Four-Time Truck Series champion battles Kyle Busch for win
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 20, 2010) — Ron Hornaday wanted to end 2010 on a high note. The No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) Georgia Boot team had gone through much adversity in 2010 and entered Homestead with a goal of leaving those memories behind. Hornaday qualified ninth for the Ford 200 and battled his way to the front, leading 15 laps before succumbing to a hard-charging Kyle Busch on the final restart to finish the race in the second position.
“We had a great Georgia Boot Chevrolet,” said Hornaday after the race. “I’m just so proud of this team for sticking with it this year. I know we have had some really hard times, but we have battled through and our run this weekend really showed the strength of this team. We started off the weekend not great in practice, but we put our heads together and came up with a great plan. I just got too tight at the end of the race to have anything for Kyle [Busch]. However, this is a great run for our team and just a great way to end 2010. I can’t wait to get to Daytona.”
Hornaday began the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway from the ninth position. Mired in a large group of trucks early in the event, Hornaday radioed crew chief Butch Hylton that he was too tight in traffic. Hornaday settled into the ninth position until the first caution of the night waved on lap 30. The No. 33 team brought Hornaday down pit road for the first scheduled pit stop of the race for four tires, fuel, and an air-pressure and chassis adjustment. The No. 33 team performed a solid stop gaining Hornaday two positions, moving him to seventh for the restart on lap 35. Hornaday jumped up to the third position on the restart, battling Aric Almirola for second by lap 40. Hornaday took the second position briefly on lap 44 before falling back to fourth on lap 52.
The second caution of the night was displayed on lap 74. Under the caution, Hornaday reported to the team that the truck was still too tight, but the previous adjustment had helped. The team brought the No. 33 truck to pit road for the second scheduled pit stop of the night for four tires, fuel and another air-pressure and chassis adjustment. Another solid stop from the No. 33 team gained Hornaday two additional positions, placing him second when the race restarted on lap 80. Hornaday was informed prior to the restart that the caution had fallen right on the edge of the No. 33 truck’s fuel window, and was encouraged to save fuel when he had the opportunity. Falling to fourth on the restart, Hornaday quickly radioed the team that there was not a problem with the truck, but that he had messed up the restart and would get the spots back. As the No. 33 truck moved back into the third position, Hornaday asked spotter Rick Carelli to keep him updated on the lines the leaders were running so he could work to catch them. The caution waved for the third time on lap 88. The leaders chose to stay out under the caution period and Hornaday restarted the race on lap 93 in third position. The top six trucks battled fervently for the top positions swapping spots back and fourth until the caution was displayed once again on lap 104 as leaders Busch and Johnny Sauter both made contact with the wall.
Hornaday came to pit road for the last scheduled pit stop of the evening for four tires, fuel and a final air-pressure adjustment. With several trucks either staying on the track or taking two tires, the No. 33 truck restarted the race on lap 110 from the 12th position. Due to the differing strategies, trucks were four wide across Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hornaday rode the outside lane gaining six positions before the caution was once again displayed on lap 111 when the No. 72 truck took down four of the safety sand barrels at the end of pit road. The red flag was displayed for cleanup efforts at the end of pit road. The race restarted on lap 114 with Hornaday in the third position. Hornaday quickly made his way to the front, taking the lead on lap 116. With 10 laps to go Hornaday paced the field, but a hard-charging Busch appeared in his mirror. The caution came out for the final time of the evening on lap 126 when Hornaday’s KHI teammate Elliott Sadler spun in turn four. Hornaday took the outside lane for the restart on lap 130. Doing all he could to hold off Busch, the No. 18 was able to get a powerful side draft and get around the No. 33. Hornaday was unable to make it back to Busch to battle for the win. Hornaday ended the race in the second position and capped off the 2010 season seventh in the Truck Series point standings.
The victory marked Busch’s eighth Truck Series win of 2010. The remainder of the top five included Hornaday, Sauter, Todd Bodine and Almirola. The Truck Series now takes a two-month hiatus returning to Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for the season opener on February 18, 2011.
ABOUT GEORGIA BOOT:
Since 1937, Georgia Boot has been a manufacturer and marketer of quality work and outdoor footwear. It is a division of Rocky Brands, a publicly traded company on Nasdaq® under the symbol: RCKY. For more information, visit www.georgiaboot.com.
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.