Hornaday Clocks in to Martinsville's Victory Lane
Ron Hornaday, Jr., called on expertise amassed during his 21-year career to dominate a green-white-checkered flag restart and race away to his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season and first at Martinsville Speedway.
The Kevin Harvick, Inc., driver stuck his No. 33 truck to the inside line on a Lap 205 restart, powered away from Kyle Busch and his No. 18 ride, scored a 0.305 of a second victory and grabbed the first traditional grandfather clock trophy awarded to a truck series winner at the track.
Busch held on for second place, series championship leader Todd Bodine nailed down third, Jason White took fourth and second-place championship driver Aric Almirola raced home fifth.
The veteran Hornaday, Jr., led the 206-lap race once for a total of 11 laps before snaring his 10th top-five and 12th top-10 finish of the season. He has captured four top-five and five top-10 finishes in his past eight series starts. "I didn't beat on the 18 or anything. This is unbelievable; I win at Martinsville fair and square. To come to Martinsville, get the grandfather clock and to do what we meant to do - hats off to (Crew Chief) Butch (Hylton) and the guys. Gosh darn it, this Martinsville. I won it, I have a grandfather clock," Hornaday, Jr., said.
Busch rolled to his ninth top-five and 10th top-10 finish in just his 12th series start of the season. He has placed in the top 10 in eight straight series races and in the top five seven times during that stretch.
"Hornaday was just a little better than we were today, we just didn't quite have enough. I gave it all we had and I'm real proud of the guys. The truck was good, it just didn't quite have enough turn there at the end to make up speed in the center of the corner and they beat us," Busch said.
Bodine led a race-high 83 laps while battling his way to his 15th top-five and 18th top-10 finish of the season. The showing increased his championship lead 20 points to 282 over Almirola, who earned his eighth top-five and 17th top-10 finish of the season.
"I'm really proud this team. (Crew Chief Mike Hillman) Junior does such a good job in strategizing a race and giving us the track position. We may have had a fifth-place truck or a seventh-place truck and we finished third because of what Junior and the guys in the pits did to get us the breaks we need. This is how you win championships. We didn't have the best truck but we finished third, got a lot of points and led the most laps," Bodine said.
The 36-truck field wasn't the only challenge Bodine faced during the event. He was forced to fend off emotions stirred by a saddened heart when the Martinsville green flag waved less than 24 hours after his mother passed away.
"It's tough, I was good until I got on pit road and then it was pretty hard. It's all good now. Mom and dad were watching in the grandstands up in the sky, rooting me on. They loved this racetrack and I know they were with me," an emotional Bodine said.
The series takes its rough and tough brand of racing to the potentially treacherous Talladega Superspeedway Oct. 30. SPEED Channel coverage will start at 3:30 p.m. The Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM 128 will take to the airwaves at 3:45 p.m.
Story by Mike Schmaltz