Hard-Charging NCWTS Action to Open Speed Celebration Sept. 3
Crafty veterans and bright-eyed up-and-coming racing talents will continue the Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hard-charging competition legacy on Sept. 3 in the "Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers."
The Friday night tilt will feature Ron Hornaday, Jr.'s, attempt to become the first three-time NCWTS winner at the track when the series makes its 11th appearance in the Bluegrass State.
The world-renowned restart master worked his magic in last season's "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" en route to becoming the first NCWTS driver to win a Kentucky Speedway race from the pole position.
He worked with Crew Chief Rick Ren to continuously adjust a loose No. 33 Kevin Harvick, Inc., truck throughout the event before taking the closest series victory in track history by 0.135 of a second over Mike Skinner in the No. 5 machine. The win marked Hornaday, Jr.'s fourth consecutive top-10 Kentucky Speedway finish in the series.
"We finally got the truck right. It took all day yesterday and all day today, but we got the truck right. It's unbelievable that my guys never say die and keep working hard. "If I drove it in (to the corners) any harder, I kept bottoming it out, and that's what happened on the last lap. That's when Mike made such a good run on me. One more lap and I don't know if he would have caught me, but it would have been a heck of a race," said Hornaday, Jr., who took his first Kentucky Speedway NCWTS victory on July 8, 2006 by 0.586 of second over Rick Crawford.
Skinner, the 2007 "Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" winner, nailed down his third top-five and fourth top-10 NCWTS Kentucky finish.
"I really thought I had him and thought I could pass him without running into him. Due to problems with other guys and keeping the fenders on the truck tonight, we were able to finish second. Another lap and we might have had a first-place truck," Skinner said.
The race was the second consecutive and fifth all-time NCWTS affair to be decided by a margin of victory of less than one second at the speedway. The previous two series races at the track were decided by an average margin of victory of 0.157 of a second. The overall series average margin of victory at the speedway is 3.2598 seconds, which includes the all-time widest margin of victory in track and series history of 18.197 seconds generated by Mike Bliss over Dennis Setzer on July 13, 2002.
More familiar faces in line for this season's "Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" and overall series titles are Todd Bodine, a 2002 NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky Speedway winner, 2008 Kentucky NCWTS winner Johnny Benson, former motocross champ Ricky Carmichael, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and David Starr.
Emerging title hopefuls include former Sprint Cup Series driver Aric Almirola, James Buescher, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Austin Dillon, Tayler Malsalm and Justin Lofton.
This season's "Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" opens a Kentucky Speedway Labor Day Weekend speed celebration on Sept. 3 that also includes Sept. 4 open-wheel action with the Firestone Indy Lights "Drive Smart. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 100" and IZOD IndyCar Series "Kentucky Indy 300."
Click the "Weekend Schedule" in the "Race Center" box on the home page of his Web site for full weekend details.
Tickets, Big Deals! specials starting at $20 and weekend camping can be reserved through the tickets pages of this Web site, by phone at 888-652-7223 (RACE) or by visiting the Kentucky Speedway ticket offices at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., next to the Montgomery Inn Restaurant or the Fan Center located off of Interstate 71, Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N in Sparta, Ky.Tickets additionally are available through Meijer stores and tickets.com outlets.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
~Kentucky Speedway ~