Hornaday Masters The Monster Mile
Hornaday was clearly in a class by himself at Dover International
Speedway as he led 91 of 200 laps and beat Stacy Compton to
the checkers by more than seven seconds to score his 31st career
victory. Prior to the race, however, Hornaday didn’t think
much of his chances of making it to Victory Lane. Trouble during
Friday’s practice sessions forced crew chief Rick Ren
to order a host of changes including four new shocks for the
Kevin Harvick, Inc. Chevrolet. Despite a 15th place qualifying
effort, Hornaday remained skeptical. “I was really, really
mad at Rick this morning after qualifying,” Harvick admitted.
“That thing got so loose going down in to (turn) one,
I scared myself. After qualifying, he said, ‘Don't worry,
I will make some changes.’”
To Hornaday’s surprise those changes worked liked a charm.
“Rick Ren is the best,” he said. “It took
me 20 laps to figure out how to drive this thing but once I
did, we went forward. The changes he made were unbelievable.
It tightened up just enough.”
Compton’s runner-up finish was season best for the veteran
who is sharing the No. 09 Ford with rookie driver Joey Clanton.
“I tell you what, I’m so proud of these guys,”
said Compton. “They work so hard all year long. I’m
a part-timer and they gave me a truck that can go out and win
races and it’s a lot of fun. It’s a shame we can’t
win them all.”
Travis Kvapil brought his Roush Fenway Racing Ford home in third
to equal his best effort of the season and moved up one points
position to sixth overall. “This is what we planned on
doing all along but for two or three races we stumbled,”
Kvapil noted. “We’ve figured some stuff out and
we’re building on it. Hopefully we can keep it in the
top 10 for the rest of the year.”
Johnny Benson finished fourth while Mike Bliss rounded out the
top five in his first start with Bobby Hamilton Racing.
Mike Skinner nailed his sixth consecutive pole award to earn
the right to lead the field to green in the series’ 300th
event while Clint Bowyer started on the outside of the front
row. The Monster Mile feasted early when Skinner and Bowyer
bumped and triggered a crash that involved eight trucks before
one lap was complete. Skinner continued on to lead the first
23 laps and eventually finished seventh but Bowyer was done
before the race even started and joined Bill Lester and Brendan
Gaughan in the garage early.
There was no change among the top five in the driver point standings
as Skinner held onto the lead for the sixth consecutive race
and enjoys a 77 point cushion over Hornaday heading into next
weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway.