Trapped a lap down after a green-flag pit stop on Lap 86 of 134, Ron Hornaday recovered to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch survived a succession of adventures to run second, crossing the finish line 1.669 seconds behind Hornaday.
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
CONCORD, N.C.—As strong as Ron Hornaday Jr.’s truck was Friday night, a lost lap was merely a temporary inconvenience.
Trapped a lap down after a green-flag pit stop on Lap 86 of 134, Hornaday recovered to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch survived a succession of adventures to run second, crossing the finish line 1.669 seconds behind Hornaday.
The win in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 was Hornaday’s first of the season and the series-best 40th of his career. Matt Crafton finished third, followed by Ryan Newman and Terry Cook.
“I didn’t even think about that,” Hornaday said of the 40th victory. “I have no idea where to start. Just go to one of your local GM stores and get one of these (Chevrolet) trucks. They’re bad fast.”
Hornaday, who moved into first in the standings by 84 points over 29th-place finisher Mike Skinner, passed Crafton for the lead on Lap 106 and retained it after James Buescher’s spin in Turn 3 brought out the fifth caution of the race. Hornaday’s No. 33 Chevrolet pulled away from Busch, who overtook Crafton for second, in the closing laps.
Busch took the lead momentarily on Lap 87, after turning race leader Colin Braun on the backstretch and wrecking both Braun and Brian Scott. The lead was short-lived, however, as NASCAR penalized Busch for aggressive driving and forced him to restart from the tail end of the longest line—which turned out to be 11th in the running order, thanks to early attrition.
Because of the penalty, Busch was not credited with leading the lap.
By the time Todd Bodine spun near the entry to Turn 3 while leading on Lap 95 to cause the fourth caution of the race, Busch was up to sixth.
At the end of the night, Busch was visibly upset by what he perceived to be a horsepower advantage for the Chevrolets, which he attributed to smaller holes in the tapered spacers run by Toyota.
“They just out-motored us,” Busch said. “It’s just very frustrating to have to run with those guys.”
A violent, multicar wreck on Lap 34 ended the night of Skinner, who was first in the series standings entering the race. As Skinner sped through the tri-oval one lap after a restart, Johnny Sauter forced him to the inside onto the infield grass.
Skinner’s No. 5 Toyota spun out of control, slid up the track at the entrance to Turn 1 and took a vicious hit from the Toyota of T.J. Bell. Skinner’s Tundra slammed into the outside wall, tipped up on its side and slid toward the infield in a shower of sparks before righting itself.
Skinner, who had restarted at the rear of the field after dragging his jack out of the pits under caution and incurring a penalty, referred to Sauter as an “idiot” after the incident.
“I blame myself,” Skinner said. “I knew who I was racing with right there. I probably should have waited another lap.”