NEWTON, Iowa (July 17, 2011) — Ron Hornaday and the Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet Silverado team headed to Iowa Speedway looking to race their way into victory lane. The veteran driver was one of the fastest trucks on track during the 200-lap event but just as Hornaday broke into the top 10, unfortunate circumstances hit the KHI team on lap 27 which put the No. 33 Chevrolet behind for the rest of the night. Hornaday finished the race in the 19th position, one lap down.
Hornaday started the Coca-Cola 200 presented by Hy-Vee in the 18th-place and quickly picked up three positions on the first lap. The Anderson’s Maple Syrup truck was running fast lap times as the field came to the first caution of the night on lap 12. Hornaday reported that he was a little free when running the top line but felt more green-flag racing would help determine what, if any, adjustments the Chevrolet might need.
The field restarted on lap 14 with the four-time champion going three-wide, fighting for the 14th position. The caution flag quickly waved again on lap 18 for an accident on the frontstretch. When the field went back to green-flag conditions on lap 21, Hornaday was 13th on the leader board.
Within three laps, Hornaday picked up five spots and settled into the ninth position. On lap 41, however, the driver felt he had an issue developing with a safety belt so he brought the No. 33 Chevrolet in under green-flag conditions where two crew members jumped over the wall to assess the issue. The KHI crew ensured everything was secure. Hornaday returned to the track in the 29th position two laps down.
The third caution of the night was brought out on lap 65 and Hornaday radioed back to crew chief Jeff Hensley that his Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet was fighting loose conditions into the corner and when racing behind other trucks on track. The team came down pit road on lap 68 for a chassis adjustment, four tires and fuel.
As the field resumed green-flag racing on lap 70, Hornaday quickly reported back to that his truck was getting sideways as he entered and exit the corners and felt the team needed to go back on the previous chassis adjustment. Before the No. 33 made it to pit road, the veteran spun in turn two on lap 77. Hornaday brought the Silverado to pit road for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment in an effort to remedy the handling issues.
The race went back green on lap 80 and with Hornaday in the 26th position. As the sun set over turn four, the field reached the halfway mark under green-flag conditions with Hornaday holding steady in 26th.
Lap 103 brought out the caution flag for a hard accident in turn one. The field was brought to a stop as NASCAR pulled out the red flag to allow for the safety workers to work on repairing a safer barrier on pit road. After the field re-fired their engines, Hornaday made a quick stop on pit road to top off with fuel in hopes to make it to the checkered flag.
The field restarted on lap 110, with Hornaday running 24th. The driver quickly advanced to the 23rd position and remained quiet on the radio as he worked his way around the track.
With 47 laps to go in the event, the final caution flag waved slowing the field. The Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet was able to remain on track and take the wave around which allowed the team to regain one of their two laps. After taking the wave around, Hornaday was in the 22nd position for the lap 160 restart. With three additional trucks ahead of the driver in line for the Lucky Dog, Hornaday fought furiously as the laps wound down to advance positions and put himself in the right position to regain lead-lap status.
Hornaday picked off positions and was the first truck one lap down but the race stayed under green-flag conditions to the end. The No. 33 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet took the checkered flag in the 19th place.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will return to Nashville Superspeedway for their second event at the track this year on July 22 for the Lucas Deep Clean 200. Watch the action live on SPEED at 8 p.m. ET.
Comments from driver Ron Hornaday:
“We had a really fast truck tonight but weren’t able to show that the way we had anticipated. I had to come down pit road early because my belt had come undone. I didn’t want to stay out there too much longer to protect myself and others from in case of an accident. We had the right strategy in place to get back on the lead lap but we didn’t have a caution fall when we needed it to. I hate it for this No. 33 team and Anderson’s Maple Syrup; we’ll go get them next week.”