NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report - Iowa

July 29, 2017

Track:                    Iowa Speedway
Race:                     US Cellular 250
Date:                     July 28, 2017

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Sam Hornish Jr.

Start:  4th
Finish: 34th
Status: Accident
Laps Completed: 229/254
Laps Led: 0
Owner's Points Position (behind leader): 1st (+74)

Recap: Sam Hornish Jr. was on his way to a top-three finish on Saturday afternoon at Iowa Speedway, but a blown right front tire put the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in the wall with less than 25 laps to go, relegating the Ohio-native to a 34th-place finish. Hornish proved to be one of the fastest cars on the track from the start of the weekend, leading practice on Friday and qualifying fourth Saturday morning. As the afternoon's 250-lap event got underway, Hornish ran as high as second but eventually settled into fifth, where he would finish the first stage. With a car that wouldn't run on the top groove and that was loose in and off on the bottom groove, crew chief Greg Erwin has his work cut out for him in trying to figure out what adjustments to make. All afternoon long, Erwin took big swings on changes for the Ford Mustang, each time to little or no avail in altering the handling characteristics of Hornish's car. Following a seventh-place finish in stage two, Hornish looked to be improving as the race got within the 100-lap-to-go mark. Through some solid restarts, Hornish was able to race his way to the third position. However, with less than 25 laps to go in the race, the right front tire on the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford failed, sending Hornish hard into the outside wall.  The damage was significant and Hornish had to retire from the event, finishing a disappointing 34th. Despite the rough day, the No. 22 team continues to lead in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Owners' point standings, 74 points ahead of second place.

Quote: "I don't really know what happened there. It didn't give me any sort of warning. Looks like we had a bead failure on the right front. We were definitely using the right front hard, but I didn't think I was using that much brake. I just hate it for these Discount Tire guys. This is two races at Iowa here and two races leaving with wrecked racecars, neither of which was our doing. I guess that is just what happens though. I thought we could have come out of here with a third- or fourth-place finish at least. Hopefully, we can get this bad luck behind us when we go to Mid-Ohio in a couple of weeks."