Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff reteams with four-time Truck Series champ Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Moment Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to sponsor Ron Hornaday Jr . in the season-opening Daytona 500 (Feb. 22, 1 p.m. ET, FOX). Hornaday , 56, is returning to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the first time since the 2003 season finale. The four-time champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is scheduled to be the primary driver of The Motorsports Group's No. 30 Chevrolet this season. The Curtis Key-owned team announced earlier Tuesday that veteran wrench Pat Tryson will serve as crew chief. Tryson has eight victories as a crew chief in NASCAR's premier series, the most recent coming with Kurt Busch in 2009 during his tenure with Team Penske . The sponsorship deal marks a reunion for Hornaday and Smokey Mountain. The tobacco-free smokeless brand backed his Truck Series efforts in 2012 and 2013, and most recently adorned ThorSport Racing's No. 98 as a primary sponsor for Johnny Sauter in six races last season. "It's an honor to have Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff back on board with me in 2015," Hornaday said in a release provided by the team. "Dave (Savoca, company president) and everyone at Smokey Mountain have always been huge supporters of mine and even after our partnership ended in 2013, we continued to stay in touch. To be able to represent their brand as I attempt to make the Daytona 500 is a dream come true for not only Smokey Mountain as a brand, but for me as a driver." Hornaday ranks as the all-time wins leader in the Camping World Truck Series with 51 victories. His only top-10 finish in the Sprint Cup Series was a ninth-place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2001, his only full season at NASCAR's top level, when he drove for car owner A.J. Foyt. As a driver with a start-up Sprint Cup team, Hornaday will be required to qualify for the Daytona 500 (Feb. 22, 1 p.m. ET, FOX) on his speed in Coors Light Pole Qualifying or through his performance in the Budweiser Duel qualifying races. "Everyone at TMG has been working so hard during the offseason to get ready for 2015," Hornaday said. "I know it's a long shot, but I feel confident in what Curtis has put together. I honestly feel like we have a solid shot at making this race. It takes partners like Smokey Mountain to make this work and I'm going to give it everything I've got." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Four-time Truck Series champion will be back in action at Las Vegas and Texas NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday Jr . will return to competition later this year in a deal put together by sponsor Rheem and NTS Motorsports with technical support from Richard Childress Racing . In a release posted on its web site, Rheem said the Atlanta, Georgia, based company would sponsor an entry for Hornaday for two of the final seven races in the series –- the Sept. 27 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as well as the Oct. 31 event at Texas Motor Speedway . According to the company, Rheem "has been working to find the best available truck equipment, crew and technical expertise in an effort to return Hornaday to the truck series before the end of the 2014 season." Hornaday , with funding provided in part by Rheem, was fourth in points when Turner Scott Motorsports officials ceased operations for the No. 30 team earlier this month. He did not compete at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park , dropping to sixth in points, and is not in Saturday night's Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway . NTS currently fields two Truck Series teams with Brennan Newberry and Gray Gaulding as the primary drivers for those teams and the organization has also had Michael Annett, Austin Dillon , John King , Justin Lofton , Chase Pistone and Jason White drive trucks for them this year. It is expected that the Hornaday team will be in addition to those two teams. "Rheem is pleased to play a part in bringing Ron Hornaday back to where he belongs … racing trucks to win and bringing excitement and enjoyment to Camping World Truck Series fans," Ed Raniszeski, managing director for Rheem Motorsports, said. "None of this would have been possible without the solid support of NTS Motorsports and RCR. "We all welcome Ron back and can't wait to see him back in the saddle." Hornaday is a four-time series champion, winning Truck Series titles in 1996, '98, 2007 and '09. He has 51 career wins in the series. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: NASCAR Chase Grid games WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Loss of ride sidelined veteran for past three events Four-time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr ., idle for the last three races, will return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Hornaday is scheduled to drive the No. 9 Chevrolet for NTS Motorsports in Saturday night's Rhino Linings 350 (10 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). The 56-year-old veteran drove the No. 9 for Joe Denette Motorsports in 2012, then continued in the truck the following year when Denette's team merged with truck owner Bob Newberry's to form NTS. Hornaday was forced to the sidelines after last month's race at Bristol Motor Speedway when Turner Scott Motorsports dialed back its operation from three full-time trucks to two. He returns to the series with a streak of three top-fives in his last four races. "I want to say thanks to Bob Newberry and Rheem for working together to give me this great opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a NCWTS Silverado," said Hornaday , who still ranks 10th in series standings despite missing three races. "I'm looking forward to racing in Las Vegas, as we have a lot of family and friends on the West Coast that will be there." Hornaday has a history of success at the 1.5-mile track outside Sin City. He prevailed at Vegas from the Keystone Light Pole in 2011 while driving for team owner Kevin Harvick , and he finished sixth after leading 23 laps his last time out at LVMS last season. Ryan McKinney will serve as crew chief for Hornaday's efforts this weekend. Four drivers -- Justin Lofton , Brennan Newberry , Chase Pistone and Jason White -- have taken turns behind the wheel of the NTS No. 9 this season. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Ron Hornaday Jr talks about how happy he is jsut to bring his truck home clean with a 3rd place finish and how tough it was to draft tonight.
With one win, Crafton leads Peters, Hornaday Jr . by eight points in the standings
Johnny Sauter, Ron Hornaday and Nelson Piquet Jr . get together in Turn 3 and draw the fourth caution of the night.
