Hornaday Leaves Daytona with Fifth Place Finish
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) began its 2014 season on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The weekend began with three practice sessions, one on Wednesday afternoon and the final two on Thursday. Hornaday and the No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Chevy Silverado completed the first practice session in the second position, something that would prove worthwhile come raceday due to unfortunate weather. With qualifying was rained out for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday afternoon, NASCAR set the field based on the trucks with the best practice times throughout the race weekend, placing Hornaday in the second position for the night's race. After running in and around the top five for most of the event, Hornaday finished the night in the fifth position for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM).
The green flag flew for the first race of the NCWTS season at DIS on Friday evening. After starting in the second position, the 55-year-old veteran quickly settled into the second position, following behind as his rookie TSM teammate Ben Kennedy paced the field around the World Center of Racing. Hornaday remained in the second position throughout two separate pit stops, the first coming when NASCAR threw the competition caution on lap 20 due to the amount of rainfall that occurred at the speedway during the day. After making a fuel-only stop, Hornaday moved back into the second position after green-flag racing resumed on lap 25, following behind Kennedy once again. The second caution came on lap 52. Hornaday was still cruising, holding strong in the second position throughout the team's second green-flag run. During the second caution, crew chief Shane Huffman brought Hornaday to the attention of the crew, and they put two cans of Sunoco racing fuel in the truck while changing right-side tires. Following a quick stop, Hornaday came out of the pits in second position.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 57 and Hornaday was able to remain inside the top five after getting down to the inside line of the racetrack and working with TSM teammate Ryan Truex. This was one of the first portions of the event where the outside line challenged Hornaday and the other competitors who were working the bottom of the racetrack. However, by lap 65, Hornaday settled into the third position with Truex directly behind him. The TSM teammates were content to ride on the bottom line, trying to continue to log laps and waiting to make their final pit stop of the race. This continued until the third caution of the night waved on lap 75 and Huffman immediately told Hornaday to save fuel inside his No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. The team made their final pit stop on lap 77, taking only fuel to maintain crucial position on the track. When green-flag racing resumed, Hornaday lost a couple positions trying to make the top line work. He continued working the top line until the final caution of the race came out on lap 87. This was a quick yellow flag, and when racing resumed, Hornaday restarted in the sixth position, which at the time was the furthest back in the field the No. 30 truck had been. Hornaday and his TSM teammate Ben Kennedy looked to make the high line work, however, there weren't enough trucks directly behind the two machines. By lap 90, Hornaday had fallen to the 14th position and decided to go to work to make up the positions lost. The final 10 laps saw Hornaday pushing Truex as they worked the outside line, and the two were able to gain some great momentum. By lap 96, Hornaday was back into the top five and looked to challenge for the race win. When the checkered flag flew, Hornaday came home with a fifth-place finish. This was his second top-five finish with TSM in two starts. Hornaday currently sits third in the NCWTS Driver Point standings following Daytona.
"Overall, it was a good night at Daytona. I can't thank Turner Scott Motorsports and Rheem Comfort Products enough for all their support and allowing me to come out and race here tonight," said Hornaday. "I think we had a great plan in place, and I really enjoyed working with my Turner Scott Motorsports teammates Ryan Truex and Ben Kennedy. I have to thank Shane Huffman and the whole No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Chevy Silverado team; they gave me a great truck that allowed me compete for the win."
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