By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
This week there is no NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but that is just fine. Last week Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday left us wanting more with their brand new rivalry.
In case you missed it, late in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville, Hornaday got into the back of Johnny Sauter and took him out of a potential second place run. What ensued after the race was a shouting match. Sauter wanted to give Hornaday a piece of his mind so badly, he even knocked one of his own crew members to the ground to do so.
So should we expect cooler heads to prevail in Nashville this week, or will Sauter be looking for vengeance?
“I think we’ll be fine as long as Johnny Sauter don’t pay me back too bad. Johnny and I had a little conversation at the end of the race and I got into him and spun him out and he was pretty upset about. It, and he’s one of those drivers that will pay you back some day, and hopefully it’s the same way that I got him at Martinsville or something like that where nobody gets hurt,” Hornaday said in a teleconference this week.
Hornaday went on to say, “you don’t go out there to wreck a guy. You go out there to race him hard. I’m sure – Johnny is a racer and he knows how to race, he races as hard as I do, if not harder. He knows what happens in the car and I do, too. So whatever repercussions happens, happens, I didn’t go out there so say I needed a second spot. I needed points and get a good Top-5 and I got it done, that’s all I can tell you.”
Hornaday of course had a horrid start to the season finishing 27th and 34th in the first two races. However after his second place finish at Martinsville last week Hornaday has climbed back to 12th in the point standings. Hornaday makes no qualms about it, he was worried going into Saturday’s race after his sluggish start to the season.
“The competitiveness, you always panic when you get behind the wheel and things are to the going right. I’ve been real fortunate with all of the guys working so hard up there, we have got good trucks.”
So if Sauter does retaliate this week, things could go completely sour for Hornaday as far as the championship is concerned, but Hornaday is ready for when the time comes. There would be no more opportune place for Sauter to be going than Nashville Speedway to repay Hornaday… This is one of Hornaday’s best tracks, and Hornaday of course set the record for most consecutive wins (five-in-a-row) last year in at Nashville.
One thing is for sure it is going to be a fun storyline to watch out for, and this rivalry is just the icing on the cake for a series that produces some of the best racing anywhere in the world.