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Hornaday Nabs 50th Truck Series Victory

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 1 2011

Ron Hornaday Jr. won an important one Saturday in Kentucky. (File photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ron Hornaday Jr., the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series only four-time champion, posted his record-extending 50th victory in the Kentucky 225 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night.

Hornaday, from Palmdale, Calif., is the only active, full-time competitor whose career dates to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ inaugural event at Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 5, 1995. He won the Keystone Light Pole for that race and collected his first victory two months later at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park.

The 53-year-old Hornaday has won races on 30 different tracks. He is the series’ all-time short track winner with 22 victories and also won three times on road courses. Eleven of his 50 victories came from a pole position start.

The 14-year NCWTS veteran and his No. 2 Hollywood Casino Chevrolet crossed the finish line 0.438 of a second ahead of Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon and his No. 3 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet.

James Buescher finished third in the No. 31 Exide Chevrolet for Turner Motorsports, KHI driver Nelson Piquet, Jr., took fourth in the No. 8 Autotrac/ Qualcomm Chevrolet and Brian Ickler rounded the race top five in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

The 18 lead changes and 11 different leaders both set new series track records. Hornaday, Jr.’s margin of victory was the fifth-closest series finish through 13 events at the speedway.

Beginning in 1995, when Hornaday drove for Dale Earnhardt Inc., he has won at least once in each of 12 seasons in which he was a full-time competitor and 13 years overall. His most prolific season was 1997 when he won seven times. He has won six or more times in five different seasons. Saturday’s victory was his third of the 2011 season.

Hornaday won championships with DEI in 1996 and 1998 and with Kevin Harvick Inc. in 2007 and 2009. He has ranked among the top five in the points standings eight times.

“Ron has been the heart and soul of the Truck series,” said Kevin Harvick, the owner for 24 of Hornaday’s victories. “Fifty wins is just one more incredible achievement in a career that I’m sure will one day land him in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”

Hornaday holds series records for most top-five (143) and top-10 (205) finishes. He recently passed Joe Ruttman to claim the most victories – 14, now 15 – by a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver age 50 years or older. Hornaday stands third all-time among series pole winners with 26.

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 1 2011
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