Ron Hornaday Rallies to Win The North Carolina Education Lottery 200

Horn FanSenior Writer IMay 17, 2009

Ron Hornaday would rally from being a lap down to win the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday night.

Hornaday would use a late caution, get his lap back, then just hooked and horned his way to the lead.

He left no doubt, the No. 33 Longhorn Chevrolet was the fast truck on the track and charged his way to his 40th career win.

Qualifying for tonight's race was rained out after 20 trucks had already qualified and with Hornaday blistering his way to be sitting on the pole.

When the rain came to wash out the remained of qualifying, causing the trucks to line up based on Owner Points for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.

Kyle Busch in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota starts on the pole, thanks to Brian Ickler's great run at Kansas.

Mike Skinner in the No. 5 Rue & Ziffra, P.A. Toyota starts on the outside pole position and Ron Hornaday will start third.

Todd Bodine in the No. 30 Toyota starts fourth and Matt Crafton in the No. 88 McGuire-Nicholas/menard's Chevrolet starts fifth.

The pit window is 52 to 54 laps, Goodyear has brought a good tire here and teams may or may not need tires every stop.

On the Lap 1 green flag start, Busch started good pulls slightly away from Skinner, defending the bottom from Hornaday who's on his bumper.

When coming on the highside into turn three, Skinner gets a run on Busch takes the lead, Hornaday jumps up top and follows Skinner passing Busch for second.

On Lap 2, Skinner leads but by a truck length, as Hornaday's on his bumper and trying to get his bumper under Skinner.

On Lap 3, Busch running in third, starts to get pressure from Bodine in fourth.

On Lap 4, Skinner leads with Hornaday right on his bumper and the two start to pull away from the rest of the field.

On Lap 5, Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar/International Truck Engine Ford and his teammate James Buescher in the No. 10 International Maxx Force Diesel Ford are battling it out for 11th and 12th respectively.

On Lap 6, Busch settles in third, puts some distance between himself in third and bodine in fourth.

After eight laps, Skinner leads, with Hornaday second, Busch is third, Bodine runs in fourth and Crafton runs in fifth.

On Lap 12, Skinner still leads, he's opened up a couple truck length lead on Hornaday in second and Busch running in third switches to the high side.

On Lap 14, Sinner leads Hornaday now by 0.425 seconds, Busch starts to reel them in as he's running faster and better on the high side.

On Lap 15, Skinner leads, but Hornaday reels him back in tries for the lead and has to ease  off the gas due to lapped traffic.

Busch who has caught the two, passes Hornaday on the high side for second.

On Lap 16, Skinner leading switches to the high side, Busch running second can't gain ground and Hornaday's in third is right their on Busch bumper.

On Lap 20, it's been four amazing laps of great racing with Skinner leading, Busch second and Hornaday third.

On Lap 21, Hornaday tries to pass Busch for second on the low side but he can't pass Busch on the high side.

On Lap 22, Busch is right on the leader Skinner's bumper, coming into turn three Busch drops to the bottom gets side by side with Skinner but can't make the pass stick.

On Lap 23, Skinner has opened up a couple truck length lead on Busch in second and Hornaday tries to pass Busch on the bottom, but he can't make the pass stick on the bottom.

On Lap 25, the first caution flag comes out, for Timothy Peters in the No. 17 Toyota gets loose under Brian Scott in the No. 16 Albertson's Toyota spins and hits the inside wall ending his night.

Under caution everyone pits making their first stop for tires or fuel and Johnny Benson in the No. 1 Red Horse Racing Toyota leads after the first stop.

All the trucks pitted for fuel or tires, some pit a second time and the top five only make one stop for fuel.

They can all make it to halfway now, should the weather effect the race and being able to run the scheduled 134 laps tonight.

Ben Stancill in the No. 63 Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool ford was the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner.

The top five after pit stops is; Chad McCumbee in the No. 07 ASI Limited Chevrolet is leading, Colin Braun in the No. 6 Con-Way Freight Ford runs second, followed by Crawford in third, Buescher runs in fourth and Dennis Setzer in the No. 8 Malcolmson Construction Chevrolet runs in fifth.

