Race Recap: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) kicked-off its 19th season of competition at one of the sport’s most famous venues, Daytona International Speedway (DIS) for Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250. Making his 323rd career start in the series, Ron Hornaday came out of the gate strong and proved he has what it takes to be a five-time champion in 2013.
Starting fourth, his best start since Dover (2012), Hornaday remained in the top-five for most of the 100-lap event, never falling out of the top-10 on the score board. With a mix of strategy in the pits and patience on the track, Hornaday, scored third on the final restart with five laps to go, was poised to be a contender for his 52nd career NCWTS win at the end of the 250-mile event.
With the top-12 trucks single file, Hornaday had a plan to work with his Chevrolet Racing partner, Ty Dillon in the final laps. However, as Johnny Sauter took the white flag for the final lap, an accident involving four trucks on the frontstretch froze the field. Hornaday would go on to take the checkered flag from the third position under caution, his best finish since Iowa Speedway (July, 2012).
Johnny Sauter captured his seventh career NCWTS victory, followed by Kyle Busch, Ron Hornaday, Justin Lofton and Jeb Burton.
Hornaday’s Sunoco Rookie of the year contender teammate, Brennan Newberry, started from the pole in his career first start at DIS but was involved in a lap-55 accident in turn-three which relegated the No. 14 Chevrolet Silverado to a 33rd-place finish.
Ron Hornaday Quote: “I’m really proud of what NTS Motorsports, Bob Newberry, and Joe Denette put together. I had a pretty strong truck tonight. Last year I couldn’t get up to the guys bumpers and this year I could. I was able to push and draft well and who knows what would have happened on that final lap if it played out. We were talking to Dillon’s team about working with him and it would have been interesting. When you are going for a championship, you have to get out of Daytona with a good finish and points day. I’m happy with where we ended up and with the organization as a whole. For Brennan (Newberry) to come out here, his first race at Daytona, and sit on the pole, it says a lot about the direction this team is going in. Everyone is working really hard and I’m looking forward to 2013.”
• Hornaday posted his third top-10 finish in 10 starts at DIS
• This marked Hornaday’s 149th career NCWTS top-five finish
• Average running position for Hornaday and the No. 9 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet in Friday night’s NCWTS event was 4.370
• The 54-year-old veteran spent 100.0 percent of the 100-lap event in the top-15
• Hornaday had a driver rating of 104.6 (3rd overall) in the NextEra Energy Resources 250
Up Next: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take five weeks off before heading to Martinsville Speedway for the Kroger 250 on Saturday, April 6. Hornaday, has 21 starts at the half-mile “paper-clip” including 311 laps led, 10 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. The second event on the 2013 schedule will air live on SPEED at 1:30 p.m. ET.
-NTS Motorsports PR