BUSCH: Texas: Ron Hornaday preview

Hornaday hopes to be the "Lone Star" in Texas "Longhorn-aday" to dance the ACDelco "2" - step NOTES OF INTEREST: * TEXAS SIZE APPETITE FOR SUCCESS Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco Chevrolet team come into Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) not...

Hornaday hopes to be the "Lone Star" in Texas
"Longhorn-aday" to dance the ACDelco "2" - step



Ron Hornaday and the ACDelco Chevrolet team come into Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) not hungry for a win, but starving. Hornaday last visited victory lane at Nazareth (P.A.) Speedway, 27 races ago. For the Richard Childress Racing owned team, that stretch is too long and Hornaday wants nothing more than to win at Texas Motor Speedway. ACDelco crew chief Butch Hylton thinks this year Hornaday has a great chance. "We really went to work on our speedway program in the off-season and early this year," said Hylton. "We have great notes from Clint Boyer's tests here in the No. 21 car. Ron joined Clint at his test at Texas earlier in the year and they communicated very well. I think Ron learned some things watching Clint and I know RCR learned a lot as well. We also had Kevin Harvick testing there in the GM Goodwrench car, so we think we have done everything we can to prepare for this race. I think that shows how important this Texas race is to us and RCR."

* TESTING 1, 2, 3...

Hornaday will test at Nashville Superspeedway this Tuesday leading up to the Texas event. The test is a make-up date for the rain cancelled test on February 24th. The ACDelco team will test a combination of Nashville setups and even some chassis ideas for Texas Motor Speedway during the one day test.


Hornaday and Hylton will spend Wednesday in Oklahoma City, OK. as guests of ACDelco and Oklahoma City Community College. The event is OKCC Automotive Career Day. Students from all over the state of Oklahoma have a chance to ask questions of the two-time NASCAR Truck Series champion driver and 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Owners champion crew chief. The focus of the event is to give students interested in an automotive career, insight into the various options in the industry, including motorsports.


The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No.027 at TMS. It is the same car that the team ran at Darlington, S.C., and Rockingham, N.C., this year. The team made aero changes to the body for this event.

ACDelco Chevrolet Driver Ron Hornaday on Texas Motor Speedway

What is the key to racing at Texas Motor Speedway?

"I wish I knew, because I have really struggled at this place. It is so fast that you have to keep your momentum all the way around. If you are even a little loose or tight, you will fall back in a hurry. When the setup and feel is right, this is an easy track to drive. You need to really arc the car going into the corners to keep the speed up coming off the corners. That is probably the hardest part of driving the track.

"We need to try to start up front for once. I think my best start is 16th, so I would like to be in the top-five or top-10 and have that track position. We have qualified really well this year, so I think we have a great chance at doing just that. I won a pole at Charlotte in 2002, so I know what it takes at these quad-ovals. I just have to get it done."

You are 13th in points coming into Texas. Is that a concern?

"No, we're not watching points right now. We obviously know where we are and how many we are out, but this ACDelco team is working hard to get to victory lane. That's what our goal is right now. Let's get a win or two and try to build momentum for the summer. We have just had some bad luck early on."

What kind of bad luck?

"The unfortunate kind (laughing).  We had a pit miscue at Las Vegas that
cost us some track position.  I got hit by a lapped car early in the race
at Darlington.  Last weekend at Bristol, we left a lug nut off the front
when we were running third.  That is three out of the ordinary things
that have put us back in the points.  The cars have been excellent.  Our
qualifying program is as good as I have ever had.  This team is just
awesome.  I really enjoy working with Butch (Hylton) and the guys.  They
say things happen in three's.  Hopefully, our bad luck is now gone."

You are speaking to students about the automotive and racing industry in Oklahoma City. How important is an education in racing now as compared to when you were in school?

"I think it is huge. Just look at guys like Ryan Newman and Matt Borland. They both have engineering degrees and so much knowledge of what the cars are doing. When I was younger, I had to race to support my family. I didn't feel like I had a choice. I wish I would have gone to college. These young drivers speak well and are more polished. They just have the complete package. I tell everyone that asks me how to get into racing the same thing. Go to college and if you're really smart, study engineering. While in school, try to volunteer your time to a local late model team so you have the hands on training. If you do that, you can write your ticket in NASCAR. Get the education while you can. NASCAR isn't going anywhere."


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Drivers Ryan Newman , Ron Hornaday Jr.