Michigan: Sam Hornish Jr race report

Hornish Finishes 29th at Michigan International Speedway BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 2009) -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 29th in the LifeLock 400 at Michigan...

Hornish Finishes 29th at Michigan International Speedway

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 2009) -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 29th in the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

The No. 77 team qualified in the 34th position but had to drop to the rear of the field at the start of the 400-mile event after engine concerns following final practice forced the team to change motors. Once racing action got underway Sunday afternoon, Hornish reported that the Mobil 1 Dodge ran well on the bottom of the track but was loose-handling as he moved to the higher lines.

The first round of green flag pit stops began shortly before lap 40 and Hornish brought the No. 77 Dodge to pit road for four tires and fuel. The Mobil 1 team also made an air pressure adjustment and removed spring rubbers from the right-rear spring. When pit stops cycled through, Hornish was posted in 34th place.

Following the stop, Hornish relayed to the team that the Mobil 1 Dodge was loose-handling entering the turns and needed improved forward drive on the exit of the corners. When the first caution of the race came out for debris on lap 73, Hornish was running in the 33rd spot, one lap down to leaders. He came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a right-side track bar adjustment. He restarted the race in 31st place.

At the midpoint of the race, Hornish was posted in the 32nd position with 23 cars on the lead lap. Hornish reported that the No. 77 Dodge was still running loose overall when the second round of green flag pit stops was set to begin. He pitted on lap 115 for four tires, fuel and a substantial wedge adjustment. As pit stops were completed, Hornish was in 30th place, running two laps down to the leaders.

The Mobil 1 team continued to make adjustments to the race car during the remaining pit stops of the race, hoping to improve its performance. Hornish secured a 29th-place finish at the two-mile D-shaped oval in the Irish Hills of Michigan. With the result, Hornish is now 24th in the Cup Series driver point standings, just 92 points out of 20th place.

Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme finished the race in 8th and 38th place, respectively.

"Today was a long day for this Mobil 1 team," said Hornish. "We had to start from the back of the pack and with the long green flag runs, we never really were able to get a handle on the Mobil 1 Dodge. We've had a strong run of momentum lately and I am very proud of everyone on this team. We will just regroup and get ready to go road course racing in Sonoma."

Hornish and the Mobil 1 team head to Infineon Raceway next weekend for the first road course race of the season.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , David Stremme , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske