Ron Hornaday Jr. broke a season-long winless streak with a convincing victory in Friday night’s AAA Insurance 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
PDF> UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: AAA INSURANCE 200 - O'REILLY RACEWAY PARK
The four-time and defending Truck Series champion took the lead just short of one-third distance, and from there was basically unchallenged, as he held off the No. 18 Toyota of Kyle Busch and ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter, with James Buescher fifth.
It was the 46th career Truck Series victory for the California native Hornaday, and it was his fourth career victory at the 0.686-mile ORP short track.
Timothy Peters started from the pole in his No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, with the first caution coming on Lap 10, when Chris Jones popped a right-front tire.
Peters held the lead until Lap 63, when Hornaday put the No. 33 Georgia Boot Chevrolet into the lead for the first time. It would stay there for most of the rest of the hot Indiana evening.
From there, Hornaday pulled out smartly, with outside pole-sitter Kyle Busch second in his own No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, at least for a few laps until Matt Crafton took the spot in the No. 88 Menards Chevy.
Caution No. 2 waved on Lap 86, after debris was spotted on the track. By this point, there were just 14 trucks on the lead lap, and most of the leaders used the yellow period to pit for fuel and tires.
Hornaday held the lead on pit road, emerging ahead of Crafton, Busch, Truck Series Todd Bodine and Johnny Sauter. The track went green on Lap 91.
Five laps later, Aric Almirola got crunched into the backstretch wall by Mario Gosselin, in an incident that also snared Narain Karthikeyan.
When Nick Hoffman spun to bring out the yellow on Lap 141, it gave drivers a chance to get their trucks adjusted for the end of the race, and all the leaders came in.
Peters and Jason White stayed on the track and led when the green flew on Lap 148. White quickly fell back, and the order on Lap 150 was Peters, Busch, Hornaday and Crafton.
Two laps later, Hornaday put a great slide job on Peters, taking the lead and pulling Busch into second with him. From there, the race was all Hornaday, as he never again trailed.
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100 and e-mail him at Jensen is the author of “Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of Speed,” and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. Jensen is the past President of the National Motorsports Press Association and an NMPA Writer of the Year.