|Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs|
Last week’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race created a lot of headlines, mainly because of Kyle Busch crashing Ron Hornaday Jr. Busch, a Chase for the Sprint Cup contender, was parked by NASCAR for the evening and the entire race weekend … so that was the story.
Sorry to tell you, but there is a bigger story to tell. Ron Hornaday Jr. was in contention for a championship. Headed into the race, he was in third place in the Truck Series and tied with Johnny Sauter. Both drivers were just 15 points behind leader Austin Dillon.
Hornaday was on a tear this year, with four wins, 13 top-5 and 17 top-10 finishes. That means Hornaday only has five finishes outside the top 20. All this from a driver who had been competing for 14 years and may have been counted out as “past his prime.”
Furthermore, this is not the first time that Busch and Hornaday have "had at it." Do you remember the 2008 Michigan truck race? Hornaday was competing for the championship that year also, when on the final lap Busch hit Hornaday. Busch went on to finish in 7th while Hornaday would be relegated to 23rd. Hornaday lost the championship that season by only 7 points. Now, sure, that wasn't all Busch's fault, but did it help the situation - yes!
Busch’s actions set a new precedent in the era of “boys have at it,” but at what cost to Hornaday? A championship gone, a truck totaled and yes – Hornaday is without a ride for 2012 since KHI has announced they are closing down their truck team.
Other than his post-race comments Hornaday has remained silent, though taking to his Twitter page (@RonHornaday) on Saturday saying, “I said some things in the heat of moment cause I was so mad! Kyle knows what happened whether he admits it or not. #cheepshot"
What happens from here?
Hornaday is a past champion of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and I fully expect him to find a ride for next season. His stats speak for themselves – he is a winning driver.
In the aftermath of Texas, the focus has been on Kyle Busch. Instead I think the focus should be on Ron Hornaday, a NCWTS regular who was out there competing for the points while Busch was just there for the win.
Points overrule wins, plain and simple. If you want to compete in the given series so badly, designate that as your series to receive points in then. Otherwise, leave it to the guys and gals who are there week in and week out, fighting for these wins and fighting for 30+ races for a championship. An occasional appearance in the Truck or Nationwide Series by a Cup driver is fine, but I honestly think it is time to put the series back in the hands of the capable drivers leading the great points battles.
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