BUSCH: Rockingham: Ron Hornaday preview

Hornaday excited about new Busch Series tire/spoiler package at "The Rock" NOTES OF INTEREST: * New Package When the NASCAR Busch Series arrives at North Carolina Speedway, they will have an all new tire and spoiler package for ...

Hornaday excited about new Busch Series tire/spoiler package at "The Rock"

NOTES OF INTEREST:

* New Package

When the NASCAR Busch Series arrives at North Carolina Speedway, they will have an all new tire and spoiler package for Saturday's race. Goodyear debuted their new generation racing Eagle tire at Daytona International Speedway and the softer sidewall put the driver back into the handling equation. While the series also used a special "wicker" spoiler package at Daytona, this week marks the first race with the 2004 shorter spoiler rules. Many are concerned about how the tires will handle on the abrasive Rockingham surface. ACDelco driver Ron Hornaday is excited about the new package. "I take my hat off to NASCAR. They wanted to give control of the car back to the drivers and from our tests during the off-season, they have done just that. I think you will see one of the best races ever at Rockingham this weekend and I can't wait to get down there," said Hornaday.

* New Team

Hornaday was very excited about his first race with his new team and crew chief Butch Hylton. "Butch and all the guys did an awesome job down in Daytona (Fla.). We really got to know each other last year and so the transition went very smoothly. I couldn't be happier," said Hornaday. "Kevin (Harvick) seemed to gel with Rick (Viers) and my crew from last year, so I think what Richard (Childress) was trying to accomplish has worked to perfection. Both teams are very energized."

* What ya' Haulin'?

The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 027 at "The Rock". Kevin Harvick drove this former No. 21 Chevrolet to a 10th place finish at North Carolina Speedway last February. Harvick had one of the fastest cars all day, but pitted out of sequence and never caught the break he needed to race back into the top-five. Last year, Hornaday battled his ACDelco Monte Carlo to a 12th place finish despite a problem on pit road when the jack fell and a very tight race car.

No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday on the North Carolina 200

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. 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 this weekend."

If you could have one thing at "The Rock" to make your car go fast, what would that be?

"The best wearing Goodyear tires of all time. It's all about tires at Rockingham. They wear out so fast and when cars pit for fresh rubber, you can see how much faster their car goes. It's probably a three-second or more advantage for the first 5-10 laps. After that it starts to equal back out. You try your best to not abuse the tires. You try to run the higher line to keep from wearing out the right front. It is so crucial to get the balance just right. If you can save just a little tire, you can have a fun day.

How important is getting off to a good start early as far as the championship goes?

"I think it is very important, but you can't start points racing at Rockingham. Like any race, you get the best finish you can, but you still want to win races and lead laps so that's what you prepare for. We want to win races with this ACDelco team. That's the goal right now. That's what cost us the championship last year. We were very consistent, but we didn't win races. If we can win races and post top-fives, plus make sure we are running at the end of every race, then the points will work out in our favor. It sounds like a lot has to happen for that to take place, but it's like this. When you have a good car, you have to go for the win. When it's not your day, you just take care of the car and get it to the finish in one piece. That's the magical formula."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Ron Hornaday Jr.