Hornish Finishes 26th at Michigan International Speedway

June 13, 2010

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 13, 2010) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 26th in the Heluva! Good Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on Sunday.

Hornish, who hails from nearby Defiance, Ohio, considers Michigan to be his home track and has competed at MIS across four different series of racing. Hornish qualified 18th for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race in front of family and friends.

The first caution of the afternoon came on lap 18 with Hornish running in the 23rd position. He relayed to his team that the Mobil 1 Dodge was loose-handling entering and exiting the turns and tight-handling through the center of the corners. Hornish came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments before restarting the race from the 23rd spot.

By lap 75, Hornish remained in 23rd place and reported that the Mobil 1 Dodge had become loose-handling all the way through the corners. He came to pit road for the first round of green flag pit stops on lap 87 for four tires, fuel and track bar adjustments in hopes of alleviating the loose condition on the No. 77 Dodge. When pit stops cycled through, Hornish was posted in the 26th position.

As the yellow flag was displayed on lap 98, Hornish and crew chief Travis Geisler opted not to pit in order to gain track position. Hornish advanced to the lead and led the field to the green flag for the restart on lap 103.

After leading for five laps, Hornish relinquished the top position to teammate Kurt Busch. Now on a different pit stop cycle, Hornish came to pit road for service under green flag conditions on lap 129 while running in the 11th spot. After the service, he returned to racing action and waited for the remainder of the field to make pit stops just a handful of laps later. When all pit stops had cycled through, Hornish was once again running in 11th place.

Off sequence with the rest of the field, Hornish made his last pit stop under green flag conditions on lap 164. Approaching the pit stall, the Mobil 1 Dodge slid over the air hose of the front tire changer, which cost the team valuable time. Determined to try and make up lost ground, Hornish was posted in the 26th spot, one lap down to the leaders, after making a final pit stop under caution on lap 181. Hornish remained 26th when the checkered flag waved at the conclusion of the 400-mile event.

“We just weren’t very good today from the start,” said Hornish. “We did everything that we could to get track position and get the car to run better. We got the car better in the middle of the race, but just fell off late. Late in the race we had a problem on pit road during a green flag pit stop and that cost us a bunch of spots. It was a tough day for us. We’ll move on to Sonoma and we know anything can happen on a road course.”

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski finished the race in third and 27th place respectively.

Hornish and the Mobil 1 team head to Infineon Raceway next weekend for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 20, 2010. Racing action will air live on the TNT television network beginning at 3 p.m. EDT. The race will also be broadcast live on PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.