NASCAR & Auto Racing

Hornaday wins Truck series pole at Martinsville

Ron Hornaday Jr. won the pole for Saturday's Kroger 200 at the Martinsville Speedway. The No. 33 Chevrolet driver and defending Craftsman Truck Series champion rounded the half-mile track in 19.817 seconds (95.554 mph).

Hornaday recorded his fourth pole of the season and the 18th of his career.

"We run good here at Martinsville, but we've never won here or sat on the pole," Hornaday said. "Now that we've got the pole out of the way, hopefully we can win."

Starting alongside Hornaday will be Todd Bodine, who posted the second fastest time at 19.837.

"We were a little loose coming to the white flag, and I think that probably cost us the pole," Bodine said.

Kevin Harvick (19.893) and Colin Braun (19.935) will make up row two.

Harvick is driving the No.2 Chevrolet at Martinsville only after the team's regular driver Jack Sprague was released from his duties last week. Sprague, however, moved back into the No.60 Toyota, in which he won the 2006 Kroger 200 at Martinsville with Wyler Racing.

Johnny Benson will start fifth.

Sixth through 10th will be: Dennis Setzer, Rick Crawford, Timothy Peters, Jamie McMurray and Terry Cook, who makes his debut in the No.59 Toyota for team owner Jim Harris.

After a wild event two weeks ago at Talladega, Hornaday moved ahead in the championship standings.

Bodine won at Talladega in a thrilling finish as he passed Kyle Busch for the lead coming out of the final turn of the last lap and then held off Hornaday to the finish line. Hornaday's second-place finish coupled with an 11th-place run for Benson allowed Hornaday to take a 39-point lead over Benson with five races remaining in the season.

Both Hornaday and Benson have competed in truck races at Martinsville since 1995, but neither has yet to win there. Hornaday has scored seven Top-10 finishes in 12 starts at Martinsville with his best finish of third coming three times, most recently one year ago.

Benson has recorded three top-10 finishes in the last four races at Martinsville. He finished 25th there earlier this year.

Mike Skinner is the defending race winner. Skinner held off Sprague in the final 60 laps and beat him to the finish line by two-truck lengths for a season-sweep at Martinsville last year. He will start 22nd.

Skinner and Setzer lead all drivers with three truck victories at Martinsville. Setzer's most recent win there came in March.

Sam Hornish, Jr., a Sprint Cup Series regular, will make his first truck start after qualifying 16th. Hornish will be behind the wheel of the No.4 Dodge for Bobby Hamilton Racing VA.

The green flag for Saturday's race is scheduled to drop around 3:00 p.m. (et).

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