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NASCAR Trucks: Ronnie Hornaday Makes Daytona Truck field

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
RONNIE HORNADAY III, #94 HORNADAY RACING CHEVY SILVERADO. The son of two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, found himself in 26th spot after first round qualifying. With the first 25 set for the field and no owner's points for a provisional, he was forced to try to better his position in second round qualifying in order to stay in the top 31. It worked, as he improved his qualifying time to 49.909/180.328 (from 50.306/178.905) to grab the 28th spot.

After struggling in the 51-second range through Monday's three practice session Hornaday benefited from the expertise of engine builder Carl Wagner, Jack Sprague and his crew chief Dennis Connor, and the GM Racing engineers Jim Kasprzak (shock specialist), Brian Miller (aerodynamics specialist) and Truck Series GM program manager Dayne Pierantoni to bring his Chevy Silverado up to a faster speed to make the field today. The new engine went in on Monday night, which helped put him in 26th, and chassis advice from Sprague's team and aerodynamic and shock data from the GM engineers were key to bring him up to speed in second-round qualifying.

HORNADAY: WAS THAT A SIGH OF RELIEF? "A little bit. We thought we would do a little better. I practiced a 49.8 (this morning); we were a tenth slower in today's qualifying. We thought we would pick up, but we didn't. But we were faster than we were yesterday, so we're happy." YOU DECIDED NOT TO STAND ON YOUR TIME: "When we saw 11 trucks that were going to qualify, I got a little scared, so we decided to go out and try it, and it worked for us." WHAT IS YOUR RACE PLAN? "To be safe, be smart, and hope to have a top-15 finish. I'll be happy with that." HOW MANY RACES WILL YOU RUN THIS SEASON? "We're trying to run 10-15 races. I don't have a guarantee of money yet for it, but that's what we're shooting for."

ON THE HELP YOU RECEIVED: "We had a motor in there; it was kind of laying down on us. I talked to Carl Wagner and rented a motor from him this weekend. We put it in Monday night. We talked to Jack Sprague and Dennis Connor about the chassis; they gave us tips here and there and we picked up pretty good for second-round. Changing the motor gave us seven tenths (of a second), Sprague and Connor gave us four tenths. The GM engineers came over and gave us every tip they had. We learned a lot from them in testing, and that helped pick us up quite a bit. The combination of Wagner, Chevrolet, Jack Sprague and Dennis Connor is the only reason we're racing this weekend. I can tell you now, Wagner is my new engine builder."

Text provided by Judy Stropus

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