Hornish Finishes 37th at New Hampshire Due to Engine Woes

September 20, 2009

LOUDON, N.H. (September 20, 2009) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 37th in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after falling out of the race due to engine woes. Hornish now sits 27th in the 2009 driver point standings, 72 points outside of 25th place.

In June, Hornish captured an eighth-place finish at the 1.058-mile oval and has a total of five top-15 finishes, with four top-10 results, this season in competition at shorter track venues. After starting from the 24th spot, Hornish and the Mobil 1 team focused their attention on advancing through the field for another strong finish at the “Magic Mile.”

Once racing action was underway, Hornish radioed that the Mobil 1 Dodge was tight-handling in the center of the corners and was loose on exit. When the first caution of the afternoon came out on lap 66, Hornish was running in the 15th spot and requested that the Mobil 1 team focus on improving the race car on the exit of the turns. He came to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, along with air pressure and track bar adjustments. Hornish restarted the race in 14th place.

As the race progressed, Hornish continued to battle the tight condition while running solidly inside the top-20. The caution flag waved near the midpoint of the race, with Hornish running in the 15th position. He came to pit road for service and lined up for the restart from the same spot.

After only a few green flag laps of racing, Hornish radioed that there was a problem with the engine on the Mobil 1 machine. A timely caution came out on lap 161 allowing the No. 77 team to take a look under the hood of the race car and hopefully diagnose the problem. Unfortunately, Hornish was unable to start the engine in the pits and the team was forced to go to behind the wall. Although he was able to eventually fire the engine, Hornish was not able to rejoin the race and the Mobil 1 team was relegated to a 37th-place finish.

“It’s an unfortunate day for this Mobil 1 team,” said Hornish. “We haven’t had any problems this year with our R6 engines. The car was pretty good today. It wasn't as good as it was here in the spring, but I think we had a top-10 car. It's just frustrating for all the guys on the Mobil 1 team but these things happen sometimes."

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme finished the race in sixth and 28th place, respectively.

Hornish and the Mobil 1 team head to Dover International Speedway next week for the AAA 400. Racing action will air live on Sunday, September 27, 2009 on the ABC television network beginning at 1 p.m. EDT and will broadcast live on MRN Radio at 1:15 p.m.