Kyle Busch would be penalized for two many men over the wall while fueling, so he comes back in tops off, but will have to restart at the tail end of the longest line.

Busch will be 16th, on the restart.

Skinner got away with a mistake, as he left after pitting, he took the jack with him, but since he stopped a second time for fuel he served the stop and go penalty.

On the Lap 34 restart, McCumbee takes the green, pulls away from Braun. Crawford tries to take second, but gets challenged from his teammate Buescher for third.

On Lap 35, the second caution comes out for Tayler Malsam in the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota spinning after contact on the restart.

The caution comes out, the field stacks up slowing down. When Skinner has contact with Johnny Sauter in the No. 13 Fun Sand/Rodney Adkins Chevrolet.

Results with Skinner going on a wild ride, first he spins down into the grass comes back across the track just before he hits the outside wall. T.J. Bell in the No. 11 Horse Racing Toyota with no where to go clobbers Skinner.

Skinner's truck actually stands on it's nose, partially hitting the wall spins a little, then lands on the hood of Bell's truck and slides on his side before rolling back on the wheels.

Skinner very quickly radio's his crew that he's okay, let's the window net down and Bell would also be okay. 

Here's a link to watch a video highlight of his wide ride.

Bell also had contact with Malsam that originally brought out the caution.

The race would be red flagged. Busch who got slight damage in the wreck, climbs out of his truck and survey's the damage and the important thing is he doesn't touch the truck himself.

Over his radio he lets his crew chief Doug George know what all the crew has too do to fix the No. 51 truck.

NASCAR officials let George know to be sure Busch is proper buckled in and they get the window net secured on the pit stop when the red flag is lifted.

Chris Jones in the No. 87 Safe Surfin Foundation/Copy Wizard Chevrolet was the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner.

On Lap 39, the top five under caution was McCumbee leading, Braun is second, Buescher is third, Crawford is fourth and Setzer is fifth.

On the Lap 41 restart, McCumbee brings the field down single file and pulls a couple of truck lengths from Braun in second.

Buescher in third, loses several positions to Crafton, Crawford and Bodine dropping back to sixth.

On Lap 43, since the restart, Busch has been making several three wide passes and is running in 11th place.

On Lap 44, Busch would continue making his way to the front does another three wide pass putting him in eighth.

On Lap 45, Braun takes the lead from McCumbee going around him on the high side. Hornaday would pass Bodine for fourth.

On Lap 46, both Crafton and Hornaday pass McCumbee for second and third respectively.

On Lap 47, Busch passes Buescher for sixth, but can't make it stick on the bottom and starts a side by side battles with Buescher for sixth.

On Lap 48, David Gilliland in the No. 7 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet and Ryan Newman in the No. 4 Charter Communication Chevrolet battle it out for ninth and tenth respectively and the best racing on the track right now.

On Lap 50, Hornaday passes Crafton for second and starts to chase down Braun the leader.

On Lap 52, Busch passes Bodine for fifth, Hornaday is all over Braun's bumper and starts to pressure him.

After 53 Laps, the top five was; Braun the leader, Hornaday second, Crafton third, Busch fourth and Bodine fifth.

On Lap 59, Braun leads by 0.786 second over Hornaday and he can't shake or widen the gap on Hornaday.

On Lap 61, Busch would pass Crafton on the high side for third and starts to reel in the leaders.

On Lap 62, Braun continues to lead by 0.788 seconds on older tires, over Hornaday on fresher tires.

But Braun's team has to be worried about his tires and especially that his right front tire holds up till they pit.

On Lap 64, both Terry Cook in the No. 25 Cajun Industries/Ht Motorsports Chevrolet and his teammate David Starr in the No. 24 Zachry Toyota are battling it out for 10th and 11th position respectively.

After 65 Laps, the top five was; Braun leads, Hornaday second, Busch third, Crafton fourth and Bodine fifth.

On Lap 67, Braun leads Hornaday by a full second, we've reached the halfway point and should the weather interfere it's a official race.

