Monday, November 9, 2009

22 is magic number for Hornaday to be No. 1 again

Ron Hornaday Jr. needs to finish 22nd or better in his last two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races to win the championship.
Given that he has 18 top 10s in 23 races in 2009, finishing 22nd or better shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Still, Hornaday said he is taking nothing for granted.
“To me right now we are just focused on two more races,” said Hornaday, driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Inc. “I don’t look at the championship until Homestead. The No. 33 team is not only racing for the driver’s championship, we want to make sure Kevin and DeLana win the owners championship as well. I don’t go into it looking at how many points we are ahead. I know that we just need to win the last two races. That’s what I want to go do and then the points will take care of themselves.”
While Hornaday has a commanding 197-point lead in the Truck Series driver standings, Kevin Harvick Inc. holds a 75-point lead over Billy Ballew Motorsports in the owners standings.
Kyle Busch, winner of the past five Truck Series races he’s started, is the driver for Billy Ballew Motorsports. He will be in the truck for the final two races of the Truck Series season at Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"This is an awesome race truck," Busch said after the race on Friday. "This is the same one we won with at Chicago. We’ve got a match to number 11 (chassis). This is (number) 32 here, 11 was always our chassis that kicked butt, so now we found another one. All these guys, they do a great job.”
For the Phoenix race, Hornaday will be driving the truck that finished second at New Hampshire International Speedway in September. Hornaday led the most laps in that race, but finished behind Busch, winner of a Truck Series best seven races this year.
“I have been pretty successful at Phoenix International Raceway over the years,” Hornaday said. “I have had a lot of great races there and have two wins there in 1998 and 1999. It’s a flat race track for the most part. It has a little more banking in turns one and two than in turns three and four. We have been really good this year on the flatter, shorter tracks. Phoenix is a place that I have been running for a number of years and I really like going back to one of the roots of the Truck Series.”

Photo: A heated battle between Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Miccosukee Resort/Graceway Toyota, and Ron Hornaday Jr., driver of the No. 33 VFW Chevrolet, in the closing laps of Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Busch went on to win the race, while Hornaday Jr. finished third. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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