Hornish Starting 15th in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400

October 19, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (October 19, 2012) – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver qualified 15th for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 here at the newly resurfaced and reconfigured Kansas Speedway.  Hornish circled the 1.5-mile layout in 28.407 seconds (190.094 mph) on a day that saw all qualifiers (including three who did not make the race) turn in faster laps than the old track qualifying record (29.858 seconds/180.856 mph).

“Our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger was good, but I messed up the first lap,” Hornish said after making his run.  “I thought that I could arc the first corner a little bit more but I didn’t have the rear security that I wanted.  We just missed a bit.”

Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award today with a lightning-fast lap of 28.219 seconds (191.360 mph).  Mark Martin was a close second with his lap of 28.237 seconds (191.238 mph).  Clint Bowyer was third with a 28.250-second (191.130 mph) lap, Kyle Busch (28.258 seconds/191.096 mph) fourth and Aric Almirola (28.274 seconds/190.988 mph) fifth.  The top-15 qualifiers eclipsed the 190 mph mark.

“It’s really fast,” Hornish explained to Dodge SRT’s Scott Sebastian.  “Even though we’re going a bit quicker in the Cup cars it’s a little bit more comfortable than the Nationwide cars are right now.  It’s really fast in the Nationwide car with the amount of power that they have.  Some of the traffic that we have on the Nationwide side of things will make that race really interesting.

“As far as the Cup cars are concerned, I feel the key for us is the sun to come out and warm the track up a bit,” Hornish offered.  “I think if that happens you’ll see some guys be able to move around a bit.  It’s just so hard to do it right now because any part of the track that hasn’t been raced on the last two days is dusty and dirty, the wind has been blowing around, and it just makes it hard to get a line.  It’s just going to be one of those things where (it) keeps creeping and creeping into play.  Hopefully by time the Nationwide cars race tomorrow that we’ll have enough Cup practice where we’ll have some guys moving around and bring that line in a bit.”

Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, currently atop the Sprint Cup point standings with five races remaining this season, qualified 25th.  He circled the new layout in 28.606 seconds (188.772 mph) in his run against the clock this afternoon.

Saturday’s Cup schedule here at Kansas Speedway calls for morning practice from 10:00 a.m. till 10:50 a.m. and the final “Happy Hour” practice session from 12:50 p.m. till 1:50 p.m. (live on SPEED-TV).  Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (267 Laps, 400.5 miles) has a scheduled 1:00 p.m. CDT (2:00 p.m. EDT) starting time and features live coverage by ESPN-TV and MRN Radio.