Turn 4 is too tight for Hornaday and Paludo
Ron Hornaday and Miguel Paludo end up in the wall after the No. 9 slides into the No. 32 off Turn 4.
Red Horse hopes changes lead to big things in '11
Red Horse Racing has had some success since owners Tom DeLoach and Jeff Hammond entered the Camping World Truck Series in 2005, but with a pair of almost fully sponsored Toyotas in a completely reorganized stable for 2011, the best might be right around the corner. "2011 is already starting off better than probably any season I've had in the last two or three years," DeLoach said. "We've made a lot of changes in personnel, and the attitude in the shop is probably the best I've ever seen it. The guys are energized -- pumped-up. We've had our speeches and we're committed." "In the end we made quite a few changes and we think we've re-stacked it in a way that addresses some of the issues we thought we had, and it'll get stronger, going forward." --TOM DELOACH DeLoach has put crew chief Butch Hylton together with defending Daytona season-opener winner Timothy Peters and added a second truck, fully-sponsored by Stemco/Duroline, in the No. 2 position, for Brazilian rookie Miguel Paludo . Paludo made his first four starts in the series in 2010 -- two of them with Red Horse -- and scored a top-10 finish in his series debut, at Bristol, of all places. He worked with veteran crew chief Rick Gay, who was Red Horse's competition director last year. But Gay wanted to get back on the pit box as a crew chief and that opened the door for six-time Truck Series race winner Terry Cook to join Red Horse as competition director. "I'm really looking forward to getting back to the crew chief role," Gay said. "I learned a lot last year that I think will only make me a better crew chief this season. The changes Red Horse Racing has made during this offseason have us all really excited for 2011." The best thing, both Gay and DeLoach agreed, is the synergy between the two veteran chief mechanics. "Butch Hylton and I are getting along great and the communication we have with each other will help make both trucks even better next year," Gay said. " Miguel has shown a great amount of talent and potential so far, and I can't wait to see what we can do together." DeLoach's team won in its inaugural season with rookie driver Brandon Whitt, won in its second year with veteran David Starr and has won a race in each of the past two seasons, with Peters winning at his home track, Martinsville Speedway and then scoring a stunning, last-lap Daytona triumph over eventual series champion and two-time Daytona winner Todd Bodine. DeLoach thinks the biggest barrier to success -- funding -- has been solved. DeLoach has virtually all of Peters' season covered via sponsorship from the Apex Tool Group and its Crescent Tools brand, along with K&N Filters and continues with discussions to cover the last few races, which is much better than 2010, when more than half the season was unsponsored. "There are plenty of drivers out there," DeLoach said. "The funding is the issue, and paying for it all." DeLoach called Peters' 2010 season, which included two poles, five top-five and 16 top-10 finishes "frustrating," because, after winning at Daytona, the second victory never came. And never did a challenge to Bodine's second career championship. "In the end we made quite a few changes and we think we've re-stacked it in a way that addresses some of the issues we thought we had, and it'll get stronger, going forward," DeLoach said. "The exciting thing to me, right now is with Butch Hylton joining us -- Butch and Rick Gay are spending a lot of time [together]. "It looks like they're connected and everything is discussed -- every little piece. They're really working together and they have each other's back, and I haven't seen that before and it's really refreshing after working on that for a number of years, to finally have it beginning to happen." The effective chemical balance began with the driver and crew chief, the owner said. "Butch and Timothy have clicked very nicely," DeLoach said. "Timothy respects Butch for background he brings to the table and Butch respects Timothy for what he's done so far in his racing career, but made it very clear to me that he had a Cup championship ring and a Nationwide championship ring and he wanted a Truck championship ring. "I told him we could agree on that part." DeLoach said he and Cook began talking about getting together last season and it took until the off-season to make it happen. DeLoach praised Cook's "people skills" saying, "Terry Cook is a big piece of trying to put all the ingredients together to work for us, and I'm pretty excited about that. "Terry's done everything from running his own cars to being involved with setting up the original ThorSport Racing team. He's made 297 starts in the Truck Series so he brings a wealth of background. He's had a lot of relationships with sponsors, so he understands that side of it." Cook and owner both feel they'll get an eyeful this season with Paludo , the Brazilian who qualified eighth at Texas in his Red Horse debut but crashed and finished 33rd. He impressed his owner