LAP LEADER: In the spring event last year at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Ron Hornaday led three laps, then came back in the fall event and made a substantial improvement, leading 154 of the 250 laps. Prior to the 2008 season, Hornaday had led only four laps at Martinsville in 10 starts.
IN THE LOOP: Hornaday and KHI teammate and co-owner Kevin Harvick dominate NASCAR Truck Series Loop Data statistics at Martinsville. Harvick and Hornaday have the two highest driver’s ratings. Harvick at 106.8 out of 150 possible points, followed closely by Hornaday at 103.7. Harvick leads the categories of average running position, drivers fastest early in a run, fastest on restarts, green flag speed and speed in traffic. Hornaday takes the top spot in drivers fastest late in a run, and laps in the top-15 categories. The dominating duo leads eight of 14 loop data statistics at Martinsville.
ONE OF THE FEW: Hornaday is the all-time leader in career wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. There are only nine venues on the current Truck Series schedule that Hornaday has yet to notch a victory. After 13 starts, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway remains one track where Hornaday has yet to record a victory. The closest he has come to victory lane at the half-mile track are three third-place finishes (’98,’05 and ’07).
DID YOU KNOW?: The only other track that Hornaday has made more starts, other than Martinsville, is Phoenix where he has 14.
Notes from the Professor: Quotes from Ron Hornaday:
WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO GET A WIN AT MARTINSVILLE?
“You tell me! I have been racing at Martinsville for a long time and it is one of those races that I really want to win. We have come close several times running third and last fall we dominated the race but ran out of gas. I’m not sure what it will take but I really want one of those darn grandfather clocks!”
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE NEW PIT RULES?
“I am not a fan of the new rules, but NASCAR knows what they are doing and they are trying to make the Truck Series the best it can be. The new format really has mixed things up. I think Martinsville will be an important track to see if the rules really do work. Goodyear is bringing a softer tire so we will have to pit for tires this year, it will not come down to just fuel mileage. I don’t envy Rick Ren right now, he really has to be creative and figure this deal out.”
Notes from Atop the Pit Box: Quotes from Rick Ren:
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SOFTER TIRE GOODYEAR IS BRINGING THIS YEAR TO MARTINSVILLE?
“I am in favor of it. I have asked for three years that something be done, mainly for the fall race at Martinsville. I think the new softer right-side tires will allow guys on pit road to actually go over the wall and have pit stops, rather than just do fuel only to the end.”
WILL THE SEALING OF MOTORS CHANGE ANY ASPECT OF THE COMPETITION IN THE TRUCK SERIES?
“To be honest, the majority of the field reused their motors last year. The nature of the Truck Series itself leans toward the decision of using motors more than once. Now NASCAR is just making it mandatory for everyone. I don’t think it will affect competition. I believe it is just a lot more paperwork for NASCAR. I don’t think we will see a bunch of blown motors as a result.”
DO YOU THINK MARTINSVILLE WILL BE THE TRUE TEST OF THE NEW PIT STOP RULES?
“Absolutely. I am not a big fan of the new rules. I just feel that with the quickie yellows it really doesn’t give the guys who are performing “double duty” (changing/carrying tires and fueling) much time to make the change. I think the way the rules are now puts too many inexperienced drivers and teams on pit road all at once. I just don’t want to see anyone get hurt. Being a former pit crew member myself, I know how hard it is and I would just rather it go back to the other way.”
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 33 team will bring truck 027 to Martinsville Speedway. Truck 027 is a brand new short-track chassis that the team plans to use this season.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: Two weeks ago in Atlanta, Hornaday and the No. 33 team scored their third top-10 finish of 2009 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With his seventh-place finish, Hornaday gained one position in the point standings moving him to fourth, 124 markers behind leader Kyle Busch.
ABOUT SWEDISH MATCH:
Swedish Match is a global Group of companies with a broad assortment of market leading brands in smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipe tobacco, matches and lighters. Some of our well known brands include Red Man, Timber Wolf, Longhorn, Macanudo, Partagas, Cohiba and Borkum Riff. Swedish Match North America is headquartered in Richmond, VA, with manufacturing facilities in Owensboro, KY, Dothan, ALA, and the Dominican Republic. For more information visit the website at www.SwedishMatch.com.
ABOUT KEVIN HARVICK INC.:
Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), established in 2001, is a 70,000 sq. ft. facility located in Kernersville, N.C. KHI houses two full-time Truck Series teams, including the 2007 series champions, the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado driven by three-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday and the No. 4 KHI All-Stars Chevrolet Silverado driven by Ricky Carmichael and a variety of NASCAR Sprint Cup stars. KHI is also home to the No. 33 Chevrolet Impala competing full-time in the Nationwide Series, with drivers Kevin Harvick (a two-time Nationwide Series champion), Hornaday and Cale Gale. The 2009 season marks KHI’s sixth year of full-time competition in NASCAR’s elite divisions.
March 28, 2009
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway
The Kroger 250
Race length: 250 Laps/ 131.5 Miles
Banking/Turns: 12-degrees in turns, 0-degrees straight-a-ways
Track layout: 0.526-mile
Practice: 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m., EST
Final Practice: 1:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., EST
Qualifying: 9:10 a.m., EST
TV: The Kroger 250 can be seen on FOX at 2:00 p.m., EST
Radio: The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will broadcast live at 2:00 p.m., EST
Engine: Pro Motors Engineering (PME)
Truck Series Statistics at
Top 10’s: 7
Laps Led: 161
Average Start: 7.5
Average Finish: 11.8