MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 24, 2010) — After a three-week break in the Truck Series schedule, Ron Hornaday was ready to get back to the race track and ready to get back to victory lane. Martinsville Speedway had long proved to be Hornaday’s achilles heel, and in 16 starts at the 0.526-mile oval, the four-time champion had yet to place a mark in the win column. Hornaday brought a new crew chief, Butch Hylton, and more determination than ever this go around at Martinsville. A solid qualifying effort placed the No. 33 team exactly where they needed to be. Biding their time all day, Hornaday was in position when it counted, passing Kyle Busch on lap 196 to take the lead. Hornaday never looked back, winning his first race at Martinsville in a green-white-checkered finish. The win marked Hornaday’s 47th trip to victory lane.
“This is so cool,” said Hornaday in victory lane. “To get a win at Martinsville is awesome. I can’t thank Butch Hylton and the No. 33 truck team enough. We’ve had a tough season and this has to be one of the highlights. We made some big changes at Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) over the break and this is cool that they still believe in the old man and I get to do this. Now I have to figure out where I’m going to put my grandfather clock. This is Martinsville, this is a big win.”
Hornaday began the Kroger 200 from the third position and immediately began to fight for position among the leaders. Once the beating and banging stopped, Hornaday rode in the fourth position until the first caution of the day waved on lap eight. Hornaday reported to Hylton that the truck was pretty good, but had developed a wheel hop. Hornaday added rear brake from inside the cockpit of the No. 33 truck to help the hop. For the restart on lap 14, the top four trucks battled for position, and by lap 17, KHI teammates Kevin Harvick and Ron Hornaday ran one-two. The second caution of the day waved on lap 24. Again, Hylton made the call to stay on the race track, feeling it was too early to take on tires and fuel. Under the third caution period on lap 39, Hornaday made his first scheduled stop of the day and came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. Half the field had pitted under the previous caution period, leaving Hornaday to restart in the 14th position. Immediately following the stop, Hornaday reported that he was now too tight through the center of the corner. Hylton reminded him to turn on all of his tire fans to try and build up more pressure and help his handling condition. By lap 53, Hornaday had moved back into the top 10.
Hornaday continued to make his way back toward the front of the field as the laps clicked by. The caution waved again on lap 90 and Hornaday reported to the No. 33 team that he was still way too tight. Hylton decided to bring the No. 33 truck back down pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Following the stop, the team told Hornaday that he was good to go to the end of the race on fuel. Hornaday restarted the race from the 12th position on lap 98. Wasting no time, Hornaday motored up through the field, taking over the third position on lap 111. Minutes later, Hornaday was knocking on Todd Bodine’s bumper for the lead. Even though he was able to catch Bodine, he told the crew he was too tight to pass him. Hornaday continued to work on Bodine for the lead when a string of cautions led to a red flag period on lap 167 to clean up an incident involving Timothy Peters. Following the red flag, Hornaday restarted third behind Bodine and Kyle Busch. As the laps wound down in the 200-lap event, Busch and Hornaday were able to pass Bodine. Hornaday, hungry for a win, knew what he had to do to beat Busch. The caution flag flew again on lap 181. Hornaday restarted on the outside of Busch on lap 186. It was a side-by-side battle between the two drivers as Hornaday made a power move to the outside, and he was able to inch by Busch for the lead. Before Hornaday could complete the pass, the caution waved for the final time on lap 197. NASCAR determined that Hornaday was ahead of Busch at the last timing loop, giving Hornaday the lead for the first time in the race. The race finished under a green-white-checkered, and Hornaday was able to hold off Busch and score his first-career win at Martinsville.
The victory marked Hornaday’s second of the season and 47th in his Truck Series career. Hornaday has now won on 30 different race tracks in his NASCAR career. Following Hornaday across the start/finish line were Busch, Bodine, Jason White and Aric Almirola. The Truck Series returns to action next weekend at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway at 3:30pm, EST.
About Pinnacle Foods:
Pinnacle Foods Group LLC, with offices in Mountain Lakes and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is a leading producer, marketer and distributor of high-quality branded food products in the frozen foods and dry foods segments. The dry foods segment consists primarily of Duncan Hines® baking mixes and frostings; Vlasic® pickles, peppers and relish; Armour® canned meats; Open Pit® barbeque sauce and Mrs. Butterworth’s® and Log Cabin® syrups and pancake mixes. The frozen foods segment consists primarily of Aunt Jemima® frozen breakfasts; Swanson® and Hungry-Man® frozen dinners and entrees; Van de Kamp’s® and Mrs. Paul’s® frozen seafood; Celeste® pizza; Lender’s® bagels; and Bird’s Eye ® vegetables and dinners.
About Kevin Harvick Inc.:
Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), established in 2001 by Kevin and DeLana Harvick, is an 80,000 sq. ft. facility located in Kernersville, N.C. Home of the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship team, KHI enters 2010 in its seventh full year of competition with two full-time Truck Series teams and one full-time Nationwide Series team. Four-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday returns to the helm of the No. 33 Truck team looking for his fifth title and third championship for KHI (2009 and 2007), while Sprint Cup series stars Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler guide the No. 2 Truck team. Two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Harvick will again shine as the lead driver of the No. 33 Nationwide Series team as he continues to make his mark in motorsports and establish KHI as one of the top teams in NASCAR competition. For more information about KHI and its teams, please visit www.KevinHarvickInc.com.