Hornish Finishes Seventh in NASCAR Showdown

May 23, 2010

CONCORD, N.C. (May 22, 2010) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished seventh in the NASCAR Showdown qualifying event for the All-Star Race Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The NASCAR Showdown is a 40-lap shootout that is 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 All-Star race.

Starting from the third position on Saturday evening, Hornish relayed early on that the Mobil 1 Dodge was tight-handling down the backstretch. By lap 10, Hornish was posted in the fourth spot and he tried running the high line to see if he could pick up any speed.

As the first segment came to a close, Hornish reported that the No. 77 Dodge had become progressively more loose-handling. When the caution flag waved on lap 16, Hornish came to pit road for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment during his only pit stop of the race. Hornish restarted the race at the start of the second segment in the sixth spot.

During the Showdown, Hornish provided feedback to his team in preparation for the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He narrowly avoided involvement in an accident on lap 21 and ran solidly inside the top-10 for the entire segment. Hornish finished the race in seventh place, breaking a two-year streak of racing his way into the main event.

“We hoped for a little better finish tonight with our Mobil 1 Dodge,” said Hornish. “We were just loose on the throttle. It’s something that we’ve been fighting. When we unloaded yesterday, we were too tight on throttle so we did a lot of things to try to make it free and we went too far.  We just couldn’t find the happy medium with all the things that we’ve done to figure out where we need to be. Generally, when we come to a non-points race like this, we can try to use it as a test session. I just wish that we could have made my car drive a little bit better tonight.”

Hornish and the Mobil 1 team return to Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 30, 2010. Racing action will air live on the FOX television network beginning at 5:45 p.m. EDT. The race will also be broadcast live on PRN Radio.