Hornish Finishes Eighth at Richmond International Raceway

September 13, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. (September 12, 2009) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, captured an eighth-place finish in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night. The result marked consecutive top-10 finishes for Hornish at Richmond and the seventh top-10 result of the season for the Mobil 1 team.

Hornish started the 400-lap race from the 33rd spot, but he quickly relayed that he was pleased with the way the Mobil 1 Dodge handled entering the turns and through the middle of the corners. When the first caution of the race came out on lap 44, Hornish was posted in 20th place. He came to pit road for four tires and fuel, as well as air pressure and track bar adjustments. Hornish was delayed exiting his pit stall when the car in front of him stopped short and blocked the No. 77 in the stall. Hornish restarted the race on lap 50 in the 25th position.

Undeterred, Hornish set himself to the task of regaining position on track. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 106 for debris, Hornish was running in 17th place. After pitting for service on the Mobil 1 machine, he restarted the race from the 16th spot and began advancing through the field. By lap 165, Hornish was positioned in 10th place and was posting competitive lap times.

Hornish ran well inside the top-10 and was shown in eighth place at the midpoint of the race. As one of the fastest cars on the track, Hornish passed the No. 48 machine of Jimmie Johnson on lap 259 for the fifth position.

When the caution flag waved again on lap 278, Hornish was still in the fifth spot and he relayed that the Mobil 1 machine needed to be better getting up to speed on the restart. He came to the pits for service and restarted the race in eighth place. With 100 laps to go, Hornish had slipped to the 11th spot but he began to work his way back to the front.

A series of late-race cautions ensued in the closing laps and Hornish advanced to the eighth spot when the checkered flag waved. Coupled with his sixth-place finish at Richmond back in May, Hornish and the No. 77 team produced back-to-back top-10 efforts at the Virginia short track this season.

With Saturday night’s result, Hornish is now 26th in the 2009 driver point standings, just 21 points outside of 25th place.

“It was a good night for this Mobil 1 Dodge team,” said Hornish. “We had to come from the back and were able to get another top-10 finish. We had a tough pit stall and had a few problems getting out just based on where people were running on track. We needed to be able to get going a little faster on the restarts. It would take us 15 to 20 laps for the car to come to us, but overall the Mobil 1 crew did an outstanding job and I'm proud of our effort tonight.”

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme finished the race in second and 26th place, respectively.

Hornish and the Mobil 1 team head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next week for the Sylvania 300. Racing action will air live on Sunday, September 20, 2009 on the ABC television network beginning at 1 p.m. EDT and will also be broadcast live on PRN Radio.