Hornish to Start Third in NASCAR Showdown

May 21, 2010

CONCORD, N.C. (May 21, 2010) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, will start third in the NASCAR Showdown on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway after Friday’s qualifying session was cancelled due to rain.

The Showdown is the qualifying race held prior to the All-Star Race with the top two finishers and one fan vote recipient advancing directly to the main event. Last season, Hornish scored his first NASCAR victory in the Showdown and immediately transferred to the All-Star Race where he captured a 16th-place finish. In 2008, Hornish finished second in the Showdown and finished seventh in the star-studded, million-dollar race.

The third competitor to make a qualifying attempt, Hornish posted a fast-lap time of 29.324 seconds at a speed of 184.150 miles per hour during qualifying at the 1.5-mile oval. With four drivers left to qualify, rain began to fall and the session was postponed while crews attempted to dry the track surface. Time trials were ultimately cancelled with the field being set by qualifying order. Hornish will start third in the 40-lap shootout in an effort to race his way into the All-Star Race for the third year in a row.

‘We were just too free out there,” said Hornish. “We were really tight in practice and we kept trying to free it up and may have gone too far. Hopefully we’ll get it figured out for the race. We've run well here in this event in the past. You never know what can happen in these shootout style races."

Coverage of the Showdown/All-Star Race will air live on Saturday, May 22 on SPEED beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.