Vegas Baby! Vegas!

 

Hornaday is money at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

 

NOTES OF INTEREST:

*         Top-10 streak

Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) has been a favorite of ACDelco Chevrolet driver Ron Hornaday ever since it opened in 1996.  Hornaday has seven consecutive top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile track and an average finish of sixth.  In fact, Hornaday has never finished outside the top-10 in any series or event at LVMS.  That includes Trucks, Busch and NEXTEL Cup, where he finished ninth in A.J. Foyt's No. 14 car in 2001.  Last year, Hornaday finished ninth in the Sam's Town 300.  Hornaday is listed by the odds makers at 15-1 to win the event.

 

*         Weekend Plans

Hornaday spent his leap year off weekend signing autographs at the Detroit (MI) Autorama Hot Rod show for sponsor GM Performance parts.  The show, held at the Cobo Center, is the largest event of its kind in the U.S.

 

This weekend, Hornaday will take part in the Speedway Children's Charities auction at Sam's Town on Thursday night in Las Vegas, NV.  He will also be on hand Sunday morning at LVMS for a Fan Forum with GM Goodwrench driver Kevin Harvick.  After the forum, Hornaday will head over to Ft. Worth, TX, for a two-day test at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

*         The Test in the West

Hornaday and his Richard Childress Racing team tested at LVMS back in January.  The test went well for Hornaday and the ACDelco team.  They were the first car on the track on day one and one of the first to leave, after practicing for half the day on day two.  Tire wear seemed to be the biggest issue of the test as a green track and the new generation Goodyear tire made for shorter runs.  Hornaday liked the combination and felt the test was a success, but also noted that weather could change everything.

 

*         What ya' Haulin'?

The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 023 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  It is the same car that Kevin Harvick drove to a second place finish at LVMS last year and also to victory lane in Michigan last August.    

You tested at LVMS in January.  How did the new spoiler rule and the new generation Goodyear tire change how you race the track?

"I think the big difference was the tire wear.  We wore out every set of tires we had in just a day and a half.  The spoiler rule wasn't a big deal.  I think when you get in a pack, the spoiler issue might come up or when the tires are worn out.  Goodyear gave us exactly what we wanted.  The drivers have the control again, so its not a tire problem.  It is what it is.

"This year's race is going to be tire conservation.  I think we will have to approach it almost like Darlington or Rockingham.  Now all that could change once we start practicing and more rubber gets put down, but from the test, you have to finesse the car around the track to save the tires.  You never had to do that in the past."

 

You have a great streak going of seven straight top-10s at LVMS.  In fact, you have never finished outside the top-10.  What makes you so successful at this track?

"I just enjoy racing here.  The track is nice and wide so you can race wherever you want.  I think the fact that I have raced here in all three major NASCAR series gives me an advantage, because the trucks handle different than the Busch cars.  And the Busch cars are different than the Cup cars.  So you have to adapt to whatever you are driving.  It's the same thing that happens when you car isn't handling right.  You have to adapt.  And I think the number of laps I have here and the different styles of vehicles I have driven here, help me now when the car isn't exactly right."

 

You are a West Coast icon in motorsports with all of your success in California.  When you come to Las Vegas, does it feel like homecoming?

"It really does.  I'm from California and we have a ton of fans from there.  But it seems like Las Vegas is another of my homes.  The fans out there have been great to me.  They are awesome.  I get more requests for appearances there than just about anywhere else.  Plus, it's a short drive from Southern California, so a lot of our friends and people we raced with out there can come over for the races and say hi.  I really enjoy going out there.  It is one of my favorite weekends of the year."

  

RON HORNADAY LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY STATISTICS

YEAR              NASCAR SERIES      START            FINISH           MONEY         

1996                Truck Series               18                    10                    $13,250

1997                Truck Series               14                    3                      $40,625

1998                Truck Series               10                    2                      $52,250

1999                Truck Series               7                      3                      $44,875

2000                Busch Series               35                    8                      $27,875

2001                Winston Cup               12                    9                      $77,000

2002                                Did not attempt

2003                                Busch Series               16*                  9                      $30,075

* Field set by 2002 points due to rain.

 

Las Vegas Totals:    AVG Start- 16    AVG Finish- 6.2          Total money- $285,950