BUSCH: Memphis: Ron Hornaday preview

NOTES: Points battle With a 12th place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway, ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday remains in the hunt for the NASCAR Busch Series championship. Hornaday, a two-time NASCAR Southwest Tour (1992, '93) and NASCAR...

NOTES:

Points battle

With a 12th place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway, ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday remains in the hunt for the NASCAR Busch Series championship. Hornaday, a two-time NASCAR Southwest Tour (1992, '93) and NASCAR Truck Series Champion ('96, '98), is in fourth place, just 76 points out of first position. In fact, the 80 points separating the top-five make it the closest NBS points battle with five races to go in the history of the series.

What ya haulin?

The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 36. It is the same "drop-snout" Chevrolet Monte Carlo that Hornaday raced to a seventh place finish at Richmond International Raceway in September. At the Richmond race, the car carried the likeness of Lava Records, Franky Perez. This week it will carry the 2003 ACDelco colors.

There's a first for everything...

At Memphis Motorsports Park, first belongs to Hornaday. In 1998, Hornaday won the very first NASCAR race at the track in his No. 16 Chevrolet Silverado. It was one of six victories in '98 that propelled Hornaday to his second NASCAR Trucks Series championship. In fact, Hornaday took over the point's lead in '98 following his victory in Memphis...a feat he hopes to accomplish this weekend. Last year, Hornaday scored another top-10, finishing seventh in his No.26 Chevy.

Ron Hornaday comments on Memphis Motorsports Park

What are your thoughts on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park?

"What a fun race track. I love Memphis. Always have and probably always will. The fans are awesome. The place is just cool. Graceland is a great place to visit. In fact, we left tickets for the King under his door back in 1999. I'm not sure if he came or not, but I can know he was there in spirit.

We have raced very well at Memphis.  I won the race in 1998 after I blew a
tire and had to fight back from a lap down.  I expect to be racing for the
win.  It is one of my all-time favorite tracks."

The point's battle has been the biggest story over the past few weeks. You have been as high as third and as low as fifth. What are your thoughts on the point's battle?

"It's tight. That's really all there is to say. All five teams are top teams. Nobody in this battle is a fluke or a surprise. At the beginning of the season we felt like we would be racing Green, Riggs and Keller. I guess Vickers would be a surprise if you think back to February when this season started, but it didn't take long to realize he is the real deal.

One of the strange things about this championship battle compared to others I've been in is that there are five guys this close. Back in my Truck and even Southwest Tour days, we were usually racing one other guy, maybe two at best. When you are racing five guys, it's impossible to point's race. You can't do it. There is no way that the other four will all have the same bad day. It just won't happen. You have to race for the win. You have to lead laps. We haven't done that in a long time and that's what it is going to take. We have to step it up a notch, or we have no chance at winning this deal."

Where do you think your best chances at winning are?

"You would hope everywhere. I don't know. We have won here at Memphis in the past and we always run up front, so I think we have as good a chance as anyone. Then you look at the rest of the schedule and it sets up really well for me. I won at Atlanta in an ARCA car, so I feel good about that track. Phoenix is my home track and we are always one of the best cars, so I know we can win there. Rockingham is a track where we haven't won, but have scored top-fives. And then there is Homestead. I have no clue what to expect there. I won the truck race last year, but that was on the flat track. We won't know anything about Miami until out test during race week. But then again, neither will anybody else!"

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr.