Phoenix: Ron Hornaday preview

RON HORNADAY UNFINISHED BUSINESS Huntersville, N.C. (November 8, 2005) -- The 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season is quickly coming to an end and Ron Hornaday and his GM Goodwrench team are expecting to go out with a bang.


Huntersville, N.C. (November 8, 2005) -- The 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season is quickly coming to an end and Ron Hornaday and his GM Goodwrench team are expecting to go out with a bang. There are two races remaining, which means two more opportunities to get that elusive second victory for the No. 6 Kevin Harvick, Inc. owned team. There couldn't be a better place than Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) for Hornaday and the crew to show the rest of the field what a quality program they have put together in the little town of Kernersville, N.C.

"Our goal this year was to go out and win races" explained Hornaday. "Either that or bring home the steering wheel. That is what Kevin (Harvick) hired me to do. This weekend in Phoenix is an awesome opportunity for us to prove to everyone what we are made of. For whatever reason we have struggled getting that second victory, but this is a great track for me and a great track for my team. It would be a disappointment to finish out the season with just our one win in Atlanta, so we have to give everything that we have in order to put the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet back in Victory Lane."

Hornaday is not exaggerating when he says PIR is a great track for him and his team. In fact, great is about the only way to describe it. Last year Matt Crafton piloted the No. 6 GM Goodwrench truck to a third place finish with current crew chief Wally Rogers calling the shots. In Hornaday's previous 10 NCTS starts at PIR he has finished on the lead lap every time. Nine of those finishes were top-10, six were top-five and two were wins. Statistics don't tell the whole story, but if history can give us any indication of what to expect Friday night, then it is safe to say Hornaday will be in contention coming out of turn four on the last lap of the Chevy Silverado 150. Or he might be handing a steering wheel to his boss.

"We have unfinished business," added the two-time NCTS champion from Palmdale Calif. "We should have won several races this year, it just hasn't worked out that way for us. I know we're good, the guys know we're good, and this is the weekend that we are going to remind everyone in the garage what we are all about."

Points of Interest...

* Off the Hauler...Team GM Goodwrench will take chassis No. 007 to PIR this weekend for Friday night's race. This truck has run in six races this season with a top finish of third at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

* Track Stat... Hornaday has 10 NCTS starts at PIR, finishing on the lead lap every time. He has nine top-10s and six top-fives. He has also won twice at PIR, once in 1998 and again in 1999. His NASCAR Busch Series record is also impressive at PIR, finishing in the top-five in three of his six starts.

* NCTS Points... After 23 races in the 2005 season, Hornaday sits fourth in points with one win, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. Hornaday remains 218 markers behind point's leader Ted Musgrave. He is 26 markers behind Todd Bodine and would love to reclaim his third place spot this weekend.

* Start time... Friday evening's Chevy Silverado 150 is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EST. TV coverage of the event on SPEED Channel begins at 8:00 p.m., with live radio coverage also beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST 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 Phoenix International Raceway...

You have a great record at PIR. Is it one of your favorite tracks?

"My favorite tracks are where I have won, so of course Phoenix is on the list. I have run a lot of races there and always seem to do pretty well. This is a track I feel I know some things that maybe some of the younger guys aren't familiar with. I feel like my experience there, gives me an advantage. It is also a track I feel my fans will be there to support me. It is like a home away from home."

Todd Bodine took over third place in the championship race last week. Can you get it back?

"That team has really turned it on lately and they are going to be tough to beat these last two races. We still have something left in the tank and I think these last two tracks favor our team. It is going to be a shootout, but I think we can at least finish out this season in third place."

You say your experience at PIR gives you an advantage. Any secrets to the track?

"Maybe when my racing career is over I will give up some secrets, but for now I will keep them to myself. I don't mind helping the younger guys out, but I am competing with them and don't want to give up my advantage. Some guys may want to follow me on the track during practice. I am not promising that I will be showing my hand."


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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ted Musgrave , Matt Crafton