NASCAR Winston Cup rookie of the year candidate and former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday has decided to compete in the NAPA Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Winston West Series event on Feb. 28 at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Hornaday, who will be competing in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 4, will be driving a car prepared by Las Vegas' Bobby Pangonis. Hornaday drives the Conseco Pontiac for A.J. Foyt in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

"I've never driven on the new configuration, but I'm looking forward to getting out their with my peers on the Winston West circuit because that's where I grew my racing roots," Hornaday said. "Las Vegas has always been a fun place for me and my family, and we're looking forward to coming out early to run this race before we run the Winston Cup race on Sunday."

Hornaday has six career wins in the NASCAR Winston West Series, but his last win came in 1996 at Colorado National Speedway in Erie, Colo. One of his wins came in 1994 at the old Las Vegas Speedway Park, which was the forerunner of the Bullring.

Hornaday joins Michael Waltrip and Brendan Gaughan in The Venetian Challenge. If any of these three drivers finish in the top three in both the NAPA 300 and the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 they will receive three nights lodging in the penthouse suite at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and their wife or significant other will receive a $20,000 shopping spree in the Grand Canal Shoppes.

"That is awesome," Hornaday said. "We're going to win that deal and enjoy it. I'll even take the money and give it to charity."