NOTES: Points battle With a fifth place finish at Phoenix International Raceway, ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday closed the gap in the hunt for the NASCAR Busch Series championship. Hornaday, a two-time NASCAR Southwest Tour (1992, '93)...
With a fifth place finish at Phoenix International Raceway, ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday closed the gap 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 second place, just 17 points out of first position. In fact, the 60 points separating the top-five make it the closest NBS points battle with two races to go in the history of the series.
What ya haulin?
The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No.26. It is the same Monte Carlo that Hornaday raced to a second place finish at the night Bristol race in August.
Last time at "The Rock"
Hornaday qualified seventh and finished 12th back in the spring race. With no "happy hour" because of rain, the ACDelco Chevrolet battled a tight condition for most of the race. Hornaday was challenging the top-five when the jack fell during a pit stop, dropping him to 19th. During the final run of the day, he raced his way from the last car on the lead lap to finish in the top-15.
Testing, Testing, 1.2.3.
The ACDelco Chevrolet team tested at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC., two weeks ago preparing for this weeks NBS event at 'The Rock". The team was rained out on Tuesday. Hornaday said the test was one of the best he has ever had at the track. "The test went really well. It was definitely the fastest I have ever been at 'The Rock'."
Ron Hornaday comments on North Carolina Speedway
You've run well at North Carolina Speedway in the past. What's the key to getting around "The Rock"?
"I don't think there is a key. You just try to survive. It is one of those tracks where you really race the track not the other cars. The tires lose grip early in a run and you just hang on from there, but that's what makes this track so competitive. The groove moves around here more than anywhere we race. The high groove seems to be the best on long runs, but the bottom can work for you as well. When we tested here two weeks ago, we were really fast running up near the top of the track, which I have never been able to make work, so I am excited about that. Hopefully this ACDelco Chevrolet will be fast right when we unload and we can just tweak it all weekend. I'm very excited about our chances."
Two races to go in the championship. Are you nervous yet?
"I don't think I'm nervous, but I know what's at stake over these next two races. We can't win the championship at Rockingham, but we can lose it. Everybody at RCR is working hard to make sure we have the best of everything for these final two events. We will probably bring a couple of engineers with us and I wouldn't be surprised if you see some of the Winston Cup guys hanging out wanting to help."
Do you race the other point's contenders this weekend and just try to finish ahead of them or is that strategy impossible?
"It's impossible. You have to go out and try to win the race. That's our approach and something I have tried to do my entire career in these situations. There is no doubt that we will know where everybody is on Saturday. But the goal is the same as it was when we raced at Daytona in February. We want to win."
You have won four NASCAR championships in your career. Does that experience help you in this point's battle?
"It helps in the fact that I know how to approach the final two races and how to manage the media and the attention. But each battle is different. The other drivers and their personalities are different. All four drivers in this battle are with elite NASCAR Busch Series teams. They all know what it takes to win a championship. I don't think anyone is going to get rattled or make a mistake. We have all left the door open for this championship. I think we are in a great position to win both of these final races and if we do that, the points will take care of themselves."