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Ron Hornaday Preseason Thunder Q&A

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Q: WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING DURING THE SHORT OFF SEASON?
Ron Hornaday: "You know my wife has been keeping me busy, she bought a new antique store and she's had me sanding floors and stuff. Kevin (Harvick) keeps saying I need to come up to the shop for a meeting, I said I would be glad to, although I haven't been up to the shop as much as I should have. Q: HOW IS IT GOING ON THE TRACK SO FAR THIS MORNING?
Ron Hornaday: "We've already had our problems this morning, we got started off late. We had a water line get cut by the oil pump belt, so we've only made three laps and we are pretty happy with what we've seen so far. NASCAR's done another awesome job with the side windows and everything they do to make these things safe. Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HOW YOU ENDED THE 2005 SEASON?
Ron Hornaday: "Fourth sucks, so we aren't going to do that again. We ran good all year, the points just didn't fall where we wanted. Todd Bodine seemed to pick up the last four or five races there and passed us in the point standings. We are defiantly focused this year; we have a new crew chief, Chris Rice, and basically a whole new team. I think "Howie" and "Turbo" are the only two left from last year. The guys don't know what to expect this year, so they are going to try some different things, I think we are going to put some Busch stuff in the truck this year to try and figure out what we got to do. "Wally (Rogers, crew chief in 2005, now moved to KHI Busch team) tried about everything you could on the truck, and what NASCAR would let us get by with. At one point we had a truck that looked like it got wrapped around a telephone pole and that doesn't work, but we've gone back to basic stuff. Gene (Nead) is down here, and some of the guys from the fab stop to see what the other trucks are doing, the other manufactures. The other trucks got a new bottom half, so we are trying to keep an eye on what they are doing down here. Q: WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS SEASON?
Ron Hornaday: "Chris brings a different attitude to the truck team, he's a smiley happy guys. The guys and him worked till four in the morning to get the second truck ready to come down here. All these young kids are fired up to go racing, so it's going to be fun. We just have to keep focused and Wally had some great notes from last year, so we will just do what we have to do. Q: IS THIS THE NEWER, GENTLER RON HORNADAY?
Ron Hornaday: "Ten years ago you probably would have heard a lot more from me, calling a lot of people names and doing a lot of different things. But, racing is weird, you have to take the good with the bad and last year we took a lot of bad so hopefully we can get some good luck our way this year. We've already had our problems, so hopefully we can get them over quick and we've learned from our mistakes. With our team, Kevin and Delana have put some awesome people behind us, so we are do what we have to get it done. "Out of the truck, I guess you could say it's a kindler gentler Ron Hornaday. I'm back down to my fighting weight and I'll do what I gotta do. I'm not holding back. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS OF LOSING JIMMY SMITH AND ULTRA MOTORSPORTS FROM THE SERIES?
Ron Hornaday: "The bad part is that my kid was one of the ones to get fired first. I knew which way it was going, but he's got a great opportunity with Evernham over here. Jimmy (Smith) knew what he was doing; he put a lot of his money into this series. His kids are getting big enough that he can enjoy them, he bought a new boat and he's probably better off now what he's doing having fun. Q: WHY IS IT DIFFICULT FOR TEAMS TO GET SPONSORS FOR TRUCK TEAMS?
Ron Hornaday: "I don't know, here you have an awesome team with Kevin Harvick and some great guys and a guy whose won a couple of championships. I think it's that you can't get off Wednesday and Friday nights to take their corporate people to the track. Saturdays and Sundays seem to be easy to get everyone to the track and see a race. I guess we just need to get back on primetime on Saturday afternoons before the Busch races. I don't know the answer but I'm having fun driving. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE COMPETITION IN THE TRUCK SERIES?
Ron Hornaday: "Competition has gotten so good, now with these other manufactures coming in the Truck Series has changed. I remember back on the first day that they started, we had five pounds of lift instead of down force and now these trucks are almost making 1900 pounds of down force. It's come a long ways. It's all come down to motors now and who can build the best bodies, and I think it's that way in all three series. The competition level is really really high, before you had guys trying to make a name for themselves and now you have guys who have already made a name for themselves coming back and all they want to do is win trophies and take the money home. Q: HOW HAVE YOU MATURED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE NCTS?
Ron Hornaday: "I've gotten older, grayer. The series is all about tough trucks. The different venue tracks we are going to it doesn't show that, we have to keep the fenders on the truck, so that's not as much beating and banging. We go to these short tracks, Martinsville and tracks like that and it goes back to where these trucks are tough and known who to race and not to race. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT TOYOTA?
Ron Hornaday: "The Chevrolets are great aren't they? It takes all the manufactures in the series to make each other better, now that there are other manufactures in here besides Chevrolet, it's made us step up our program, and when they go into Cup is going to do the same thing. Everyone thinks they are at the top of their game and another manufacture comes in and you have to step up your game. It's like when a Cup driver goes to Busch or a Busch driver comes to race a truck; and they beat you, you have to figure out what they are doing so you can beat them." Q: WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING DURING THE SHORT OFF SEASON?
