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Hornaday credits crew for victory at Sparta

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By Brian Blair

Two drivers came into Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway looking to extend winning streaks. Both were successful.

Ron Hornaday Jr. held off Mike Skinner on the final lap to claim the checkered flag in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. For Hornaday, it was his third-consecutive win. With the win, he became the first repeat winner of the race at the track.

The second race of the night saw Parker Kligerman finish first in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. For the 18-year-old rookie, it was his fourth straight victory and his fifth of the season.

Hornaday captured the pole earlier in the day Saturday. He and his crew battled their truck all night long but were still able to lead the race four times for a total of 29 laps.

Following the race, Hornaday said he did not have the best truck in the race and was quick to give credit to his team.

“We finally got the truck right. I would have been happy with a top five, but the team kept pumping me up and working.”

Hornaday needed to hold off Skinner over the final laps and even survived a restart with five laps remaining. The race was the closest series finish in the track history as Hornaday’s final margin of victory was just 0.135 of a second.

“This is pretty exciting " three in a row,” Hornaday said.

Matt Crafton finished third while Timothy Peters came in fourth. Aric Almirola rounded out the top five.

The win allowed Hornaday to maintain the points lead in the series standings. He currently leads Crafton by 76 points. Skinner is third in the standings, 134 points of the pace being set by Hornaday.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series race also came down to the wire.

Kligerman snuck past Grant Enfinger on turn four and held on for the win. The final margin of victory was 0.599 of a second.

Brian Ickler claimed the pole for the race earlier in the day but it was Enfinger who led all but two of the final 30 laps. Ickler would eventually finish fifth. Frank Kimmel, who was looking for his fifth win at the track, came across the finish line in eighth place.

With the win, Kligerman maintained his overall points lead in the standings. Justin Lofton remains second in the standings after his third-place finish Saturday night.

Kentucky Speedway will now gear up for the final race weekend of the year coming July 31 and Aug. 1. Danica Patrick, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and others will be in Sparta for the Indy Racing League’s, “Meijer Indy 300 Presented by Red Baron and Edy’s” at 8:30 p.m.  Aug. 1. The day will begin with the “Kentucky Indy Lights 100” as part of the Firestone Indy Lights series. The green flag will drop at 4 p.m. Both series will hold practice sessions on July 31.