Ron Hornaday Jr. took home his second straight Elvis trophy with an overpowering victory Saturday in the MemphisTravel.com 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Hornaday led 175 of 201 laps on the .75-mile track. The driver of the Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet had a commanding lead over Brian Scott's Toyota before a late-race caution forced a green-white-chequered finish. Hornaday pulled away on the final restart and won by 0.653 seconds over Scott.
It was the second straight week Hornaday has led almost from start to finish. Hornaday led 180 of 200 laps at Milwaukee, where he took the points lead.
Hornaday expanded it to 76 over Matt Crafton at Memphis with his third victory of the season and 42nd of his career, tops in the history of the series.
Hornaday also won at Memphis in 1998, but the track didn't begin giving the Elvis trophy until 2005. This was the last year for it to be presented.
"The last Elvis trophy at Memphis, that's pretty cool," Hornaday said. "It was pretty awesome to come here and win the last Elvis trophy. That means a lot."
Hornaday started from pole and led 108 of the initial 114 laps, and was never passed on the track. He made his final pit stop and restarted second behind Scott, who successfully used a different pit-stop strategy to take the lead.
Scott managed to hold off Hornaday for 18 green-flag laps. On Lap 135, Hornaday cleanly got inside Scott in Turn 1 though and they raced almost side-by-side to Turn 3. Hornaday had the advantage and went to the inside of a lapped truck. Scott went to the outside and Hornaday emerged with a solid advantage. The race stayed green for the next 61 laps and Hornaday steadily built up a sizeable lead.
Scott continued his strong second full season in trucks, moving up to sixth in the points. He finished third at Milwaukee last week and had his first victory at Dover.
David Starr was third, equalling his best finish of the season. Aric Almirola finished fourth and Crafton was fifth.
Meanwhile NASCAR vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell addressed the teams in the drivers' meeting Saturday to respond to a media report that there were 'concerns' over the future of the truck series.
"I want to assure everybody we're full speed ahead for 2010," O'Donnell said. "We're going forward and looking forward to a 2010."
by Tim Tuttle