Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday appeared with Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue on Wednesday to promote the Georgia NASCAR license plates and participated in a Georgia H.E.A.T. Enforcement Team check point.
Hornaday, a four-time Truck Series champion and one-time AMS winner, appeared in Atlanta to assist Atlanta Motor Speedway in promoting the Atlanta 200 Truck Series race during the March 5-7 Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend.
As part of the promotional appearance, Governor Perdue provided Hornaday with an oversized Georgia NASCAR license plate and Hornaday awarded Atlanta 200 race tickets to the first 30 families securely buckled up during the traffic stop.
"I've been in that predicament before and pulled around the corner leaving a restaurant and you have no idea where your license is and you're making sure everyone is buckled properly," said Hornaday, describing his own experience with a traffic stop. "There's a nervousness when you see [a traffic stop] and then you hand them a ticket to go to the racetrack and then you see the kid's eyes light up. To see the reaction of some people who think they're in trouble but aren't and then they get a ticket to the racetrack, its pretty cool."
When asked why Atlanta is such a popular track among drivers, Hornaday responded:
"You can't really answer that. At first glance it's just another ‘cookie cutter' track, but its not. It's a track with - the aging of the asphalt, the tires Goodyear brings, the atmosphere and the fans - I don't know what it is. But you have to have a handling race truck there and it's where I had one of my closest finishes in a race with Bobby Labonte.
"Everybody asks me what track is my favorite track and I say, ‘It's the ones I win at,' but Atlanta is my most favorite because I got to do my burnout," continued Hornaday, describing his Victory Lane experience in Atlanta after winning the 2005 Truck Series race in Atlanta. "I pulled in [to Victory Lane after winning] and there was somebody watering the flowers before that and my tires started spinning, so I just kept spinning into Victory Lane. I got to the next track and tried to do the same and got scolded by everyone and NASCAR.
"The track is so wide, the way the banking is, and the way you come off Turn Four - I don't know why it makes for good racing, but everybody seems to like [Atlanta]."
Hornaday returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 6 to compete in the Atlanta 200. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.