NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report - Kentucky

September 24, 2017

Track:                    Kentucky Speedway
Race:            300
Date:                     September 23, 2017

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

Start:  15th
Finish: 31st
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  191/200
Laps Led: 0
Owners' Points Position (behind leader):  8th (-36)

Recap: Sam Hornish Jr. continued his roller coaster of a season behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. The Ohio-native, who won at Mid-Ohio earlier this year, was involved in a wreck early in the second segment en route to a disappointing 31st-place finish in the opening round of the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs. Hornish struggled during qualifying at the 1.5-mile oval and only timed in 15th quick. However, the team wasn't worried as the No. 22 Discount Tire Mustang showed consistent speed in practice. That came into play as Hornish began to slowly and methodically work his way to the front of the field just after the start of the 200-lap event. At the end of the first stage, Hornish had raced his way to 11th and a solid pit stop from the Discount Tire team got him out 10th as stage two was set to begin. Unfortunately, as Hornish raced into turns one and two, the No. 33 of Brandon Jones dove under the Discount Tire Mustang, got loose and got into the left rear of Hornish. He was able to keep the car from spinning, but slapped the outside wall in the process. The damage forced Hornish to bring the car to pit road, where the team spent six laps trying to make repairs. Despite the issues, Hornish was able to go back out and complete the race, running lap times just a few tenths of a second off the leaders for most of the night. However, not wanting to get in the way of the racing up front, Hornish would end up finishing 31st, nine laps down. The finish knocked the No. 22 Discount Tire team back to eighth in the Owners' Championship standings – 36 behind the No. 42 of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Quote: "This year has been tough to say the least. We've had fast cars every time we've been at the track, but this is the second time we've be outside of someone and they got loose under us and put us in the wall. It's just not fair to Discount Tire and all the guys on this team who work so hard. I know it's not the way any of us wanted to start off the playoffs going for the Owners' Championship. We struggled a little bit with pure speed this weekend, but we had a consistent car and that was showing in the race. I think Greg (Erwin) made some good changes and we were going to have a strong second stage. If we could have got up to the leaders, we were a top-three car. We just never made it there."