Martinsville II: Ron Hornaday preview

RON HORNADAY Back to Business Huntersville, N.C. (October 18, 2005) -- After a three week hiatus the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) returns to action this weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and GM Goodwrench driver Ron...

RON HORNADAY
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Huntersville, N.C. (October 18, 2005) -- After a three week hiatus the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) returns to action this weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and GM Goodwrench driver Ron Hornaday could not be more excited. "It is about time," explained the two-time champion. With the points battle winding down and several teams vying for the top spot, one could not blame him for being anxious. The pilot of the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado already wishes there were more races. Add that to the pressure of chasing down the leaders while hanging on to the third spot in the championship race, and there is an obvious need to get back on the track.

"It is time to get back to business," said Hornaday. "We are in a tight race. The leaders have a good advantage, but not one that is out of reach. There are teams behind us that would love to take over the third spot. We have our hands full this weekend, but that is what the Truck Series is all about. As long as everyone comes ready to work we should be in a good position come race time Saturday."

This weekend's Kroger 200 should be a showcase of championship caliber teams really going after one another. Five points is the difference between first and second, while only 50 points separates Hornaday from fourth place Mike Skinner and his No. 5 Toyota team. Skinner has been one of the hottest drivers recently and Hornaday knows that it is going to take a solid performance to gain in the championship hunt while holding off the surging No. 5 team. The GM Goodwrench team had a good run in Martinsville earlier this year (third place finish) and they look to repeat that success Saturday afternoon.

"This is a good track for us and we need to take advantage," added Hornaday. "There are some teams that would love to see us falter, but we can only worry about what we do. Certainly we don't wish bad luck on the teams we are trying to catch. The GM Goodwrench team brought home third place the first time we went to Martinsville and we think that we can improve on that this Saturday. This team deserves a good finish and this is the week to get it done."

Points of Interest...

* Off the Hauler...Team GM Goodwrench will take chassis No. 003 to Martinsville, Va. this weekend for Saturday's race. This truck has run three previous times this season with a best finish of third at Martinsville Speedway earlier this year. This truck also finished 11th in Mansfield, Ohio, and 10th in Richmond, Va.

* Track Stat... Hornaday has six previous NCTS starts at Martinsville Speedway and has amassed three top-five finishes along the way. He also has two NEXTEL Cup starts at the track, racing for A.J. Foyt in 2001.

* Manufacture's Championship... Chevrolet can clinch the manufacture's championship with a win this weekend in Martinsville. Chevrolet has 9 wins on the season followed by Toyota with 6, Dodge with 4, and Ford with 1.

* NCTS Points... After 20 races in the 2005 season, Hornaday sits third in points with one win, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Hornaday remains 200 markers behind point's leader Dennis Setzer.

* Start time... Saturday afternoon's Kroger 200 is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the event on SPEED Channel begins at 1:00 p.m., with live radio coverage also beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT 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 Martinsville Speedway...

What is your take on Martinsville Speedway?

"Martinsville is short track racing at it's very best. These are the races that really showcase the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and what it was meant to be. We never fail to put on a good show for the fans and this Saturday will be no exception. Martinsville has been a fixture in the Truck Series and this race will only add to it's growing history."

You finished third at Martinsville earlier this year. How do you improve on that?

"We learned a lot the first time that we went to Martinsville this year. Wally and the guys are sure to build on what worked and what didn't. Last time we had a truck that could have won the race, so I know that I will have a competitive ride this time around as well. The competition will be a little more fierce Saturday than the first time and that should make things more exciting. Teams are doing what they have to do for points and we have to focus on gaining as many as we can."

What are your expectations for the remainder of the season?

"We plan on running up front and winning races. That has been our expectations all year long. We expect to remain competitive in the championship race and we want to put the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in Victory Lane."

-khi-

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