Ron Hornaday Jr. will start fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night.
But he had more than racing on his mind after qualifying.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people at Fort Hood,” said Hornaday, whose No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado is sponsored in part by the Veteran of Foreign Wars.
Fort Hood was the site of a deadly shooting Thursday. An Army major gunned down at least a dozen people and wounded more than 30 others in a deadly rampage at the Army outpost in Texas.
Clearly, Hornaday's thoughts are on a bigger picture as he prepares for the race at Texas. He is the leader in the Truck Series standings and he can pretty much wrap up his fourth Truck Series championship with a solid finish in Friday night’s race.
“We have to finish this one,” Hornaday said. “We have to finish up front. We know the truck runs good here and we know we have to get a good finish. The last time the oil pump belt came off but we won the two races before. We just have to have Lady Luck on our side and be optimistic and hopefully we will get a good finish out of it.”
Matt Crafton, who is in second place in the Truck Series standings and trails Hornaday by 202 points, won the pole for the Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
“Our truck is very, very good,” Crafton said. “It is obviously the best thing I have ever driven here. I don’t say that very often. I can honestly say that. I have had good trucks in the past but this is the best truck I have ever driven, especially on a mile and a half track. Hopefully, it will be as good tomorrow night. Hopefully the demons won’t come out that we always joke about.”
Photo: Matt Crafton (center), driver of the No. 88 Menards/McGuire-Nicholas Chevrolet, talks with Brian Scott, driver of the No. 16 Albertson's Toyota (left) and David Gilliland (right), driver of the No. 98 Menards Chevrolet, in the garage area during Thursday's practice for Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway. Gilliland, who split practice time with Crafton in the No. 98 during the first practice, had the fastest time for most of the final practice (179.766 mph) until Crafton eclipsed his time with a posting of 180.180 mph. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)