July 27, 2012 2:01 PM
This could be a watershed weekend for Sam Hornish, Jr.
The Penske Racing Team member will be driving the No. 22
Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger in place of A.J. Allmendinger in
Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Hornish already knows what it’s like to take the checkered
flag at Indy. And the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner says he is
keeping everything in perspective as he goes about his “super
“I’m going to go out there and try to do the best job
that I can,” Hornish said. “This is an opportunity that
I wasn’t thinking that I was going to have. We want to go out
there and be smart, have a good day and see if we can’t
figure out how to get the job done.”
Hornish will be making his third consecutive start in the No. 22
Dodge after finishing 33rd and 22nd in the last two Sprint Cup
races. He’s replacing Allmendinger, who has been suspended
indefinitely by NASCAR.
Hornish will also be piloting his No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge
Challenger in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Indy 250.
He remains tantalizingly close in the chase for the series
championship, trailing leader Elliott Sadler by 42 points in the
standings. Hornish has been a fixture in the top 10 this season,
racking up 11 top-10 finishes in 18 races and remains positive
about his chances to contend for the title.
“If you looked where we were at a month ago, we were a little
more than 70 points out. The fact that we’ve closed that door
a little bit and continue to be consistent, that’s what we
need to do. I feel like the places that we’re going to make
it up are the road courses, the flat tracks. I guess we’d
rather be the underdog and be the one that doesn’t have to
answer all the questions and sneak up on it a little bit.
“We are very excited to be a part of the inaugural Nationwide
Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend as the
track has unparalleled heritage and prestige . It has a very unique
significance within Penske Racing and I have a special feeling for
the place too.”
You said it, Sam. You already have an Indy memory you’ll
And another one is within your grasp.