05/18/07

Hornaday Hangs On to Finally Win in Charlotte

After a two-week hiatus the Craftsman Truck Series returned to action under the lights at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and it was Ron Hornaday’s time to shine.
Winless since last July, Hornaday got his groove back and turned in a dominating performance that saw him lead 98 of 136 laps and race away with his 30th career victory. The former series champion swiped the lead from A.J.

Allmendinger with less than 40 laps to go and then held off the open wheel convert on two late race restarts including the green/white/checker finish.
“This is pretty cool,” said Hornaday as he celebrated in Victory Lane. “This truck was awesome on long runs. The last 30 laps I ran the thing wide open. I thought (Allmendinger) had us but I ran down low and blocked him.

The runner-up finish was the best of Allmendinger’s career and came after a trying day for the No. 00 team. A spin during the day’s first practice session damaged the front splitter but the team flew into action and repaired their primary truck in time for their qualifying run.

Allmendinger led 7 laps after starting from 14th in the lineup and came within 0.244-second of scoring his first career victory. “This is all a credit to the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team because they had a lot of work to do after the spin in practice this morning,” Allmendinger said. “The truck was awesome tonight, but Ron (Hornaday) was just a tick better. If he would have made a mistake there at the end, I was going to be all over him.”
Point leader Mike Skinner sat on the pole for the fourth consecutive race and was the undisputed pre-race favorite.

Trouble on a pit stop with less than 50 laps to go left Skinner to battle in traffic.
Skinner made it back to eighth but and settled for his worst finish of the season.
"Under the circumstances, it was a pretty good finish for our team,” Skinner noted. “We hurt ourselves a little bit in the pits, but we were able to salvage a top-10 run.”

Todd Bodine shaved 23 points off Skinner’s advantage in the standings with a third place finish and will go into next weekend’s race at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway trailing the leader by 85 points.