Hornish Finishes 28th at Richmond International Raceway

September 12, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. (September 11, 2010) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 28th in the Air Guard 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night.

After starting the race from the 33rd position, Hornish was tasked with working his way through the field at the .75-mile short track. Pleased with the performance of the Mobil 1 Dodge from the first run of the race, Hornish posted consistent top-10 lap times by lap 50.

When the caution flag was displayed on lap 55, Hornish was running in the 24th spot and reported that the No. 77 Dodge was tight-handling in the center of the corners and had started to develop a loose condition on the exit of the turns. On lap 57, Hornish came to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and right-side air pressure adjustments. He restarted the race in 23rd place.

A long green-flag run ensued, and Hornish provided constant updates to the Mobil 1 Dodge crew. On lap 75, he reported that the adjustments had increased the loose-handling condition of the race car. By lap 100, Hornish was running in 26th place and he relayed that addressing the tight-handling condition in the center of the corners would also likely improve the loose condition on the exit of the turns. On lap 133, Hornish fell one lap down to the leaders while running in the 24th spot.

A timely caution period at lap 145, before scheduled green-flag pit stops, gave the Mobil 1 team the opportunity to make further adjustments to the No. 77 Dodge. Running in 22nd place, Hornish came to pit road for four tires and fuel, along with air pressure and track bar adjustments. With 17 cars on the lead lap, Hornish restarted the race on lap 153 from the 21st position.

The caution flag was displayed once again on lap 225 for light rain in the area. Positioned 27th as the second car running two laps down to the leaders, Hornish came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to the Mobil 1 Dodge. The inclement weather quickly passed over the track and Hornish restarted the race on lap 241 from the 24th position.

Hornish and the No. 77 crew worked diligently over the second half of the race to gain valuable track position and improve the handling on the Mobil 1 Dodge. However, long green-flag runs dominated the complexion of the race and prevented Hornish from overcoming his lap deficit. When the checkered flag waved, he crossed the finish line in 28th place, three laps down to race winner Denny Hamlin.

Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch finished the race in 15th and 18th place, respectively.

“Early in the race, we were pretty good,” said Hornish. “We went from 33rd to I think 21st. We made a small adjustment on the air pressure and that didn’t work and we went back on that and made another small change and it was even worse. We didn’t make good adjustments on the car tonight. We were good on the first run and good on the last run, but it wasn’t good on any run in the middle. Unfortunately, that hurt us.”

Still ranked 28th in the driver point standings, Hornish and the Mobil 1 team will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sylvania 300 on Sunday, September 19, 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 PRN and Sirius Satellite Radio.