RON HORNDAY: "I thought we were down and out again when the yellow flag caught us in the pits there and put us down a lap. I knew we had a good truck and Rick Ren made a great call. He did something to the track bar, I don't know if he went up or...
"I thought we were down and out again when the yellow flag caught us in the pits there and put us down a lap. I knew we had a good truck and Rick Ren made a great call. He did something to the track bar, I don't know if he went up or down and I am not going to argue with him no more, I argued with him until the green flag dropped. The thing was a rocket ship again, just went where it wanted to go.
"Earlier in the run, I couldn't run up top and whatever Rick did to the truck, it just took off. Kyle Busch taught me a lesson here two years ago about three times in a row up on the outside. So I figured I would go up there and try it. He wasn't running up there. I watched (Travis) Kvapil and them get pretty loose so I just ran as hard as I could and when I got to them, I went to the top and got clean air on the front of our Chevrolet.
"It is cool to win for the VFW. They have been big supporters of KHI and all the troops and what they do for us. Our first win for VFW is really special. We tried to get one last week but our buddy Ryan Newman took that one away. We will take it. This team never says die and it just keeps coming back. They keep pumping me up. Rick Carelli, I don't know what to say. He is my spotter and just keeps on pumping me up. He takes a lot of grief and I owe him a lot. I chew him out a lot on the radio and he understands my driving style. He takes it with a grain of salt or doesn't even listen to me. Maybe he is getting deaf in his old age.
"Just a great day. Mark Smith is doing a great job on the motors. With the support of Camping world, just everybody. It takes a whole team effort. We win the race and we look up and Johnny Benson finishes third. That is the way it is, he is a sleeper and it is going to come down to Homestead.'
"I wanted to make sure we didn't run out of fuel, so I actually pitted a lap short of what our fuel window was and of course we got caught on pit road. I'm like, this is great. But I knew our truck was good. I felt like in clean air Ron would be able to run that thing where ever he wanted to. We were at the tailend of the lead lap in front of the leaders and I knew Kyle would be about the only guy we had to worry about. I watched him practice yesterday and he got pretty tight when he was behind us in practice. I felt like if we could get a quick caution, we could hold him off. It went our way for once. Got a quick caution, came in and topped that thing off, made an adjustment. The rest of it is history. Ron really drove his butt off coming through traffic.
"A couple of times up on the box, I am like man, you need to calm down, but he knows what he is doing and here we are, it is just a great day for us."
"Texas has been a really good race track, not only for myself on Saturdays, but for Ron. I know leading up to this year, it seemed like we always had something happen, they came here the first time and won the race this spring then to come back and win again in the fashion that they won tonight, just really shows how good the race trucks are and the driver, the crew chief and everybody that does everything on the trucks week in and week out does a great job. It was a good night for us."
TALK ABOUT COMING BACK THROUGH THE FIELD ONCE YOU WERE ON THE LEAD LAP:
"I think the first lap or second lap; I thank the Lord for missing Cale. Cale was just in a bad spot there, they saw that rookie stripe and they took advantage of him. I don't know if somebody got in the grass and got into Cale and made it three-wide going through the tri-oval. He got turned and I barely got by him. Luckily he stood on the gas and I squeaked by him and it looked like the rest of the field didn't. Right then, everything happens so fast here and a couple of times I was watching these guys side-by-side and they were getting sideways and I figured I had to get by them. Because if you are right next to them, you are going to get the backend run in to your door and you are end up in the fence.
"Rick Ren made an adjustment on the track bar and that is first thing he has ever changed anything on the track bar, kinda of a joke between Rick and I. It definitely worked. It just made the truck so easy to drive that toward the end of it; the more I let off to try and save the tires, waiting for a green-white-checkered or a yellow flag with 10 to go, just the faster the truck went. I was binding it up trying to keep it wide open and as soon as I started lifting in the middle, it started pulling away and hooking the apron down there. It was cool. That is the way it is. Everybody like parted the sea when I was coming through, I learned something, like I said and ran the outside and had some good momentum with Mark Smith steam. His motor and what he has been doing for us, it worked out good."
WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU WERE SITTING ON PIT ROAD AND THE CAUTION FLEW?
"I knew we had a good truck and it was just a matter of where we were sitting on pit road. I thought maybe we pitted good enough where they weren't that fast on the track and I came out where they would have to pit, it would put me back in the lead. Until we got on the track, I didn't know we were a lap down until they started slowing down. I knew I was going to be up front so we were just going to have to run it and hope a yellow came out and get the Lucky Dog. Thankful that the truck is fast enough and we stayed out in front of Busch. I saw he was running high to get around those other two guys so I ran it there in one and two and got him just a little air tight. Then I ran the bottom in three and four and pulled away from him. Then the yellow came out, Rick topped it off with fuel and made the adjustment and it came to life."
WHAT CAN CALE LEARN FROM TONIGHT'S ACCIDENT?
