Saturday, June 11, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Hornaday Jr. wins WinStar World Casino 400
By Master Tesfatsion
FORT WORTH -- Ron Hornaday Jr. picked up his 48th career win Friday night on a controversial finish at the caution-filled NCWTS WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR ruled Johnny Sauter came down in front of Hornaday’s lane as the caution flag was about to be removed on the frontstrech with three laps left. Sauter finished first but received a black flag for his action, giving Hornaday the victory.
“As soon as the green dropped, he turned into my lane," Hornaday said. "I was yelling, ‘He’s in my lane! Better stick by the rules, he’s in my lane!’
“I knew it from right there. If they hadn’t black-flagged him and gave it to him, I would’ve been fine with it either way. At that time, we had a second-place truck that put me in position to be there.”
*Sauter, who led for 19 laps, was furious coming off the track. While talking to the television’s sideline reporters about his thoughts on the decision, Sauter stood there silently for a moment and uttered, “God bless America.”
*It’s Hornaday’s third career win at Texas Motor Speedway. He swept the two NCWTS stops at TMS in 2008 -- the Silverado 350k and Sam’s Town 400. It’s his first victory and seventh top-10 finish this season. His last win came in October 2010 at Martinsville Speedway.
*Plenty of records were broken Friday. There were at TMS-record 10 caution flags totaling 46 laps, which tied for the most caution laps. Other records set include most leaders (11) and most lead changes (19).
*There were five cautions in the first 75 laps. Rookie Chase Mattioli spun out in the frontstretch on the 23rd lap. Brian Ickler and Todd Bodine went for a spin on Lap 52 as they came around Turn 2. Bodine’s car went in the garage and did not return, while Ickler finished fourth.
*Austin Dillon led a race-high 46 laps but finished 26th thanks to his involvement in two wrecks. The first came at Lap 90, when he crashed with Matt Crafton on the frontstretch. As he attempted to make up the ground he lost, he was involved in another accident with Steve Arpin on Lap 138 and never recovered. Dillon would not finish in the top 20.
*Pole Winner and Plano resident James Buescher finished in ninth place. Flower Mound native David Start was involved in an accident on Lap 68 and did not finish the race.