Hornaday Jr. wins Kentucky 225 in NASCAR Truck Series

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SPARTA, Ky. — Ron Hornaday Jr. scored his 50th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory, his third series win at Kentucky Speedway through eight starts and third this season in Saturday’s “Kentucky 225.”

The 14-year NCWTS veteran and his No. 2 Hollywood Casino Chevrolet crossed the finish line 0.438 of a second ahead of Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon and his No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet in the fifth-closest series finish through 13 all-time events at the track.

Crew chief Bruce Cook successfully navigated Hornaday Jr., through seven caution periods that covered 36 race laps and made a stellar race-winning call when he brought the No. 2 truck to pit road on Lap 134.

Hornaday Jr. rejoined the 225-mile battle and assumed the race lead for a fourth and final time just six laps later when Dillon, the race pole sitter, dove his truck to the pit road.

Dillon exited the pits and mounted a furious charge toward the front, but the savvy Hornaday, Jr., expertly managed his truck’s fuel mileage through the closing 11 race laps and captured the checkered flag along with his 10th top-five and 14th top-10 finish through 20 races this season. He ended the night with a race-best 42 laps led.

“They ask, ‘what’s your favorite track?’ I tell them the ones where I win. I’ve won three at Kentucky, so this is my most favorite right now. To see the fans come out, as cold as it is, to see what we accomplished tonight, that’s pretty awesome.”

Speedway officials said the temperature at the start of Saturday’s race was 48 degrees Farenheit, the coldest on record at Kentucky Speedway. The previous coldest starting temperature was 55 degrees for a May 13, 2006 ARCA Racing Series event.

Dillon delivered his third consecutive and eighth top-five finish of the season while raising his season top-10 finish total to 12. He extended his series championship lead from two to three points ahead of James Buescher, who placed third in the No. 31 Exide Chevrolet. Nelson Piquet, Jr., who led three times for 40 laps in the race, took fourth in the No. 8 Autotrac/ Qualcomm Chevrolet and Brian Ickler rounded the race top five in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

There were 18 lead changes and 11 different leaders during the course of the event.