Championship contender Ron Hornaday Jr. was knocked out of the NASCAR Truck Series race Friday night when Kyle Busch retaliated by pushing the four-time champion into the wall.
Only 15 laps into the race at Texas Motor Speedway, Hornaday and Busch made contact when trying to go three-wide around a slower truck. Both brushed the wall before the caution flag came out.
”We just touched a little bit, I guess. I don’t know,” Hornaday said. ”He knows we’re going for a points deal. This is just stupid. He knew what I was going for. He knew I was there. … He just drove me into the fence.”
Busch got behind Hornaday, and kept pushing until the No. 33 truck wound up in the wall. Busch’s truck also was damaged heavily, and NASCAR parked him for the race with possibly more penalties to come afterward.
”I lost my cool, no doubt about it. I’ve been wrecked four weeks in a row, and I’ve had enough of it, and I retaliated,” Busch said. ”So it’s certainly my fault for doing that, if everybody wants to say Hornaday is racing for a championship, roll over, that’s not my fashion. That’s not anybody else’s fashion out here.”
Hornaday started the race only 15 points behind series leader Austin Dillon, who started on the front row with James Buescher, who was second in points. There is only one race remaining after Texas.
After stopping by Busch’s hauler and talking to a team official there, but not seeing Busch, Hornaday went to his own hauler.
”If they don’t park him on Sunday, I’ll be really upset,” Hornaday said. ”That’s just ignorant, stupid. I don’t know what you called it. … He won’t stay around to get a whipping like he’s supposed to get.”
Busch came out later and said he wasn’t worried about the chance of being parked for the Nationwide or Cup races at Texas this weekend because of what happened in the truck race.
”I brushed the wall, but my truck was hurt where I don’t think we could’ve won after that,” Busch said. ”If you’re a guy racing for a championship (like Hornaday), you need to be smart enough to understand that you can’t go three-wide on lap 15, knowing how bad the trucks are when you’re on the inside of somebody and not expect to get loose. Yeah, it was my fault after the fact but who’s going to fix my truck after it wrecked in Turn 2 the first time?”
Hornaday and Busch were trying to getting around the slower truck of Johnny Chapman, who was on the inside. Hornaday ended up in the middle and made contact with Busch when they got loose.
”It’s a shame, it’s not like I did anything wrong. I ran him down from a straightaway,” Hornaday said. ”He had his left front tire to my right quarter panel, you know you’re going to get loose, and that’s what he meant to do.”