Hornish Scores a Strong 2nd-Place Finish at Kentucky
September 23, 2012
SPARTA, Ky. (September 22, 2012) – Sam Hornish, Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), finished second in the Kentucky 300 on Saturday afternoon. The outcome equals his best result this season.
Hornish started the 200 – lap event from the third position after he posted a lap of 30.959 seconds at 174.424 miles per hour around the 1.5 mile oval. As the race began, Hornish picked up a spot and would run in the second position through lap 30 when a predetermined competition caution was displayed. This allowed Hornish to bring the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts machine to pit road for the first service of the day. During the stop, crew chief Chad Walter called for two right-side tires with an air pressure change, as well as a chassis adjustment and fuel to improve a Dodge Challenger that Hornish reported had built very free over the long run.
The racing action would pick up again at lap 35 with Hornish shown running in the second position. At lap 39 another caution was displayed. On the lap 43 restart the 33 year-old driver would make a determined charge to the front and he would lead three laps before falling back to second at lap 47. Over the next 13 laps Hornish held strong in the second spot in the running order. However, by lap 70, he had dropped two spots.
The Defiance, Ohio native reported that the Dodge Challenger was becoming increasingly loose over the course of the long run and the car was especially unruly in Turns 1 and 2. At lap 86 a caution slowed the field once again setting up a lap 88 pit stop. This time the Penske Racing crew changed four tires, made chassis and air pressure adjustments while filling their Dodge Challenger with fuel.
At lap 92 the action resumed with Hornish scored fourth and over the next 25 laps he would run consistently near that position. At lap 120 he moved into the third spot which he would hold on to for much of the remainder of the event. The Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger would make its final pit stop of the race under green flag racing conditions. The Penske Crew once again made changes to address a car that the driver reported as building free over the long run. At lap 173 Hornish passed his way up to the second position where he would finish out the race.
“The race started off with the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger being really, really free but Chad Walter (crew chief) and the guys on the box made good calls and got our car tightened up a little bit,” said Hornish. “We didn’t really get it tight until the last run, so we were able to kind of move forward from about lap 100 on. I was real happy with that; real thankful things went as well as they did. We gained a couple of points. I’m looking forward to going up to Loudon tomorrow and running the Cup car.”
Penske Racing teammate Ryan Blaney finished ninth in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger.
Following Saturday’s result, Hornish and the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts team maintain fourth in the point standings.
Hornish and the No. 12 Penske Dodge crew will next compete at Dover International Speedway in the OneMain Financial 200. The race will be covered live beginning at 3 p.m. on ESPN2 as well as on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90.