Mesa Marin Qualifying Report

Hornaday masters Mesa Marin By Brett Borden BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Oct. 17, 1998) Among other things, Bakersfield is known as the hometown of country music greats Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Based on his Bud Pole Qualifying performance at...

Hornaday masters Mesa Marin By Brett Borden

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Oct. 17, 1998) Among other things, Bakersfield is known as the hometown of country music greats Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Based on his Bud Pole Qualifying performance at Mesa Marin Raceway Saturday night, Ron Hornaday does not want to leave town playing second fiddle to Jack Sprague anymore.

Hornaday, who trails Sprague in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings by 18 points, must not care for the local music, because he wasted no time in going out and smashing some records. He shattered his own track qualifying mark with a lap at 95.400 mph/18.868 seconds to earn his second Bud Pole Award of the season, beating his old record of 92.540/19.651.

"I couldn't tell you how we stand," said Hornaday after going out second behind Sprague in qualifying. "I missed one corner ... I just drove it in there too hot. It was a good lap to start this race."

And Hornaday will start it next to Stacy Compton. Compton came closer than anybody to matching Hornaday's lap, putting up a speed of 95.263. Strangely, Hornaday and Compton share more than the front row of Sunday's Dodge California Truckstop 300 in common -- they both seemed disappointed with their efforts.

"Actually, we are pretty disgusted with it," Compton said. "I feel like I let the guys down. We had a truck quick enough to be on the pole. We left a little bit out there on the second lap. On our bonsai run earlier this afternoon, we almost wrecked on the second lap, and the driver just didn't do his job.

"We've got an awful good truck. We ran real good in practice. I think we've got and excellent race set-up. But it sure felt like we left something out there with this Royal Crown Ford today. But tomorrow is a different day."

Hornaday felt he left a little something on the track as well.

"I went out second and didn't get a chance to talk to any other drivers to see what the truck was going to do," Hornaday said. "I wasn't ready for it tonight, so I'm gonna go hide so no one can ask me how the NAPA Chevrolet did."

Sprague will start Sunday's race 10th on the grid. His was the fourth fastest Chevrolet after Hornaday, Terry Cook in fourth and local boy Kevin Harvick in fifth.

Mike Bliss will start third, while fellow Ford drivers Joe Ruttman, Rick Crawford, Boris Said and Tony Roper occupy positions sixth through ninth, respectively.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Boris Said , Stacy Compton , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Terry Cook , Rick Crawford , Joe Ruttman , Mike Bliss