BUSCH: Fontana: Ron Hornaday - NASCAR spotlight

Ron Hornaday looks to be best man at California Speedway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 22, 2003) -- Ron Hornaday's (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) racing resume is impressive -- two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships (1996, 1998), two NASCAR...

Ron Hornaday looks to be best man at California Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 22, 2003) -- Ron Hornaday's (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) racing resume is impressive -- two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships (1996, 1998), two NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series championships (1992-93), a fifth-place finish in the NASCAR Busch Series championship standings in 2000 and 52 wins in five different series. Yet one thing has eluded him -- a win at California Speedway.

Hornaday, a California native, looks to remedy that in Saturday's 1-800-Pit-Shop.com 300 in front of a hometown crowd. Despite only one top-five finish -- a fourth at Talladega Superspeedway, Hornaday is currently second in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings thanks to a consistency that has seen him finish 17th or better in every race this season.

"I know [being second in the standings] is better than being 42nd," said Hornaday, who has driven for Dale Earnhardt, A.J. Foyt, Rick Hendrick and now Richard Childress in his career. "We aren't running as well as we had hoped, but fortunately we haven't had problems. I have been involved in a lot of championship points races and I've never won one in the first eight races, but I have lost them that early. As tough as the NASCAR Busch Series is, you have to be on your game every race. But the pace we are on right now won't win this thing. We must get better and it will take at least three to four wins and way more than one top-five."

Hornaday isn't the only new face to the ACDelco team, which also includes new crew members and the 2003 Monte Carlo, but he knows the reason he was put in the car was to compete for the championship.

"We thought we would be a top-five car week in and week out, and we just aren't there right now. But the other top teams are struggling too," Hornaday said. "I think we are all in the process of getting used to the (aero-matched) cars. This series is so tough. The competition is better and more equal than it has been in the past."

Hornaday has great memories about getting his start in racing in California, including working as a service technician during the day and then building race cars at night while dreaming of one day racing NASCAR's best. After much help from family and friends through the years, race day brings added pressure to do well.

"Any time you race in front of your hometown, you want to do well. It's like racing in Charlotte. With so many teams based there, you are racing for bragging rights. It's the same way out here," Hornaday said.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Ron Hornaday Jr. , A.J. Foyt