NOTES: Points battle With a fourth place finish at Memphis Motorsports Park, ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday closed the gap in the hunt for the NASCAR Busch Series championship. Hornaday, a two-time NASCAR Southwest Tour (1992, '93) and...
NOTES: Points battle
With a fourth place finish at Memphis Motorsports Park, ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday closed the gap in the hunt for the NASCAR Busch Series championship. Hornaday, a two-time NASCAR Southwest Tour (1992, '93) and NASCAR Truck Series Champion ('96, '98), is in fourth place, just 40 points out of first position. In fact, the 44 points separating the top-five make it the closest NBS points battle with four races to go in the history of the series.
What ya haulin?
The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 6. It is the same speedway car that finished 12th at Lowe's Motor Speedway two weeks ago. The team also tested this chassis at AMS just last week. "We weren't the fastest car at the test, but we learned a ton," said crew chief Rick Viers. "As a test goes, this was probably the most productive and informative test of the year. We should be really good if the notes we have are correct."
I think I've been here before
Hornaday won the 1999 ARCA race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in his first ever race at the track. Hornaday drove the No. 31 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. The car was the same car that Steve Park had run in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event in the spring event. Hornaday used a combination of his No. 16 truck crew and the No. 3 ACDelco Busch Series crew of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for the race.
Looking for first top-10
In his two previous attempts, Hornaday has yet to finish in the top-10 at a NASCAR Busch Series event at Atlanta. However, the ACDelco Chevrolet has scored four top-10 finishes in five attempts.
Ron Hornaday comments on Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS)
What are your thoughts on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway?
"It's fast! I mean really fast. This is one of the few tracks that you realize how fast you are going. But it is also a track that has good grip, so it isn't really that scary."
"The pavement is starting to wear now and I noticed a couple bumps during the test that I had never noticed before. Still, this is one of the best racks we run on. There are two racing grooves, one up high and one on the bottom. But to be honest, you can run anywhere. The corners are just so wide. You will see drivers searching high and low for grip and that leads to good side by side racing. We should put on a heck of a show for the fans."
How was your test at AMS and what did you learn?
"We learned a ton off the computer data, so I think we will be one of the cars to beat when we go back. The RCR engineers were very pleased with the data and they feel like they have a better understanding of what we need for this track."
You have raced in ARCA, Busch and Winston cup at the track. Does that experience help you this weekend?
"Anytime you get track time, no matter what you race it's a good thing. I won the Georgia Boot ARCA race here in 1999 and it was the first time I had ever driven the track. We have had fast cars here in both Cup and Busch, but just never had the finish we needed. But those teams don't compare to this one. So experience can help on race day. But Atlanta is a track where a fast car beats the heck out of experience."
The point's battle continues to be the hottest in NASCAR. You are now just 40 points out of first. Is the pressure starting to mount or is it too early?
"The pressure was here the minute I climbed into the ACDelco Chevrolet. Richard (Childress) told me when he hired me that he expected nothing less than a championship, and we are in a position to get him one. I'm sure all of us in the top-five feel it right now, but at the same time, all of us know that this will come down to Homestead. It's just a matter of how many of us will still be in the hunt. It may be all five of us, or it may be just two or three of us. One thing is for sure. I don't want to lose this championship. We have worked way to hard."
"We need another top-five this weekend. That's what it takes to just stay in the hunt. Our team has been like the Carolina Panthers this year. So far we haven't been as flashy as we had hoped, but we have been very consistent and we hang around, ground it out and wear you down. Just like the Panthers, when we put it all together, we're tough to beat."
Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo are fourth in the NASCAR Busch Series point's standings. Hornaday is 40 points out of first place.