Ron Hornaday and the No. 33 Camping World/Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) Chevrolet team recorded a sixth-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) San Bernardino 200 Saturday at Auto Club Speedway.
“I don’t think the fans got their money out of that race,” said a frustrated Hornaday after the race. “It was a pretty boring race for the fans. The No. 33 Camping World Chevrolet didn’t handle very well, we struggled with not being in the race track all day, but we’ll take a top-10 out of it and go on. We just have to figure out how to strategize better, and we are going to have to take a few more risks. It is just a tough call. It’s the second race with these new rules and we’ll just have to sit down with NASCAR and see what we can do to make this thing a little better.”
Starting from the fourth position, Hornaday fought having no grip in the front or rear of the truck, slipping and sliding around the race track. The first caution of the day came out on lap 25 and the entire field took the opportunity to come down pit road. The No. 33 team changed four tires and made an air-pressure adjustment on lap 26, coming back down on lap 27 to add fuel and tape to the nose of the truck. Hornaday rejoined the competition in the sixth position.
Following the adjustments Hornaday began slowly working his way through the field. Trying each of the three distinct grooves on the Auto Club Speedway, Hornaday’s truck worked best as he sailed through the middle of the corners and drifted to the high lane.
The second and final caution of the day came out on lap 44 while Hornaday and rookie KHI teammate Ricky Carmichael ran fourth and fifth respectively. The No. 33 team decided to take fuel only and make a track-bar adjustment in an effort to conserve track position and save a set of tires for the end of the race.
By the half-way point, Hornaday remained in the fourth position. However, the race took on a green-flag look and the No. 33 team was faced with a difficult decision in the closing laps—pit for four tires and fuel or take fuel only. The team came to pit road under green on lap 90 for a quick six gallons of gas. Hornaday returned to competition in the twelfth position and quickly moved his way toward the front of the field. Trying to catch the leaders with few laps left, Hornaday was able to move all the way to the sixth position when the checkered flag fell. Hornaday and the No. 33 team remain fifth in the point standings 85 points behind leader Kyle Busch.
February 21, 2009
Auto Club Speedway
Race: 2 of 25
Driver: Ron Hornaday
Truck Series Point Standings: 5th
Next on the Schedule for the No. 33:
Date: March 7, 2009
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Event Name: American Commercial Lines 200
Driver: Ron Hornaday
Broadcast Time: SPEED 1:30 p.m., EST, MRN 2:00 p.m., EST