TALLADEGA, AL (April 20, 2002) - Ron Hornaday, Jr. and the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services just barely survived 'the Big One' at Talladega Superspeedway as a 27-car wreck saddled the driver with a 29th-place finish in the Aaron's 312 Saturday. "I...
TALLADEGA, AL (April 20, 2002) - Ron Hornaday, Jr. and the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services just barely survived 'the Big One' at Talladega Superspeedway as a 27-car wreck saddled the driver with a 29th-place finish in the Aaron's 312 Saturday.
"I wasn't sure what exactly happened," said Hornaday of the largest restrictor plate racing wreck in recent memory. "I just saw the No. 10 car (Scott Riggs) spinning, the No. 2 car (Johnny Sauter) in the air and a whole lot of smoke. We thought we had it cleared, but they got me from behind and pushed the No. 5 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet straight into it. When you are in the middle of the pack, stuff like that happens in a hurry. We had nowhere to go. It's just one of those deals because things happen so quickly at an ultra-fast track like Talladega. Then when all the smoke comes out, you can't see anything around you."
Hornaday started eighth in the 43-car field on the ultra-fast 2.66-mile Talladega oval. Hornaday surged in and out of the Top-10 in the early going, courtesy of a 180 miles per hour draft, until the trouble at the front of the pack led to a melee that decimated the field including the GMAC Chevy.
"It's just a terrible day for the No. 5 GMAC Chevy team," said Hornaday. "It's not what we wanted. We definitely had a good racecar here today. We had a great qualifying effort, the best of the season for this team."
Hornaday slugged his way down pit road after the accident and his Hendrick Motorsports team thrashed to get him back on the track. Hornaday eventually completed eight more circuits before parking the GMAC Chevy for the day.
"We were running decent before the pileup," said Hornaday. "Unfortunately, we had to park it because the entire front was damaged and we had rear end damage. The guys worked so hard to get us back out. We went out and made a couple of laps and parked it. We'll put this one behind us and move ahead to California. We have to catch a break soon."
Next up on the Busch Series Schedule for Hornaday and the Team GMAC Chevy is the Auto Club 200 at California Speedway, Saturday, April 27 at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be the ninth of 34 NASCAR Busch Series races this season and will be telecast live on FOX and MRN Radio.