Hornish Jr. Has Tough Day in Daytona

February 19, 2011

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 19, 2011) - Sam Hornish Jr. the driver of the No. 12 "392" Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series finished 36th in the seasoning opening Drive4CPOD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

Hornish started the 300-mile event on the inside of row nine on the grid, in the 17th position. The race began under on a beautiful Florida day with clear skies, perfect temperature and a nice breeze. The No. 12 "392" Dodge was fast early in the race and ran as high as third-place on lap three.

The field shuffled around quite a bit in the early going as the drivers looked for partners that they could work within the two car draft. On lap 15 the No. 12 Dodge was collected by another car and then turned around going into the tri-oval of the famed speedway.

Hornish brought his wounded Dodge to the pit where the No. 12 crew went to work repairing the body damage and adjusting the car's front toe. It took multiple stops over the course of the caution period in order to make the car safe to drive and this cost the team valuable track position.

The No. 12 Dodge restarted the race four laps down in the 38th position on lap 20. Just three laps later the caution flew again and this gave Hornish the "Lucky Dog" and he subsequently made up one of the laps to move into the 35th position, three laps down. At this point Hornish reported that "the car was fine and he was just working on getting the laps back."

By lap 50 Hornish had his Challenger into the 33rd position. On lap 56 the field checked up in front of No. 12 Dodge and he was spun around by the car behind. This spin sent the No. 12 into the inside all where it sustained considerable damage. Hornish managed to nurse the car into the pits where the crew once again went to work. Crew chief Chad Walter determined that the damage to the front splitter required going back to the garage for repairs. Once the crew had the opportunity to look the car over in the garage it was discovered that the damage to the front of the car was too great to be repaired. This ended the day for the No. 12.

"We just got collected twice, it's a shame, said Hornish. "Both wrecks were about the same each time. The first spin, somebody got sideways and get us turned. Then we tried to get back on the lead lap. The 15 was pushing us and somebody checked-up in front of me. I had to get out of the throttle to not get into him. We got spun around and ended up getting into the wall. We had a vibration and the (front axle) toe was kicked out; it was enough for one day. I just wish we could have done a little bit more with our Dodge Challenger SRT8 today. This car was fast and looked awesome. I love racing here at Daytona. It was just a tough day, but I appreciate all the hard effort from the crew and would like to thank Dodge and Hart & Huntington for their support."