MIAMI (March 14, 2001) â€“ Fastest in the recent Indy Racing Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sam Hornish is eager to return to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the April 6-8 running of the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com ...
MIAMI (March 14, 2001) – Fastest in the recent Indy Racing Open Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sam Hornish is eager to return to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the April 6-8 running of the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami presented by 123.com Americatel. Hornish will be at the wheel of the bright yellow Pennzoil Panther Olds-Dallara fielded by Panther Racing when the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series opens the 2001 campaign Sunday at Phoenix, in the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200.
Hornish ran a lap just over 200 mph on the opening day of the two-day Open Test in late February, but tagged the Speedway’s turn four wall early in the final day of activities. “We’re real excited to come back to Miami,” said the second-year Indy Racing driver. “We had a little problem on the second day of our test, but I think we’re going to come back and be stronger. “I think we’re going to running up near the front,” Hornish added. “Hopefully, we’ll still be there near the end of the race.”
The 21-year-old driver feels that both the Phoenix and Miami races will be wide-open, with over a dozen drivers who can win either race. “That’s how all of our races are,” Hornish said. “Indy Racing prides itself in that you won’t know who the winner will be up until the last few laps, often not until the checkered flag. That’s great racing for the fans. People come to our races to see who will win.” Hornish joined the Indy Racing Northern Light Series last season driving a PDM Racing car. He came from the Toyota Atlantic series and passed his Indy Racing rookie test in early December 1999, five months past his 20th birthday.
Last April at Las Vegas, Hornish placed third behind only Al Unser Jr. and Mark Dismore. That was the high-water mark of his rookie season. Hornish put on an outstanding driving display at the new Kentucky Speedway in late August. He had the dominant car, leading 38 laps before some difficulties dropped him back to ninth at the finish. Family-friendly priced tickets for the April 6-8 Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami begin at $10 for Friday and $20 for Saturday, with reserved Sunday grandstand seats ranging from $25 to $45. Youth 12 and under are free Friday and Saturday when accompanied by a paying adult, while grandstand seats for youth 18 and under are $15 on Sunday if purchased in advance. Weekend paddock tickets are $20, with youth 12 and under free. Individual weekend passes, including reserved grandstand seat and Paddock pass, cost $70, a $25 savings. Parking is free all weekend, For additional information or to order tickets, call (305) 230-RACE, visit any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, or order on-line at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.
-J J O'Malley