Ron Hornaday - heart on his sleeve

Ron Hornaday Wears His Heart On His Sleeve Kevin Harvick, Inc.'s driver, Ron Hornaday, has been wheeling his Camping World Chevrolet to top 5 finishes with a few wins, meanwhile getting plenty of camera time to promote his sponsors. While on...

Ron Hornaday Wears His Heart On His Sleeve

Kevin Harvick, Inc.'s driver, Ron Hornaday, has been wheeling his Camping World Chevrolet to top 5 finishes with a few wins, meanwhile getting plenty of camera time to promote his sponsors.

While on camera, those whom we call fans, and those who are a part of Ron Hornaday's life; they see something most don't see-- Hornaday wears his heart, on his sleeve.

Ron has a very special person in his life, an 8 year old, her name is, Tanner. You see, Tanner's Grandpa and Ron are truly what I call, Ole' Friends. Looking back at old Hornaday photos from his short track days on the West Coast, you can not help but see the same sticker on every car he drove-- it read GUS TOOLS.

In what was a small community at the time, the local tool shop, GUS TOOLS supported Hornaday, and the owner; Gus was a good friend to Hornaday.

Hornaday would move on to race for, Dale Earnhardt at, DEI, and move to, Mooresville, North Carolina, leaving behind family and friends. As a true friend would do, Gus packed up and moved to Mooresville.

Gus left his son, Chris, in charge of the tool shop in, Santa Clarita, Ca, home of, Saugus Speedway, the short track, Hornaday cut his teeth at.

Chris and his wife, Marjorie, called Santa Clarita "Home," and were raising their daughter, Tanner. Tanner, liker her father, loved the game of baseball. She was like any other, "California Girl," with a smile a mile wide, a mist her beautiful blonde hair. Tanner became ill when she was 4, and Chris and Marjorie heard some of the worst words a parent could ever hear-- "Your daughter has cancer."

Most would think something like Cancer would change all of that... not Tanner!!! This young lady is as tough as they come. She would take on Cancer, just like swinging at a ball.

Her diagnosis was 4 years ago!

In that time, so much has changed, including moving and leaving everything behind. With Chris and Marjorie doing everything they could for, Tanner, they found themselves in, Omaha, Nebraska, where they found care for, Tanner, from Doctors and staff that had the same fight as, Tanner.

You see, Tanner never gave up her passion, Baseball. Tanner has been playing ball in, Omaha, and meeting more Major League ball teams, then one could ever imagine. In one television interview, Tanner once stated, - Cancer, I've beaten it before, and I'll beat it again!

As race fans, we cheer and boo the challenges our drivers face on the track, as we sit in the grandstands, or in front of a television. During Speed's coverage of the truck race in, Milwaukee, the comments were made that every driver out there, "wants to win!" Ok, but why?

A few weeks ago, Tanner's parents released the news, that, Tanner's treatments wouldn't be continued.

If you know, Ron Hornaday, you know what was in his heart before the start of the race, in, Milwaukee.

After starting 14th, and spinning early in the race, dropping to 24th, Ron Hornaday and The Camping World #33 Kevin Harvick inc., Chevy Silverado finish 2nd at the Milwaukee Mile!

After coming in 2nd at Milwaukee, Ron Hornaday was interviewed on SPEED TV. He wanted to let the world know what was in his heart, and Hornaday wore his heart on his sleeve.

"Well, we had some help from, Tanner," as Hornaday held up his right arm to the camera and showed the world what was on his sleeve, his heart, by way a wristband that reads, "Together For Tanner!"

I was standing in front of my television as I held up my arm to the TV holding my "Together For Tanner" wristband with Hornaday.

The fight the world watched in Ron Hornaday as he fought from 24th to 2nd, is the same fight in Tanner, and that is why I will forever say, "Tanner You're my Hero!"

The emotions that run through me right now are micro, compared to the compassion and love that a driver feels when he can dedicate a win to someone special, especially someone as special as, Tanner.

Hornaday was able to do so, just a few weeks ago, in Dover, Delaware.

Hornaday Wins 300th NASCAR Truck Series Race, Dedicates Win To A Young Girl With Cancer

How powerful is that-- But, Tanner is in Hornaday's heart, every week, every race.

Thanks to very special friends, Tanner and her family will join Hornaday this week at, Kentucky Speedway.

"Tanner got an exciting phone call last Sunday from Ron Hornaday inviting the three of us out to a NASCAR truck series race in Nashville, Tennessee on August 11th. Ron and Lindy (his wife) are flying us out and giving us their hotel room for the weekend. Ron will be driving out in his motorhome and Tanner will have a place to get away from the heat and enjoy the race. Tanner is very excited, and we can't wait to see all of you. Thank you so much for this wonderful invitation and your generosity," stated Tanner's Mother, Marjorie.

Tanner has simply become infamous among Hornaday fans and all will be watching the race, not only to see their driver, but also to see the smile on, Tanner's face, which is a smile in Hornaday's heart.

What an awesome gift, Tanner and her family will receive this weekend, but Tanner is a giver, a giver straight from her heart--

Tanner, and her team participated in a Cancer Walk recently, and her team raised more than $10,000 for Childhood Cancer. She wanted to get an Ipod and needed to save up some money, so Tanner talked with a local store and was able to set up a "Lemonade Stand" in front of the store to help her raise the money. Tanner received a generous gift from a family friend-- an Ipod. What was, Tanner to do? She had set up the deal to have the Lemonade Stand-- Well, Tanner had the stand set up and sold Lemonade, raising $300.00. Tanner, no longer needing the money for herself, so Tanner took the money to Children's Hospital and bought 30, $10.00 gift cards for the hospitals gift shop and gave them to 30 kids at the hospital.

Simply put, it's just one more reason I will forever say-- "Tanner, You're My Hero!"

So as Hornaday sets out on the track this weekend in Kentucky, remember what is in his heart, and on his sleeve.

For more on Tanner, visit her site,


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