Kevin Harvick Won the Race; Ron Hornaday Wins His Fourth Championship

Horn FanSenior Writer INovember 15, 2009

Kevin Harvick held off Kyle Busch to win the Lucas Oil 150, under a green/white/checkers finish that ended under caution Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.

But it was overshadowed by his teammate Ron Hornaday clinching his record fourth championship by finishing fourth and ahead of Matt Crafton in eighth.

What a sweet deal for the Truck fans to see the dueling burnout, one were Hornaday just lit them up to the cheer of the fans and laid down a signature burnout.

Harvick in the brand new 2010 Silverado, with a new EGR engine just babied it, not to damage the new truck or the engine.

Harvick overcame a misque on Lap six to battle his way back for the win and had the truck to beat.

It was Harvick's fourth win at Phoenix, it came on his 100th career start and he successfully defended his race win from 2008.

Johnny Sauter in the No. 13 Fun Sand/Rodney Adkins/Curb Records Chevrolet starts on the pole and it was his second pole of the season.

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Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Longhorn Chevrolet starts from the outside pole position.

Ron Hornaday in the No. 33 VFW Chevrolet starts third, Kyle Busch in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts/Graceway Toyota starts fourth and Aric Almirola in the No. 15 GracewayPharmacueticals/AKawareness.com Toyota was fifth.

At race time, it was 65 degrees, and partly cloudy. 36 trucks started the race and the pit window is 80-90 laps.

Kudos to SpeedTV's Krista Voda for a very entertaining and wacky Set-Up Show on top of Monument Hill.

From the drop of green, it was a very entertaining race, with Harvick leading the first lap by a nose over Sauter.

But Sauter would battle his way back to the lead, which saw Harvick fall back to third on Lap Four as Busch would pass him for second on the high-side.

Harvick was already fighting a loose condition, while battling Almirola to hang onto third and would get side by side with Almirola.

Coming out of turn four on Lap Eight, Harvick spun after getting into oil and bouncing off of Almirola.

It would bring out the first caution, while Harvick thought Busch was leaking oil on the track. Harvick came to pit road, took a splash of fuel and to pull the sheet metal out.

SpeedTV showed it may have come from Jamie Dick in the No. 08 VIVA Auto Group/Inventory Sales Co. Chevrolet, who had smoke coming out of his truck.

Sauter took the green on the restart on Lap 13, but Busch made quick work passing him for the lead.

NASCAR would warn Busch to stay off the bumpers, as he used his to get Sauter loose for the lead.

By Lap 23, Busch held a half-second lead on Sauter in second and Hornaday in third was 1.5 seconds back.

After 27 Laps, the top five was; Busch leading by 0.686 seconds, Sauter is second, Hornaday is third, Crafton is fourth and Almirola fifth.

The second caution came out on Lap 34, for Brad Sweet in the No. 90 Great Clips Toyota getting loose in turn three and spinning down into the infield.

Once pit road opened on Lap 35, everyone came down pit road making the first of two stops. While the majority made two stops, for tires and fuel, a few took just made one stop for fuel.

Points leader Hornaday would be penalized by NASCAR as they started fueling without the catch can in place and would restart at the tailend of the lead lap.

They had pitted for just fuel, but due to the penalty they would make a second for tires and would restart 21st.

On the Lap 39 restart, Busch took the green with Braun in second pressuring him for the lead. But with Almirola in third, side by side with Braun coming into turn three, Busch was able to get away.

On Lap 44, Almirola, running in second, blew by Busch for the lead and pulled away from him. While Busch took just fuel, Almirola took tires and fuel on the first pit stop.

By Lap 47, Almirola held a 1.783 second lead on Busch in second. Harvick has recovered from his early miscue and is running seventh and Hornaday was running in 17th.

On Lap 48, Harvick made it to fourth, as he passed both Sauter and Crafton coming out of turn two and he just blew by the two on the low-side.

After 52 Laps, the top five was; Almirola leading, Busch second, Harvick third, Sauter fourth and Braun fifth. Hornaday was 16th at the time.

On Lap 59, T.J. Bell in the No. 11 Fueled by Fans Toyota in 14th, and David Starr in the No. 24 Zachry Toyota made slight contact.

With Starr getting loose right in front of Hornaday in 16th, and the wily veteran just passed him on the bottom.

By Lap 63, Almirola would lead by 3.3 seconds on Busch in second, and Harvick in third is four seconds back.

On Lap 68, while Almirola lead, Busch in second had Harvick in third are racing side by side for the position.

Harvick would get second on Lap 70 as he pass Busch with Sauter on his bumper took third from Busch and dropped him to fourth.

At the halfway point on Lap 75, Almirola had a 3.952-second lead on Harvick in second.

Meanwhile, the championship contenders were Crafton running in fifth, while Hornaday was 14th and picking off positions pretty fast.

After 81 Laps, the top five was; Almirola leads, Harvick second, Sauters third, Busch fourth, and Crafton fifth.

By Lap 88, Almirola lead Harvick in second by three seconds but a hard-charging Hornaday made his way into the top 10 by passing Stacy Compton in the No. 60 SafeAuto Insurance Toyota for 10th.

The third caution came out on Lap 91, for Wheeler Boys in the No. 50 USANA Health Sciences Dodge slowed stalling on the track.

