Las Vegas: Ron Hornaday preview

RON HORNADAY Having Fun Again Huntersville, N.C. (September 20, 2005) -- Ron Hornaday started out the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season on cloud nine. He was back in the series where he had so much success earlier in his career.

RON HORNADAY
Having Fun Again

Huntersville, N.C. (September 20, 2005) -- Ron Hornaday started out the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season on cloud nine. He was back in the series where he had so much success earlier in his career. He teamed up with fellow California native and friend Kevin Harvick, and won the third race of the year in Atlanta (Ga.). The team, along with sponsor GM Goodwrench, looked poised to make a run at the series championship. Then, a string of unfortunate events began to occur. Problems in Mansfield (Ohio), Dover (Del.), Texas and Memphis, (Tenn.) left a championship caliber team scratching their heads and asking the question, "what if."

"For a while there, everything seemed to go against us," explained Hornaday. "It was frustrating because we would look so good, but something strange or out of our control would happen. Some races got away from us and we would leave the racetrack unhappy. It was to the point that we were almost expecting something to go wrong."

Coming off a hard fought top-five in New Hampshire last Saturday, Hornaday and his team seem to be headed back in the right direction. Instead of things going wrong, they now seem to be falling in the favor of the silver and black team. There is still a lot of ground to make up in the championship race, but it is not out of reach. Everyone seems to be having fun again, and that has translated into some positive momentum heading into the final leg of the season. How fitting that the team gets to find out if Lady Luck really has taken their side when they crank up the engines at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night.

"These last two races we have had a lot more fun," added Hornaday. "We haven't won, but we have gotten everything that we could out of our truck. Everyone's heads are up and we feel pretty good about what we have done lately. I think that if we keep this attitude up, even better things are going to happen for us. Vegas is the perfect place to test your luck."

Points of Interest...

* Off the Hauler...Team GM Goodwrench will take chassis No. 004 to Las Vegas this weekend for Saturday's race. This truck has four previous runs this year with Hornaday, including a win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* Track Stat...Hornaday has a good record at LVMS, never finishing outside the top-10 in his NCTS career. He has four NCTS starts at LVMS with an average finish of 4.5. He has led 88 laps with three top-five finishes and four top-10s. Two of his three NASCAR Busch series starts (2000-DEI; 2003, 2004-RCR) at the 1.5-mile oval have been top-10s, as well as one top-10 in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series (2001-A.J. Foyt).

* Mentor...Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) will field two trucks this weekend in Las Vegas. NASCAR West driver Burney Lamar will be making his NCTS debut driving the No. 92 HPS/Groeniger Chevrolet. Several weeks ago Hornaday went with Lamar to Vegas to act as a mentor during the team's test session. Lamar will be taking the same truck that Hornaday has driven this year in Daytona (Fla.), Kansas, and Kentucky.

* NCTS Points...After 19 races in the 2005 season, Hornaday sits third in points with one win, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Hornaday sits 203 markers behind point's leader Dennis Setzer.

* Start time...Saturday evening's Las Vegas 350 is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. EDT. TV coverage of the event on SPEED Channel begins at 9:00 p.m., with live radio coverage also beginning at 9:00 p.m. EDT on your local MRN Radio affiliate and on XM Satellite Radio -- channel 144. Remember times and dates of the race may change so check your local listings.

No. 6 GM Goodwrench Driver Ron Hornaday on Las Vegas Motor Speedway...

What do you think about racing in Las Vegas?

"Las Vegas is a great city. This is a place that feels a lot like a home track for me. We have a good fan base on the West Coast and they will come out for this race. My history at the track is pretty good, and I think we are going to have another good run this weekend. I have never finished outside the top-10 racing a truck there, and I fully intend on keeping that streak alive."

Is there a key to racing at LVMS?

"I don't want to give up all my secrets, but there are some things that can be helpful. You really want to keep your corner speed up and to do that you have to have a lot of downforce. Other than that it is all in the engine and the driving. It is Vegas, so obviously you are going to have to have luck on your side as well."

Does your team have enough momentum to finish strong?

"Finishing strong is our goal and to do that we are going to have to ride the momentum that we have picked up the last couple of races. We had a top-10 finish followed by a top-five finish so we feel like we are on the heels of something even better. This team deserves a win, and I think that we are close to getting that second trip to victory lane."

-khi-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Dennis Setzer , Burney Lamar , A.J. Foyt