Caution flag scuttles top finish for Hornaday, Team GMAC at Nashville. NASHVILLE, TN. (April 13, 2002) - In his first-ever appearance at Nashville Speedway, Ron Hornaday, Jr. was hoping for some beginner's luck in the Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch...
Caution flag scuttles top finish for Hornaday, Team GMAC at Nashville.
NASHVILLE, TN. (April 13, 2002) - In his first-ever appearance at Nashville Speedway, Ron Hornaday, Jr. was hoping for some beginner's luck in the Pepsi 300 NASCAR Busch Series race. Unfortunately, Hornaday's luck proved to be on the bad side resulting in a 22nd place finish for the veteran driver and his No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet.
"We pitted on Lap 131, had a great stop and just as we went back out, the caution flew on Lap 133 and put us two laps down to the few cars that hadn't pitted yet," said Hornaday. "That killed our chances of a top finish. At least we're getting out of here with a car that's in one piece, so I'm happy with that. Sometimes the breaks just don't go your way, and there's nothing anyone can do about that. You can't beat bad luck."
The weekend started off with Hornaday 25th in Friday's qualifying round, posting a time of 30.368 seconds (158.022 miles per hour) on the 1.33-mile Nashville concrete oval.
"I thought practice went really well but I guess I just don't have enough laps at this track, " said the Palmdale, CA native after qualifying. "I over drove the heck out of the car in qualifying. We tried some things and made it better in happy hour. We got some good notes and at least had a sense of what we needed to do to get ready for the race. We got together with Jack and Dennis (Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jack Sprague and crew chief Dennis Connor) to compare our notes to theirs. We made some changes and we got it dialed in for the race."
The Team GMAC strong race effort got derailed when the team pitted under green-flag conditions only to have the caution flag fly two laps later. That put Hornaday two laps down, a deficit he never recovered from.
"We were a bit off at the beginning of the race," said Hornaday. "We had an aerodynamic deal the nose kept wanting to push up coming off the corner. These Hendrick Motorsports guys kept making adjustments to free the car up and by the end of the race, we were one of the fastest cars on the track. We had another tough break with a caution that came a couple of laps too late, but we ran well. The pit stops were great and we competed hard, We are proud of that."
Hornaday and his Team GMAC Chevy will next roll off in the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway, Saturday, April 20 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be the eighth of 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season and will be telecast live on FOX and broadcast by MRN Radio.