Gold in them hills for
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 2, 1999)
Ron Hornaday, driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Chevorlet, returns to Bristol Motor Speedway
looking for his 3rd straight Bud Pole and 3rd straight victory at the half-mile oval. He
is currently the track qualifying record holder at 15.830 seconds, at 121.213 mph.
Hornaday won both the 1997 and 1998 events from the Bud Pole. In those two events,
Hornaday has led all but 19 of the 406 possible laps.
Hornaday is one of only three drivers to have completed every lap (756) at Bristol. His
average start is 5th and average finish is 4.75. The other drivers to complete all the
laps are Jack Sprague and Joe Ruttman.
NAPA Auto Parts and Dale Earnhardt Inc., announced on May 27 a three-year agreement to
sponsor the No. 3 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series starting in 2000. Hornaday has been
named the driver and the entire truck team will be making the move next year.
"I am excited about racing in the NASCAR Busch Series next year, but my focus right
now is on winning a 3rd NASCAR Truck Series championship," Hornaday said. "The
NASCAR Truck Series is an awesome place to race, and the competition is tough. I'm going
to miss truck racing, but I'm ready for the challenge of a new series. As a kid I dreamed
of racing at Daytona, Darlington, Talladega and Charlotte, and now I'm getting my chance
to do that."
The NAPA Auto Parts transporter will unload "Rhonda," the same truck that won
last year at Bristol.
Hornaday will be participating in the First Annual "Over the Mountain" Poker Run
to Bristol on Thursday, June 3. The Poker run is actually a motorcycle ride for charity in
which participants pick up playing cards at the five stops along the way. The rider with
the best poker hand at the end of the ride picks the charity for the money.
"I love riding my bike and the route planned to Bristol is awesome," Hornaday
said. "I'm a pretty decent poker player so hopefully we'll win some money for the
As for this weekend's race, Hornaday has watched events at Bristol for years, and his
recent success at the .533-mile oval only enhances his admiration for the track.
"When I was short track racing on the West Coast, I would watch races on television
from Bristol and think, 'Wow what a place,' I couldn't wait to get a chance to race
there," Hornaday said. "I still feel that way every time I pull into the place.
"What Bruton Smith and his staff have done at Bristol is amazing. It is one of the
finest tracks in the country. When you win at Bristol, it is big. Bristol is real fast.
You have to stay focused and keep calm. Things happen real quick. You and the truck take a
pounding for two hours."