Ron Hornaday Jr earned the first of his six Camping World Truck Series victories last season with a dominating run at Kansas Speedway, and he'd like to repeat history in Saturday's O'Reilly 250 and become the first two-time winner at the 1.5-mile track.
Hornaday will be driving one of his favourite Kevin Harvick Inc Chevrolets, having led 136 of 167 laps last year in the truck's first race, and had two more wins last season with it, both at 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.
“I'm excited to go back to Kansas,” Hornaday said, “I think it would be cool to become the first repeat winner. I always say my favourite tracks are the ones I win at, so Kansas would be right up there with one of my favourites.”
Hornaday is off to a solid start this season. He finished second at Martinsville in the latest race a month ago and has been seventh or better in the other three. As a result, he is in third in the points, 71 behind leader Kyle Busch, who isn't entered because of his Sprint Cup and Nationwide commitments at Talladega.
“We would love to come out of Kansas with a win and the points lead, but our goal right now is to consistently have our truck running up front and contending for wins,” Hornaday said, “If we have the right mind-set, I think the points will take care of themselves.”
Kansas is the fifth race of the season, and it will be the first without a sprinkling of Sprint Cup regulars. Busch has two wins and Kevin Harvick one in the opening four, while Todd Bodine, in second place in the points and the de facto
leader, 33 points in front of Hornaday, won the season opener at Daytona and followed with a second-place run at Auto Club Speedway in California and a third at Atlanta.
Bodine won at Kansas in Germain Racing's Toyota in 2005 and continues to drive for both the team and manufacturer. Without a season-long sponsor, Germain's ability to continue in the series has been in doubt, but the team has managed to put together a series of limited deals to keep going. Communications software brand Ventrilo has signed on for Kansas and two more races.
“It's a good possibility we could make the #30 Ventrilo Tundra the first repeat winner at Kansas,” Bodine said, “We have a good truck, and we're on a roll as a team. Last year at Kansas, we were running second, and I messed up and took us out of the race [in an accident with Bobby East with eleven laps remaining
, so, if we can not make mistakes, we can have a shot at it.”
Terry Cook is the third former winner entered. His sixth and most recent victory was at Kansas in 2006.
by Tim Tuttle
Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service