard 200(200 laps) -- 1. (1)Ron Hornaday, Chevrolet, 200, 59.654 mph, $140,100; 2. (2)Jack Sprague, Chevrolet, 200, $23,475; 3. (7)Ron Barfield, Ford, 200, $17,525; 4. (5)Stacy Compton, Dodge, 200, $12,325; 5. (11)Mike Wallace, Ford, 200, $9,675; 6. (9)Rick Carelli, Chevrolet, 200, $7,375; 7. (19)Dennis Setzer, Dodge, 200, $7,425; 8. (8)Mike Bliss, Ford, 200, $7,275; 9. (14)Kevin Harvick, Ford, 200, $7,250; 10. (6)Greg Biffle, Ford, 200, $8,325; 11. (12)Randy Tolsma, Dodge, 200, $7,150; 12. (15)Rick Crawford, Ford, 200, $7,100; 13. (24)Scott Hansen, Chevrolet, 200, $6,775; 14. (10)Andy Houston, Chevrolet, 200, $6,975; 15. (20)Kevin Cywinski, Ford, 200, $7,300; 16. (13)Butch Miller, Dodge, 200, $6,725; 17. (18)Lonnie Rush, Chevrolet, 200, $6,675; 18. (17)Lance Norick, Chevrolet, 200, $6,625; 19. (3)Jay Sauter, Chevrolet, 199, $6,575; 20. (28)David Starr, Chevrolet, 199, $6,100; 21. (4)Jimmy Hensley, Dodge, 199, $6,475; 22. (26)Ernie Cope, Ford, 199, $5,425; 23. (27)Rick McCray, Chevrolet, 198, $5,375; 24. (25)Mike Stefanik, Ford, 195, $5,325; 25. (22)Rob Morgan, Ford, 159, $5,225; 26. (16)Terry Cook, Chevrolet, 118, accident, $6,200; 27. (21)Tom Hubert, Chevrolet, 114, brakes, $5,150; 28. (23)Ryan McGlynn, Chevrolet, 87, rear end, $5,150; 29. (30)Mike Clark, Chevrolet, 33, oil pressure, $5,150; 30. (29)Phil Bonifield, Chevrolet, 17, fuel pump, $5,150
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points -- 1. Ron Hornaday 535; 2. Stacy Compton 490; 3. Mike Wallace 456; 4. Jack Sprague 447; 5. Andy Houston 441; 6. Rick Crawford 424; 7. Kevin Cywinski 406; 8. Greg Biffle 404; 9. Ron Barfield 388; 10. (tie) Mike Stefanik and Scott Hansen 385.