Kevin Harvick Wins at Phoenix International Raceway; Ron Hornaday, Jr. Heads to Final Race just Three Points Behind Leader in Championship Battle Avondale, AZ -- Kevin Harvick piloted his own No. 2 Camping World Silverado to victory lane in the...
Kevin Harvick Wins at Phoenix International Raceway; Ron Hornaday, Jr. Heads to Final Race just Three Points Behind Leader in Championship Battle
Avondale, AZ -- Kevin Harvick piloted his own No. 2 Camping World Silverado to victory lane in the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) leading twice for 60 of the 150 laps. It is Harvick's third NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at the one-mile track in the desert just outside Phoenix.
Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 VFW Silverado, escaped PIR without a huge deficit in the championship standings despite being involved in a multi-truck incident on lap one. With a combined effort of several teams in the garage including Chevy teams TRG and Brad Keselowski Racing plus many crew members from the two trucks fielded by Roush Racing, sufficient repairs were made to Hornaday's truck to return him to competition 34 laps down to the leader.
Aiding Hornaday in his quest for a second consecutive and fourth overall championship was a similar night of on-track damage and a lengthy garage stay for his rival in the battle, Johnny Benson.
At the conclusion of the race, Hornaday finished 25th while Benson finished 26th cutting the lead to just three points heading in to the season-ending event at Homestead Miami Speedway on November 14, 2008.
Brad Keselowski, No. 19 Brad Keselowski Silverado, finished sixth and Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards/NIBCO Silverado, finished 8th giving Team Chevy three of the top-10 finishers.
Kyle Busch, Todd Bodine, Brian Scott and Mike Skinner completed the top-five finishers in tonight's race.
KEVIN HARVICK, NO. 2 CAMPING WORLD SILVERADO, STARTED 10TH, FINISHED 1st:
CONGRATULATIONS ON A GREAT RUN IN THIS CAMPING WORLD TRUCK: "Thank you very much. I just want to thank all my guys and this Camping World Chevrolet Silverado was absolutely awesome tonight and they are just fun to drive when they are like that. Just a lot of emotions tonight. To see the thirty-three get turned around and then they end up gaining a few points and we wind up winning the race, I am just really proud of all these guys."
CAN YOU MONITOR THE RACE WHEN YOU ARE OUT THERE AS A DRIVER? "Under green it's no problem because you don't even think about it. Under caution though, you have a lot of time to watch the screens going down the front straightaway and you see the points flashing up and you're thinking about what they need to do tonight. And I am just really proud of everyone tonight."
THIS IS THREE WINS IN A ROW BY KHI. TALK ABOUT THE TEAM AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO WIN: "Well, it's great. Anytime you can go out and win something obviously it's a lot of fun to come to victory lane. We were running really good at Martinsville and that is the only other time I have been on the truck this year. So, I got to watch Ryan win and watch Ron win a bunch of races, so it's really nice to do it yourself."
THOSE LAST FEW LAPS DID YOU KNOW SOMEONE WAS COMING WITH NEW TIRES BY THE NAME OF KYLE BUSCH? "Yeah, I saw him and they told me he was like seventh with new tires but I knew I was a little bit better than Todd (Bodine) on the restarts and we timed it just right."
RON HORNADAY, JR, NO. 33 VFW SILVERADO, STARTED 1ST, FINISHED 25th:
NOTE -- HORNADAY WAS INVOLVED IN A MULTI-TRUCK ACCIDENT ON LAP ONE, THE TRUCK WAS REPAIRED AND RETURNED TO COMPETITION 34 LAPS DOWN TO THE LEADER. HE REMAINS SECOND IN THE STANDINGS, JUST THREE POINTS OUT OF THE LEAD WITH ONE RACE REMAINING IN THE SEASON: WHAT HAPPENED ON LAP NUMBER ONE? "Stellar night wasn't it. I don't think Johnny (Benson) and I want to win this thing. First of all I've got to thank everybody in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garage. We have Chevrolet, we have Dodge, we had Toyota guys, everybody come over there and help with that No. 33 get back out there to make a points race out of it. That's what is so cool about the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is all the people involved and all the pit crews and everything. I've got to thank them from the bottom of my heart. That was cool. I was riding along and all of the sudden Johnny wrecks, it's like nobody wants to win this thing. Johnny and I are just giving it back and forth to each other. It goes back to '92 back here; we had the same kind of race here with Rick Carelli. Man it was cool. First lap, I knew (Kyle) Busch was going to run me hard but I didn't know he was that far up on me and I drove it off in there and he drove it on past me and it just sucked me around and I got loose and I should have not tried to save it and wreck him too with me but I didn't, I tried to save it and spun myself out. I hope he's not five points out of the lead or six points out of the lead because I'm going to race him as hard as he races me."
