Ron Hornaday "Master of Restarts" Excited About Green-White-Checkered HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 20, 2004) - It was the news that the racing world had been waiting to hear. And for ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday, it was like...
"Master of Restarts" Excited About Green-White-Checkered
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (July 20, 2004) - It was the news that the racing world had been waiting to hear. And for ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday, it was like finding a dollar in an old pair of jeans. NASCAR announced the implementation of the green-white-checkered finish to decide races in all three of its major series.
The idea for the rule is to give the fans an opportunity to see a race finish under green, not caution. The new rule has been altered slightly from the one Hornaday raced under during his stint in the NASCAR Truck Series, with only one "G-W-C" attempt being allowed. If a yellow flag is displayed before the leader takes the white flag, the race will end under caution. For the two-time Truck champ, the decision was music to his ears. "I am very excited about the new finish rule," said Hornaday. "This gives the fans what they wanted. I have always thought this rule was one of the best we had in the Truck Series and I think it will be a great rule in Busch and Cup as well."
Hornaday should be excited. Of his record 26 wins in the NASCAR Truck Series, Hornaday took the Green-White-Checkered seven times. That is the most of any driver in the history of the series. In fact, that was where the "Master of the Restart" nickname was penned. And with the driver of the No. 2 ACDelco Monte Carlo already the hottest driver in the series, the new rule gives Hornaday even more confidence in the chase for the championship. "We have finally raced the way we expected to out of the gate," said Hornaday. "This whole ACDelco team is working as one unit and it shows on race day. The mistakes are gone and the car is just plain fast every single week. I expect us to be one of the best cars right off the truck at New Hampshire. I can't wait for this weekend."
Last year, Hornaday finished eighth in the New England 200. He has one career win at NHIS, coming in the NASCAR Truck Series in 1996. That race finished green-white-checkered!
Points of Interest...
* Green-White-Hornaday...Ron Hornaday scored seven of his NASCAR Truck Series record 26 wins via green-white-checkered finishes. He has the most wins of any driver in NASCAR under this finishing format. He won 70% of all G-W-C finishes he was involved in, while running first, second or third.
* Track Stat...Hornaday's average NBS finish in three visits to NHIS is 14th. He has been to victory lane though, winning the 1996 NASCAR Truck Series race at NHIS. That race, finished green-white-checkered!
* Movin' on up...Despite being as far back in the points as 10th following the Dover race on June 7, Hornaday has charged up through the point standings over the last month. He has scored five straight top-10 finishes and now sits fourth in points, just nine points out of third and 368 points out of first. Hornaday has scored the most points of any driver over the last five races.
* What ya' Haulin'...The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 36 at NHIS. Hornaday raced this "drop-snout" chassis to a victory at The Milwaukee Mile on June 26.
* Last year at NHIS... Hornaday entered the 2003 NHIS NBS race third in points, just 56 markers out of first. Rain washed out qualifying and Hornaday started fifth based on NBS owner's points. In the race, Hornaday battled a tight car with a severe "aero-push" to an eighth place finish at NHIS.
* Did you know...In 2001, Hornaday qualified the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Pontiac 11th and ran in the top-10, before an engine problem dropped him back to 32nd in the spring NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at NHIS.
No. 2 ACDelco driver Ron Hornaday on New Hampshire...
What are your thoughts on the new Green-White-Checkered finish rule?
"I think it's great. The fans pay good money to see a race end under green and that's what they are going to at least have a shot to see now. I think it brings back the short track racing in all of us. You have to realize in these things that there are two laps and you have to race all these guys all year. If everyone tries to win the deal in turn one, it won't work. The first corner helps get you in position. If you rough a guy up, he will get you back. All these things take place. The driver makes the decision on how bad he wants to win it. If you cross the line, there will be payback. That's just part of it."
"I won the truck race at New Hampshire with the green-white-checkered rule and we didn't have any major crashes or problems. But I'm sure the first time it comes up for those that have never been involved with one, it could get pretty interesting. Especially in the NASCAR Busch Series with all the young guys that want to prove themselves."
What is the key to getting around New Hampshire International Speedway?
"You have to have a car that will allow you to get into the corner without being loose and will turn through the middle and off. A tight race car is a nightmare at New Hampshire. But if you are loose in and off, it's just as bad because you wear the tires out. It really takes a good balance. We usually have long green flag runs, so tires are a key as well."
The track looks a lot like The Milwaukee Mile. You won there, so will the same setup work at NHIS?
"They look alike on paper, but they drive differently. Getting the car to turn all day is still the key, but how you approach the corners and the way they paved the track are totally different. Some things can transfer and we think we will be ahead of the curve. But we can't just plug in the Milwaukee setup and race. It doesn't work that way and I'm sure the competition has worked on their flat track program in the last few weeks, like we have. In this series, you can't rest."
No. 2 ACDelco crew chief Butch Hylton on New Hampshire...
How hard is it as a crew chief to get the proper set-up on a flat track?
"It's a little tougher because it is really more mechanical. We have been using the air to help us pin the cars lately. On a flat track, the aero factor isn't as great, but the mechanical part is. I like it because it takes me back to my roots as a crew chief. You have to get all four tires to work. The driver really gets to drive at a track like New Hampshire. This week we will use last year's setup that Kevin Harvick ran to a second place finish. The Milwaukee setup just won't work here, but a lot of the thinking that went into that setup came from this NHIS setup. I am really excited about this race. I think we have a great shot at a top-five and the win."