Ron Hornaday: "You know my wife has been keeping me busy, she bought a new antique store and she's had me sanding floors and stuff. Kevin (Harvick) keeps saying I need to come up to the shop for a meeting, I said I would be glad to, although I haven't been up to the shop as much as I should have. Q: HOW IS IT GOING ON THE TRACK SO FAR THIS MORNING?
Ron Hornaday: "We've already had our problems this morning, we got started off late. We had a water line get cut by the oil pump belt, so we've only made three laps and we are pretty happy with what we've seen so far. NASCAR's done another awesome job with the side windows and everything they do to make these things safe. Q: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HOW YOU ENDED THE 2005 SEASON?
Ron Hornaday: "Fourth sucks, so we aren't going to do that again. We ran good all year, the points just didn't fall where we wanted. Todd Bodine seemed to pick up the last four or five races there and passed us in the point standings. We are defiantly focused this year; we have a new crew chief, Chris Rice, and basically a whole new team. I think "Howie" and "Turbo" are the only two left from last year. The guys don't know what to expect this year, so they are going to try some different things, I think we are going to put some Busch stuff in the truck this year to try and figure out what we got to do. "Wally (Rogers, crew chief in 2005, now moved to KHI Busch team) tried about everything you could on the truck, and what NASCAR would let us get by with. At one point we had a truck that looked like it got wrapped around a telephone pole and that doesn't work, but we've gone back to basic stuff. Gene (Nead) is down here, and some of the guys from the fab stop to see what the other trucks are doing, the other manufactures. The other trucks got a new bottom half, so we are trying to keep an eye on what they are doing down here. Q: WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS SEASON?
Ron Hornaday: "Chris brings a different attitude to the truck team, he's a smiley happy guys. The guys and him worked till four in the morning to get the second truck ready to come down here. All these young kids are fired up to go racing, so it's going to be fun. We just have to keep focused and Wally had some great notes from last year, so we will just do what we have to do. Q: IS THIS THE NEWER, GENTLER RON HORNADAY?
Ron Hornaday: "Ten years ago you probably would have heard a lot more from me, calling a lot of people names and doing a lot of different things. But, racing is weird, you have to take the good with the bad and last year we took a lot of bad so hopefully we can get some good luck our way this year. We've already had our problems, so hopefully we can get them over quick and we've learned from our mistakes. With our team, Kevin and Delana have put some awesome people behind us, so we are do what we have to get it done. "Out of the truck, I guess you could say it's a kindler gentler Ron Hornaday. I'm back down to my fighting weight and I'll do what I gotta do. I'm not holding back. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS OF LOSING JIMMY SMITH AND ULTRA MOTORSPORTS FROM THE SERIES?
Ron Hornaday: "The bad part is that my kid was one of the ones to get fired first. I knew which way it was going, but he's got a great opportunity with Evernham over here. Jimmy (Smith) knew what he was doing; he put a lot of his money into this series. His kids are getting big enough that he can enjoy them, he bought a new boat and he's probably better off now what he's doing having fun. Q: WHY IS IT DIFFICULT FOR TEAMS TO GET SPONSORS FOR TRUCK TEAMS?
Ron Hornaday: "I don't know, here you have an awesome team with Kevin Harvick and some great guys and a guy whose won a couple of championships. I think it's that you can't get off Wednesday and Friday nights to take their corporate people to the track. Saturdays and Sundays seem to be easy to get everyone to the track and see a race. I guess we just need to get back on primetime on Saturday afternoons before the Busch races. I don't know the answer but I'm having fun driving. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE COMPETITION IN THE TRUCK SERIES?
Ron Hornaday: "Competition has gotten so good, now with these other manufactures coming in the Truck Series has changed. I remember back on the first day that they started, we had five pounds of lift instead of down force and now these trucks are almost making 1900 pounds of down force. It's come a long ways. It's all come down to motors now and who can build the best bodies, and I think it's that way in all three series. The competition level is really really high, before you had guys trying to make a name for themselves and now you have guys who have already made a name for themselves coming back and all they want to do is win trophies and take the money home. Q: HOW HAVE YOU MATURED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE NCTS?
Ron Hornaday: "I've gotten older, grayer. The series is all about tough trucks. The different venue tracks we are going to it doesn't show that, we have to keep the fenders on the truck, so that's not as much beating and banging. We go to these short tracks, Martinsville and tracks like that and it goes back to where these trucks are tough and known who to race and not to race. Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT TOYOTA?
Ron Hornaday: "The Chevrolets are great aren't they? It takes all the manufactures in the series to make each other better, now that there are other manufactures in here besides Chevrolet, it's made us step up our program, and when they go into Cup is going to do the same thing. Everyone thinks they are at the top of their game and another manufacture comes in and you have to step up your game. It's like when a Cup driver goes to Busch or a Busch driver comes to race a truck; and they beat you, you have to figure out what they are doing so you can beat them."

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