With 51 wins and four championships, Ron Hornaday Jr. is considered by many as the greatest driver in the history of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
But in 2015, Hornaday will be making a return to NASCAR’s top level – the Sprint Cup Series – as driver of the No. 30 Chevrolet for Curtis Key’s The Motorsports Group.
TMG is entering the Cup Series after having been a fixture in the XFINITY Series for the past seven seasons. The team also ran in the Truck Series themselves from 2004 to 2009.
“I am happy to be signing on with Curtis Key and the entire TMG organization for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season,” Hornaday said today in a team release.
“This team has been working really hard during the offseason to get cars ready for Daytona and the rest of the season. I’m hoping to bring some guidance and racing knowledge to this start-up Cup team.”
It’s been a very long time since Hornaday has competed full-time in Cup. All the way back in 2001, Hornaday drove for A.J. Foyt’s operation but struggled mightily (one Top-10 finish, average finish of 30.5, and four DNQs) before being let go at season’s end.
Altogether, he has not run a Cup race since the 2003 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He finished 20th in a car owned by Richard Childress.
Last year, Hornaday was running fourth in the Truck Series standings for Turner Scott Motorsports when a dispute between the team’s owners led to him and his No. 30 team missing the Aug. 31 event at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
A few days later, the whole program was shut down. Hornaday would return to action with NTS Motorsports later that year at Las Vegas, Talladega, and Texas in its No. 9 Chevrolet. Despite the missed races, he still finished 14th in the Truck Series standings on the strength of five Top-5s and 10 Top-10s.
Key hopes that Hornaday’s veteran leadership will be useful as TMG gets rolling along in Cup.
“Ron has been involved in the NASCAR industry for over 20 years now,” said Key. “His experience and knowledge of the industry is exactly what we need this first year in the Sprint Cup Series.”