Sam Hornish Jr. Finishes in 23rd Place at Richmond

May 4, 2008

RICHMOND, Va. (May 3, 2008) – Sam Hornish Jr, driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 23rd  in the Crown Royal presents The Dan Lowry 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night.  The .75-mile track is the site of two IndyCar Series victories for Hornish Jr. and is a favorite track of the former open-wheel champion.
“We’re going to have a good race,” crew chief Chris Carrier radioed his driver and team as the field prepared to take the green flag in 35th spot. “Let’s be smooth all night long. We’re going to focus on good pit stops and making good calls in the pits all night long. Good luck and have fun.”

Once racing action began and Hornish Jr. was able to get a feel for the Mobil 1 Dodge, he radioed that the race car was loose on entry into the corners and on exit. By lap 50, he was posted in the 38th position, running one lap down to the leader.

When the first caution of the race came out on lap 65, Hornish Jr. brought the Mobil 1 machine to pit road for four tires, a full tank of fuel, air pressure and wedge adjustments. He restarted the race on lap 71 in the 37th position.

When the caution flag flew for debris on lap 128, Hornish Jr. relayed that the No. 77 Dodge was better on entry and just a touch too tight in the center of the corners. The Mobil 1 crew prepared to make further adjustments to the race car as Hornish Jr. came down pit road. After a pit stop for four tires, fuel, air pressure and a track bar adjustment, he restarted the race in 36th place.

By lap 155, the Mobil 1 Dodge Charger was loose-handling getting into and coming off of the corners. At the mid-point of the 400 lap race, Hornish Jr. was posted in the 38th position, running two laps down to the race leader. Only 21 cars remained on the lead lap.

The sixth caution of the race came out on lap 230 for a multi-car crash in turn three involving a total of 11 cars. Racing action was red-flagged for slightly more than 23 minutes while crews cleared the wreckage from the race track. The Mobil 1 Dodge was able to avoid the melee but sustained minor left front fender damage directly behind the wheel well. When the yellow flag was displayed and pit road opened, Hornish Jr. came to pit road for four tires and fender repairs. He restarted the race on lap 237 in the 31st position, still two laps down.

A series of late-race cautions ensued and the Mobil 1 team was able to advance in the finishing order due to smart driving, good calls on pit road and attrition. The No. 77 team remains in the top-35 in 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner points, in 35th place, 71 points ahead of 36th place and 10 points from 32nd place.

“We managed to stay out of trouble today and earn another solid finish,” said Hornish Jr. “We were able to get the Mobil 1 Dodge dialed in towards the end of the race but at that point we were already a couple of laps down.
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“We ran the Nationwide Series race Friday night and I feel that it was a benefit to our performance tonight.”

Penske Racing teammates Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch finished the race in 6th and 42nd place, respectively.

The Mobil 1 team heads to Darlington Raceway for more Saturday night racing excitement on May 10, 2008 in the Dodge Challenger 500. Racing action will air live on FOX at 7 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on MRN Radio at 7:20 p.m. EDT.