STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway (1.5 -mile speedway, Joliet, Ill.)
THE RACE REVIEW
· Hornish began the race from the pole position, as he earned his second career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole during Sunday morning qualifications.
· The Alliance Truck Parts driver led the first 48 laps of the 200 lap event, lapping the field up to 20th place. Over the opening stint, Hornish reported that his Ford Mustang was a little too loose on corner entry and exit, yet he consistently was among the top fastest in lap times.
· A lap 47 caution flag set-up the first pit stop of the race. The pits were initially closed, and then opened up unexpectedly. As Hornish made his way into the pit lane, he was not able to get his Mustang slowed down sufficiently. This resulted in a speeding penalty and he would have to drop to the back of the pack for the restart, which after the pit stop took him from second place to the tail end of the field in the 21st position.
· It took just 46 laps for Hornish to make his way back into the top-five.
· At lap 148, Hornish took over the second position in the running order.
· Two late race cautions would determine the outcome of the race. At lap 176, Hornish restarted in the second position and then took a commanding lead at lap 178 only to have another caution bunch the field.
· On the final restart Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano got past Hornish and took the checkered flag as the Alliance Truck Parts Ford finished second.
· With the strong finish, Hornish once again takes over the top spot in the series standings as he now leads second place competitor Regan Smith by seven points.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
YOU HAD A FAST CAR AND REGAINED THE LEAD IN THE STANDINGS, TELL US ABOUT THE RACE
“We qualified on the pole, and we led a lot of laps early in the race. We caught ourselves out on the first yellow when the pits opened sooner than I expected and we got a speeding penalty. That hurt a little, but we knew we had a fast Ford Mustang, so we just stayed focused and made our way up to the front. On the second to the last restart, I was able to get the lead then the caution came out as the track got oiled down. We were concerned about taking the top or the bottom as there was oil dry on the track. Joey got us on the restart, and we couldn’t quite get to him before the checkered. Great points day as we have the lead again. We just came up a little short of the win.” - Sam Hornish Jr.