IRL: Hornish leads championship heading for Texas

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Aug. 21, 2001) - What began in March in Phoenix will be decided Sept. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway in the Chevy 500. The Indy Racing Championship is down to the final three races of the season, and the coveted Northern Light Cup...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Aug. 21, 2001) - What began in March in Phoenix will be decided Sept. 16 at Texas Motor Speedway in the Chevy 500. The Indy Racing Championship is down to the final three races of the season, and the coveted Northern Light Cup is at stake in the season finale at Texas.

Sam Hornish, Jr., bolted out of the gate early this season and held a commanding 70-point lead over defending Indy Racing champion Buddy Laizer when the series left Texas in June after the first IRL stop in the Lone Star state. But Lazier has been the car to beat in the second half of the season, and has narrowed the points chase to just 25 points coming down the stretch.

"We are coming hard," Lazier points out. "I mean, what a great second half of the season we're having. It seems like we have just picked up so much momentum. I think it's going to be real tight for the points battle."

The story in the second half of the season has been the #91 Hemelgarn Racing car with wins in four of the past five races heading into the Gateway Indy 250 on Sunday in St. Louis. Hornish, Jr., won two of the first three races this season in the #4 Pennzoil Panther car and finished in the top five in eight of the first nine races.

"Every time I get in the car I want to win," Hornish, Jr., stresses. "I'm going to push the car just as hard as if I was 200 points ahead or 200 points behind. It doesn't matter. I want to win every race I'm in. Second, third, whatnot are really good, but we want to step it up a little bit. We want to be in Victory Circle."

Hornish, Jr. (374) leads Lazier (349), Scott Sharp (286) and rookie Felipe Giaffone (265) in the season points race heading into the St. Louis race on Sunday, Aug. 26. The battle culminates at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 16, in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series Chevy 500 and the presentation of the Northern Light Cup.

Race tickets for all RPM Week - Texas events at Texas Motor Speedway are available by contacting the speedway ticket hotline at (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com, or at all participating Ticketmaster outlets.

-TMS

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Scott Sharp , Sam Hornish Jr.