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A down home tailgate party in the Music City

by Dave Grayson
Wednesday, August 04, 2010

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Ron Hornaday Jr. won a guitar last year
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be taking their tailgate party on the road to Music City USA for 200 miles of concrete oval racing at the Nashville Super Speedway this Saturday night. Awaiting the winner, at the conclusion of the Nashville 200, will be one of the most unique trophies in all of racing. It's a beautiful custom painted Gibson guitar worthy of the reputation of Music City USA.

THE STORY BREAKDOWN

Todd Bodine will be looking to pad his series points lead Saturday night. The driver of the #30 Germain Racing Toyota currently holds a 149 point advantage over Aric Almirola the driver of the #51 Toyota for Billy Ballew Motorsports.

But it’s the determination of four time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr that we all need to be watching Saturday night. Hornaday endured an up and down season, riddled with bad racing luck, before finally winning his first race of 2010 two weeks ago at the O'Reilly Raceway Park. That all important win elevated him to a tie for fourth in the standings.

However disaster struck again for Hornaday last weekend at Pocono when he got caught up in a late race crash following contact from another truck. His latest 2010 DNF dropped him back to seventh in the championship standings and 268 points behind Todd Bodine. If Hornaday is going to reactivate his drive for five championship run the process is going to have to start Saturday night. He will be driving a brand new Chevrolet truck, prepared by Kevin Harvick Inc, with sponsorship from Purina and Beneful.

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When it comes to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships, the real battle is likely going to be found within the series' owner's title. Going into Saturday night's race at Nashville, DeLana Harvick, of Kevin Harvick Inc, holds a skin tight two point lead over Kyle Busch Motorsports in a battle that could go all the way to the final race of the season in November.

Also very interesting is the fact that the two teams involved in this championship has used a rotation of four drivers each to accumulate their championship points. NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader is scheduled to drive the #2 Harvick truck Saturday night at Nashville while up and coming development driver Brian Ickler will represent Busch in the #18 truck.

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Speaking of impressive team owner's statistics, NASCAR's Resource Department recently issued some numbers that says DeLana Harvick is now the winningest active team owner in the Camping World Truck Series and is third overall in series history. Kevin Harvick Inc was created in 2001 and joined the truck series full time in 2002. They won their first series race that same year in only their sixth start.

Since that time the organization has won 31 races. But it was the 2005 season where Kevin Harvick Inc really caught fire. 29 of their series wins has occurred since the start of the 2005 season. They've also won two titles, with driver Ron Hornaday Jr, in 2007 and again in 2009.

Kevin Harvick Inc can also claim that they are the only organization in the series who, on two different occasions, has won three consecutive races with three different drivers. The first time was back in 2008 when Ryan Newman, Ron Hornaday Jr and Kevin Harvick were the winners. The organization repeated the feat in recent weeks with wins from Harvick, Hornaday and last weekend's win by Elliot Sadler at Pocono.

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THE RACE BREAKDOWN

The Nashville 200 is 150 laps/200 miles around the Nashville Super Speedway's 1.333 mile oval.

The race has 35 entries, for a potential 36 truck field, meaning all drivers and teams will have a starting berth.

The unique aspect for this race is the fact that the Nashville Super Speedway is a concrete based oval. Track conditions such as tire grip and track temperature often do not change that much during the course of a race on concrete. That means crew chiefs will be anxious to get their needed car adjustments right the first time while it's still early in the race.

Chevrolet leads the series' manufacturer's standings so far in 2010 with seven wins. However, Toyota is right behind the bow tie brigade with their six wins. That competition could result in a tie by the end of the race Saturday night. When it comes to NASCAR truck racing at the Nashville Super Speedway, Toyota has won there four times to Chevrolet's two wins.

The Nashville 200 will be broadcast live by the SPEED Channel beginning at 830 pm eastern time.

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