BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 2009)—- Call Ron Hornaday the comeback kid at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), as he and the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) Turtle Wax Chevrolet Silverado team survived three spins over the course of the weekend at the two-mile oval. The No. 33 team made numerous changes and multiple pit stops during the race to match Hornaday’s career-best finish of seventh at MIS.
“We had a really good Turtle Wax truck,” said Hornaday. “For some reason, after that first run something happened to the truck and I felt my right-front tire going down. We had to make an unscheduled pit stop, but my guys hustled and we got back on the lead lap. Then [Chad] McCumbee and I got together, which was as much my fault as it was his and we went spinning. The No. 33 guys worked their tails off to get this truck back together. I thought we might come back and get a top-five finish out of it but my tires were pretty used up at the end. I’m really proud of this team for all of their efforts. We’ve had several weeks of bad luck and each time they never get down, they just battle back.”
The No. 33 was quick during the first practice session at MIS Friday afternoon. However, the team’s weekend woes began with a spin during the final practice session, a result of a flat left-rear tire. The truck sustained no damage and was able to finish the session.
Hornaday started the 100-lap race from the fifth position and as the race got underway Hornaday moved into the third position before the completion of lap one. On lap seven, Hornaday took the lead from Kyle Busch to record five valuable championship points. The caution waved for the first time on lap eight. The No. 33 team came down pit road on lap 10 for fuel. Returning to the track in the second position, the team quickly realized they had an issue as Hornaday slipped from second to 12th by lap 20. On lap 22, Hornaday radioed the crew that he had a flat right-front tire. The team was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop and fell one lap down to the leaders.
Six laps later, Hornaday made contact with Chad McCumbee and Stacy Compton, spinning through turn four onto the apron. The team made multiple pit stops to repair right-front and rear-end damage. On the restart at lap 32, Hornaday was scored the first truck one lap down in 21st position. The tide would turn for the No. 33 team one lap later as the caution waved, making them the recipient of the “lucky dog” award, placing them back on the lead lap. Hornaday restarted the race on lap 36 in the 16th position. By the half-way mark, Hornaday had slowly begun to work his way back toward the front of the field. By lap 54, Hornaday had climbed into the 11th spot. A caution at lap 57 for debris saw the No. 33 return to pit road for their fifth stop of the day. The team changed four tires and packed the truck with fuel to make a run to the end. Hornaday restarted in the 13th position. With 38 laps remaining, Hornaday had battled his way to the fifth position. By the end of the race Hornaday had used up most of what his truck had as he tried to hold off Mike Skinner and rookie Taylor Malsam. Hornaday crossed the finish line in the seventh position, equaling his career-best finish at MIS.
Colin Braun became a first-time winner at Michigan International Speedway, followed by Kyle Busch, Brain Ickler, Matt Crafton and Mike Skinner.
June 13, 2009
Michigan International Speedway
Race: 9 of 25
Driver: Ron Hornaday
Truck Series Point Standings: 2nd
Next on the Schedule for the No. 33:
Date: June 19th, 2009
Track: The Milwaukee Mile
Event Name: Copart 200
Driver: Ron Hornaday
Broadcast Time: SPEED 8:30 p.m., EST (Tape Delay) MRN 8:30 p.m., EST