Hornish Finishes 38th at Infineon Raceway

June 22, 2009

SONOMA, Calif. (June 21, 2009) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 38th in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on Sunday.

With his wife Crystal and daughter Addison on hand for the Father’s Day road course race, Hornish lined up in the 18th starting position. Shortly after racing action began, Hornish radioed his crew to tell them that the Mobil 1 Dodge had a flat spot on the right front tire. He came to pit road under green flag conditions on lap eight for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment.  He rejoined the race in 41st place on the lead lap.

At a track where fuel mileage and pit strategy often dictate the outcome of the race, the Mobil 1 team was not deterred by the early pit stop. When the caution flag waved on lap 20, Hornish returned to pit road for four tires, fuel, track bar and air pressure adjustments. He made another quick visit to the pits just before the restart to top off the Mobil 1 Dodge with fuel. Hornish restarted the race from the 35th spot.

Many teams began making green flag pit stops just a few laps later and Hornish was able to gain ground and was running ninth by lap 35. When a caution flag came out near the midpoint of the race, Hornish was posted in sixth place. The No. 77 team opted not to pit in order to reach the window where they could make it to the end of the race on just one more pit stop. Hornish was positioned in sixth place on the lap 56 race restart.

On lap 60, Hornish was spun in turn seven but the incident did not force a caution flag. Hornish was able to recover, but quickly dropped in the running order and reported that the right front tire was flat-spotted due to the spin. He came to pit road on lap 65 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. He rejoined the race in the 36th position on the lead lap.

Hornish was later involved in two-car incident in turn 11 and the Mobil 1 Dodge sustained substantial damage as a result. The team quickly went to work making repairs to the race car and Hornish was able to continue in the race. In a strong display of perseverance, Hornish and the Mobil 1 team took the checkered flag in 38th place. Hornish now sits 26th in the 2009 driver point standings, 144 points outside of 20th place.

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme finished the race in 15th and 39th place, respectively.

“It was a tough deal for our Mobil 1 Dodge today,” said Hornish. “We had a strong car today, ran as high as sixth and got turned around a couple of times. After the spin in turn 11, I pointed the car, hit the throttle and got caught up when I tried to get going again. There was a lot of beating and banging going on out there. We ran well at times today, it was just an unfortunate day.”

Hornish and the No. 77 team head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next weekend for the excitement of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. Racing action will air live on Sunday, June 28, 2009 on the TNT television network beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT and will also be broadcast live on PRN Radio.