On Lap 73, Newman passes Bodine for fifth and Busch passes Hornaday for second. Horn let's his crew chief Rick Ren know will need to make a adjustment to run on the high side.

On Lap 75, Braun leads Busch by 1.592 seconds and at this time Newman running in fifth is the fastest truck on the track.

On Lap 78, Buescher passes Bodine for sixth. Braun still leads Busch by 1.423 seconds.

On Lap 79, Braun leads, but will pit if it stays green he'll pit on lap 90 and need to stop twice for both fuel and tires.

On Lap 81, Braun still leads, Busch is reeling him in and it's a matter of how many laps it will take for him to catch him.

On Lap 83, Braun still leads, but Busch has caught him and is right on his bumper.

On Lap 84, Braun stays high, Busch goes low to pass but Jason White in the No. 23 Dodge running slower gets in the way and he can't make it stick.

Braun's able to put a couple of lapped trucks between himself and Busch.

On Lap 85, Busch passes both White and Mario Gosselin in the No. 12 James Carter, Attorney at Law Chevrolet and starts too catch Braun again.

On Lap 86, Hornaday and Newman both pit for fuel, as the third caution flag comes out for Braun wrecking with Scott after contact from Busch.

Braun with Busch right behind him come up on Scott. With Braun leading low, Busch is up high and comes down clips Braun sends him into Scott both wreck into the wall.

While Busch was leading after the wreck, NASCAR accessed him a rough driving penalty and sent him back to the end of the longest line.

Crafton would become the leader, as the trucks come to pit road for the first of two stops.

Now Hornaday, Newman, and Gilliland because of the caution are a lap down and due to only needing to stop once they'll be on the tail end of the lead lap.

On the Lap 94 restart Hornaday, Newman and Gilliland are in front of the leader Bodine and all three start well to stay in front of him.

On Lap 95, Hornaday has himself a huge gap between himself and were Bodine is racing on Gilliland's bumper.

Newman also about three truck lengths back from Hornaday and they seem to be racing together to stay ahead of the leader Bodine.

On Lap 96, Gilliland and Bodine are side by side, when Crafton goes to pass making it three wide, but wisely backs coming into turn 3.

On Lap 97, the fourth caution comes out for Bodine as he got loose under Gilliland and spins into the outside wall.

This puts Hornaday, Newman and Gilliland back on the lead lap. McCumbee also was the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner this caution.

After 100 laps, the top five was; Crafton is leading, Malsam second, Cook third, Starr fourth and Buescher fifth. Busch has fought his way back to sixth.

Hornaday and Newman are 11th and 12th respectively.

On the Lap 101 restart, Crafton takes the green pulls away from Malsam by a couple of truck length and Busch passes Buescher for fifth.

On Lap 102, Busch passes both Malsam and Starr for third. Hornaday has worked his way up to sixth and he is flying up to the front.

On Lap 103, Hornaday passes both Starr and Malsam, on the low side and takes fourth. Busch is running second now as he passed Cook for second.

On Lap 104, Hornaday catches Cook goes to the low side and blows past him for third.

On Lap 105, Hornaday catches Busch, makes the pass on the low side, takes second and set his sights on the leader Crafton.

On Lap 106, Hornaday catches Crafton, then passes him on the low side and Busch third has caught up to Crafton in second.

On Lap 107, Hornaday leading has a six truck length lead or larger, Busch passes Crafton for second and Crafton drops to third.

On Lap 108, the fifth caution comes out for Buescher spinning after he got loose under Starr after hitting the apron.

After 109 laps, under caution the top five was; Hornaday leading, Busch second, Crafton third, Cook fourth and Starr fifth.

Chad McCumbee was the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner this caution and is now back on the lead lap.

On the Lap 111 restart, Horn takes the green stays on the high side, Busch dives to the low side, they are side by side coming into turn one when Busch gets loose.

Hornaday comes back to the stripe leading by three truck lengths lead or better on Busch in second.

On Lap 113, Hornaday maintains the three truck length lead on Busch in second and Crafton starts to catch Busch.

