Ford 200 Post-Race Transcript

An Interview With:
RON HORNADAY - 2nd in final standings

THE MODERATOR: We're joined in the media center by Ron Hornaday, Jr., who finished second to Johnny Benson in the points standings.

Why don't you tell us a little bit about your run tonight.

RON HORNADAY: Awesome day for us until that last call. We've watched many races Kyle Busch puts on four tires and goes around the outside of everybody. Great call. We just didn't know all them guys were going to put two on and it put us pretty far back.

Gallant effort from Camping World Chevrolet. Toyota has got big, big rear view mirrors because they did a lot of good blocking.

We'll be all right. We're happy with second. We gave that one away last week, and coming down here if we would have played our cards right, you never know what happens in racing. It all goes back to Homestead and goes back to Daytona, it goes back to a flat tire, it goes back to running out of fuel.

If I had to pinpoint one thing, Johnny Benson and them guys, a great year, and we came up one position short.

Q: Can you talk about the relationship you and Johnny have built over this battle, which you guys have been neck and neck the whole season? I noticed you rushed down to congratulate him. Talk about the rivalry you have and the friendship you've built through this.

RON HORNADAY: Coming down to it, anybody else, the way Johnny and I raced probably the last when he put two tires on, raced side by side, probably just went up and rubbed the guy, but Johnny didn't come down on me and I didn't come up on him, and that's part of racing. And Joe's Brian Scott, little snot nosed kid coming, stuck his nose in and made it three wide a couple times and made it exciting for us. Points leader, he'll be going for points later, and I'll stick my nose in there, too, buddy, but it's all right. Glad to see you run good.

Johnny, he said he wanted to go nose and nose and do burnouts. It's like, I can't go scratching this truck, no testing next year and it's a pretty good truck, so we're just going to keep it in one piece. So I was going to go nose and nose and do a pretty good burnout with both of us, but, heck, we're going to go and drink his beer now.

Q: Just to kind of follow up a little bit on Benson, here's a guy that, for the most part, pretty popular amongst the fellow competitors, a lot of people like racing with him, and you can kind of see him obviously you want to win the championship, but to see him win it as a competitor, how do you feel about that?

RON HORNADAY: I think it stinks. I think I should have won it. No, I couldn't be more prouder for Johnny Benson. I'm really glad to see that he got an opportunity to do it. I know he's leaving Bill's stable next year and he's moving on, so that's good for Bill Davis and everybody else. That gives him more commodity going into next year.

Johnny is just a heck of a racer. You haven't seen him take anybody out other than maybe last week when he had brain fade after I had brain fade. He was really stupid wrecking after I had already wrecked.

Yeah, that's about the only time I've ever seen Johnny get in an incident and stuff like that. When Johnny Benson comes to race, you can lead the whole race and when the checkered flag drops, there he is second or third.

He's one of them guys that come on the last 50 laps, and it showed again today.

Q: Are you frustrated? Are you angry? Are you disappointed, or is that just racing?

RON HORNADAY: I don't know. I mean, I think it's just racing, but I'm tired of that kind of racing. I mean, we could use every excuse in the book and we learn by our mistakes and we've been beat before by four tires and we said today we weren't going to do it.

I'm more frustrated our radio didn't work because I was going to stay out and they were yelling at me, screaming at me coming in, and I came in. And when I saw Kevin stay out, I knew I was in trouble.

I couldn't get back up because of the grass line. I was just about ready to turn it back right and I let it clip it and that would've put me in the tail end in the longest line.

What really hurt us, a lot of them guys putting two tires on there and getting blocked the last couple laps. I had to run my truck really hard to get around Busch and Benson. They really made the track wide.

He didn't get into me, but he might as well have making it three wide a couple times and turning it sideways.

He drove me like a dog again, and we'll remember it and put it in the memory books.

Q: The pit call, had your radio been working? Everybody is scratching their heads, just wondering how that could have happened. There were crew chiefs out there from the Cup Series and they're like, we still don't understand the pit deal. Had your radio been working?

RON HORNADAY: I told them I was staying out, my truck was good enough to stay out. I was kind of babying it to know what we had. I'm not going to second guess. If we would have come back and won the race, it would have been the call of the century. We lost it. I mean, that's all there is to it. I'm going to go back and drink a beer over it, and hopefully we'll talk about it.

I don't know, real frustrating to listen to comments being made of another driver telling another driver that I wrecked him and now it's your chance to go out there this weekend to win the championship. Somebody shouldn't have said that, and I overheard it, about three of my good buddies would hang around over there, and that's a shame it comes down to a championship like that. But now I see why it happened.

Q: And if you don't mind, if you would have had your radio, you would have said I'm staying out, but you would never stay out without having

RON HORNADAY: In the middle and Johnny on top, so you're a sitting duck when you're back there behind there. These things are so aero dependent and if you get in there where you can hold it wide open, you're going to be all right, but I had to get in there, the nose got loose and drove back around him.

 But it took more than a couple laps to get around them guys.  That's what
hurt.  Heck, I don't know.  We'll do that again.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Ron.

-credit: nascar