LOUDON, N.H. – Ron Hornaday dominated all facets of Saturday’s New Hampshire 200 but one – the points standings.
Hornaday led 174 of 200 laps on his way to winning his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway, but his stout performance didn’t give him much breathing room in the championship race.
Mike Skinner, who trailed Hornaday by four points entering the race, finished third and is now 9 points behind, but well within striking distance to deny Hornaday his third series championship.
The win is the 33rd of Hornaday’s career and the fourth this season – the most victories since 1998 when he had six and won the second of his two championships.
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Hornaday is trying to give Kevin Harvick Inc. its first series title. Hornaday’s previous two titles came with Dale Earnhardt Inc.
“This is the same truck we finished second with three times and we finally got it a win,” Hornaday said.
“We had a truck to beat today. It’s unbelievable to race this hard and have a truck that runs this good.”
Hornaday’s competition noticed his good fortune.
“We just flat out got our butts whipped today. He just put on a clinic. He just flat-out out-run us,” said Skinner.
“I was hoping for a caution, hoping maybe Erik (Darnell) could get up there and make it exciting anyway.”
Darnell had a strong truck as well, but couldn’t run down Hornaday and there was no caution in the 55 laps to bunch the field.
“It’s a little bit frustrating to know both of us (Darnell and Skinner) were as good as we were and still not good enough to catch Hornaday,” Darnell said. “A caution at the end would have given us a chance to see if we could have raced with him.”
Reigning series champion Todd Bodine finished fourth and Mike Bliss rounded out the top five. The race was slowed four times by caution for 19 laps. There were six lead changes among five drivers.