While Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday Jr. are locked in a ferocious duel for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, the rivalry hasn’t affected their long-standing friendship off the track.
“I think if it comes down to one of us wrecking each other to win the championship, it’s just not going to be the same,” said Skinner, who edged Hornaday for the 1995 crown but lost the title to him in 1996. “Ron and I have been buddies for a long time. We’ve wrecked each other and went back (to the motor coach) and had a beer together.”
Hornaday, who also won the title in 1998, agrees.
“I know Mike isn’t going to go out there and wreck me on purpose, and I am not going to do it to him,” he said.
“We have four races left and we are going to race hard. But we are smart enough to know that when we walk out the gate, we aren’t going to carry it forward to next week. We are going to go out there and race our trucks to their potential and run hard.”
The two have swapped the series lead four times in the last five races, with Skinner grabbing back the lead from Hornaday last Saturday with a victory at Martinsville. Hornaday finished third and trailed his friend by 11 points heading into Saturday’s race at Atlanta.