07/08/06
Hornaday Has What It Takes at Kentucky Speedway

The Craftsman Truck Series race at Kentucky Speedway put Ron Hornaday’s restart skills to the test but once again he proved that he’s the best in the business as he raced to his second victory of the season. Hornaday led the race twice and both times he took the top spot on a restart. The second time came on Lap 129 when there was a three-way tussle at the front of the pack and then leader Mike Skinner spun into the outside wall.

A final caution for a single car crash set up an eight-lap dash to the checkers and once again Hornaday was at the top of his game. When the green flag fell he jumped out to a sizeable lead and left Rick Crawford and Brendan Gaughan to duke it out for second. “The guys gave me a good truck,” said Hornaday who leapt from 10th to 6th in the point standings. “We were really worried there (toward the end) because we knew that some of them had a little fresher tires than us but they just got to fighting back there behind us and let us get away. I got a good restart there and got through Turns one and two and never lifted.”

Crawford and Gaughan fought furiously in Hornaday’s wake. Their side-by-side battle endured until the final lap when Crawford got the advantage and raced to his second consecutive runner up finish. “So close,” said Crawford. “I enjoy racing with these guys. I had a lot of fun tonight. It’s nice to be in the race this year. To come from 23rd to 2nd, I owe that to (crew chief) Cowboy Starland and the whole crew. They did a good job. On that last restart I thought I had something for Ron (Hornaday) and here came Brendan (Gaughan) running up on my outside. So I had to race him for second and that’s where we ended up. I think our truck was a little bit better than Ron’s but he was ahead of me.”

Gaughan celebrated his 100th series start with his best finish of the season and his second consecutive top 5 finish. “I don’t want to say we’re back yet because I’ve said that before and it didn’t come true,” Gaughan noted. “It was no fashion day for our Dodge. We did some damage to it and still came back to the front. (Crew chief) Tony Liberati is my hero. He stuck with our strategy. He didn’t waffle when everybody came in. He just stuck with it and for a change the breaks fell our way all night.”

The Craftsman Truck Series drivers will go short tracking next weekend at Memphis Motorsports Park.