Truck team owner, KEVIN HARVICK/No.4 Chevrolet won the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race; and his number one driver, RON HORNADAY/No.33 Chevrolet finished fourth and won the 2009 Truck Series championship. It was dueling doughnuts on the front straight.
Harvick said “This Truck Series is a lot of fun to race in. Got to have a little bit of fun with Kyle (KYLE BUSCH) there at the end head to head.”
Hornaday said “This is a compliment to the team. It takes a lot of people to do this, all the guys back at the shop. Just had another great truck. I am glad Kevin won this race, that is cool.
Only four drivers in NASCAR have won four (or more) championships in the NASCAR top tier series – RICHARD PETTY, DALE EARNHARDT, JEFF GORDON and now Hornaday.
A last-minute accident caused the race to end under caution.
This is only the second time in the fifteen year-old series that the Truck championship has been clinched before the final race.
Hornaday is the oldest NASCAR tour champion at fifty-one years, 4 months and 24 days. KHI started in 2005 and Hornaday has been driving with it since 2006.
It was the fifth win for Harvick in 100 Truck races, and his second victory this year. He led twice for 58 laps, earning the bonus points for most led laps.
KHI is 60 points ahead in the Truck’s Owner’s Championship standings, but there is still a mathematical chance that Owner BILLY BALLEW can win that award.
Finishing second and third were the two Ballew trucks, KYLE BUSCH/No.51 Toyota, and ARIC ALMIROLA/No.15 Toyota. Busch led 30 laps and Almirola led 52.
Pole sitter JOHNNY SAUTER/No.13 Chevrolet finished fifth, after leading eleven laps. He was the top Rookie.
Hornaday persevered after being put to the back of the line for a non-compliant refueling infraction. “I don’t know what happened during the pit stop, but for them to rally back…and RICK REN (crew chief) with that short gas just to keep us out in front of that No. 88.”
Harvick admittedly had problems in the beginning of the race. Harvick said ” “Kind of wanked it there in the beginning and spun out. I don’t know what happened there but the end result was I spun.” Busch saw it differently, thinking Harvick was sandbagging, waiting to show what he had.
The only driver who could have rained on Hornaday’s parade was MATT CRAFTON/No.88 Chevrolet, but he finished eighth and out of contention for the championship. The points gap was 215 points.
It’s famous now – Hornaday’s couch in North Carolina. Among the now famous drivers who have crashed on the couch while getting started in NASCAR are Harvick and NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader, JIMMIE JOHNSON.
The couch won’t be donated to the NASCAR’s Hall of Fame. But it is the stuff of stories. Hornaday joked that Lindy (wife LINDY) made him sleep on it last weekend.
COLIN BRAUN/No.6 Ford broke his tachometer in the race and couldn’t gauge his pit row speed. He started sixth, but DNF due to ignition failure. Not the way he would have liked to end his fiftieth Truck race.
This weekend is the penultimate race for Braun’s truck, and Braun in the Truck Series. Owner JACK ROUSH is shutting down his truck program, and moving the entire team up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, running No.16.
This also might be the last time for RICK CRAWFORD/No.14 Ford at Phoenix International Raceway, unless he can find sponsorship for 2010. Currently he is part of a two-truck team owned by TOM MITCHELL, who has been running Crawford since the series began in 1995. This year the team has also run Rookie JAMES BUESCHER. But, Mitchell is tired of footing the bill all this time. It’s well known that Ford as a manufacturer is not providing support to the Truck teams.
Seventeen drivers finished on the lead lap of the 27 finishers. TIM GEORGE JR/No.22 Chevrolet was the only accident-related DNF. The rest had a variety of mechanical problems.
There were seven cautions totaling 26 laps of the 195-lap race, and there were five lead changes among four drivers.
The reported crowd count was 28, 500.
The season’s finale race is next Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.