when "he manned-up and said, 'don't you change a thing with what you're doing -- that was my fault,'" DeLoach said. "And I'll be darned if he didn't go to Homestead and, once he figured that place out, which is not an easy thing to do, finished in the top 10. "So we're pretty pumped about Miguel being here and Rick's excited about doing whatever we can do to get him to be the rookie of the year." Paludo won the Brazilian Porsche GT3 Cup two consecutive seasons, in 2008 and 2009, including winning 10 races the second season. "He's a rookie in the Truck Series, but by no means is he a rookie in the seat," DeLoach said. "I think you're really going to see a competent driver, in Miguel , show up and we saw his patience, and ability at Homestead." Red Horse ran a third truck at Daytona last season but didn't have the funding to continue it. DeLoach says he's not compelled to run the third team if it can't significantly help the other two and not be a drain on the organization -- and his informal deadline to do a third program has already passed. "I've gotten to the position where we're saying, 'wait,'" DeLoach said. "If a third team comes in, it's got to be fully-funded because we're not going to run someone out of the Red Horse checkbook. If it happens, it will be for a good reason and if it doesn't, that's OK." "Red Horse Racing goes to the track to win races and to win championships. And I have a real hard time believing we're fulfilling that objective if we just do a partial schedule, because we can't get the right people to be the crew on that if you have to say 'hey, come do a couple races and then come back later,' because I can't afford to cover them in all the down-time. "So a partial schedule does not appeal to me. Having a truck with a couple drivers is still doable because you could put together a competitive team. But I have a hard time believing you could truly be competitive running a part-time schedule." DeLoach didn't rule out doing a third truck later in the season, however. "If we don't do a full year, the only way we'd look at doing a third truck is near the end of the year," DeLoach said, "when we'd do a few races to tee up for the following year."
Coulter collected off Turn 2
Joey Coulter and Miguel Paludo hit each other and the wall as they come off Turn 2, resulting in Coulter spinning in Turn 4.
Post-Race Reactions: Red Horse Racing
Teammates Timothy Peters and Miguel Paludo talk about finishing second and third at Michigan.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: Leaders Part Two
Get to know more about German Quiroga, Miguel Paludo and Nelson Piquet Jr's hispanic heritage in this video directed by Danny Hastings.
Lofton gets airborne after contact with Paludo
Justin Lofton is sent spinning on the frontstretch and gets airborne after a hard hit from Johnny Sauter.
Texas Camping World Truck pit stall assignments
Pole-sitter Jeb Burton gets first pit pick as he goes for the season sweep
Sauter wins in wreck-filled ending at Talladega
Big wreck on final lap marred finish of fred's 250
Gordon disqualified from Dakar Rally in Stage 4
CALAMA, Chile -- Robby Gordon will be leaving Chile and the Dakar Rally much earlier than expected. Trying to recover from mechanical issues after Stage 2, Gordon's Hummer was hit with more problems during Wednesday's Stage 4 and he was disqualified, according to speedenergy.com. Speed Energy was Gordon's sponsor for the Dakar Rally. Gordon began the day 17th but had right-front wheel bearing issues before the start of the timed special, costing him about five hours. He completed the stage, but because he was late to the special, he was disqualified from the rally. Gordon was one of six cars to withdraw Wednesday. "Disappointed doesn't even begin to describe the way I'm feeling right now, not only for me but for everyone involved," Gordon said. "Knowing all the hard work and dedication that was put into this program is what makes our untimely exit from the Dakar Rally a hard pill to swallow. "While it may not appear like it due to our performance thus far, countless hours went into this effort. To have a wheel bearing fail is just sickening ... a huge, huge disappointment. We run this same wheel bearing on the trophy truck and have put thousands of kilometers on HUMMERs, and we have never had this part fail." STAGE 3 SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY, Argentina -- Attempting to overcome a poor finish in Stage 2 due to mechanical issues, the No. 303 HUMMER was back on unfamiliar terrain. In the 2010 edition of the Dakar Rally, Stage 3 took the competitors from La Rioja to Fiambala, however, this year the route has moved further east as they make their way to Chile. Beginning the day in San Miguel de Tucuman, this special stage was been split into two parts, totaling 165 miles. Starting the day in 21st position overall, Robby Gordon and navigator, Kellon Walch finished the stage in 15th, putting the team 17th overall, 1 hour 32 minutes behind leader Carlos Sainz. Even as Gordon improved his position in the rally, he was not pleased with the performance of the HUMMER. "We keep putting ourselves behind the eight