Whether it's his new home at NTS Motorsports at his old stomping grounds in Kernersville, NC, being reunited with former crew chief, Bruce Cook or the support from returning sponsor, Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff, Ron Hornaday has a fire in his heart and a pep in his step. After going winless in 2012 for the first time in his 13-year full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) career, Hornaday is on a mission to prove that he still has what it takes to be a five- time champion in 2013.
Where He Stands:
Hornaday returns to the NCWTS for his second season in the No. 9 Chevrolet Silverado. After a successful merger between Joe Denette Motorsports and NTS Motorsports, the 54-year-old veteran finds himself part of a new home in the truck series garage with NTS Motorsports and rookie teammate, Brennan Newberry. The 2013 season brings about the return of Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff which is celebrating their second season with Hornaday and NASCAR and will adorn the No. 9 machine for 12 of the 22 events, kicking off their campaign in Friday night's 100 lap/250-mile showdown. Hornaday will also be reunited with crew chief, Bruce Cook for the 2013 season and the rookie team will utilize ECR Engines.
Calling The Shots:
For the first time since 2011, Bruce Cook will be back atop the pit box for Ron Hornaday. In just four starts together at Kevin Harvick Inc., the duo captured one pole (Las Vegas) and two wins (Kentucky, Las Vegas). In a two year span (2009 & 2011), Bruce Cook has 27 starts to his resume as a crew chief in the NCWTS which includes six wins, 18 top-five, 22 top-10's and four poles to his credit. Cook has one DIS win (2011) with Tony Stewart in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Hornaday will pilot NTS Motorsports chassis No. 10 in this weekend's NextEra Energy Resources 200 at DIS. This is the same Chevrolet Silverado that Hornaday piloted to a 28th-place finish, due to a late-race accident, at Talladega Superspeedway in 2011.
Daytona Fast Facts:
In nine DIS starts in NCWTS competition, Hornaday has a best finish of fifth (2009) including one top-five and two top-10 finishes with 18 laps led. The four-time champion boasts an average start of 10.4 coupled with an average finish of 18.6 and has completed 82.8 percent of laps attempted (757 of 914).
A Penny For Your Thoughts-Ron Hornaday:
"There is obviously a lot of hype this weekend about the Daytona 500, but as a racer just competing at Daytona is a dream come true no matter which series you are in. Although the results have not shown it, I've had some good runs here and it's one of those tracks that I would really like to cross off my bucket list."
"There have been a lot of changes to the core of this organization for 2013 and I would say they are changes for the better. Bob (Newberry), has put the right people in place and done his homework to build a successful organization and Bruce (Cook) is one of those great leaders. We have a friendship and a bond that I believe will reignite again in 2013."