Sam Hornish, Jr. is pulling double-duty again this weekend for the Penske Racing team. He had to jump out of his NASCAR Nationwide Series No. 12 Dodge and head immediately to his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dodge as both series are racing this weekend at the Watkins Glen International road course in New York.
At 9:35am EST zone, the Nationwide drivers took to the 2.45 mile circuit in groups of six; Hornish Jr was in the penultimate group. Earning his maiden Nationwide pole, and of course his first one at The Glen, Hornish turned a lap of 72.027 seconds for a speed of 122.454 mph.
"Racing in both series' races will be beneficial for sure. Sure, it'll be another busy weekend bouncing back and forth between the Nationwide garage and the Cup garage. But, at least this weekend it won't be a situation requiring planes and choppers to get back and forth like it was last weekend (in running the Pocono Cup race and the Iowa Nationwide race),” said Hornish prior to this weekend’s challenge.
Since moving from the Cup cars to Nationwide per the Captain’s wishes, Hornish Jr has gained the needed experience, and will start his 55th race in this afternoon at 2:18pm from the pole position in the ZIPPO 200. "The seat time on the track will be worth all the hustle there this weekend," added Hornish. "Hopefully it will make us stronger in both the PPG Dodge in Saturday's race and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in Sunday's race."
Since the AJ Allmendinger suspension took place, Penske wasted no time to move Hornish Jr to the Cup seat, and since then the former single-seater star has shown he is capable. He is not the only driver to jump into a Cup car as qualifying for the main NASCAR series started at 11:40am.
Ford driver Carl Edwards will start on the front row for this afternoon’s race, and he too will aim for the Cup pole. Edwards missed the pole by 0.067 seconds with his best at 72.094 (122.340 mph).
On the second row will be Paul Menard with the third best lap time at 72.233 (122.105 mph) in his Chevrolet. Alongside Menard will be Hornish’s teammate Brad Keselowski with his best lap of 72.250 (122.076 mph).
Rounding out the top ten were Toyota drivers Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. Elliott Sadler (Chevrolet), Brian Scott (Chevrolet) and Ford’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr.