Hornish Finishes 38th in LifeLock.com 400 in Chicago

July 12, 2009

JOLIET, Ill. (July 11, 2009) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 38th in the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night.

Before hitting the track for Saturday’s race, Hornish participated in a “friendly competition” at Soldier Field in downtown Chicago on Friday morning. Hornish, teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme joined members of the media in the Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy NASCAR Challenge. Participants drove fuel-efficient Mobil 1-branded Smart cars on a miniature road course in an event designed to show ExxonMobil’s continued support for the Alliance to Save Energy and its Drive $marter Challenge, which has the goal of increasing fuel efficiency nationwide.  

Starting from the 16th position, Hornish quickly reported that the No. 77 machine was loose-handling on the entry and exit of the corners. He recommended that the crew “tighten up” the race car so that he could accelerate easier on corner exit. When the caution flag waved on lap 38 for debris, Hornish was posted in the 22nd spot. He came to pit road for four tires and fuel, along with an air pressure and wedge adjustment. He restarted the race in 24th place.

On the next short run, the Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge was dialed in to drive to the bottom of the track and easily pass competitors. By lap 75, Hornish reported that the No. 77 Dodge was tight entering the corners through the center and loose on the exit of the turns.

Hornish pitted on lap 94 during the first round of green flag pit stops while running in the 17th spot. The crew changed four tires, added fuel and made air pressure and wedge adjustments before sending Hornish back on track. When pit stops cycled through, Hornish was running in 18th place on the lead lap.

A timely caution flag came out near the midpoint of the race, with Hornish running in 17th place and only 18 cars on the lead lap. Hornish relayed that the Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge was tight in the center of the corners. He came to pit road for four tires, fuel, air pressure and track bar adjustments. He restarted the race in the 18th position.

During a double-file race restart, Hornish was caught in a tight group of cars and was spun down the backstretch. Hitting the inside wall, the Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge was damaged beyond repair. Hornish finished the race in 38th place, 50 laps down to race winner Mark Martin. Hornish is now 29th in the 2009 driver point standings, just 35 points outside of 25th place.

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme finished the race in 17th and 26th place, respectively.

“What a disappointing night for the Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge,” said Hornish. “It’s tough when you get bunched up like that. We were running 19th when we were spun from behind. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get back on track. We’ll regroup and be ready to race at Indy in two weeks.”

Hornish and the No. 77 team will enjoy a weekend off before heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the excitement of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Racing action will air live on Sunday, July 26, 2009 on the ESPN television network beginning at 1 p.m. EDT and will also be broadcast live on IMS Radio.