TAKE US THROUGH YOUR EMOTIONS TONIGHT. FIRST YOU'RE BACK IN ABOUT 33RD POSITION, LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO COME OUT OF HERE 60 POINTS PLUS BACK AND NOW ALL OF SUDDEN YOU FINISH A POSITION AHEAD OF JOHNNY BENSON, THREE POINTS GOING INTO MIAMI TALK ABOUT THE EMOTIONS THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT AND WHO YOU THINK HAS THE ADVANTAGE WHEN WE GET TO MIAMI: "Nobody has got the advantage any more. This is what I'm saying whoever is going to win this is going to have the least amount of luck. We just didn't hurt ours as bad as he did. He got his and he had to change suspension parts, we just got all kind of body and the track bar. No advantage no nothing. This is so cool to come down; I was just talking to the guys and just laughing. That's all we can do just laugh at a night like this. I hate to see it our guys worked really hard on this VFW Chevrolet Silverado. Man it's tore up. I was going to take that thing to Homestead. I'm not taking it now."
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 19 BRAD KESELOWSKI RACING SILVERADO, STARTED 7TH, FINISHED 6th:
TALK ABOUT YOUR NIGHT TONIGHT. "I had a lot of fun. It was a great night. It's kind of like my debut with my own team and we finished sixth. That's a strong debut. I'm very happy with that. Learned a lot. Always learning. Just proud of everyone. Hopefully this will help the Nationwide effort tomorrow. Just got to thank everyone with Chevrolet and all them guys that look out for this program and this serious. Just very fortunate to get to do this."
MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 MENARDS/NIBCO SILVERADO, STARTED 13TH, FINISHED 8th:
ON HIS RUN TONIGHT: "I guess it's alright. It really kind of stinks for here really for us to have finished eighth. I have more laps here than probably anybody. We've always been so good here. It just took too long for our truck to come in. It would take eight to 10 laps. We were about a 30th-place truck for the first five laps and after we would get going we would become a top-10 truck and then at the end of a run we would get to where we were a top-five truck but it just wouldn't come in on short runs for some reason. The guys I can't thank them enough, they worked their butts off. This thing was just a heap of crap yesterday really in practice. They worked really hard, really hard and they changed a whole bunch of stuff today and made it a top-10 truck."
RON HORNADAY, JR. CONTINUED:
GREAT POINTS DAY: "The driver was a complete idiot. That was stupid. I thought I was further up on Kyle (Busch) than that and I drove it off in there. That Chevy Silverado was stuck all weekend long and I got up there and he just got a better run and he just got on the outside. I didn't know he was that far up and he grabbed the air out from underneath me and I saved it and got into him and I spun the rest of the way around. I hate to see that because when the guys in the front part of the race right there takes half the other people out on the race track we don't need to do that. I lucked up there and Johnny (Benson) wrecks and it's like man nobody wants to win this championship if we're giving it back and forth to each other. It's unbelievable."
WHEN YOU WERE SITTING THERE WORKING ON YOUR TRUCK WERE YOU THINKING THE CHAMPIONSHIP IS DONE? "You know what, no because we set down here in 1992 and an exhaust pipe went through my windshield, my brother-in-laws and we were down and out burning the clutch out coming in and out of the pits and we came back and burned the clutch up. We only made about 15 laps in the race. Doug George was leading the championship, he ended up wrecking and Rick Carelli is leading to the white-flag lap and he wrecks it on the thing and we won the thing by three points. This just reminds me of the ups and down. What I am most proud of is everybody in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series come over. I don't care if was a Ford, a Dodge, everybody came over to help that No. 33 truck and that just says a lot to what this whole series is about and that's pretty cool."
