St. Louis: GM teams race quotes, notes

Ron Hornaday Takes Over NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points Lead with Strong Second Place Run at Gateway International Raceway Four Team Chevy Silverado Drivers Score Top-10 Finishes in Ram Tough 200 Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World ...

Ron Hornaday Takes Over NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points Lead with Strong Second Place Run at Gateway International Raceway Four Team Chevy Silverado Drivers Score Top-10 Finishes in Ram Tough 200 Ron Hornaday, Jr., No. 33 Camping World Silverado, did exactly what he needed to do today at Gateway International Raceway (GIR) to take over the points lead in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) standings.

With a strong second place run plus gathering bonus points for leading a lap and leading the most laps in the Ram Tough 200, the two-time NCTS champion now sits a-top the standings by four points with eight races remaining in the season.

Starting second on the outside of the front row, the Kevin Harvick, Inc. (KHI) driver let the pace of the race settle in before taking the lead the first time on lap 32 of the 160-lap/200 mile race on the 1.25-mile oval just east of the famous St. Louis Missouri Arch. He would go on to lead the race a total of four times for 95-laps before relinquishing to top spot the final time to eventual race winner Johnny Benson on the 148th lap.

It is Hornaday's second runner-up finish at Gateway, his ninth top-five (including three wins) and 16th top-10 in the 17 NCTS events now in the record books for 2007.

Regan Smith, No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, scored the best finish of his three NCTS appearances thus far this season with a fifth place run.

Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards/Johns Manville Silverado from the ThorSport Racing camp, finished ninth. Crafton started 21st and was quickly working his way through the field when he cut a left front tire on lap eight and had to make an unscheduled pit stop under green flag conditions, losing a lap to the leaders. When he was finally in a position to get the free pass putting him back on the lead lap, Crafton made his was from 20th, the last truck on the lead lap, up to the ninth place finishing position.

Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 South Point Hotel Silverado, forced to go to a backup truck following contact with the wall in the final practice session on Friday, started the race with a very loose truck. His Bryan Berry-led team made several adjustments on pit road until the handling improved drastically and Gaughan was able to make his way up to 10th in the final finishing order.

Willie Allen, No. 13 ThorSport Racing Silverado, scored his best finish of the year and his second consecutive Raybestos Rookie of the Race award taking the checkered flag in 12th spot.

Local favorite, Kenny Wallace in the No. 51 Flanders Beef Patties Silverado fielded by Billy Ballew Motorsports came home in the 13th spot.

Chevrolet remains second the NCTS Manufacturers' standings with eight races remaining in the 2007 season.

Team Chevy Silverado will unload next at New Hampshire International Speedway for round 18 on September 15, 2007.

***

Regan Smith, No. 47 Ginn Resorts Silverado, Started 6th, Finished 5th:

"It wasn't too bad for us today, we just missed it a little bit at the beginning there. I am just really proud of Eric Phillips (crew chief) and all the guys at Morgan Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado, they have done a great job. I get a little better each time I run this truck. I hope in the next couple of weeks, we are up there messing around with Hornaday and Benson for wins. I am having a lot of fun driving this thing for them and looking forward to the next time, wherever it is.

"The truck liked longer runs, the short runs and all the cautions weren't good for us. We kept on losing a spots on restarts and I would have to fight to get them back. We just didn't have enough time."

***

Matt Crafton, No. 88 Menards/Johns Manville Silverado, Started 21st, Finished 9th:

NOTE: Suffered a flat left front tire on lap eight of the 160-lap/200-mile race putting him one lap down to the leaders. Awarded free pass under caution on lap 126 to final truck on lead lap in 20th position:

"We had a pretty good truck, fought being free a little bit all day, but these guys never stopped working on it. When we cut that tire early, and went a lap down, it seemed like I could stay with the leaders, but the yellows killed us and the leaders would have put one more guy a lap down and we would miss the lucky dog. Finally, we got it with 30 to go and went from 20th to top-10. Not a bad finish for as bad as it started."

***

Brendan Gaughan, No. 77 South Point Hotel Silverado, Started 5th, Finished 10th:

"Backup truck is even a top 10 truck. Chevrolet has done everything we have asked of them. They have gotten us to where we can pull a backup out and still finish top 10. Thank you to Bryan Berry and the guys - they didn't give up, and they kept adjusting. It looks like we got a bad set of tires on our second run because we made adjustments and it was the only set of tires that made us tight like that. In the end we ended up being too loose on a set of tires that were probably a little better. All in all it looks like a good points night. It looks like we are close to getting our South Point Chevrolet in the top 10. We'll see how far we can get from there."

***

Willie Allen, No. 13 ThorSport Racing Silverado, Started 10th, Finished 12th:

NOTE: Was the top finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender and best finish of the 2007 season:

"I am really excited, we need to keep doing what we are doing to turn things around. I had a great truck; it was just a little tight on the entrance but our team fought hard all weekend. Lance (Hooper, crew chief) made good calls from the top of the pit box and gaining us track position. We just need to keep doing this every race so we can win the Rookie award. That is what we have to keep doing, taking it one race at a time and moving our Silverado in the top-10."

***

Kenny Wallace, No. 51 Flanders Beef Patties Silverado, Started 11th, Finished 13th:

"We had hoped to get a top-5 today in the No. 51 Flanders Beef Patties Chevrolet Silverado for Billy Ballew. We should have started with the air pressure up in the tires; it took too many laps to work up the heat in the tires. The track normally goes tight but we were pretty loose there for a little bit. We had a couple bad pit stops that put us back a few spots, which we just couldn't gain. I can't complain too bad we had a great time today, didn't tear up the truck and brought home a 13th place position."

***

J.R. Norris, No. 15 Flanders Beef Patties Silverado, Started 13th, Finished 16th:

"We struggled with being tight all day. We drove down too hard into the corner and used our brakes up early. I got into Joey Clanton and really didn't mean to do that early in the race. I hate it for those guys. I made a couple rookie mistakes and jammed on my brakes too hard and flat spotted the tires checking up when there was a spin in front of us. I had some vibration and am glad we came down to get two tires there because the left front was shot. I have to thank Chris Huff with Flanders Beef Patties and especially Billy Ballew for the opportunity to run this race. We accomplished our goal and finished in the top-20."

***

OTHER SILVERADO FINISHERS:

Chad McCumbee, No. 8 thegpsstore,com/Garmin Silverado, Started 27th, Finished 15th

Dennis Setzer, No. 75 Spear Manufacturing Silverado, Started 28th, Finished 19th

Boris Jurkovic, No. 08 People Against Drugs Silverado, Started 30th, Finished 21st

Brandon Miller, No. 40 Westerman Companies Silverado, Started 19th, Finished 27th

Tim Sauter, No. 07 Lester Buildings/ASI Silverado, Started 9th, Finished 31st: NOTE: Suffered engine failure on lap 54 after running in the top-10 from the start of the race.

Dana White, No. 86 888Karport.com/Red Line Synthetic Oil Silverado, Started 34th, Finished 33rd

-credit: gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Kenny Wallace , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer , Matt Crafton , Tim Sauter , Brendan Gaughan , Regan Smith , Brandon Miller , Willie Allen , Chad McCumbee , J.R. Norris