KANSAS CITY, Kansas - - It’s been a while since NASCAR competitor Chris Horn has stepped foot inside on a racecar. Moving his successful NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team up to the competitive Busch Series this season has had its share of headaches. Despite the woes, the 30-year old driver looks to return to the cockpit in superb fashion.
The Horn Auto Racing team attempted to make the Meijer 300 in June from Kentucky Speedway, but the team found disastrous results in time trials. After notching respectable lap times in practice, Horn pushed his then No. 58 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to the floor. On his first lap of qualifying, Horn’s machine broke loose slamming into the inside wall hard. Luckily, Horn, a former competitor in the American Speed Association was not harmed physically in the accident, but emotionally destroyed.
“I had really high hopes for Kentucky,” said Horn. “We have a good car in practice, it was fast enough to make the race, but the car was way loose in qualifying and I couldn’t hold on to it.” Destroying the only Chevrolet in their fleet, the team was forced to postpone the remainder of their 2004 NASCAR Busch Series event while attempting to build a new automobile.
Horn has worked vigorously around the clock since Kentucky in order to head to the 1.5-mile speedway this weekend. “It’s taken a lot of time, and a lot of sleepless nights, but this brand new Chevrolet Monte Carlo is ready to storm onto the track.”
Motoring into Kansas Speedway this weekend, Horn does have three previous starts at the track in the NCTS. For three consecutive seasons (2001-2003), Horn battled the track posting a career best finish of 14th in 2002. Qualifying shouldn’t be a problem for the driver as he qualified eighth in his last attempt at the speedway.
Thus, with the difference between the machines, and the competitiveness of the series, Horn has no worries. “Yeah, I’m a little nervous heading into the weekend, I really want to make the show. But, our team has to remain focused. There are a lot of good cars entered in this weekend’s event, and we just have to be on top of our game from the start of the weekend.”
Aiding Horn in his 2004 NASCAR Busch Series debut will be his 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series sponsor Sea Foam Auto Marine. Sea Foam was developed originally for the marine market. Sea Foam showed Evinrude Outboard Motors how to solve their stale fuel, varnish and carbon problems with its use. Because the product worked so well, and after many years of experimentation, Sea Foam became a great problem solver in the automotive after market as well. It is renowned as the finest, most multifaceted and safest petroleum product of our times.
In addition, Stealth Titanium Bells has also joined the No. 80 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as a sponsor this weekend.
“I’m so glad that our Kentucky sponsors have returned with us this weekend,” he exclaimed. “I have terrific sponsors. Sea Foam, and Stealth are behind us 100% and I look forward to giving them something to cheer about on Saturday.”
The goals for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa based driver are simple. “First, we have to make sure we have a clean and safe practice session, then we have to put down a solid qualifying time, and then we’ll look to get as much experience and the best finish possible on Saturday afternoon.”
The team does not have any provisonals to fall back on, should weather or a problem interfere during the weekend, HAR (Horn Auto Racing) could be headed home. However, the added pressure doesn’t really seem to bother the former late model competitor. “In racing there’s always pressure, we know this is a huge move for us, but we are up for the challenge and believe we can excel on that if anything just plays in our hands.”
Following Kansas, the team will reevaluate the remainder of their 2004 NBS schedule If all goes well, the team is eyeing the events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Homestead Miami Speedway. “Right now, our schedule is still up in the air, but we know we want to do some more racing. Hopefully if we perform well, our sponsors, and any potential sponsors will allow us to compete in move events,” replied Horn, a former International Karting Federation Champion.
The Mr. Goodcents 300 is the 28th of 34 events on the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series schedule. Practice and qualifying are on the agenda this Friday, October 8th with the race set to take the green flag Saturday afternoon, October 9th. TNT will air the event live beginning at 2:00 PM EST, with MRN handling the airwaves starting at 1:45 PM EST. The race will also be available via XM radio channel 144 launching at 1:00pm