DO YOU LOOK AT IS AS A CLEAN SLATE NOW, DO YOU ESCAPE THE BAD LUCK? "I didn't escape nothing. That was bad luck and that's all there is to it. I had a truck that could win the race and I blew it."
IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE, IT COULD HAVE BEEN THE END: "You know what, you're dealt your cards and I'll take whatever given. I should have known better than to drive it off in that corner with (Kyle) Busch and he's stubborn as I am. Some day he'll be in my position running in the top-five in points or whatever and I'll race him as hard as he races me. Mark my words."
WERE THEY LETTING YOU KNOW WHERE BENSON WAS? "No, you know what I'd done blew it. Once I passed him and they said you were going to gain one more spot and that's Benson, you've got a position on him and you can't gain no more. Three points, keep gaining a little. We keep nibbling each week. Darn Homestead. Man it's going to be tough down there. It's going to be nerve wrecking. We're going to be biting finger nails and turn grey."
RICK REN, CREW CHIEF, NO. 33 VFW SILVERADO:
GO THROUGH YOUR NIGHT WITH ME: "Oh my. I had deja vu with 2006. Sat on the pole here with Johnny Benson and we spun the first lap with (Mike) Skinner but we didn't hit anything. So I seen him spinning and I thought we're going to be alright. Just bouncing off the wall wasn't bad but when we got hit in the back it was pretty devastating. I can't say enough for the effort of my guys and the effort of Jack Roush's teams and the effort of the TRG bunch. All of those people came to our aide and we had Ford guys and Chevrolet guys putting our Chevrolet back together to get into this race and that just shows what this Truck Series is about. There's not really any enemies over here. We're all willing to help each other. We just kept digging. I told Ron don't give up. It's a long night. You never know what's going to happen and the next thing you know I said Ron the No. 6 (Colin Braun) just run into the No. 23 (Johnny Benson) and tore the No. 23 up. Heck I don't know 40 laps later the No. 23 and the No. 7 (T.J. Bell) get together.
"The No. 23 is tore up worse than what we were. We gained three points after getting wrecked and tore all to heck on the first lap. It's what the Truck Series is about. Next week at Homestead it's going to come down, if we're both in the top-10 it's by one position if we're equal in leading laps."
HOW HARD IS THAT THOUGH? "When you get down to these last few races it's just bad anyway. I mean it's just stressful. The thing of it is it's stressful on me but you've got to try to not let the guys see how much stressed you are. Like I told them tonight don't beat ourself, let's have fun, just do what you do and it's all going to work out. The racing gods are going to be on our side or they're not going to be on our side. On lap one I didn't think they were on our side. The next thing you know the No. 23 is tore up. Everything happens for a reason. I believe in fate and what it is, is what it is. One of us going to win next week."
OTHER SILVERADO FINISHERS:
CHAD MCCUMBEE, NO. 8 MALCOLMSON SILVERADO, STARTED 22ND, FINISHED 12th
DONNY LIA, NO. 81 NATIONRIDES.COM SILVERADO, STARTED 15TH, FINISHED 16th
SHELBY HOWARD, NO. 13 FARMPAINT.COM SILVERADO, STARTED 19TH, FINISHED 19th
T.J. BELL, JR., NO. 7 SPONGETECH/HOME4THEHOLIDAYS.ORG SILVERADO, STARTED 26TH, FINISHED 27th
J.R. FITZPATRICK, NO. 71 MAMMOET.COM SILVERADO, STARTED 6TH, FINISHED:30th
MIKE BLISS, NO. 40 KEY MOTORSPORTS SILVERADO, STARTED 17TH, FINISHED 31st
RUSS DUGGER, NO. 89 LAFFERTY PERFORMANCE SILVERADO, STARTED 33rd , FINISHED 32nd
JOHNNY CHAPMAN, NO. 07 ASI LIMITED SILVERADO, STARTED 32ND, FINISHED 33rd
NORM BENNING, NO. 57 BENNING RACING SILVERADO, STARTED 34TH, FINISHED 34th
BUTCH MILLER, NO. 0 ASI LIMITED SILVERADO, STARTED 29TH, FINISHED 35th
-credit: gm racing