Ron Hornaday Jr.’s Title-Winning Truck
by Tom Jensen July 26, 2021
In 2009, Ron Hornaday Jr. partnered with Kevin and DeLana Harvick to set a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship record.
An important part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s exhibit work is to represent the entire history and heritage of the sport, not just the premier series.
So when it came time to assemble the 10 vehicles used in our current Great Hall exhibit, “A Legendary Decade: The First 50 Inductees,” it was important to include vehicles from multiple NASCAR series.
Ron Hornaday Jr.’s 2009 Chevrolet Silverado was an obvious selection to represent both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he is the only four-time champion, and the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018, the group Hornaday was inducted with.
In 2009, Hornaday not only won his record fourth Truck Series title at the ripe old age of 51, he also had one of the best seasons of his Hall of Fame career, driving for Kevin Harvick Inc., the team owned by Kevin and DeLana Harvick.
Hornaday’s championship run began with five consecutive finishes of seventh or better, followed by his first victory of the season in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The next three races produced only one top-10 finish, a seventh-place run at Michigan International Speedway.
Then Hornaday went on a tear. He won five consecutive races at The Milwaukee Mile, Memphis Motorsports Park (now Memphis International Raceway), Kentucky Speedway, O’Reilly Raceway Park (now Lucas Oil Raceway) at Indianapolis and Nashville Superspeedway. Hornaday drove this truck, KHI chassis No. 29, to victory at Kentucky and Nashville.
The Milwaukee victory, in the 10th race of the season, gave Hornaday a points lead he would not relinquish for the remainder of the season.
Hornaday’s fourth Truck Series title was his second with KHI – the first two came driving for Dale Earnhardt (2010) – and the fit between driver and team was excellent. Hornaday and Harvick are both California natives and were friends years before joining forces.
“He (Hornaday) made our company legitimate from a racing standpoint,” said Harvick. “Because you brought in a champion, a winner, and he continued to win. … He brought that instant approval of a winner and a proven champion.”
He (Hornaday) made our company legitimate from a racing standpoint.
— Kevin Harvick
During his championship season of 2009, Hornaday amassed six race victories, 15 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes, along with four poles and 1,091 laps led. His career numbers include 51 race victories, at the time a series record.
Driving for Earnhardt first and then the Harvicks, Hornaday credited his teams for his success. “I’ve always gave my crew credit because if you didn’t have the equipment to drive and drive it to the front, they ain’t doing their job,” he said. “You’re only as good as your team, and I really believe that because I worked on my own cars. I’ve got my own race cars, and you’re only as good as the people behind you.”