Ron Hornaday Jr . makes an amazing save after he spins between Turn 3 and Turn 4 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Rookie Jeb Burton puts veteran Ron Hornaday Jr . into the wall at Martinsville.
Ron Hornaday Jr . makes contact with Brennan Newberry but avoids major contact in the Smith's 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
RELATED: Kenseth suspended for two races by NASCAR " Drivers react Matt Kenseth was issued a two-race suspension from NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway . Logano was leading the race at the time when Kenseth, who was several laps down, got into the 22 of Logano on Lap 454 and both cars went into the wall. Kenseth was also placed on probation for a six-month period. The friction between the drivers began two weeks earlier at Kansas Speedway when Kenseth was leading the second race of the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with five laps to go when Logano made contact with him that led to Kenseth spinning out. Logano went on to win the race in a green-white-checkered finish but Kenseth was none too pleased about the ending. "Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the No. 20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the No. 22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The No. 20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the No. 22 car's opportunity to continue to compete in the race. "Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR." A series of appeals were heard on Thursday and Kenseth's two-race suspension was upheld. His probation period was decreased from six months to through December 31, 2015. This is a rare penalty in the sport. In fact, the closest type of penalty seen like it came in 2011 when Kyle Busch was parked for XFINITY and Sprint Cup races at Texas in November of that year. Busch was parked for retaliating and wrecking title contender Ron Hornaday Jr . in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile track. Busch was also fined $50,000 and placed on probation for the remainder of the season. Here is a look at several major penalties issued by NASCAR in recent years. Michael Waltrip Racing " Richmond International Raceway , September 2013 Violation: Section 12-4: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. MWR's three teams in the Sprint Cup Series (the No. 15, 55, 56) were penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively. These point penalties were assessed following the season's 26th regular-season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . That resulted in Martin Truex Jr . being eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the playoff field. NASCAR also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs -- Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) -- were all placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Penalty: Loss of 50 Cup Driver Points for each MWR team.* Denny Hamlin , No. 11 " Indianapolis Motor Speedway , July 2014 Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 20-2.1: Car body must be acceptable to NASCAR officials and Section 20-3.4.5: A rear firewall, including any removable panels or access doors, constructed using magnetic sheet steel a minimum of 22 gage (0.031 inch thick), must be located between the trunk area and the driver’s compartment and must be welded in place. Block-off plates/covers used in rear firewalls in place of blowers, oil coolers, etc., must be constructed of 22 gage (0.031 inch thick) magnetic sheet steel. Block-off plates/covers must be installed with positive fasteners and sealed to prevent air leakage. Carbon fiber or aluminum block-off plates/covers will not be permitted. Penalty: Loss of 75 Cup Driver Points* Carl Long , No. 146 " Lowe’s Motor Speedway, May 2009 Violation : Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4-I: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules: Section 20-5.4A: Engine exceeded the maximum engine size of 358.000 cubic inch displacement. Penalty : Loss of 200 Cup Driver Points. Ryan Newman , No. 31 " Auto Club Speedway , March 2015 Violations: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. 20.16: Wheels and Tires: A. Any device, modification, or procedure to the tire or wheel, including the valve stem hardware, that is used to release pressure, beyond normal pressure adjustments, from the tire and/or inner shield, will not be permitted. 20.16.2: Tires : F. Modifications to the tires, by treatment or any other means, will not be permitted. Section 22.214.171.124.1 lists P5 Penalty Violation examples that could include but are not limited to: A. Effecting, modifying and/or altering the standard tires in any way, other than through authorized means such as tire pressure adjustments within the recommended range, permitted tire cooling when mounted on the race vehicle; or heat-cycling on the race vehicle on the race track earlier in the event. Penalty: Loss of 50 Cup Driver Points* Matt Kenseth , No. 20 " Kansas Speedway, April 2013 Violation : Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to the NASCAR Rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event. Section 20-5.5.3E.: Only solid magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight. Penalty: Loss of 50 Cup Driver Points.* Jeremy Mayfield, No. 12 " Talladega Superspeedway , April 2000 Violation: Section 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 8-8: Fuel used by a Competitor that does not meet NASCAR specifications. Section 12-4-AA: Use of altered fuel or fuel other than the official fuel at the Event. Penalty: Loss of 151 Cup Driver points. Johnny Sauter , No. 70 " Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 2008 Violation: Section 20-3.1.3A: Wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points. Appealed: NASCAR Penalty upheld. Scott Riggs , No. 66 " Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 2008 Violation: Section 20-3.1.3A: Wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Owner points. Appealed: NASCAR Penalty upheld. Brian Vickers , No. 83 " Martinsville Speedway , October 2008 Violation: Section 12-4-Q: Section 20-2.1D: Exterior sheet metal body parts did not meet the specified minimum thickness. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 1 " Daytona International Speedway , July 2008 Violation: Section 12-4-Q: Section 20-3.8A: Roof of the car does not conform to the specifications of the NASCAR Rule Book. Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points. Travis Kvapil , No. 43 " Pocono Raceway , June 2010 Violation: Section 12-1: Section 12-4-J: Section 20-10.7J: Unapproved modification to valve stem hardware. Penalty: 150 Cup Driver Points Clint Bowyer , No. 15 " September 2010, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4-J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules: Section 20-3: The car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis, does not meet the NASCAR-approved specifications. Penalty: 150 Cup Driver Points *These penalties are ranked according to their severity in proportion to the points system used at that time. NASCAR moved to a one-point-per-position format in 2011.