Home could be sweet for Palmdale's Ron Hornaday Jr., who hopes local knowledge--and a new motor--will benefit him at Saugus Speedway tonight when the NASCAR Southwest Tour makes its second and final stop of the season in the Santa Clarita Valley. Racing is set for 7 p.m.
Hornaday, a Sportsman champion at Saugus in 1987, had been riding high in the month of August, leading the Southwest Tour points standings before misfortune struck at Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino on Aug. 24. With Hornaday leading on the 42nd lap of a 100-lap race, engine failure forced him into a 20th-place finish and dropped him from the points lead.
But Hornaday since has received a new motor, purchased by Bill Miller, sponsor of the Sizzler Racing team at Saugus, that could help Hornaday get back on track.
"It's the most (horsepower) I've had so far," Hornaday said. "We think we've found our problems."
Now, heading into competition at his home track, Hornaday is in third place with 1,679 points. On a roll, though, is points leader Rick Carelli of Denver (1,755 points), who won the 100-lap race at Orange Show Speedway. In second place is Jon Paques of Albuquerque, N.M. (1,705 points), who won the tour event at Saugus in April.
Ray Hooper Jr. of Palmdale, who won the tour event at Saugus last September, also figures to be a factor.