On Saturday night, three trucks will be taking the green flag looking to win for car owners Kevin and Delana Harvick.
For Kevin Harvick Incorporated, there are only eight tracks that they have yet to win at in the Camping World Truck Series in their 10 year history and Darlington is one of them. With Darlington marking the team’s 300th Camping World Truck Series start, it’d certainly mark a good way to celebrate.
[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”294″][/media-credit]Leading the way for them will be four-time Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, driving the No. 33 Sherwin-Williams Chevrolet.
“I’m really looking forward to having another solid finish at Darlington,” Hornaday said. “We finished third here last year and it was a best for KHI. We hope to set another best for KHI and bring home a victory. This track can be a beast if you aren’t careful. The track is pretty narrow so there is a lot of rubbin’ that goes on during the race.
“With all of the tracks on the Truck Series schedule today, there are eight that I have yet to grab a win at. Darlington is one of those. Hopefully this weekend the No. 33 team will help bring that list down to seven and prove that we can tame the track.”
Hornaday has enough experience as he has made over 1700 laps at Darlington, including 147 laps in the truck series. Last year marked the time he took a truck to Darlington, where he finished third-place. In the last race at Phoenix, Hornaday found himself finding third and that is the same truck that they plan on taking to Darlngton. The third place finish at Phoenix allowed Hornaday to go from 28th to 10th in points so certainly a win would help in Hornaday’s chances at a fifth title.
Joining Hornaday as a teammate at Darlington will be Sprint Cup Series veteran Elliott Sadler for his second Camping World Truck Series race of the year. Sadler drove the No. 2 back at Daytona, where he finished second to Michael Waltrip in a nailbitter. Sadler looks to improve that by one position in his No. 2 Armour Vienna Sausage Chevrolet. The Pinnacles Food brand has been a lucky brand for KHI as the four previous times they have run their colors, whoever has been driving the car has found victory lane. Harvick got his first win as a owner/driver with them at Bristol in 2009 and then backed that up with wins at Nashville and Richmond, while Hornaday took them to victory lane at Martinsville last year.
“I really enjoy racing at Darlington Raceway,” Sadler said. “I have had a lot of success there in the past and think it is important anytime that you can go to a track and get some extra track time. I have had a lot of fun competing in the Truck Series and I’m ready to try and tame the track they claim is ‘Too Tough to Tame’ as we try and get our first victory of 2011.”
Despite no truck starts at Darlington for Sadler, you can’t count him out as he won the pole for the 2003 Sprint Cup event and has two top-fives and four top-10 finishes in the Cup Series. He also seen seven Nationwide races at Darlington, which have earned him a top-five, two top-10s and a pole in 1997. The chassis will also be familiar for Sadler as it is the same chassis he drove to win at Pocono last July and the truck Hornaday finished second with at Homestead last year.
The team will also be taking Camping World Truck Series newcomer Nelson Piquet Jr. in the No. 8.
“I think the learning curve is going to be a lot like it was in Phoenix,” Piquet said. “It’s going to be another weekend where I’m learning the track and trying to gain as much experience as I can. I hope that some of what I learned in Phoenix will apply when we get to Darlington, but they’re obviously different tracks with different characteristics and different challenges. I think the best thing I got out of Phoenix was the experience of racing so closely with the other drivers and having the opportunity to bump and push and make contact with the other trucks. That’s definitely going to come into play this weekend.”
“I think this track is really going to suit Nelson,” crew chief Chris Carrier said. “With his natural driving ability, truck control and fast reflexes, I feel that this could be a really good weekend for him.”
While the track may not familiar, the truck will be as it will be the same truck he drove to a 13th-place finish in the last race two weeks ago at Phoenix. This is also the same truck that Harvick won a pole and visited victory lane at Gateway in 2010 with,
“The biggest thing you need is a well-balanced, well-driving truck,” Carrier went on to say. “The truck needs to handle so well that it gives the driver the resolve to be bigger than the challenge that the track presents to him. The track is extremely fast and narrow since it was repaved a few years ago, and the trucks reach speeds way beyond what the track was originally designed for. If your truck drives really well and the driver can predict what it’s going to do, it allows him to drive the racetrack without having to focus on driving the truck. It also doesn’t hurt to have some good fabricators and some big hammers on hand, because no matter how experienced your driver is or how good your truck is, it isn’t a question of if, but more a question of when you’re going to hit the wall and earn that Darlington stripe.”
The Too Tough To Tame 200 will be run on March 12, 2011 at Darlington Raceway, a 1.366-Mile Egg-Shaped Oval. The race is set to be 147 laps, or 200.8 miles. SPEED will broadcast the race live at 5:00 p.m. EST with the Set-up at 4:30 p.m. EST while the Motor Racing Network will be live at 4:45 p.m. EST.