Ron Hornaday, a stock car racer who has spent time in all three NASCAR series’, has admitted to using testosterone beginning in 2004. The “cream” as it is called.
As someone who has been in the pits and the garages during NASCAR events, this comes as little suprise to me. In fact, I thought Hornaday was on something the day I interviewed him following his qualifying run for a NASCAR Busch Series race in Spring of 2005.
As I recall, Hornaday stepped out of his car as two reporters and myself approached him to talk. He removed his helmet and I got a look at his eyes. They were intense. They were darting. They were glazed over.
I’d been told how the extremes of driving nearly 200 mph in 100-degree heat caused the human body to do many things. Sweat, dehydrate and weaken — yes. Dialate pupils and glaze corneas — no.
I wanted to ask him: “Bro, what are you on?” But I thought better of that and decided to ask him what he thought of his chances of ever winning another NASCAR title. I want to say he said: “Pretty good, now that I’m on the juice!” But I think he said something about how good his car’s running and thanked a sponsor or 12 before retiring to his trailer.
NASCAR has a drug-testing policy. They’ve banned the “abuse” of all drugs. I guess that doesn’t include Hornaday, who claims he had a thyroid condition and sought the help of doctors at a Florida clinic after traditional care doctors failed to diagnose and perscribe a treatment plan. He got a perscription for testosterone and HGH (for his wife) from this clinic. It just so happens that his clinic is the same as that which perscribed steriods and growth hormone for players in the NFL and MLB.
Hornaday says he hasn’t taken “the cream” since last season. This season, Hornady is winning races for the first time since 2005 and is less than 100 points out of the top spot Craftsman Trucks Series.
Hmm… Imroved stamina and endurance. Faster recovery time. These are abilities that could prove useful to NASCAR drivers who want to win races, especially 50-year-old NASCAR drivers who still want to win races.
Hmm… Media scandal. Congressional hearings. These are disabilities that could prove harmful to a racing league grasping for national attention, especially with the shadow of another driver’s admission of racing high on heroine still looming over this season.
Hornaday took that chance. And now NASCAR has had to react in order to steer clear of Washington by instituting drug tests for everyone in who goes “over the wall” at a race — drivers and pit crew, mostly.
Hornaday is “over the hill” and must have felt the pressure to compete with the younger, faster drivers on the circuit.
You know, Ricky Bobby once said: “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
Just so happens “Talledega Nights” is Ron Hornaday’s favorite movie. Swear to it. You can look it up.