Ron Hornaday Jr. Deserves More Recognition

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2009

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 15:  Ron Hornaday, driver of the #33 Camping World/ Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on September 15, 2007 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

While doing some research to learn more about some of the lesser-known drivers in the Camping world truck series, I started looking more deeply at well-known driver Ron Hornaday Jr. I became both intrigued and amazed that he isn't given more face time in NASCAR media.

Now before you jump down my throat, I know that he is in the news everytime he wins, but I just feel like he doesn't get his due. I don't know the stats that breakdown face time given to drivers but, I think he deserves more.

As of last Saturday's race at Kentucky, Hornaday has won three races in a row and sits atop the standings. The last time the three-time series champion won three in a row? It was 1997 when Hornaday won at Milwaukee, Louisville, and Colorado. But he was also under 40 back then.

Now, obviously he is one of the most recognized drivers in the truck series, but what surprised me is how dominant he has been for most of his Truck Series career. I was also surprised that he lost his Nationwide rides so quickly.

You would think that someone with 43 career truck series wins would be able to secure a ride in the Nationwide or even Sprint Cup Series . In the three years that he ran full-time in the Nationwide Series, Hornaday ranked no worse then fifth! How does this guy not earn a full-time ride?

By comparison, when young gun Kyle Busch wins a Truck race, its all over the news. The media goes on and on about the talent level it takes to win a truck race while running Nationwide and Cup. While its true that Busch has enormous talent and skills, how about some love for the old guy.

It's not easy to win races on any NASCAR level. Ron Hornaday does it on a consistent basis.

Let's not forget that he is 51. Last time I checked, the only other guy winning races over 50 is the uber-talented Mark Martin.

From a fan's standpoint, I remember the first time I saw Hornaday school Kyle Busch in a Truck Series race. Earlier this year, it seemed that Kyle was going to win every Nationwide and Truck Series race before he started to melt down.

Then, I was watching the Truck race at Charlotte and to my great delight, Hornaday won. I was yelling and screaming for joy to see the old guy beat the young gun.

So, from one over 40 to another, show 'em who's boss, Ron!