Ron Hornaday Gives Himself a Birthday Present By Winning the Copart 200

Horn FanSenior Writer IJune 21, 2009

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, you would never have known had it not been a bunch of ponds in the infield. That the heavens opened up over the Milwaukee Mile on Friday and caused the fourth rain delay of the season.

Ron Hornaday who was celebrating his 51st birthday, would dominate the Copart 200 collecting his 41st career win and second career win the trucks at the track.

Hornaday would lead 180 laps of 200 today, he lapped the field up to 14th and for the second time in his career he won on his birthday in the Trucks. (He did it also in 1998 at Bristol.)

Due to qualifying being rained out, the field was set on owner points.

Brian Ickler in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts/Samsung Instinct Toyota started on the pole, and Matt Crafton in the No. 88 Menards/McGuire-Nicolas Chevrolet starts on the outside pole.

Ron Hornaday Jr. in the No. 33 Chevrolet will start third, and Mike Skinner in the No. 5 Toyota will start fourth.

Rounding out the top five, was Todd Bodine in the No. 30 Toyota.

There was a late driver change as Gabi Dicarlo who was sick with flu like symptoms was replaced by Jason Leffler in the No. 90 Great Clips truck.

The pit window is 80 to 90 laps, teams should only need to make two stops and sure we'll see a few pit for tires on a late caution.

Some interesting facts about Milwaukee; Ron Hornaday is one of two drivers to have wins at the Milwaukee in both the Trucks and the Nationwide and the other driver is Greg Biffle.

In Trucks since 1995, no one outside of the top eight has won the race, and it'll be exciting to see if that streak gets broken today.

Brian Ickler would take the green on Lap One, pull away from Crafton but only momentarily and would be side by side with Crafton coming out of turn two.

He would get loose coming into turn three, Hornaday would make it three wide for the lead, but Ickler would hang onto too lead lap one.

Crafton on Lap Two, would get the lead passing Ickler and Hornaday would pass him for second and start closing in on the leader.

Hornaday would aggressively pass Crafton for the lead on Lap Three on the low side and pull away.

Ickler would start to fight a loose condition with truck and by Lap Five had dropped back to fourth and has Dave Starr in the No. 24 Zachry/Harris Trucking Toyota in sixth all over his bumper. 

On Lap Seven, Hornaday would lead Crafton by 1.083 seconds and growing.

Brian Scott in the No. 16 Albertson's Toyota is running ninth on Lap Nine, he basically using his left hand moving the wheel and has his casted right hand on top of the wheel.

His team modified the steering wheel for him and he also has a special shifter that 30 inches in length. So he doesn't have to move his right hand far to shift.

After 10 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading by two seconds, Crafton in second, Skinner in third, Bodine in fourth and David Starr in fifth.

Hornaday by Lap 16, would be leading by 3.383 seconds lead on Crafton in second, who has Skinner in third all over his bumper.

On Lap 17, Skinner would go low, battle side by side with Crafton for half a lap before making the pass stick and taking second. Ickler continues to fall back and is 10th now.

After 20 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading by 3.5 seconds, Skinner in second, Crafton in third, Bodine in fourth and Starr in fifth.

Brian Scott is running in eighth at this time, he's done a great job so far with his right hand in a cast.

By Lap 27, Hornaday would still be leading by 3.267 seconds on Skinner in second and his lead has shrunk a little bit.

A lap later the best racing on the track was up front with Crafton in third and Bodine in fourth and they are battling it out for those positions.

Hornaday would still be leading on Lap 31, by 2.367 seconds on Skinner in second and Crafton puts some distance on Bodine in fourth.

By Lap 35, Hornaday would lead by 2.560 seconds on Skinner in second, and Bodine would pass Crafton on the high side for third.

The first caution comes out on Lap 38 for T.J. Bell, who blew a engine, and it erases a 2.533 second lead Hornaday held on Skinner in second.

Dexter bean in the No. 12 Livewire Energy Chevrolet would be the Aaron's Lucky Dog Award winner.

After 38 Laps, under caution the top five was; Hornaday leading, Skinner second, Bodine third, Crafton fourth and Starr fifth.

On Lap 40, the leaders all pit making the first of two stops, most will get tires on the first stop and come back a second time for fuel and a few may just gamble making a fuel stop.

