By admin | October 2, 2011
By Richard Allen
Saturday night’s Camping World Truck Series race at the Kentucky Speedway was an outstanding event despite the fact that no Sprint Cup drivers showed up to grace fans and fellow competitors with their talent.
Anyone who has ever visited this website before should know there was a bit of sarcasm in that opening paragraph as this writer has long campaigned for the abolishment of Cup drivers racing in NASCAR’s lower divisions. But the truth of the matter is that the Kentucky 225 was an outstanding race. It featured differing pit strategies, a close finish and a driver reaching a noteworthy milestone.
After a full race distance worth of side by side competition and position swapping, the finish boiled down to a hard charging Austin Dillon, who had been among the fastest trucks all night, trying to catch veteran Ron Hornaday, who used a differing fuel strategy from his late race pursuers to gain the lead late. Dillon tried valiantly to chase down Hornaday over the course of the final eleven laps but came up just short as the two roared under the checkered flag.
The win was the 50th in the series by Hornaday.
At age 53 and with his Kevin Harvick, Inc. team going away at the end of the 2011 season, Hornaday was able to take pride in the memorable victory. “It will mean a lot when I sit on the front porch in the rocking chair with my grandkids and I can tell them that I won 50 races,” Hornaday said. “Austin is an up-and-coming star, and at age 53, I beat him.”
Often times, Cup drivers such as Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer race in this series and grab not only the wins but also much of the attention, which may go a long way toward explaining why so many of the series regulars are having trouble acquiring sponsorship for next season.
Even Speed television network commentator Michael Waltrip made note of the fact that none of the top division drivers were on hand when he made the somewhat difficult to understand statement during the race that, “You think these guys don’t know Kyle Busch and Harvick aren’t here?” during a moment in which the racing was particularly intense. Waltrip seemed to indicate that the series regulars don’t try as hard or just give up when those drivers are in attendance.
But yes, Michael Waltrip and others, this series and the Nationwide Series can have great races without the presence of Sprint Cup drivers. Believe it or not.
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