Ron Hornaday and the No. 33 Longhorn Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet Silverado team continued to make NASCAR Truck Series history for the second week in a row, winning the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Hornaday has won the last five consecutive Truck Series races, and joins NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Bobby Allison as the only winner of five in a row in one of NASCAR’s three national touring divisions. With the victory, crew chief Rick Ren also puts his name in the history books as the Truck Series most successful crew chief with 27 victories among five different drivers.
“I have to thank Kevin and DeLana (Harvick) for giving me such good trucks,” said Hornaday in victory lane. “Honestly, this is just unbelievable. I know I have been saying that a lot lately, but it is. Five in a row. Wow! This is pretty cool. I’m so proud that I finally got a Sam Bass guitar. I’ve wanted one for so many years and to finally achieve that it’s pretty cool. I have to thank the fans for sticking around through the rain and all of these guys behind this truck. I could not have achieved any of this without them, they are a hard working bunch of guys and they have earned every one of these wins.”
The start of the 14th race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season was delayed slightly by a passing shower in the Nashville area. As the drivers climbed into their trucks on pit road and started the engines, the drama began for the No. 33 Longhorn team. Hornaday radioed the team that the throttle was sticking while sitting on pit road preparing to roll onto the track for pace laps. Truck chief Danny Stockman quickly raised the hood of the No. 33 and sprayed lubricant into the carburetor linkage to help the issue. Hornaday rolled onto the race track to begin the race in the fourth position. By turn three on lap one the carburetor seemed to be the last thing on the No. 33 team’s mind as Hornaday jumped into the second position. Hornaday battled polesitter Timothy Peters for the top spot, and finally prevailed on lap 34 to take the lead for the first time.
NASCAR threw a competition caution on lap 35 to give the teams the opportunity to check wear as Goodyear brought a new compound to Nashville Superspeedway. The No. 33 team used this period to their advantage bringing the truck to pit road for the first scheduled stop of the race. On lap 37 the team changed four tires and made air-pressure adjustments to all four tires. The following lap Hornaday came back down pit road for fuel. Quick work by the pit crew placed Hornaday back in the lead for the restart on lap 41.
Two laps later Hornaday’s KHI teammate J.R. Fitzpatrick careened into the turn four wall, bringing out the second caution of the race. Hornaday continued to lead during a long green-flag period and by lap 69, had a one-second lead over the field. A timely caution on lap 83 would prove to be the turning point of the race. Hornaday brought the No. 33 Longhorn truck down pit road for the second and final scheduled stop of the night. The team changed four tires and made another air-pressure adjustment. The following lap the team came back down pit road and packed the truck with fuel. Hornaday would restart in the fourth position on lap 88. The competitors ahead of Hornaday chose to use a two-tire strategy to gain track position. Four tires clearly were better than two, and by lap 92 Hornaday reassumed the lead for the final time. A caution flew on lap 100 for rain, but the sprinkles would quickly subside as Hornaday continued to hold off the trucks of Brian Scott, Colin Braun, Timothy Peters and Matt Crafton when the sixth and final caution waved setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Once again Hornaday’s restart skills were called upon as he pulled away from Scott, taking the checkers for his sixth win of 2009. The win marks Hornaday’s 45th career win in 239 Truck Series starts and first at Nashville Superspeedway.
Hornaday also leads his boss, Kevin Harvick, with 49 total career wins across NASCAR’s three elite series: 45 career Truck Series victories and four Nationwide Series wins. KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick has 48 total career wins: 11 Sprint Cup, 33 Nationwide Series, and four Truck Series wins.