Ron Hornaday, No. 33 Camping World Silverado, met with members media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship battle he is in with Mike Skinner, racing in the NCTS, open wheel drivers coming to ...
Ron Hornaday, No. 33 Camping World Silverado, met with members media at Martinsville Speedway and discussed the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship battle he is in with Mike Skinner, racing in the NCTS, open wheel drivers coming to NASCAR, hard racing in the NCTS, changes in the series over the years and other subjects.
ON RACING AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY AND IMPACT ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE: "You just never know when you come to Martinsville. You take Talladega and Martinsville and put those in our last ten races, they become the ones you really worry about. You have to come out of here with your fenders on the trucks. We are just going to have to keep doing what we are doing, we have to have less problems than Mike (Skinner) has and that is what it is going to take.
"Mike and I drive for two great organizations. If you go back to 1995 when Mike and I raced against one another, we weren't rivals; I think it was Richard Childress (Skinner's truck owner) and Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (Hornaday's truck owner) were more rivals about 'my truck beat your truck.' We are back again, two great organizations and to get an opportunity to run up front like this is just awesome, it is unbelievable. I think Mike and I have had once incident on the race track so far this year, and we are man enough and big enough and smart enough to understand to know we are just going to tear our equipment up and we are just learning how to race as we get a little older.
"Mike is older than I am by-the-way (Laughs)."
ON TAKING IT EASY ON JACQUES VILLENEUVE: "Nobody has been nice to us. (LAUGHS). How come he is getting all the glory and Mike and I have been racing a long time in this thing and we aren't getting any glory out of it. (LAUGHS)."
ON DARIO FRANCHITTI BEING IN THE MARTINSVILLE TRUCK RACE: "You guys are all looking at two drivers (Villeneuve and Franchitti), we have 17 rookies in the field tomorrow. That is pretty tough to have over half the field be rookies. We don't know their driving style, they don't know our driving style, so that is going to be the toughest, If they are a lap down or we are a lap down trying to get back up through the field, or whatever. It doesn't matter what their name is or what they have done in racing, come to Martinsville in the NCTS they are going to have to be tough and going to have to learn how to drive it."
ON HOW ON-TRACK DIFFERENCES ARE SETTLED, PARTICULARILY WITH TIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE BEING WAGED: "We will do it because we settle it right here, we are going to talk about. I know Mike isn't going to out there and wreck me on purpose and I am not going to do it to him. We are going to get in to each other. We have five races left and we are going to race hard. We showed that at Las Vegas running side-by-side for eight or ten laps. But we are smart enough to know that when we walk out that gate, we aren't going to carry it forward to next week. It is just the relationship that Mike and I have. There aren't too many drivers, I mean Jack Sprague was the best - he would carry it on to next week, the week following that and the one after that (LAUGHS). He is starting to get a little better though, it comes with age. Mike can go out there are wreck me tomorrow, but he knows he will get it back next week if it was intentional, so, all we are going to do is cause our guys to have to do a lot of extra work. We are going to go out there and race our trucks to their potential and run hard, and try to go for this championship."
ON DRIVER'S HAVING AN OPPORTUNITY OUT OF THE BOX IN GREAT EQUIPMENT WHEN HE HAD TO WORK HIS WAY UP THROUGH THE RANKS: "The phone call I got from Dale Earnhardt, Sr., in 1994 was because of the TV coverage we got for the trucks at Tucson. I had a pretty successful business building race cars back then, 27 race cars at one race track were mine. To have Dale call me and just drop everything and come here to race in the caliber of team he put together and race against Mike and all the guys, was a dream come true. I have been fortunate to race for some great owners with Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and now with Kevin and DeLana Harvick, that just shows what the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is. People still want to be in this thing. KHI could probably build five more Busch cars, but they like this Truck racing, it puts on the best show. It seems to be a stepping-stone for people to go on but I think this is a premier series in NASCAR right now. We still race hard , the races are short when they drop the green flag, you are on the gas from lap one to the last lap. To have these kids come in here to start here, there are about five of them that are really going to make it, some others aren't going to because the guys that come over and ask questions of Mike and myself, of Jack and others, those are the kids that are going to make it. They aren't going to try and get in your way, they are going to heart and respect what we have built the series to and try and be the next Mike Skinner or Ron Hornaday.
"We have already had one open wheel guy show up there to find out that these things don't get up in the air when you touch fenders and stuff. We will find out by the end of the day Saturday if they understand you can lean on them a little bit, but you can't wreck 'em. You can still climb fenders here, we will find out."
ON IF DIFFERENCE IN RACING BACK GROUNDS CREATES AN ATTITUDE AND EXPECTATION OF HOW THINGS SHOULD GO: "I had to pick up a lot of dog poop and mow a lot of lawns to get my first motorcycle. When I built my first car and proved that I could do it, my Dad built a family race car and went on to do that for me. Now days, I don't think you have to learn how to work on race cars. You just have to learn how to drive them and listen to everybody else. It is not old school anymore. This is all new school. This coil bind stuff and everything else we are doing right now. You don't know anything about it. I just depend on Rick Ren (crew chief) and my group of guys at KHI and the RCR shop, who have helped so much on our Camping World Chevrolet, to do what they have been doing to help us. I am just the fortunate guy who gets to drive it.
ON ADAPTING TO THE CHANGES AND ADVANCEMENTS IN THE TECHNOLOGY OF RACING: "You can look at Mike here, he doesn't like the coil bind setup on some tracks, but does on others. Perfect example, Bowyer ran our other truck at Loudon (New Hampshire), same setup, same wind tunnel numbers, same everything-I was left-front coil bind, but he didn't like it. He went out five laps, parked it and didn't run anymore in the first practice. They went to right-front coil bind, I was third quick and he was fourth quick. It is just a matter of feel of what you like and what you don't like. I don't think it is so much about coil bind as it is how much rebound you are going to put in the front shocks, to hold it down. Or much compression you don't put in it. It is just a whole package. With RCR helping us out, I think we really adapted to it quick, I ran a Busch car and wrecked it at Nashville, and some said I just couldn't drive the coil bind; we will just go back to the standard old way. I said no, it is wrong and it just has to be right, you have to have 100% before you can do it."
-credit: gm racing