Off-week news 2009-08-03

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes The Streak Continues For Ron Hornaday Jr. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 3, 2009) -- Well, he did it again. Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Longhorn Chevrolet) made it to Victory Lane for a fifth ...

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News And Notes

The Streak Continues For Ron Hornaday Jr.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 3, 2009) -- Well, he did it again. Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 33 Longhorn Chevrolet) made it to Victory Lane for a fifth consecutive time this season. The win takes him to a new level and into the record books again. This time he joins very distinctive company.

With his win Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway, Hornaday joins Richard Petty and Bobby Allison as the third driver in NASCAR's three national racing series to win five races in a row. The last time this was done was in 1971 with both Petty and Allison.

"Honestly, this is just unbelievable," said Hornaday of the win. "I know I have been saying that a lot lately, but it is. Five in a row. Wow! This is pretty cool. I have to thank all of these guys behind this truck. I could not have achieved any of this without them; they are a hard-working bunch of guys and they have earned every one of these wins."

His win marked his 45th in the series yet his first in five starts at Nashville. He said he wanted that Sam Bass-designed Gibson guitar and he got it.

"I'm so proud that I finally got a Sam Bass guitar," he said. "I've wanted one for so many years and to finally achieve that, it's pretty cool."

In 14 races, Hornaday has collected six wins, matching the six he had for all of last season. His career high is seven wins in a single season which came in 1997. Greg Biffle holds the record for most wins in a season with nine (1999). Looking at Hornaday's record at the tracks ahead, chances are good he'll match or eclipse Biffle's record. Hornaday has wins on six of the 11 tracks.

Points Battle Different Picture This Year With 11 Races To Go

With 14 races down and 11 to go in the 2009 season, Ron Hornaday Jr.'s impressive winning streak has him perched at the top of the standings with a 216-point cushion over Matt Crafton (No. 88 Menards Chevrolet).

Hornaday's lead of 216 is the largest lead after 14 races in a season. He eclipses a 165-point lead Jack Sprague held over Greg Biffle in 1999. Sprague went on to win the title by eight points over Biffle, the series' third-closest championship points difference.

The second-largest difference at this point in a season was 158 points between Dennis Setzer (No. 8 Malcolmson Construction Chevrolet) and Ted Musgrave in 2005. Musgrave went on to pull past Setzer for the championship. In the end, only 55 points separated Musgrave and Setzer.

So while it looks as though the battle for the title may not be as close as seasons past, where it's gone down literally to the last lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway, anything can happen between now and then to stand between Hornaday and a record fourth series championship.

Example -- look back at 1999, when Biffle erased Sprague's mid-season advantage and actually built a 125-point advantage before late-season troubles took away the cushion. The pair traded the lead three times over the final three races before Sprague won his third title.

So yes, Hornaday's points lead looks safe right now but, as the saying goes, it ain't over til its over and the competitors behind him are going to do all they can to take advantage of any mishaps that befall Hornaday.

Crafton moved up to the second position following the race at Nashville, putting Mike Skinner (No. 5 PC Miller Navigator Toyota) back to third. Only 32 points, however, separates Crafton and the series' 1995 champion. Both are looking to get back to Victory Lane and for better luck in the weeks ahead to help diminish the points deficit.

Loop Data: Stats More Than Support Ron Hornaday Jr.'s Dominance

Clearly, winning five consecutive races says all that needs to be said about Ron Hornaday Jr.'s dominance.

But a deeper look into the statistics shows just how strong he actually ran.

In two of those wins, Hornaday was statistically perfect. At Milwaukee and Memphis (his first two wins of the streak), Hornaday scored a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0. At Milwaukee, his Average Running Position was 1.5. At Memphis, it was 1.2 -- his best of the five wins. In that race, he led 175 of the 201 laps for a percentage of 87.1% -- also his best of the five victories.

Last Sunday's Nashville race was near-perfect, statistically speaking. He was just two-tenths off a perfect Driver Rating, scoring a 149.8. In the event, he had an Average Running Position of 1.3 led 74.7% of the laps (115 of 154).

Over the five-race winning streak, here are Hornaday's absurd numbers: a Driver Rating of 144.8, an Average Running Position of 1.9, 225 Fastest Laps Run, 566 Laps Led and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 100% -- he ran all 905 laps among the top 15.

Comparing those numbers to his competitors over that span highlights his dominance even more. Here is the tale of the tape for Hornaday versus the second-best driver in a few key statistical categories over the five-race span:

Driver Rating: Hornaday's 144.8 leads Mike Skinner's 105.0 by 39.8.

Average Running Position: Hornaday's 1.9 leads Todd Bodine's 6.3 by 4.4 positions.

Fastest Laps Run: Hornaday's 225 leads Skinner's 89 by 136.

Laps Led: Hornaday's 566 leads Bodine's 83 by 483.

Rookie Battle

Tayler Malsam (No. 81 OneEighty Toyota) continues his hold on the lead for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. In 14 races so far this season, Malsam has collected seven top-10 finishes. His best finish was sixth at Michigan in June.

His on-track performance has him sitting seventh in the standings.

Malsam's lead, however, is minimal over the "not-really-a-rookie" rookie Johnny Sauter (No. 13 Fun Sand/Rodney Atkins/Curb Records Chevrolet). With four points separating the two, the battle keeps close.

While Malsam and Sauter are neck and neck, Texas native James Buescher (No. 10 International Maxx Force Diesel Ford) is keeping himself in the mix. Buescher sits only 11 points behind Sauter.

5Manufacturers' Standings

Chevrolet swipes the top spot from Toyota following Ron Hornaday Jr.'s win at Nashville Superspeedway over the weekend. While the lead is by only one point, it's a different picture for the manufacturer this season versus last season. After 14 races, Toyota held a seven-point lead over Chevy and never looked back in claiming the 2008 title.

Up Next: Bristol Motor Speedway

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series gets to stay in the state of Tennessee. The trucks will head East on I-40 where Bristol Motor Speedway will host the series for the O'Reilly 200 on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Ron Hornaday Jr. holds the most wins at the track with two (1997, 1998). Should he keep his winning streak alive in two weeks, the driver would make it a Tennessee sweep having won races at Memphis and Nashville earlier in the season. Travis Kvapil is the only other series driver to win at all three Tennessee tracks.

Fast Facts

Next Race: O'Reilly 200
The Place: Bristol Motor Superspeedway

The Date: Wed., August 19, 2009
The Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Race Distance: 106.6 miles / 200 laps
Track Layout: .533-mile Oval

TV: SPEED, 7:30 p.m. ET

2008 Winner: Kyle Busch
2008 Polesitter: Scott Speed

Wednesday: Practice, 10 - 10:50 a.m. and 12 - 1:30 p.m.; Qualifying, 4:40 p.m.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Greg Biffle , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Dennis Setzer , Matt Crafton , Johnny Sauter , Scott Speed , Bobby Allison , Tayler Malsam , James Buescher , Kyle Busch , Travis Kvapil