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Hornaday beats Bowyer in Atlanta

NASCAR Truck Series
Saturday, September 03, 2011

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Ron Hornaday Jr.
Getty Images for NASCAR
Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet won Friday night's Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but it wasn't the KHI truck that dominated the proceedings.

Ron Hornaday Jr. stole a win with fuel-mileage strategy in the Good Sam Club 200, beating teammate-for-a day Clint Bowyer to the finish line by 1.596 seconds to win his second race of the season and the 49th of his career.

The four-time series champion stopped for fuel on Lap 75 of 130 and immediately began saving gas. Bowyer, who was the class of the field, had to stop for fuel on Lap 112. Kyle Busch ran third, followed by Blake Feese and Ryan Newman. Austin Dillon, Matt Crafton, pole-sitter Ricky Carmichael, Todd Bodine and James Buescher rounded out the top 10.

KHI won its fourth consecutive Truck race. In the previous three, owner Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in the No. 2 Chevy.

Hornaday won the race despite damaging the No. 33 soon after the race began.

"At the start of the race somebody checked up, and I went to the right and I got the front fender in," said Hornaday, who entered the race an uncharacteristic ninth in the series standings. "We just kept on taping it up.

"I told [the crew], 'We don't have the best truck, but we can win by fuel mileage,' and [crew chief] Jeff [Hensley] made that call right there. ... I'll take 'em any way I can get 'em. That's cool. Everything's gone wrong the whole year, so something's got to go right at least once."

No other truck in the field was a match for Bowyer's Chevrolet. By the time the first caution flag flew on Lap 19, after the engine in Cole Whitt's No. 60 Chevy blew, Bowyer had built a lead of 4.869 seconds.

A side-by-side battle against Busch punctuated the middle portion of the event and carried through a cascade of three cautions in the space of 19 laps. After the third of the three yellows, for Timothy Peters' spin in Turn 4 on Lap 77, Bowyer again pulled away after a restart on Lap 82.

By Lap 110, his lead over Busch had grown to 6.239 seconds, with Newman almost seven seconds back in third. Busch brought his No. 18 Toyota to the pits for fuel and tires on Lap 111, with Bowyer following on Lap 112 to offset any advantage Busch might have gained on new tires.

Though Bowyer led 97 laps, he came about one lap short as he pursued Hornaday after the final pit stop.

"I got beat by a guy who snookered me," Bowyer said. "He played a better poker hand than I did."

Johnny Sauter, the points leader entering the race, had a succession of problems that started with side-to-side contact with the No. 8 of Nelson Piquet Jr. Sauter blew a left rear tire and smacked the Turn 2 wall on Lap 58, causing the third caution.

Sauter finished 29th, 22 laps down and handed the series lead to Buescher, whose margin over Sauter is 12 points. Hornaday climbed to fifth in points, 48 behind Buescher.

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 17 33 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet Armour / Ingles 47/4 130 Running
2 2 2 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Bad Boy Buggies 0 130 Running
3 6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Dollar General 0 130 Running
4 27 32 Blake Feese Chevrolet AccuDoc Solutions 40/0 130 Running
5 5 108 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Brandt / Realtree 0 130 Running
6 8 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 39/1 130 Running
7 7 88 Matt Crafton Chevrolet Zecol / Menards 37/0 130 Running
8 1 4 Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet Monster Energy 36/0 130 Running
9 19 5 Todd Bodine Toyota NTB / Service Central 35/0 130 Running
10 3 31 James Buescher Chevrolet Exide Batteries 34/0 130 Running
11 28 63 Jack Smith Ford Seal Wrap 33/0 130 Running
12 4 29 Parker Kligerman * Dodge Penske Truck Rental 32/0 130 Running
13 20 22 Joey Coulter * Chevrolet Darrell Gwynn Foundation / RCR Graphics Center 31/0 130 Running
14 18 9 Max Papis Toyota GEICO 30/0 130 Running
15 26 39 Ryan Sieg Chevrolet S&W Services 29/0 129 Running
16 10 17 Timothy Peters Toyota Red Horse Racing 28/0 129 Running
17 21 81 David Starr Toyota Zachry 27/0 129 Running
18 25 62 Brendan Gaughan Toyota South Point Hotel & Casino 26/0 129 Running
19 15 51 Colin Braun Ford Bullet Liner 25/0 129 Running
20 16 8 Nelson Piquet Jr. * Chevrolet Qualcomm / Autotrac 24/0 129 Running
21 9 151 Josh Richards Toyota Joy Mining Machinery 23/0 128 Running
22 13 7 Miguel Paludo * Toyota Stemco / Duroline 22/0 128 Running
23 31 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Ford Hip Chix Fundraisers.com 0 127 Running
24 35 66 Chris Cockrum Chevrolet Advanced Communication-s Group / Accu-Tech 20/0 126 Running
25 23 23 Jason White Chevrolet GunBroker.com 19/0 125 Running
26 22 6 Justin Lofton Toyota CollegeComplete.com 18/0 124 Running
27 32 84 Chris Fontaine Chevrolet Glenden Enterprises / Stingray Chevrolet 0 123 Running
28 24 98 Justin Marks Chevrolet GoPro 16/0 116 Running
29 12 13 Johnny Sauter Chevrolet SafeAuto Insurance Co. / Curb Records 15/0 108 Running
30 29 178 B.J. McLeod Chevrolet Boggy Creek Airboat Rides 0 37 Accident
31 14 20 Johanna Long * Toyota Panhandle Grading and Paving 13/0 36 Accident
32 11 60 Cole Whitt * Chevrolet Fuel Doctor / Red Bull 12/0 19 Engine
33 36 109 Charles Vest Ford Rockingham Speedway 11/0 14 Overheating
34 34 07 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet Bobber.info 0 8 Transmission
35 30 138 Mike Garvey Chevrolet S&W Services 0 7 Overheating
36 33 93 Dennis Setzer Chevrolet S&W Services 0 6 Brakes

* Denotes Rookie

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