BUSCH: St. Louis: Ron Hornaday preview

* ST. LOUIS SUCCESS For ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday, Gateway (IL.) International Raceway has been one of the two-time NASCAR Truck Series champion's best tracks. Hornaday has never qualified outside the top-10 and twice...

* ST. LOUIS SUCCESS

For ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday, Gateway (IL.) International Raceway has been one of the two-time NASCAR Truck Series champion's best tracks. Hornaday has never qualified outside the top-10 and twice has just missed capturing the Busch pole. In 2000, Hornaday finished sixth after leading in the late stages of the event. In 2002, Hornaday finished second in the Carroll Racing No. 26 Monte Carlo. Last year, Hornaday ran in the top-five all day before breaking the transmission leaving pit road. The team had to go behind the wall to replace the transmission and Hornaday finished 28th.

* ACDELCO SUCCESS

Gateway International Raceway has been very good to Hornaday's sponsor, ACDelco, as well. ACDelco colors have been to victory lane in four out of the six races the NASCAR Busch Series has run at Gateway. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won in the No. 3 ACDelco Chevy in 1998 and '99. Kevin Harvick then did the double in the No. 2 ACDelco Monte Carlo, winning in 2000 and 2001.

* BUSY WEEK

Hornaday has a full week planned prior to running Saturday's Gateway 250. On Tuesday, the ACDelco team will test at Nazareth Speedway, where Hornaday is the defending champion. On Wednesday, Hornaday will throw out the first pitch at the Philadelphia Phillies game. Thursday, Hornaday will join teammate Clint Bowyer at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, MO. for autographs at the famous brewery. Later that evening, he will join fellow NBS driver Kenny Wallace for a benefit at Fox High School in Arnold, Mo. And finally, Hornaday will tee it up with several other Busch Series drivers in a Busch Series golf tournament. Hornaday says it's all in a weeks work!

* WHAT YA' HAULIN'?

The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 029 at Gateway. It is the same "heavy downforce" car that Hornaday raced at Nashville (TN.) Superspeedway. The car has a new nose after the late race crash in Music City.

ACDelco Chevrolet Driver Ron Hornaday on Gateway International

Gateway International Raceway has been one of your better tracks. What do you like so much about this track?

"It's just a fun track. It has an odd shape, kind of like Darlington (SC.). It is a flat track that you drive almost like a road course. You can really drive hard into the corners and then brake, shift and get back in the gas. I have always been good at tracks like that. I have also had transmission problems at Gateway as well. I know that the guys back at the shop have worked hard to build the toughest transmission they can for me here. I really think if we had not had the problem last year, we would have won the race. It was one of the best cars I had all year."

You are bringing chassis No. 29 to the track this weekend. You raced to the front at Nashville with this car, but it didn't qualify very well. What changes have you made to this car for Gateway?

"It's got a new nose, I know that. This package is just something that Butch Hylton (crew chief) and I talked about and we tried. It isn't anything special. We just had a thought and we told the RCR engineers we wanted to try it. After we qualified poorly, we felt like goats. But we figured out what we did wrong and the car came to life in happy hour and during the race. I think we were the best car at Nashville on the long runs. We just got taken out late in the race and had to go behind the wall to fix it. I think this car will be very fast at Gateway.

Why aren't you bringing a drop-snout car to Gateway this weekend?

"I really like the drop cars. To me they work better on the flat tracks. But RCR isn't real big on them. They built me a couple last year that we ran and did pretty well with. But the approach to them is different. I don't think Butch has worked with them much, so it just makes sense to bring a standard car. I can drive either car. It doesn't change my style much. The car we are bringing reacts like a drop car, so I'm pretty excited."

-rcr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kenny Wallace , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Clint Bowyer