NASCAR Media Conference
Ron Hornaday, Jr.
August 28, 2013
AMANDA ELLIS: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today's NASCAR Cam. We are joined by Ron Hornaday, Jr., driver of the No.9 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet for NTS Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In 14 road course starts with the series, Hornaday has three wins and 11 top‑10 finishes. He makes his first road course start since 2000 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Sunday, September 1, in the Chevrolet Silverado 250.
Ron, what are you looking forward to most this Sunday with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returning to a road course for the first time since 2000?
RON HORNADAY, JR.: Just getting back on the track. The trucks haven't seen it in a while, and it's a lot of fun. On the different venue tracks we went to before, now going up to Canada is going to really make it special because we know the fans up there just love racing. The trucks really put on a great show. When they run over the ripple strips, how heavy the trucks are, The tires come off the ground, just the sparks off the exhaust. It's just exciting to go to a road course.
This course is a little different than what we used to run. It's a long straightaways, a lot of people ‑‑ when Nelson went up there and did a test, it's just watching what NASCAR has put out to really learn the lay of the land, but to get up there on an open test day and get to learn the racetrack and where to shift, where not so shift, how far you can drive it in, stuff like that. So there's a lot to learn at a new venue racetrack.
AMANDA ELLIS: Do you think your veteran experience will come into play this weekend?
RON HORNADAY, JR.: You never know. You keep saying that week in and week out when you get to the racetrack, and these kids are proving you wrong because the equipment they're in. They're just talented drivers nowadays and they're in great equipment. Hopefully it does. I'm going to try to put everything I've got that I know of and try to beat these kids out there.
The Truck Series has definitely changed a lot. The days with the Jack Spragues and the Mike Skinners, now you're racing against a lot of these guys as kids and people you looked up to racing. Yeah, it's a little different racing style right now, a little give‑and‑take and a lot of respect and non‑respect. It's just a matter of going up there and learning the racetrack and seeing what we can pull out this weekend.
Q. Just from hearing about this track, it sounds like it's similar to Watkins Glen with lots of fast sweeping turns and elevation change and a handful of good passing zones. How much have you heard about the track and any kind of sneak preview that you've gotten, and what sort of race it might produce?
RON HORNADAY, JR.: Well, yeah, I talked to Ron Fellows a lot. It's going to be one of them racetracks where it's really not hard braking but there's some technical parts in the back and the long straightaway. So it's all going to be how much do you cover the brakes up and how much do you leave open. If you cool the brakes down too much you get the chatter in the brakes and stuff like that.
But I tried to Brennan Newberry's little iGame the other day, but on that stuff it has nothing to do with what we do on road course racing.
No, we're just going to go up there and see what we've got. You go online and you pull up the Motorsports Park and look at it. It gives you a little bit of reference, and Ron said that deal there was a pretty easy lap, so just seeing that, the high speeds we have and the straightaways and the corners coming up and the blindness of the corners through the elevation change I should say, it's going to take three or four spotters. So get all them in line and get them up there and see where the best spot is where they can help us out a lot through the blind corners.
Q. And since it's been 13 years since the Truck Series has competed on a road course, there's been a lot of change. How much have you seen the series change in that time span, and has it gotten tougher, or has there always been kind of a certain degree of difficulty, especially on road courses?
RON HORNADAY, JR.: Well, back in the day we had the road course runners were the Ron Fellows, the Boris Saids and stuff like that, and I think with the equipment we have nowadays, what NASCAR has done to make everything so equal, I don't think the experience comes into effect because you go back to the dirt race, well, we brought dirt drivers out there that tested our trucks with us, and they're just not used to that vehicle. So it's just a matter of being used to the vehicle, what you can do with it and what positions you can put the truck in on the racetrack and having the trust, the ability of knowing that it's a truck instead of a car. With the downforce you have, I don't know how we're going to ‑‑ I don't know how to say it, how you go there, whether you're going to be coil bind on both fronts or are you going to try to run it conventional. You just bring a lot of springs and shocks and try things when you get up there.
AMANDA ELLIS: Ron, thanks for joining us today, and we thank you to the media for joining us, as well.
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