Ron Hornaday Jr. was a pioneer of the old NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He was one of the first drivers in the series, racing for the late Dale Earnhardt.
Back then, when the series started in 1995, Hornaday had aspirations of rising through the ranks of NASCAR and racing in the Cup Series. He made it, for a while, but found the most success racing in the Truck Series.
He is the winningest driver in the series and has three Truck Series championships. He came close to a fourth last year, finishing second to Johnny Benson.
“You look back in 1995 when NASCAR had a 10-year plan with the truck series and in the first year, Mike (Skinner) and I can vouch for it, we passed it," Hornaday said. "Just the crowds we had, the truck racing we put on, what we wanted to do to make a name for ourselves to move on to a different series and look, we’re both back here. That says a lot for the sport."
The Truck Series was supposed to be a developmental series to prepare young drivers for Cup and the Nationwide Series. But it has become a place for experienced and seasoned drivers to continue their racing careers. Some of the current Cup drivers yearn for the days when they can start racing in the Truck Series.
"Kevin Harvick just can’t wait to get into a truck, he loves running the trucks -- Jimmie Johnson wants to drive one now," Hornaday said. "There’s a lot of people that see the truck racing puts on a good show and they don’t understand that when we get in the truck and the green flag drops -- it's wide open from the first lap to the last lap and it’s a short enough race where we’re hanging on."