Ron Hornaday Jr. Tops His Amazing Season With His Fourth Championship

Horn FanSenior Writer INovember 14, 2009

Coming into Phoenix International Raceway, for the Lucas Oil 150 all Ron Hornaday Jr. needed to do was finish ahead of Matt Crafton to win the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivers Championship.

And that's just what Horn did tonight finishing fourth, while Crafton finished eighth.

Horn had the luxury of a 197 point lead, but in also trying to clinch on one of his better tracks being PIR, and man, did he deliver.

He pitted on Lap 33, taking fuel only, but would be penalized by NASCAR due to the catch can that wasn't in place when fueling started.ย 

No problem, since crew chief Rick Ren brings him back in for tires and they'd restart tail end of the lead lap back in 21st.

By Lap 88, Horn was running in 10th; he did have one close call working his way to the front. T.J. Bell and David Starr had contact in front of him, but the wily veteran raced his way by on the bottom.

Then on Horn's second pit stop on Lap 91, his No. 33 pit crew pulled off a picture perfect two stop pit stop and helped him pick-up positions on pit road to seventh.

More importantly, they got their driver out ahead of Crafton who was eighth after a lug nut problem.

Horn would work his way up to fourth by Lap 127; he just took care of business, and brought it home ahead of Crafton to win his fourth championship in the Trucks.

Horn would become the oldest champion in NASCAR at 51 years old and becomes the fourth driver with four titles.

He joins three legends: Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon, and for the second-time in 2009 he puts the name Ron Hornaday Jr. in some impressive company.

It was just a sweet deal for Horn to see him top his amazing season with the inaugural Camping World Truck Series Championship.

He's achieved so much this season; winning five races in a row, finishing no worse than 26th this season, and he won the Third Quarter Driver of the Year.

More importantly last year, Horn and Ren sat down at Homestead after losing the title to Johnny Benson, and over cold beer.

They had a private discussion where they wrote down goals for 2009; they achieved all the goals being more consistent through the season and winning the championship.

Horn has now won titles in 1996, 1998, 2007, and 2009 and the entire No. 33 KHI team will be coming back together in 2010 to defend their championship.

Yes, Horn's my pick to win it in 2010 and become the first driver to repeat as champion.

And oh, Horn and Ren's mission is half-way accomplished, since they still have to clinch the owners championship for Delana at Homestead.

Photo Credit: sports.yahoo.com


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