On Lap 41, the leaders pit a second time, Chad McCumbee in the No. 07 tiwi Chevrolet would stay out, lead a lap and then make his second stop.

On the Lap 44 restart, Bodine would take the green pull away from Skinner. Hornaday would restart fifth, but picked up two positions passing Crafton and Aric Almirola in the no. 15 Zaxby Toyota to take third.

On Lap 47, while Bodine leads the race, Hornaday would pass Skinner on the high side for second and starts to challenge Bodine for the lead.

Hornaday on Lap 49, he and Bodine are racing side by side and he'll pass him coming out of turn four.

By Lap 50, Hornaday would be leading by half a dozen truck length, Skinner would pass Bodine for second and Crafton in fourth is all over Bodine bumper for third.

Scott's running in  seventh, he's doing a excellent with having a cast on his right hand and has stayed so far in the top-10.

The second caution comes out on Lap 54, for Jason White in the No. 23 Dodge gets loose under Terry Cook in the Harris Trucking/Cajun Industries Toyota and spins backwards into the wall.

McCumbee on the second caution was the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner.

After 55 laps, under caution the top five was; Hornaday leading, Skinner second, Bodine third, Crafton fourth and Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar/International Truck Engine Ford in fifth.

On the Lap 58 restart, Hornaday takes the green flag starts pulling away by a truck length over Skinner in second. Scott still running a heck of a race and is eighth.

Hornaday would lead by 0.403 seconds on Skinner in second by Lap 63 and Crawford would pass Crafton for fourth.

On Lap 67, Johnny Sauter in the No. 13 FunSand/Rodney Atkins/Curb Records Chevrolet is the top rookie running in 11th and done a great job on his home track.

By Lap 70, Hornaday lead by 0.843 seconds on Skinner in second, and Ickler running in 14th still fighting a loose condition.

After 73 Laps, the top five was: Hornaday leading by 1.3 seconds, Skinner second, Bodine third, Crawford fourth and Crafton fifth. 

By Lap 80, Hornaday leads by 1.264 seconds on Skinner in second and has over a four seconds lead on Bodine in third.

On Lap 81, the best racing is the battle in 11th between Sauter and Stacy Compton in the No. 60 SafeAuto Insurance Toyota, they've been battling it out for the last three laps now.

On Lap 82, finally Compton would finally pass Sauter on the bottom for 11th and drops him back to 12th.

By Lap 84, Hornaday would lead by two seconds, Bodine in third starts to get pressure from Crawford in fourth.

By Lap 87, Horn leads by 1.827 seconds on Skinner in second. The best racing on the track is Colin Braun in the No. 6 Con-Way Freight Ford is sixth putting pressure on Crafton in fifth for the position.

After 90 laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading by two seconds, Skinner is second, Bodine runs in third, followed by Crawford in fourth and Crafton in fifth.

By Lap 94, Hornaday has just dominated today on his birthday, has led 83 laps today and theirs only 20 trucks on the lead lap.

On Lap 95, Hornaday easily passes Mikey Kile in the No. 29 Greased Lightning Cleaning Products Chevrolet and Ricky Carmichael in the No. 4 Monster Energy Drink Chevrolet putting them both a lap down and there's 18 trucks on the lead lap now.

Scott would be running in 10th on lap 97, he's run a really good race so far and it's exciting to see him hang tough the way he has so far.

By Lap 98, Hornaday leads by 1.519 seconds on Skinner. Meanwhile both Braun and Starr have dropped Crafton to seventh.

At the halfway mark on Lap 100, Hornaday lead by 1.2 seconds over Skinner. Bodine and crawford start battling it out for third and fourth respectively.

By Lap 102, the best racing was Bodine in third, with Crawford in fourth trying first high and low to pass Bodine and he's just been able to block each move.

After 104 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading, Skinner second, Bodine third, Crawford fourth and Braun fifth.

By Lap 111, Hornaday leads by close two seconds, he catches Cook putting him a lap down and leaves only 17 trucks on the lead lap. Crafton's truck is running tight, he's fallen back to 11th and hanging onto it for the coming pit stops.

Scott has been running top-10,for the entire race so far and currently running in ninth.

After 114 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading, Skinner second, Bodine third, Crawford fourth and Braun fifth.