"I think when he gets back and looks at the tape; he will probably realize that knowing what was around him would have probably helped prevent that situation. He hasn't been in a whole lot of those situations; we have been in this situation before. It is not like it is something that we haven't experience. You get both ends of the spectrum. It is not something that you really want to experience. Both teams complement each other and have done a great job pushing each other to make the teams better. It is just the way it goes and we have been around it long enough to know that sometimes you have good days and sometimes you don't. It was looking bad there when they got caught on pit road. But, it all worked out."
"For us last week for the first time that the No. 2 truck won, that was such a great moment and for Ron to finish second. But this is a pretty humbling sport and you are on top one week and then you are not. To have Ron and these guys come back and they battled back and got their lap back, these guys don't give up. It was this race last year that we kind of fell behind a little bit. I always earmark this one as my true test about where we are. To watch these guys, they don't get down, although between Rick Ren, Rick Carelli and Ron Hornaday is like the Odd Couple. Listening to them on the radio go back and forth, it is almost like a comedy show. It is pretty funny. I get nervous watching Ron race and I shouldn't because I know how experienced he is, but this. I was so nervous, my hands were sweating and I was pouring water on myself to keep my hands from sweating. He never lets me down. It is always fun to watch and that Is the main thing. Whether we come out of this thing on top or not, I am so proud of these guys, I am proud of where we are in our organization, it has just been."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THIS CHAMPIONSHIP RUN HAS BEEN DIFFERENT THAN LAST YEAR?
"I think that this year has been, I think we are better prepared. I think after last year, Kevin and DeLana let us build some equipment while we were building the second team, while we were building the No. 2 team it let us try a bunch of different avenues when you are building new race vehicles. I think we learned a lot over the winter and over the summer leading up to where we are now. We have been really fast everywhere we go, but we have had some bad races. We have had things happen; it is just part of racing. Some days the racing Gods are not with you. I think the best thing is, I was asked this the other day on a radio show, what I wanted to do different this year versus what we did at the end of last year. Last year we relied on the last five races on two race trucks. This I am relying on the last five races on five different race trucks. I think our preparation is better. I think all of our main core guys are the same guys we had last year so they know how to go through this. They don't get excited. Like tonight, they don't panic, they just keep digging and that shows a championship caliber team."
DO YOU OFFER RON ADVICE AS THIS POINTS BATTLE GOES ON?
"I just told him just a second ago; we are leaving here 50 points closer than we were last year at this time. Last year I am pretty sure we were 56 points behind. These guys don't need a lot of advice. Every once in a while, I put in my two cents of what I think about a situation. When we went to Sandusky (Ohio) and had a good test for Martinsville. I was able to get back in the trucks and really what spearheaded turning the corner at Martinsville. Driving the trucks with myself, Ryan (Newman) and Cale, just trying to make something happen on the No. 2 team so they could bring something to the table that would help these guys in these last few weeks. For the most part, we build two new fleets of trucks like Rick said this winter. The advice level is low, I put in y two cents every once in a while, that is about it."
WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR THE NO. 2 TRUCK THE REST OF THIS SEASON?
"Ryan (Newman) is going to run the No. 2 at Homestead and I will run the truck at Phoenix and Homestead, or one of the trucks. For the most part, we are going to race the next two weeks.
HORNADAY INTERJECTS -- IF YOU ARE GOING TO RUN ONE AND HE IS GOING TO RUN ONE, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME?
"That means we will have three. We had a nice seat tonight. It was just me and Newman up on the pitbox (No. 2). We had no truck; we had no crew, just me and him up there watching the race. We had two scoring monitors and two TV screens. Probably not the most efficient way to watch it from a financial standpoint, but I guess it is ok."
IS IT NERVE WRACKING GOING BACK AND FORTH WITH JOHNNY?
"I don't look at it that way. Maybe Kevin sees it different. I snap at Rick Ren pretty easy and pretty regularly. Kevin sat me down last week or two weeks ago and said if you aren't having fun, it is not worth it. He don't care whether I win or lose, he just as long as you go out and have done and do what you are doing every week. That is what we are doing. I maybe take a little pressure different and treat my friends different, I don't know. Hopefully I look at it where it just makes us tougher. We have had some things happen this year that shouldn't have happened that put us in the position. If we had won the races we should have run as good as we did at some of the tracks, we would have more of a points lead. I rather am in a position right now where we are at chasing him down. Because every time I seem to lead, something happens. We will just keep doing what we have to do."
DO YOU THINK YOU WILL EVER WANT A CUP TEAM?
"I have learned to never say never but right now it is not something that I really want to do. Being on this side of the fence with the Nationwide and the Truck stuff going in to the year that we are getting ready to have from a sponsorship standpoint, I am glad I am not on that side of it dealing with the amount of money that it takes to run those teams. It is not something that I will say we will never do, but right now it is just not something that really interests me."
-credit: gm racing