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Blk3GM's Craftsman Series Truck News

Gold in them hills for Hornaday
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 Make-A-Wish Foundation."

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."

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