Ron Hornaday Jr became the first driver to win four straight races in the 15-year history of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday, taking the AAA Insurance 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
Hornaday held off Mike Skinner by 0.202secs in a tight battle on the 0.686-mile track following the final restart with ten laps remaining.
“I have to thank Kevin and DeLana [Harvick],” Hornaday said of his team owners, “People ask me how I do it, and it is those two people right there. They just keep putting trucks underneath us, getting the right employees, just so. Awesome. Four in a row, that's cool. Three has been done, and to do this says a lot.”
Hornaday was one of five drivers to have won three in a row in the series, doing so in 1997, but the O'Reilly victory was his fifth of the season and 44th of his career, topping the series. It was also Hornaday's third truck series win at ORP.
The veteran passed Todd Bodine on lap 169 of 200 to take the lead for the final time, having been second for a restart three laps earlier. Hornaday exited turn two on the outside of Bodine and passed him cleanly on the outside entering turn three. Bodine was then hit from behind and sent into a spin by Colin Braun two laps later, with his assailant moving up to second.
Skinner passed Braun exiting turn four on lap 191 and challenged Hornaday side-by-side coming to the line on lap 198, when the white flag was mistakenly waved. They continued to race, taking a second white flag on lap 199, before Skinner lost his chance to overtake when he ran into a lapped truck in turns three and four.
“Ronnie did a good job,” Skinner said, “He beat us. We just got outrun.”
Aric Almirola came back from an early tyre problem that put him a lap down to finish third, his best finish in 38 starts in the series.
“Congrats to Hornaday,” Almirola said. “Four in a row. That's incredible.”
Dennis Setzer finished fourth and Braun was fifth.
Hornaday, already a three-time champion in the truck series, extended his lead in the 2009 standings to 174 points over Skinner, who started second and led the opening 61 laps, until Hornaday passed him for the first time and held the upper hand until lap 96, when he made his first pit-stop.
Kyle Busch, who had already made one stop, took the lead from Hornaday on lap 97 and led 49 straight laps until Bodine overtook him on lap 146. Hornaday passed Busch two laps later on the inside of turn one. Busch finished 10th.
by Tim Tuttle / Special to the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service