On Lap 119, Hornaday leads by 1.694 seconds over Skinner in second. He's hitting the tail end of the lead lap trucks just right, passing them as he just lapped James Buescher in the No. 10 International Maxx Force Diesel Ford and Tayler Malsam in the No. 81 One Eighty Toyota and leaves 15 trucks on the lead lap.

On Lap 121, Crafton comes to pit road for a green flag stop, making adjustments and takes fuel and heads back out.

On Lap 122, Hornaday leading slows comes to pit road for his green flag stop, gets only fuel, should be able to make it on fuel till the end and heads back out.

On Lap 124, Starr comes to pit road running out of fuel, he'd take fuel only. Braun would also pit, takes fuel, get adjustments, and to get a front fender pulled out. 

Mike Skinner also comes to pit road also to get fuel and heads back out on track. Bodine takes over the lead, as green flag pit stops continue to happen.

Then on Lap 125, Crawford would come to pit road makes a stop for fuel and heads back out.

Mike Skinner would come back to pit road on Lap 126, making a second stop for tires and his teams gambling on using pit strategy to get ahead of Hornaday.

The third caution comes out on Lap 128, for Aric Almirola spinning around and stalling his truck on the track. Currently there is only ten trucks scored on the lead lap.

It's bummer news for Skinner as he'll be two laps down now, Hornaday scored on the lead lap and Kile would be the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner.

On Lap 129, all the leaders come to pit road most will make one stop for tires and few will be making two stops. 

On the Lap 132 restart, Hornaday takes the green pulls away by 0.293 seconds on Bodine in second. He has Braun, Crawford, and Ryan Sieg in the No. 39 RSS Racing Chevrolet all in front of him on the tail end of the lead lap.

On Lap 136, Hornaday leads he first puts Compton a lap down on the high side and catches Crafton goes high, then low to pass him and put him a lap down.

Scott would be running 12th on Lap 138, he had to make a extra stop on pit road for a loose lug-nut and lost a few positions.

The last couple of laps Hornaday leading has been battling with Skinner to put him a second lap down and he's fighting hard not too.

On lap 140, Hornaday would get the job done, passing Skinner putting him two laps down. Scott would be running be running in 10th, he'd pass Timothy Peters in the No. 17 Toyota ninth.

The fourth caution comes out for debris on Lap 143, both Braun and Crawford raced their way back onto the lead lap.

Right before the caution, Compton would pass Crafton and gets the Aaron's Lucky Dog.

The top five under caution was; Hornaday leading, Bodine second, Setzer third, Buescher fourth and Scott fifth.

On Lap 147 restart, Hornaday takes the green gets a great restart, putting the lapped truck of Skinner between himself and Bodine in second. Scott would pass Buescher get fourth from him.

By Lap 150, Hornaday lead by 1.053 seconds on Bodine. Scott in fourth starts to challenge Setzer in third, and what a awesome effort by this Kid today.

After 155 Laps, Hornaday leads by 1.804 seconds, Bodine second, Setzer third, Scott fourth and Buescher fifth.

On Lap 162, Hornaday has lead 142 laps of the 162 run today, only twice the driver who has lead the most laps hasn't won the race and both times it happened Horn lead the most laps.

On Lap 165, the best racing on the track is between Cook seventh, Crawford eighth and Malsam in ninth. As they are battling each other for the positions and .

A lap later both Cook and Crawford would get past the lap truck of Crafton and Malsam starts working on also passing him.

After 168 Laps, the top five was; Hornaday leading, Bodine second, Setzer third, Scott fourth and Braun in fifth.

Speed TV would let us know that Bodine lets his crew know he has n othing for the leader and is just racing for second.

Scott who's running in fourth on Lap 174, he's run top-10 the entire race, you can't help but cheer for him and he's one tough customer.

By Lap 177, Hornaday would lead by six seconds on Bodine, Setzer starts to pressure Bodine for second and there's only 12 trucks on the lead lap.

The best racing on Lap 181, was the battle for second, as Bodine trying to hold onto the position and Setzer in third is trying to pass him.

He's trying to pass going first high, than low but can't make the passes work as Bodine just gets in the way blocking.

On Lap 182, Bodine in second and Setzer in third are side by side most of the lap, coming out of turn four Setzer makes the pass stick on the low side and takes second.

