BUSCH: Las Vegas: Ron Hornaday preview

Viva Las Vegas Hornaday rolls into Nevada looking for seventh consecutive LVMS top-10 finish February 24, 2003 (Las Vegas, Nev.) Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco team head into Las Vegas with momentum on their side, but still looking for a top-10 ...

Viva Las Vegas
Hornaday rolls into Nevada looking for seventh consecutive LVMS top-10 finish

February 24, 2003 (Las Vegas, Nev.) Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco team head into Las Vegas with momentum on their side, but still looking for a top-10 finish in the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season. After a 12th place finish at Rockingham last Monday the "blue deuce" is ready to finally finish what it started. In the first two races, Hornaday has qualified in the top-10 and raced in the top-five, but he has had something go wrong during the last half of the race. At Daytona while running fifth, the No. 2 ACDelco Chevy began to get very loose forcing Hornaday to lift off the throttle in the corners. He slid from fifth to 15th in just 20 laps, before the car settled down. The story was similar at Rockingham. Hornaday was running 6th when a broken jack on a pitstop put him back to 18th.

Pitstop for Ron Hornaday.
Photo by ACDelco team.

The ACDelco team hopes to put together a full race this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which has been a favorite of Hornaday's since it opened in 1996. Hornaday clinched both of his NASCAR Truck Series titles (1996 and '98) at the 1.5-mile facility. He has an average finish of 5.7 and has 6 top-10 finishes in six seasons of racing in a variety of series. That's right! Hornaday has never finished outside the top-10 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That includes Trucks, Busch and Winston Cup.

And it's not too early to be thinking championship for the ACDelco Chevrolet as well. Hornaday currently sits 10th in points just 98 points out of the lead. When you factor in that three of the top-10 drivers in points run only a limited schedule, the ACDelco Chevrolet is right in the hunt.

Ron Hornaday, driver of the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet, comments on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:

Las Vegas Motor Speedway had been an outstanding track for you. What is it about this place that suits you driving style? "That's a good question. I just have always been able to find my way around here. I feel very comfortable racing at "Vegas". The track is so smooth and you can be aggressive if you need to be. The track is very wide so you have plenty of room to work around a guy. It's just one of those places that I look forward to racing at. We have had great success out west. I have a great fan base in Las Vegas and so it's really cool when we get out here. It really almost feels like home. There are a ton of guys we raced with in Southwest Tour and Winston West that come to see us. In fact, I need some extra credentials and tickets!"

But you come into the race with six consecutive top-10 finishes at LVMS. That's an incredible streak. Do you feel confident you can notch another top-10? "When you drive for Richard Childress and ACDelco, you expect to finish in the top-10 every race. We have had cars at both races this year that I thought could win at the drop of the green flag. But sometimes cars change from practice to race and you have to adjust as you go. At Daytona we were perfect all weekend and then in the race we got real loose. We know a couple reasons why, but it was hard finishing 16th when I know we had a top-three car. Then last Monday at Rockingham we were so tight, which again was different from in practice, but we still were running sixth when the jack broke on pit road. Even with the problem we finished 12th. I've been on teams were we would have finished a lap down had those things happened, but this team fights no matter what. So yes, I think we can continue the streak and we hope we can get the ACDelco Chevrolet into victory lane."


* Ron Hornaday has never finished outside the top-10 in any of his races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He finished eighth in 2000, his only start in Busch Series action at the track, driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

* Hornaday clinched his two NASCAR Truck Series titles (1996, '98) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He also helped Jack Sprague win his in 1999 by drafting with the fellow Chevrolet driver the entire race.

* Hornaday has won the most popular driver award in every NASCAR series he has run except for Winston Cup. (1992 Southwest Tour, 1994 Winston West, 1997 Truck Series, 2000 Busch Series.)

* ACDelco has won more NASCAR Busch Series awards than any other active sponsor. The Grand Blanc, Mich., based company won NASCAR Busch Series championships with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 1998 and '99 and also with Kevin Harvick in 2001. They also took the series Rookie-of-the-Year titles in 1997 with Steve Park and Harvick in 2000.


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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Steve Park , Kevin Harvick , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague