Restart Master Hornaday, Jr., Scores NCWTS Kentucky Victory
World-renowned "Master of the Restart" Ron Hornaday, Jr., worked his magic in the "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" and earned his third straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory tonight by 0.135 of a second over Mike Skinner. Hornaday, Jr., became the first repeat Kentucky NCWTS winner in the closest series finish in track history. He maintains control of the lead in the championship standings after taking his fourth win, seventh top-five and 10th top-10 finish of the season in the No. 33 Longhorn Chevrolet.
The race pole award winner teamed with Crew Chief Rick Ren to continuously adjust a back-up truck after the rear-end housing in his primary truck was confiscated by NASCAR prior to the race.
Hornaday, Jr., battled a loose truck throughout the night, but managed to lead the 150-lap affair four times for a total of 29 laps.
"I hate to say it, but we didn't have the truck to win. It's just the restarts worked out in our favor and Rick did a great job. On our last stop, we put fuel in, and then the yellow came out. We put four tires on and made some hellacious adjustments, that's a big word for me, but they were unbelievable.
"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. I would have been really happy to come out of here with a top 5, but it's pretty exciting (winning) three in a row," he said. He took the top spot for the final time on Lap 133 and survived two caution restarts during the closing 18-lap stretch, including one with five laps to go, while holding off Skinner's hard-charging No. 5 Exide Batteries Toyota.
"Well, 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 nailed down his fifth top-five and ninth top-10 finish of the season. He has earned a win (2007) and a total of three top-five and four top-10 finishes in seven Kentucky Speedway NCWTS starts.
"I could've hit him, and I probably owe him one, but I didn't take the low road. 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.
Matt Crafton claimed third-place in the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet, Timothy Peters was fourth in the No. 17 Strutmasters Toyota and Aric Almirola took fifth in the No. 15 Red Top Auto Auction Toyota.
The race completes the first race of tonight's doubleheader. The ARCA RE/MAX Series "Click It or Ticket. Buckle-Up! Kentucky 150" is scheduled for a 9:45 p.m. start.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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