RON HORNADAY: A FOND FAREWELL
Huntersville, N.C. (November 15, 2005) -- There are a lot of storylines for Ron Hornaday and his GM Goodwrench crew heading into the final race of the season this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). A battle for third in the championship standings, momentum building after a second place finish in Phoenix, speculations on next year and a quest for the elusive second victory could all be the focus this week. However, one in particular will have the biggest impact on the future. Legendary sponsor GM Goodwrench will not be returning to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the 2006 season. This sets the stage for a bittersweet goodbye to a truly big time racing partnership.
"We would love to send GM Goodwrench packing as a winner," said Hornaday. "They have been good to me and good to my team, and I hate that this is it. This weekend will have to be for them. They know that we will be doing everything that we can to see those silver and black colors in victory lane. This has been an awesome year and an awesome partnership and it is too bad that it has to come to an end."
Bidding farewell to GM Goodwrench as a winner takes care of some of the other situations as well. Right now Hornaday is in a tight battle against Todd Bodine for third in the championship standings. Both are mathematically unable to win the championship so there is extra pressure to finish third. Hornaday trails third by 41 markers, which means if Bodine finishes ninth or better he has locked up the position. That will be in the minds of the crew when the green flag waves Friday night, but priority number one will remain winning the race. Everything else will have to take care of itself.
"Where we finish overall does not define this team," added Hornaday. "The standings cannot possibly tell the whole story. That is why winning this weekend is so important. We want to celebrate again. Last week's second place reminded us what it feels like to be in contention and I can't think of a better way for this team to finish out. If we can't win the championship we might as well win the race."
Points of Interest...
* Off the Hauler...Team GM Goodwrench will take chassis No. 008 to HMS this weekend for Friday night's race. This truck has run in five races this season with a top finish of fourth at Dover International Speedway.
* Track Stat... Hornaday has five NCTS starts at HMS, finishing on the lead lap every time. He has never finished outside the top-10, and three times he has finished in the top-five. In 2002, Hornaday was the race winner driving the No. 11 David Fuge Chevrolet.
* NCTS Points... After 24 races in the 2005 season, Hornaday sits fourth in points with one win, seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Hornaday remains 198 markers behind point's leader Ted Musgrave. He is 41 markers behind Todd Bodine and would love to reclaim his third place spot this weekend.
* Start time... Friday evening's Ford 200 is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EST. TV coverage of the event on SPEED Channel begins at 8:00 p.m., with live radio coverage also beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST on your local MRN Radio affiliate and on XM Satellite Radio -- channel 144. Remember times and dates of the race may change so check your local listings.
No. 6 GM Goodwrench Driver Ron Hornaday on Homestead-Miami Speedway...
In five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts you have never finished outside the top-10. Will the streak continue?
"I certainly plan on keeping the streak going. I don't usually keep up with that stuff, but when someone reminds me it always sounds good. The goal this weekend is not to keep the streak alive. The goal is to win the race. That seems to take care of everything when you can go out and win."
You and Todd Bodine have a good battle going for third place. You two seem to really go at it when you race against each other. What is going on there?
"Todd and I race really hard with each other. It is not always clean, but it is good hard racing. He can take what I give him, and I expect him to race me the same way I race him. It is that kind of racing that makes the NCTS what it is."