BUSCH: Michigan: Ron Hornaday preview

* Looking for luck in the Irish...hills If there was one track that Ron Hornaday was looking forward to driving the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet at in 2003, it was Michigan International Speedway (MIS). Hornaday has struggled in the past...

* Looking for luck in the Irish...hills
If there was one track that Ron Hornaday was looking forward to driving the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet at in 2003, it was Michigan International Speedway (MIS). Hornaday has struggled in the past at MIS. His best finish in the NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) at the track was 30th in 2000. But Hornaday feels like things will be different this time around. In his previous two NBS starts, Hornaday had engine problems that cost him strong runs- including last year when he qualified eighth and was racing in the top-five. But with RCR horsepower under the hood, Hornaday feels confident about his chances at MIS.

* Point's battle
The fight for the NBS Championship is really heating up. The top-five drivers are separated by only 99 points. Hornaday is solidly in the fourth position, just 58 points back. With just 12 races left, the race for the title has begun. "This is usually the time when things heat up," said Hornaday. "I think the race here at Michigan and the next one at Bristol will set the tone for the final 10 races. This could be where the eventual champion starts his run to Miami."

* Hangin' in Sturgis
Hornaday spent his off week in Sturgis, S.D. at the 63rd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Hornaday and fellow NBS competitor Stacy Compton made the trek out west following the Saturday night race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Hornaday was treated to a concert by '3 Doors Down', which included a trip onstage and backstage. The week included a ride through the black hills and a trip to infamous Deadwood, S.D. It was Hornaday's first trip to the rally.

* What ya' Haulin?
The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 06 at Michigan. The car was raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway. It's best finish was 3rd at Kentucky.


ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday on Michigan International Speedway

What are your thoughts on racing at MIS?
"I really like racing at the track, but I sure haven't finished well at all. I have only raced at MIS twice in a Busch car and both times I had motor problems. I am really excited about this year, because of the RCR motor program. Danny Lawrence builds the best motors in the sport. They have a ton of power, they get good gas mileage and the hold up to the constant rpm's. I think we have a great chance at a top-five this weekend. If the guys in the pits keep doing what they have been doing on stops, then I think we have a chance to win."

Your sponsor ACDelco is based in nearby Grand Blanc, MI. Is there any added pressure racing in their backyard?
"Absolutely it does. ACDelco is there. GM Goodwrench is there. Chevrolet is there. This is big for our team and sponsors. We are going to the plant on Thursday and say hi to all the hard workers who make the parts for (General Motors Service and Part Operation) GMSPO. I have been a Chevy guy for the all of my career and have a lot of good friends that work up here, so yes this is a big race and one that I want to win."

Fuel mileage can play an important factor at MIS. Has the team done anything different to prepare for the scenario?
"I don't think we have done anything different. The RCR engine shop builds motors that get good mileage already, so I don't think that will be a problem. If the car handle's well, so that you can smoothly get back in the throttle, instead of pedaling the car, than you can run fast and help your mileage. If you have to get on and off the gas in the corners, it hurts the motor and the mileage. I know that Allen Andreoli, our engine tuner, will stay up of that stuff all weekend, so I think we have covered that issue as best we can.

The point's battle is so tight right now. Can anyone in the top-five afford a poor run at this stage of the season?
"I think that maybe Scott Riggs can, because he is leading. But I know that I can't afford to finish outside the top-20 and maybe even the top-15. It is so close right now. One race can turn the whole thing upside down. But it is also too early to point's race unless you are having a bad day. If you start going conservative now, you will lose. Somebody will get hot and beat you. You have to race for the win and if it's not there, than you can race for points. If you do it from the start of the weekend, it will not work. I've been through a bunch of these deals in my history and that is where teams stumble."

Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco Chevrolet Monte Carlo are fourth in the NASCAR Busch Series point's standings. Hornaday is 58 points out of first place.

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Drivers Stacy Compton , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Scott Riggs