Charlotte: Ron Hornaday preview

RON HORNADAY Looking to Stay Up Front Huntersville, NC (May 17, 2005) - Ron Hornaday and his GM Goodwrench team can't help but be a little frustrated with where they have finished in ...

                                RON HORNADAY

Looking to Stay Up Front

Huntersville, NC (May 17, 2005) - Ron Hornaday and his GM Goodwrench team can't help but be a little frustrated with where they have finished in the last two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races. In both events Hornaday was either in first or second place when bad luck cost the two-time series champion a shot at victory lane. However, this is not a team that lets problems bring them down. They feel as though this is the week to not just get out in front, but to stay there until the checkered flag drops.

"A blown engine and a black flag have taken us out of contention in the last two races," said Hornaday. "These are things that can sometimes challenge a team mentally, but this team is not like that. That stuff just motivates us and it is keeping these guys hungry. We got a taste in Atlanta, but we want more. It is obvious to our guys that we can win no matter where we go, and winning in Charlotte would be a great place to prove that to everyone else."

Crew chief Wally Rodgers shares Hornaday's sentiments. He knows that the mishaps from the previous two races have been out of the team's hands, which is why his confidence level remains high.

"There is no doubt that we are consistently competitive in every race," explained a poised Rodgers. "We are out there to win every week and I think that we have shown that we can. Our guys have done their part in the pits and our driver has certainly performed on the track; we have just had a little misfortune. We don't worry about stuff around here that we can't control. If you let those things get to you, you have already lost."

Points of Interest.

* New Engineer. New Kevin Harvick Inc. employee Terra Marckese will be working her first race as engineer for the No. 6 GM Goodwrench team this weekend in Charlotte. Marckese was hired two weeks ago to help Mike Dubowicz who is currently serving as engineer for both full time KHI teams. Marckese is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

* First Time. Hornaday has raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway before, but never in a truck. He has raced there in a Busch car and a Cup car with a best finish of 7th last year in the No. 2 ACDelco Busch car. He was on the pole in 2002 in his No. 26 Dr Pepper Busch ride.

* Off the Hauler. The GM Goodwrench team will be bringing chassis # 004 to Charlotte for this weekend's race. This is the same chassis that Hornaday was driving in Atlanta when he won earlier this year.

* T.V. and Radio. Start time for Friday night's Quaker Steak and Lube 200 is 8:45 p.m. EST. TV coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. on SPEED Channel, with radio broadcast being carried by MRN starting at 8:30 PM as well. Remember that race dates and times are subject to change, so check your local listings.

No. 6 GM Goodwrench driver Ron Hornaday on Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"Charlotte is a fast, fun and exciting track, but also quite challenging. I have never run in a truck race in Charlotte, but I have had some time on the track. We tested here a few weeks ago and I felt pretty comfortable on the new surface. This is a big race for everyone because it is so close to all of the team's shops. All eyes are on you this weekend and bragging rights come along with winning in front of our peers."

What about being black flagged last week in Mansfield?

"There is really not much to say. What happened is in the past and we are moving on. Of course we were disappointed because we felt we had a truck capable of winning, but sometimes these things happen. There is nothing we can do to change it, so now we are thinking about Charlotte."

How motivated is this team right now?

"This GM Goodwrench team is ready to go. We are all hungry for another win. Some teams get down when things go wrong, but this team steps it up a notch. Everyone knows exactly where we stand in the points and exactly what needs to be done to get out front. We can't control what the other teams do, but if we keep doing things the way we have been doing them everything will fall into place."

-khi-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr.