Ron Hornaday Honored by Hometown for NASCAR Prowess

Mary Jo BuchananSenior Writer IApril 8, 2010

LEBANON, TN - APRIL 02:  Ron Hornaday jr., driver of the #33 Longhorn Chevrolet looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Nashville 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on April 2, 2010 in Lebanon, Tennessee.  (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images for NASCAR)
John Sommers II/Getty Images

Four-time NASCAR Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday will get his own day and way as he triumphantly returns to his hometown.  Hornaday’s hometown of Palmdale, California has declared April 8th as "Ron Hornaday Day".

The City of Palmdale will also honor the Kevin Harvick, Inc. driver by renaming all access roads to the Antelope Valley Auto Center as “Ron Hornaday Way.”

In his typically low-key style, Hornaday said that he was “pretty excited about the whole deal.”  Hornaday, who grew up in and around the Palmdale area, will also be presented a key to the city.

“I always love going back home,” Hornaday said.  “To have five entrances (to the speedway) named after you is quite an honor.”

“I’ve made a great living as a race car driver and I owe a lot to Palmdale and the people here,” Hornaday continued.  “Palmdale is where I met my wife and where we had our kids, so it will always be home to Lindy and me.”

Returning to his hometown also brought back memories for Hornaday of his start in NASCAR.  “I was just fortunate to get a call from Dale (Earnhardt) in 1995 and have the opportunity to move east,” Hornaday said.  “I have been very lucky to work for a lot of great people in this industry and had the privilege of helping some fellow Californians out.”

Hornaday was no doubt referring to his friend and now Truck team owner Kevin Harvick, who credits Hornaday with taking him under his wing as Harvick, a California native, started his racing career. 

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“It’s really cool that Kevin is right down the road in Bakersfield,” Hornaday said.  “We are now an entire West Coast family at KHI on the East Coast.”

The head of the family Kevin Harvick could not be more proud of Hornaday as well.  “Ron has had the opportunity to do a lot of things in his life,” Harvick said.  “He has raced with some of the greatest drivers, won championships, and had a lot of fun along the way.”

“I’m really proud of Ron for his accomplishments and grateful for his friendship,” Harvick continued.  “I’m glad that Palmdale is honoring him in such a fitting way.”

“Ron has made lots of trips in and out of Auto Care and now everyone will remember him for years to come,” Harvick said.  “It is a good way for Ron to leave a legacy in Palmdale.”

KHI General Manager, Rick Carelli agrees with his team owner.  He believes strongly that his driver Hornaday is “one of a kind.”

“I think it’s really cool that Palmdale is honoring Ron,” Carelli said.  “Who would have ever thought that a kid who races week in and week out at Saugus (California) Speedway would move into one of NASCAR’s National Touring divisions and do as well as Ron has.”

“He absolutely deserves any accolades that are given to him,” Carelli said.  “I count Ron as one of the best drivers I know and he’s a pretty good friend too.”

The festivities to honor Hornaday will get underway at the Antelope Valley Auto Center at 1:00 PM PST on April 8th .  The ceremony is open to the public.

“I know there are quite a few people who have been trying to make this happen for a few years,” Hornaday said.  “So I just want to thank all of them.”