On Lap 184, Bodine in third, gets pressured by Scott in fourth and they have a little contact resulting from Bodine just blocking to hold onto the position.

By Lap 186, Hornaday would be leading by seven seconds over setzer in second. The best racing has been with Bodine in third and Scott in fourth.

The last couple of laps Bodine in third has been able to just block Scott in fourth and just hang onto the position.

Scott's actually running faster, it was just a matter of time before he'd get into Bodine getting him loose and make the pass for third.

The sixth caution comes on on Lap 188, for McCumbee who blew-up, lost his engine and would get into the wall.

Under caution the top five was; Hornaday leading, Setzer second, Scott third, Bodine fourth and Braun fifth.

When pit road opened on Lap 190, Crawford would be the only customer getting a set of scuffed tires to help his handling.

It should be a good restart between Hornaday and Setzer who's always run well on short tracks and been laying back saving his truck.

On the restart on Lap 192, Hornaday would take the green pulls away from Setzer coming out of turn two by several truck length. Scott in third would be right on Setzer's bumper in second.

By Lap 193, Hornaday leads by close to a second, Braun in fifth gets side by side with Bodine for fourth.

On Lap 195, Hornaday leads still pulls away from Setzer in second. Braun in fifth would get under Bodine for fourth, but would get loose save it from hitting the wall and would lose fifth to Buescher.

Hornaday would have a 12 length truck lead on Setzer on Lap 196 and he just couldn't get any closer to him.

On Lap 197, Hornaday lead, the best racing is Buescher in fifth and Malsam in sixth and Compton in seventh.

Hornaday would take the white flag on Lap 198, maintaining the second lead over Setzer in second and Scott in third right there trying to pass him for second.

Malsam would lose sixth, to Compton who passed him on the high side and couldn't get to Buescher for fifth.

Hornaday would make it around the track take the checkers for his second win at the Milwaukee Mile and for the second time in his career in trucks he won on his birthday.

Hornaday's truck was bad during practice on Friday, his crew led by crew chief Rick Ren would gamble making three major changes to the No. 33 Copart Chevy.

The race was originally scheduled to run at night, but due to the rain it was run Saturday afternoon and we saw those changes lead to a dominating victory by Horn. 

Rick Ren would be grinning ear to ear post race, excited that they got it right, gambling that the changes made would work and he'd wish Horn a happy birthday.

Hornaday would get the checkers, win by a second over Setzer, take a victory lap saluting the fans, but one thing was missing his signature burnout and he'd arrive at victory lane to the cheers of his crew.

We'd learn through Hornaday being interviewed post race, that the absence of his signature burnout is due to the team losing GM support and pinching dimes. By doing the burnout, he could have torn up the clutch and needlessly damaged the engine.

Hornaday would dedicate the win to his sick Mother-In-law, do the normal thanks you to all the sponsors the crew and the Harvick's.

While in Trucks, Hornaday has some impressive stats, but he would mention in victory lane that his wife Lindy, holds an amazing one herself.

She was back home with her sick mom, would miss only the eighth race in the last 3o years and it's an amazing stat of devotion to ones spouse.

Dennis Setzer would finish second, ran a really great race, collected his second top five and hope these guys land some sponsor help.

Brian Scott ran the entire race in the top-10, except a couple of laps after a loose lug nut, more amazing was he did it with a cast on his right wrist and proved he's one tough customer.

He actually over shadow a dominating birthday performance by Horn and it was fun keeping track of were Scott was through out the race.

Todd Bodine would finish fourth, led 15 laps, ran a good race and battle to hold onto finishing in the top five.

Rookie James Buescher would finish fifth, he ran a really good race, battle and earned his top five finish.

Positions sixth through 10th were; Stacy Compton, Tayler Malsam, Colin Braun, David Starr ,and Terry Cook.

The points now has Ron Hornaday leading by 36 points over Matt Crafton in second and 88 points on mike Skinner in third.

Hornaday leads the Copart Challenge 195 to 160 points over Bodine. (Working on a article about this new award by Copart that was announced on June 19th.)

The next race is, June 27 at Memphis Motorsports Park, for the 200 presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts on Speed at 5:30PM the Set-Up Show with Krista Voda and a 6:00PM Race Time.

Author's note: The source for this race recap are my race notes. Any mistakes are my own and used lap summary as a resource.

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