Hornaday Jr. Wins Pole for Mountain Dew 250 Fueled by Fred's
After 271 starts, 47 victories and four championships in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, there are not too many things left for Ron Hornaday Jr. to accomplish.
But Hornaday did achieve a career first at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday. He won the pole position for Saturday’s running of the Mountain Dew 250 Fueled by Fred’s, the first Talladega pole of his lengthy career. And now he will attempt to win a race at Talladega for the first time, another accomplishment that has eluded him over the years.
“People say that Ron Hornaday is a short-track driver, and to come to Talladega and sit on the pole is so cool,” Hornaday said with a grin. “There are only four tracks I haven’t won at, and Talladega is one of them. I want to get that off my check list, just like I got this one off my list with the pole here. It’s pretty awesome.”
Under a beautiful blue sky, Hornaday picked up his third pole of the season with a fast lap of 181.230 mph. That was just quick enough to edge Jason White, who qualified second with a run of 180.911.
“It’s kind of a bummer we didn’t get the pole, but second place is a great place to be,” said White, who captured the pole at Daytona International Speedway to start the season. “We’re excited about the race.”
Austin Dillon qualified third with a speed of 180.877. Hornaday’s teammate at Kevin Harvick Inc., Ken Schrader, will start fourth after a qualifying run of 180.860.
“Schrader was doing qualifying runs while we were doing race runs, and then we combined our notes and it made both trucks go faster,” Hornaday said. “This is what teammates are all about. It’s an example of what KHI does to get these guys to work together and build great trucks.”
Aric Almirola, who finished second in last year’s Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, qualified fifth, followed by Chris Fontaine in sixth, Ricky Carmichael seventh, Johnny Sauter eighth, James Buescher ninth and Truck Series points leader Todd Bodine 10th.
Grant Enfinger, a native of Fairhope, Ala., qualified 12th, while Mike Harmon of Birmingport, Ala. will start 30th. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Busch, who won last year’s Mountain Dew 250, qualified 18th.
In addition to capturing the first Talladega pole of his career, Hornaday also became the first Chevrolet driver to win a Truck Series pole at a superspeedway. Combine all that with the fact that Hornaday won last week’s Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway, and the 52-year-old driver was feeling positively giddy late Friday afternoon.
“This is just unbelievable,” Hornaday said. “I’m 52 years old and I feel great. I feel like a little kid. I’m having a blast right now.”
The Mountain Dew 250 Fueled by Fred’s is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Saturday. It will be preceded at 11:15 a.m. by Foodland/Food Giant NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for Sunday’s running of the AMP Energy Juice 500.
This weekend dreams will be made, and broken, at Talladega Superspeedway.
Jamie McMurray, a non-Chase driver, shocked the crowd by winning the 2009 AMP Energy Juice 500. Can another upset be in the making? Don’t miss the wild card in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. NASCAR action kicks off with the Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Oct. 30 and continues with Race Number Seven in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the AMP Energy Juice 500, Oct. 31. To experience it all, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.