[media-credit name=”Barry Albert” align=”alignright” width=”226″][/media-credit]For Ron Hornaday, once you win one the others will come easily. Or at least that’s what he’s hoping this weekend at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.
Last fall Hornaday finally drove into victory lane at the famed track after 17 attempts. It was a long time coming and taking home a Grandfather clock and it has made him hungry for more. He enters Saturday’s Kroger 250 as the most recent winner and with his expectations at an all time high.
“Now with a win under my belt at Martinsville, I have a lot of confidence coming into this weekend,” he said.
“We have the defending race-winning chassis, and with the way my No. 33 crew has been performing on pit road and [crew chief] Jeff Hensley on the box, we are definitely the ones to beat.”
When Hornaday calls his shots the rest of the competition should be on notice. It’s also good news for the NCWTS as they still search for one of their own to pull into victory lane. Drivers who are not eligible for points in this series have won the first three races.
Michael Waltrip, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne have locked out drivers like Hornaday, Todd Bodine, Timothy Peters or Matt Crafton. Truck regulars have come close but their sandbox has been invaded but Hornaday is ready to again be the man at the paperclip.
As for the chassis he speaks of, No. 043, it won this event last season when his team owner Kevin Harvick was driving. In that race it appeared Hornaday might have been taking one for the team as he came home second by playing blocker on the final restart.
Hornaday then won with the chassis at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis last summer. After a second place finish in the Truck Series last race two weeks ago in Darlington, he now sits sixth in points, just 12 markers behind the leader.
Saturday though, Hornaday won’t be thinking about points. He wants another Grandfather clock to go along with what he called an unbelievable win that left him teary last fall, it also swept the season at the track for KHI.
In order to repeat, it will again be all about surviving.
“Martinsville is a track where anything can happen,” he said.
“It’s not so much how well you race but how well you can escape. There is a lot of beating and banging amongst the trucks at Martinsville. If you are able to keep your truck out in front and away from the wreckage, you have a good chance at a solid finish.
Of note for Hornaday this weekend is his crew chief. When he won at Martinsville in October it was with Butch Hylton on the box, who became the fifth crew chief for Hornaday of the 2010 season. This time around Hensley will be making the calls for the No. 33 Cooked Perfect Meatballs Chevrolet.
Martinsville is not only Hensley’s home track but also one that he’s been very successful at in his own right. The relationship between Hensley and one of the most successful drivers in CWTS history could start leaving its mark on the series this weekend in Martinsville.
“I have four wins here as a crew chief and almost 60 NASCAR races combined as driver and crew chief at Martinsville,” said Hensley.
“Those four wins were very special but there are probably five additional races I should’ve won. We are extremely excited to see how things turn out this weekend for the No. 33 team.”