Hornish Starting 24th Sunday at the Brickyard

July 28, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (July 28, 2012) – Sam Hornish Jr. will start the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge from the 24th position in Sunday’s Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 Sprint Cup Series race here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Hornish turned in a lap of 50.020 seconds (179.928 mph) in today’s qualifying session at the “Brickyard” to earn the starting spot.

“The car has been a little bit difficult,” Hornish said after making his qualifying run.   “We're not loose or tight, we're loose and tight. I'm having a hard time finding some stability in the rear of the car. We're going to have to be smart with the things that we're going to do and try to have as best of run that we can tomorrow.”

Hornish was 24th fastest in today’s first practice session and 17th fastest in the final session prior to qualifying.  His best practice lap was a 49.959-second (180.148 mph) circuit around this historical 2.5-mile track.

“I feel with this car I haven't been comfortable yet,” said Hornish, the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner who will be making his fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup at IMS here tomorrow.  “When I go into the corner the back end will slide out and as soon as I give it a little direction it just keeps moving around and it really never gets to the point where (the car) feels like it's underneath me. Maybe I'm asking too much of it? We're just not quite there yet."

“The weather conditions tomorrow are going to be just like today here and we’ll be quite adjustable with our setup,” said crew chief Todd Gordon.  “With Sam and Brad (Keselowski, Penske Racing teammate) both running the Nationwide Series race here today, I think that’ll be a plus for us here tomorrow.  Since both series are running the same tires, we’ll be able to get a good read on that situation, too.”

Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award in impressive fashion here this afternoon.  His fast lap of 49.244 seconds (182.763 mph) was considerably faster than second-fastest Carl Edwards’ lap of 49.455 seconds (181.984 mph).  Joey Logano qualified third with his lap of 49.517 seconds (181.756 mph).  Aric Almirola was fourth with a lap of 49.538 seconds (181.679 mph) and Greg Biffle was fifth with a 49.578-second (181.532 mph) lap.

Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out today’s top-10 qualifiers.  Keselowski will start his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge from the 22nd spot after clocking in with a lap of 49.959 seconds (180.148 mph).

Sunday’s Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 (400 miles, 160 laps around 2.5-mile IMS track) is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. EDT start, with ESPN and IMS Radio Network beginning their coverage of the event an hour earlier.