Hornish Finishes 24th at Chicagoland Speedway

July 11, 2010

JOLIET, Ill. (July 10, 2010) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 24th in the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday after battling a tight-handling race car for most of the night.

Hornish lined up to start the 400-mile race from the fifth position after an impressive qualifying effort on Friday. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 38, Hornish was running in the 18th spot and he reported that the Mobil 1 Dodge was tight-handling in the center of the corners and loose-handling exiting of the turns. He came to pit road for service and restarted the race in 18th place.

A long green-flag run ensued and Hornish came to pit road once again on lap 93 for a scheduled pit stop of four tires, fuel and adjustments. When the stops cycled through, Hornish was running in 26th place. He quickly noted that the Mobil 1 machine was improved and posted better lap times early in a run than it had before.

On lap 106, Hornish fell one lap down to the leaders and the No. 77 team made additional adjustments to the car during a caution period on lap 132. When the race restarted shortly after the midpoint on lap 135, Hornish was in the 27th position, still positioned one lap down to the leaders.

Hornish and the Mobil 1 team continued to race hard, and on lap 169, he passed the No. 29 machine of Kevin Harvick for the “lucky dog” position as the first car one lap down. When the caution flag came out on lap 178, Hornish returned to lead-lap racing.

Back on the lead lap and prepared to mount a late-race charge, Hornish relayed to the Mobil 1 team that the car’s handling had improved entering and exiting the turns, but it needed to turn better through the center of the corners. He came to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, along with air pressure and track bar adjustments. Hornish restarted the race on lap 188 in 24th place.

The handling on the Mobil 1 Dodge slipped once again to the tight side near the end of the 267-lap race. When the checkered flag waved, Hornish crossed the finish line in 24th place, one lap down to race winner David Reutimann.

"The Mobil 1 Dodge wasn't off that much, but we didn't move forward,” said Hornish. “We got a break with the ‘free pass’ and got back on the lead lap, but couldn't get the car tightened up enough to make it work through the corners. We qualify during the day and then race in the evening and night. If you hit on the right setup, you're okay, but if you miss it just the slightest, it's difficult to make the adjustments needed to catch those that had a good setup at the start of the race."

Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch finished the race in 18th and 26th place, respectively.

Hornish, who remained 29th in the Cup Series driver point standings, and the Mobil 1 team will enjoy a weekend off before heading to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 25, 2010. Racing action will air live on the ESPN television network beginning at 1 p.m. EDT. The race will also be broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network and Sirius Satellite Radio.