Hornish Scores 17th-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway FORT WORTH, Texas -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, scored a 17th-place finish in the Samsung 500 at Texas...
Hornish Scores 17th-Place Finish at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, scored a 17th-place finish in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Hornish started the 500-mile event in the 12th position and began providing the Mobil 1 team with consistent feedback on the No. 77 machine. He relayed on lap 10 that the car was tight-handling on entry into the turns and loose-handling on exit. By lap 41, the handling on the Mobil 1 machine was much improved with Hornish noting that he had found a better line on track.
Hornish came to pit road under green flag conditions on lap 52 for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment to help the Mobil 1 Dodge in the center of the turns. When pit stops cycled through, Hornish was posted in 18th place.
As racing action resumed, Hornish radioed that the car's tight-handling condition in the center of the turns continued to be the biggest problem facing the team. When the first caution of the race came out on lap 96, Hornish came to pit road for four tires, fuel, air pressure and track bar adjustments. Although the Mobil 1 pit crew had a solid stop, the No. 77 machine was hindered exiting the pit box due to heavy traffic. Hornish restarted the race on lap 102 in 21st place.
As the midpoint of the race approached, Hornish returned to pit lane under green flag conditions for four tires, fuel and a slight track bar adjustment. With the handling issue in the center of the turns alleviated, Hornish noted that any other concerns were "all small problems." Even though an untimely caution came out as green flag pit stops were winding down, Hornish was posted in 12th place on the restart.
Hornish was involved in a caution on lap 262 when the Mobil 1 Dodge spun down the track. Fortunately, there was minimal damage and the Mobil 1 team was able to make repairs under caution, keeping Hornish on the lead lap. He continued to race hard for the remaining laps and earned a respectable 17th-place finish for his second top-20 result of the 2009 season.
The No. 77 team is currently 31st in the 2009 Cup Series owner point standings, just 96 points outside of the 25th position.
Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme finished the race in eighth place and 14TH place, respectively.
"We had a pretty solid run with the Mobil 1 Dodge today running on the lead lap all day," said Hornish. "The Mobil 1 Dodge was really good and the pit crew had great pit stops. Unfortunately, we had a slow stop at the end of the day and it cost us a couple of spots, but overall I'm really proud of our effort today."
Hornish and the No. 77 team will enjoy a weekend off before returning to racing action at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, April 18, 2009.