ball. We passed a bunch of cars early in the special, but then realized we had lost a transmission pump", Gordon said. "[Tuesday's] special would have been good for the HUMMER had we not had a mechanical issue. The route had some very technical, rough stuff in the beginning, and it would have been good for us." STAGE 2 SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMAN, Argentina -- Robby Gordon struggled in the second stage of the Dakar Rally on Monday, finishing 46th after an accident and dropping to 21st overall in the standings. Carlos Sainz, the defending champion, won his second stage in as many days in his Volkswagen. His lead is 3:05 ahead of Stephane Peterhansel's BMW and 1:06:55 in front of Gordon in his Hummer. Gordon's accident occurred after a solid start and cost him an hour's worth of repairs. "We were actually pretty good through the first few check points," Gordon said. "One corner snuck up on me; I didn't see it and just drove off the road, hitting a large rock. This is very unfortunate for our team. Now that we are an hour behind heading into Chile versus only a few minutes, we definitely got our work cut out for us. I think we will be OK though; there is still plenty of racing left. "The Hummer sustained some damage on today's stage as when we smashed the front of the race vehicle into the rock, and the transmission doesn't have reverse because it broke when I tried to reverse out of my mistake. I would say that we were broke down for maybe an hour today...a very costly hour." Dakar is being held for the third consecutive year in Argentina and Chile. This year's route covers 5,903 miles, reaching the Atacama desert in northern Chile -- one of the driest places on earth -- before heading back for the Jan. 16 finish in Buenos Aires. The race heads north on Tuesday to San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina and crosses into Chile on Wednesday, heading for the Atacama desert. STAGE 1 CORDOBA, Argentina -- Robby Gordon and Team Hummer completed the first stage of the Dakar Rally on Sunday in eighth place, covering the 138-mile course in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 36 seconds. Gordon and navigator Kellon Walch trail defending champion Carlos Sainz by 11:04. Sainz's Volkswagen was 1:31 ahead of second-place Stephane Peterhansel in a BMW and 2:16 in front of Volkswagen teammate Nasser Al Attiyah. American driver Mark Miller was fourth, 4:17 behind in another Volkswagen. Gordon started fourth but dropped to ninth by the first marker as heavy rain created a slippery disadvantage as participants suffered from skidding and sliding. "We knew that the Hummer team would not be as strong as we would like in the Argentina portion of this race, but we struggled a little bit more [Sunday] than I would have liked due to the weather conditions and technical rally-style section," said Gordon, who offered a reason for the discrepancy in time in correlation to the leaders. "Sainz and Peterhansel ... started the race before the weather began and were virtually unaffected by it. That's why you see the gap in time from the rest of the competitors. "We started out the special good, but we had a couple of challenges along the way. Kellon and I had to change helmets during the middle of the stage because his microphone quit working. I ran off the road at one point. We also ran out of windshield wiper fluid due to the mud. These mistakes probably cost us about 1 minute of total speed. I expected to give up 5 minutes in [Sunday's] stage, not 11 minutes, which disappoints me. "It is still early in the race, but we have some ground to make up [Monday]. Some of the guys are already starting to have issues this early. Hopefully, we will recover quickly from [Sunday's] issues before we enter Chile because it is our best opportunity to make up time. By this point, I want to be less than 10 minutes behind." Sunday's first stage from Victoria to Corboda in northern Argentina followed the ceremonial ride from Buenos Aires to Victoria a day earler. Officials said 407 contestants started the race Sunday, down from the 430 who were enrolled Saturday. Dakar is being held for the third consecutive year in Argentina and Chile. This year's route covers 5,903 miles, reaching the Atacama desert in northern Chile -- one of the driest places on earth -- before heading back for the Jan. 16 finish in Buenos Aires. Monday's second stage from Cordoba to San Miguel de Tucuman is a 201-mile race through the mountains. "[Monday's] stage is supposed to go through the mountains, which are not good for us for two reasons. First, the Hummers are not turbo-charged, then the course is a little narrow. They did say that we should encounter some bumps, which could be good for us," Gordon said. Gordon's second team, with Chilean driver Eliseo Salazar and navigator Steve La Roza, is in 28th place after the opening stage, 34:25 off the pace. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Forde's fantasy picks at The Glen
NASCAR's Mike Forde, the 'Loop Dawg,' joins SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to share some NASCAR Fantasy Live picks for Watkins Glen International.