Bell was the Aaron's Lucky Dog winner under this caution.

Everyone came to pit road when the pits open on Lap 92, making the first of two stops, first for tires and then for fuel.

While Almirola held the lead through two stops, the big winner was Hornaday who's pit crew made two flawless stops and got him out ahead of Crafton after pit stops in seventh.

While Crafton had the misfortune of losing a lug nut on his second stop for tires and fell back to eighth.

On Lap 96 restart, Almirola takes the green with Harvick hot on his heels and going into turn three Harvick would pass him for the lead on the low-side.

On Lap 98, Harvick would lead, but Busch in third would pass teammate Almirola for second on the high-side.

But on Lap 101, Almirola would re-pass Busch for second, with the two battling Harvick has over a second lead on the teammates.

Meanwhile, Hornaday would pass Starr for fifth place, while Crafton was running in ninth.

On Lap 113, Harvick leads, but Colin Braun slows with a ignition problem and even switching ignition boxes didn't help the problem.

On Lap 116, Harvick would lead by 1.190 seconds on Almirola in second and Hornaday picks up fourth by passing Bliss.

By Lap 119, Harvick leads by 2.011 seconds, while the championship contenders Hornaday was fourth and Crafton was eighth.

The fourth caution comes out on Lap 123, for Tim George Jr. in the No. 22 RCR 40th Anniversary Chevrolet spins out and has contact with the wall.

Timothy Peters in the No. 17 Strutmasters.com Toyota was the Aaron's Lucky Dog award winner under this caution.

When pit road opened on Lap 124, Todd Bodine in the No. 30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota and Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar/International Ford were the only takers on pit road.

On the Lap 127 restart, Harvick takes the green gets a great start on Almirola and coming out of turn two he had a half second lead.

On Lap 128, Harvick continues to pull away, while Busch passes Almirola for second.

After 131 Laps, the top five was; Harvick leads, Busch second, Almirola third, Hornaday fourth and Sauter fifth.

The fifth caution comes out on Lap 136, for Kevin Conway in the No. 71 Extenze Racing Chevrolet got into the wall after contact with Crafton.

Speed TV would let us know that the top five, under caution on Lap 138 was; Harvick leading, Busch second, Almirola third, Hornaday fourth and Sautter fifth all started the race as the top five.

On the Lap 140 restart, Harvick would take the green with Busch hot on his heels and try first low then high to get past the leader.

But a lap later, Harvick had pulled out on Busch in second by six truck length and was running faster than Busch.

On Lap 143, Harvick continues to lead by 0.525 seconds on Busch in second.

The sixth caution comes out on Lap 145, for James Buescher in the No. 10 Maxx Force International Diesel Ford gets loose passing a truck and crashes into the wall between turns three and four.

This sets up the sixth green/white/checkers of the season and the 81st in the Truck Series history.

On the 149 restart, Harvick took the green perfectly gets a good start on Busch by a couple of truck length and Busch can't catch back up.

On Lap 150, Harvick takes the white flag he continues to pull away with Busch second on the high-side trying to catch him.

But as they came out of turn two, the seventh caution comes out for Tayler Malsam in the No. 81 One-Eighty Toyota spinning out and wrecking into the wall.

Harvick would win the Lucas Oil 150 under caution, picking up his second win of the season and in five races, he's finished in the top five.

Ron Hornaday would take care of business finishing ahead of Matt Crafton to pick up his fourth Championship and its oldest champion at 51 years young.

Hornaday for the second time in the 2009 season puts his name with NASCAR's elite as he joins Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon as the only drivers with fourth titles.

It's been an amazing season for Hornaday, who has been Mr. Consistency racing who he needs to, has run no worse than 26th, won five races in a row, and picked up the Third Quarter Driver of the Year.

It's just awesome to see the wily veteran pick up his fourth title, especially with the amazing season Horn, Ren, and the No. 33 team put together and it makes it all extra special that the VFW was on-board at Phoenix as sponsor.

Both Hornaday and Ren dedicated it to the veterans, those fallen at Fort Hood and those currently servicing in the armed forces.

And oh I can't forget Delana and Kevin Harvick.

Like any true champion, Hornaday has unfinished business heading into Homestead as he still will be vying for the owners championship with Busch.

All he needs to is run like he did at Phoenix; it doesn't matter if Busch wins, with Hornaday in second. Also, let's not forget he shown something this season that cost him in 2008 and that's being consistent.

Kyle Busch finished second, he led 30 laps tonight and picked up 15 points in the owner championship.

Aric Almirola finished third, led 52 laps, ran a excellent race and was so close to his first win.

Johnny Sauter finished fifth, led 11 laps, ran a really good race and picked up two positions in the points.

Sixth through 10th were; Mike Skinner, Mike Bliss, Matt Crafton, David Starr, and Stacy Compton.

The season finale is on Nov. 20: Ford 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Speed at 7:30PM the Set-Up Show and 8:00PM Race Time (Friday).

Ron Hornaday, while he won the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at Phoenix, he will officially receive the trophy at Homestead.

In the owner points championship, Horn leads Busch by 60 points. One thing in Horn's favor is in the 14 year history of the Truck Series, the driver and owners titles have always been won by whoever won the driver's title.

Author's note: This race recap was solely based on my race notes and any mistakes are my own.

Photo Credit: sports.yahoo.com

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