Hornaday, 2009 champion press conference

RON HORNADAY, JR. , NO. 33 VFW SILVERADO, 2009 CHAMPION CONGRATULATIONS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP HORNADAY: "Thank you. I couldn't think of a better track and I love Phoenix. It looked pretty grim for a while. But its not over by far because we...

RON HORNADAY, JR. , NO. 33 VFW SILVERADO, 2009 CHAMPION

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP

HORNADAY: "Thank you. I couldn't think of a better track and I love Phoenix. It looked pretty grim for a while. But its not over by far because we are racing Kyle Busch for the owner points and that is the true goal. That shows how good our team is and Kyle has been really racing strong and has six or seven wins this year. So we are going to do what we can to hold them off down there but we are going to go down there and have a little fun and race a little different."

WAS YOUR GOAL TONIGHT TO RACE SMART AND TO NOT MAKE ANY MISTAKES?

HORNADAY: "You didn't watch the race because we tried to race smart but we left the gas can out the back and that put us in the back and I was sweating it out because we got behind the 11 and I started pushing real bad and I thought my right front tire started going. I put about five turns of brake in and I started sliding and I learned something.

"On the third to the last restart it wouldn't turn and started shoving the tires and I had to put more rear brake in it just then. Luckily that kind of happened in that run because it kept us in the top-five and Johnny Sauter was really coming strong so.......we came home in the top-five and that's what we needed to do to keep Matt behind us. He's a heck of a racer and I am glad they turned the program around and gave us a run for our money all year long and there are just so many people to think and you guys have been following it all year and see what it takes to go racing with Copart, Longhorn, VFW, Georgia Boots, and Turtle Wax. It really takes a lot and having all those sponsors to work together and do what they have done is just great.

"Mark Smith with the motor program and what he has done and with Chevrolet and everything they do including the wind tunnel and all their support and Pratt and Miller. It just takes a bunch of people and I am just fortunate enough that my wife and I are old enough that we are just at the race track and having fun."

HOW SIGNIFICANT AND HOW BIG OF A DEAL IS THIS CHAMPIONSHIP TO YOU TO SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM SPRAGUE AND BE THE FIRST 4 TIME CHAMPION?

HORNADAY: "You said it right there. I got one up on Sprague and that's all that counts. I said it out there, that Sprague needs to come back and try and get a fourth one and just keep me racing. Jack and I have been fighting for wins and championships back and forth and Jack had to quit and give me a little head start so we went back and forth and he had 23 then I had 24 then he had 25 so its just been a fun battle with Jack and I wish he was still out there because he is a heck of a little racer. I don't know. Maybe I will have to build another trophy case. I only have five so maybe I will have to move one over and put two together so.

"Its been a long week because Lindy's mom went through surgery and she came out of that real well and they had given her a thirty five percent chance of surviving it and she is doing real well and at home today. So it will be good to get home and see her tomorrow."

YOU HAVE TALKED BEFORE ABOUT GUYS COMING AND SLEEPING ON YOUR COUCH. BUT HOW COOL IS IT TO THINK THAT YOU HAD JIMMIE JOHNSON, WHO MIGHT BE A FOUR TIME CHAMPION, YOU ARE NOW A FOUR TIME CHAMPION AND YOU GOT HARVICK IN THE MIX. YOU LOOK BACK ON THAT AND COULD YOU IMAGINE THAT GUYS WHO WERE SLEEPING ON YOUR COUCH WOULD HAVE AS MANY CHAMPIONSHIPS AND YOU WOULD HAVE AS MANY CHAMPIONSHIPS AND ALL THAT STUFF BACK THEN?

