Hornish Hustles His Way to Fifth-Place Finish
June 23, 2013THE RACE
Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America (4.04 mile road course Elkhart Lake, Wis.)
June 22, 2013
The No. 12 Snap-on Ford Mustang
Start Position: 8
Finish Position: 5
Current Driver's Points Position: 3
THE RACE REVIEW
· Hornish started the event from the eighth position based on his Saturday morning qualifying effort. He lapped the 4.04 mile 14-Turn road course in 134.348 seconds at an average speed of 108.471 mph.
· During the opening laps of the race made cautious but steady progress as he advanced to fourth by lap seven.
· As the field cycled through the first round of pit stops Hornish advanced to the third spot at lap 19, and then assumed the lead at lap 31 by staying on the racing surface as most of the field pitted.
· At lap 33 Hornish relinquished the lead as he pitted to stay on a safe fuel strategy.
· As Hornish left the pit lane, it was determined that he exceeded the pit lane speed limit and had to serve a drive-through penalty. This resulted in Hornish dropping back to 32nd in the running order.
· Over the ensuing laps Hornish made a spirited charge towards the front – driving from 32nd to 14th in just 10 laps.
· At lap 39 while running 22nd the Hornish pitted under yellow to clear the grille of debris he picked up while avoiding contact. During this stop, he topped off the fuel tank and took on four fresh tires.
· A series of late race cautions extended the 50 lap event as it took two green-white-checkers to complete the race.
· Hornish was able to hustle his Snap-on Ford to a fifth-place finish.
· The top-five finish closed the gap to point leader Regan Smith, yet resulted in Hornish slipping to third in the point standings just two points out of second.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
CAN YOU SUMMARIZE YOUR RACE?
“The Snap-on Ford Mustang was strong today. We had a top-three car, but we caught ourselves out with fuel strategy. This track is long, and as we saw there tends to be a couple of green-white-checkered finishes so having enough fuel at the end is critical. The second caution of the day came just a few laps too early for us to pit and make it to the end, so we stayed out and got the lead, but then ended up pitting on the restart since it was a long caution period. That put us back in the field and then I got the penalty for speeding while leaving the pits, and that put us back further still. At that point, we just put our heads down and went to work. We made up a lot of ground over the closing laps and finished fifth. I am not sure, but I think if we would have had one more green-white-checkers the guys in front of me would have run out of gas, and we would have been in great shape – you just never know. Congrats to AJ and the 22 team. That is big for AJ and the whole team.”
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