NASCAR newsmaker

Ron Hornaday Jr. leads the Camping World Truck Series standings and is poised to make history Friday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park near Indianapolis, as he tries to become the first truck series driver to win four races in a row.

 

Hornaday talked about his season and Kevin Harvick Inc. before winning last week's race at Kentucky Speedway. Here are excerpts of that interview:

Q: What is the toughest obstacle for you at this level?

A: When the truck series started, they called it the stepping grounds to get your feet wet, to learn the radial tires, learn the different tracks, learn the pit stops, to move on to a different series. What the truck series has done in the last 15 years, it's made its own identity. Now it stands alone. It's just tough to come in there. Just to get to know the racetracks, you can see from some of the racetracks from the first and second year, when you go back there, you see how much you learn about them, learn about the other drivers.

Q: Do you still get a thrill every time you get inside a truck and race?

A: Well, I'm fortunate enough to drive for Kevin and Delana (Harvick). They give me an opportunity to drive fast stuff. I know every time we unload, we have an opportunity to run in the top five if not win the race. That makes me feel good. My kids are growing up now. I don't have to worry about putting shoes on their feet. Now I can just go out there and just have fun racing and go after all them trophies. The NASCAR truck series is definitely putting on some beautiful looking trophies. I got that last Elvis trophy, Memphis trophy up there. It's pretty cool.

Q: Do you get bored looking at all your trophies?

A: No, not at all. As a matter of fact, I was just up there last night showing some people the room. I'm trying to get my wife, she got me a theater room about 10 years ago. My trophy room is kind of small. It's getting smaller each week. So I'm going to try to enhance it back into the theater room and go from there.

Q: Cameras show what happens inside a car, but what do cameras miss?

A: Just the smell. If you're down at the racetrack, the smell and the fumes and everything. I really don't like the cameras in my truck because you actually can see everything. When you look out of the window and everything, of what TV packages have now, they're not missing too much, you know. I think they do a great job. So I don't know what the fans are missing other than the smell, the excitement at the track, meeting us drivers at the track, meeting the fans. Cameras are doing a great job inside it. They're basically showing everything.

Q: What about the sensation of speed and heat?

A: That may be true. I think it's more mental on myself than physical. The trucks are just handling real well. I'm fortunate enough to drive for Kevin and Delana, given me good equipment. I think it's more mentally, how to race the different drivers. That's what I mainly concentrate on.

Q: Can you win your fourth series championship?

A: Well, we're sure going to try. We gave that one away last year. Going down into Phoenix, the first lap I wreck with Kyle Busch. He got a good run on the outside, it sucked me around. It's how you drive different people and how the truck reacts different, different manufacturers. My truck got extremely loose. I ended up wrecking half the field doing that. We'll do everything we can. I'd really like my fourth championship. That would be Jack Sprague, something. I've got three. He's got three. Getting the fourth one would really make me feel good.

Q: Who's better at pulling pranks, you or Kevin Harvick?

A: I'm not going down that path with Kevin because I know he gets even. Back when we were a little younger, he kind of lived with me, we were racing, stuff like that, we can't do it now, but he's got some pretty good tricks up his sleeve. I won't even play a prankster on him.

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