HORNADAY: "My wife made me sleep on the couch just last week. (laughs). Its kind of cool and I think this is kind of the payback with what Kevin and Delana have done for me and like I said its not over. We have to win that owners point championship. They definitely deserve it because they have given me great trucks all year. And the truck that Kevin built tonight was a 2010 that we are going to run next year and we have had a lot of help from Chevrolet and because Kevin never quits. I went into the shop a couple of weeks ago and there were like fourteen trucks and then I came back and there were like five trucks. I said, 'where did all the trucks go?'. He said, 'Kevin sold them all and you are getting all brand new trucks again next year. And when we won five races in a row they were all brand new trucks and so my hats off to the boss man right there. He has what it takes to win them and oh, here is the boss lady.....I forgot. But its been fun and we are not done. As long as Kevin and Delana has me, we are going to win some more of them."

IT IS UNUSUAL TO WRAP UP A TITLE WITH ONE RACE TO GO, THAT HAS TO BE A NEW EXPERIENCE FOR YOU:

HORNADAY: "It took me 30 years to do it. If you look at the year, we had a pretty good points lead and then we ended up blowing a tire at Dover and Matt caught us. Then we had another bad race and ran out of fuel. Like I said, we're not done racing. We have to go down and race Kyle Busch. Those owner's points mean more to me than a trophy because it says the whole team worked hard and we beat everybody. So we are going to go out and do what we have got to do. Kyle is on a roll. He almost won three of them last weekend. We are going to go out there and get the owner's championship...so we are going to keep racing."

TALK ABOUT HOW SPECIAL THIS TRACK IS TO YOU FROM YOUR SOUTHWEST TOUR AND WINSTON WEST DAYS:

HORNADAY: "Kevin was telling Carmichael (Ricky) that I was racing here when it was dirt, before they even started it. Oh, fresh asphalt. It is cool. I am not totally talking about the championship. It is cool for me to win it, but it isn't over yet, it is not even close. Kevin and DeLana deserve a lot more because of the equipment, the people they put in places. It takes a lot. Without our sponsors that work together and the program they put together to make it happen, this is what it is all about."

IS THERE AN ADDED SENSE OF BEING SPECIAL IN THE VFW TRUCK WITH BEING SO CLOSE TO VETERAN'S DAY AND COMING ON THE HEELS OF THE TRAGEDY AT FT. HOOD?

HORNADAY: "I appreciate that. The last few have been VFW races it is hard to go out there and see all those soldiers and see the tragedy at Ft. Hood. A lot of support from VFW. I can't say enough about them. I had the opportunity to go to Iraq and see what the men and women do first hand. TV, newspaper, they really don't do it justice. I brought pictures home and tried to explain it to my wife. About the smells and everything else. My hat is off to all the men and women. It is pretty cool and it is special and thanks for bringing it up."

TALK ABOUT HOW UNIQUE IS THE RELATIONSHIP IS BETWEEN YOU AND KEVIN:

HORNADAY: "I'm mad that I didn't get to go up there and race him for the win. We had to play it smart and do what we had to do to overcome a pit stop failure. Rick Ren made a great call to only put one can of fuel in to beat the No. 88 out of the pits. It worked out great. It is always fun to race Kevin because you know he is going to run 120 mile an hour faster than you. I remember the first time I ran his Nationwide car, he was in the second car and he turned me sideways to pass me. I was like "Doesn't he know he owns this car? I couldn't go run into the back of him just cause he did that. That was the first experience I had with Kevin, he doesn't really car whose car it is he is going to move you out of the way to race it."

KEVIN HARVICK , NO. 4 LONGHORN SILVERADO, TEAM OWNER:

SAME QUESTION:

HARVICK: "For me, I came up through my career. I was thinking back to races at Mesa Marin, the nights the he and Rick Carelli and Mike Chase and all the guys that used to race in, it was open comp back then, then Southwest Tour. I was sitting in the grandstands. And now I have Ron and Rick and Ernie Cope and a couple of kids from the West Coast, and Andy Houston that came up through the Truck Series, so it is just a lot of us that raced together. It is about the race vehicle. These guys go out and race it and enjoy it"

... full transcript will follow

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Andy Houston , Johnny Sauter , Kyle Busch