On Lap 115, Hornaday leads by 0.152 second lead on Busch. Newman battles Cook  for fourth and took his time making the pass.

After 116 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leads, Busch second, Crafton third, Newman fourth and Cook fifth.

On Lap 118, Hornaday still leads by over a second on Busch. Cook re-passes Newman for fourth.

On Lap 121, Hornaday leads Busch in second by 1.233 seconds, Newman battles Cook again for fourth.

On Lap 123, Newman re-passes back by Cook for fourth and Starr starts to challenge Cook for fifth.

On Lap 124, Hornaday leads by 2 seconds over Busch in second.

On Lap 125, Hornaday leads by 2.3 seconds over Busch and Crafton in third starting too catch Busch in second.

Newman is fourth, five seconds behind Hornaday and two seconds behind Crafton in third.

On Lap 126, Crafton in third starts to battle Busch for second and this will help Hornaday to increase his lead.

On Lap 127, Hornaday keeps pulling away, Busch in second puts a little distance on Crafton in third.

On Lap 128, Hornaday keeps pulling away, leads now by 1.188 seconds over Busch in second. Crafton can catch Busch, but can't pass him on the low side. Busch is racing on the high side and he's run really well up top all race long.

On Lap 129, Hornaday still leads, he's run well all weekend sweeping both practices and had the pole till qualifying was washed out by rain.

On Lap 130, Hornaday continues to lead, Busch in second, puts more distance on Crafton in third.

On Lap 131, Hornaday continues leading, Busch seems like he's cut some time off of the lead, but with three laps left doubt he'll catch Hornaday.

On Lap 132, Hornaday leads his lead shrunk a little more that lap, but Busch unless Hornaday has a problem he won't catch him.

On Lap 133, Hornaday takes the white flag, he still leads by close to a second, the lap traffic stays on the bottom out of Horn's way.

Hornaday comes around, takes the checkers and gets his first win of 2009. He'd then salute the fans with his signature burnout, takes the checkers and gets a kiss from Lindy. 

Horn led the last 29 laps to night the important ones, it's his second win at Lowe's and his 40th career win.

Rowdy Busch would bring it home second, recorded his fourth top five finish and while he didn't lead a lap he was tough all day.

Matt Crafton finished third, ran well all day, led twice for 11 laps today and moved up to third in the points.

Ryan Newman finished fourth, ran a great race, battle back with Horn to get back onto the lead lap and got a top five finish in his second truck race.

Terry Cook keep finished fifth keeping his good year going, collecting his third top five of the season.

Then sixth through 10th were; David Gilliland, David Starr, Tayler Malsam, Stacy Compton, and Dennis Setzer.

On the last lap, teammates Rick Crawford and James Buescher beating and banging on each other, they finished 11th and 12th respectively.

Post race Crawford didn't look happy about it and looked like they probably talked about it after the race. Hopefully will have more on this for my Update this week.

Here's a few post race comments from Ron Hornaday.

"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."

"We had a great Truck," Hornaday said.

"Everbody [has been] asking who you've got to race for the championship. This will show it."

"She was fast at the end," said Hornaday who won his second career race at the Charlotte track.

"This was really cool, I won at Lowe's."

Oh one last note, Rowdy Busch steered a little controversy sitting on the deck lid of his No. 51 Toyota with me.

When he poutily said this comment after finishing second for the second time this year to a truck fielded by KHI.

"I'm not very happy about the 33 (Hornaday) and the Chevrolets having the advantages that they do," Busch said.

"It's just frustrating to have to race against that."

What is he talking about, Toyota leads the manufacturers standings, they've won four races out of the six races and based on that.

Rowdy has no grounds to cry foul like that, you got beat by a better team being KHI and be happy with second for once. Suck it up be a man.

Now I know I steered up the Busch Police with that remark, but a true race fan will respect my opinion because stats don't lie.

After Lowe's Hornaday is the new points leader, he leads Skinner in second by 84 points and Crafton in third by 89 points.

The next truck race is at Dover International Speedway on May 29th for the AAA Insurance 200.


Sources for quotes:,, and

Photo Credit:



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