SBRS: IRL: Hornish leads Barber train in Daytona IROC

Skip Barber trained drivers, led by Sam Hornish Jr., finished 2-3-4 in the season opener of the International Race of Champions at Daytona International Speedway victory. Hornish was running his first IROC race ever and would finish .111 seconds...

Skip Barber trained drivers, led by Sam Hornish Jr., finished 2-3-4 in the season opener of the International Race of Champions at Daytona International Speedway victory. Hornish was running his first IROC race ever and would finish .111 seconds behind the race winner. The 2001 IRL Champion, who ran strong all day but never led the race, nearly led the one lap that counted but would end up settling for second.

"I had been stuck on the high side most of the race, and anybody that I pushed by somebody moved directly down in front of the inside line," Hornish said. "I got stuck out. I figured I'm going to go with the guy on the inside line. It's a guaranteed second place."

Hornish managed to finish second despite a first-lap crash that sent he and Skip Barber trained Helio Castroneves spinning off of Turn Four. Castroneves went hard into the outside wall but got the chance to go to a backup car since the first lap had not yet been completed.

Skip Barber trained Scott Sharp, the race polesitter, led only the first lap but kept his car up front for most of the day, and would finish third in his first IROC race since 1994 when he earned an invitation by virtue of his success in the Trans-Am series.

"It was a blast," Sharp grinned. "They say IROC races are always a lot of fun and boy it really was. I just hung in there and learned a heck of a lot as quickly as I could. I got moved around a lot but just moved them back a bit. I noticed with about five to go it was little Al (Unser) then Tony (Stewart) then Hornish and myself. I was like, wow, three out of the top four that is pretty good."

Fourth place was captured by reigning NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague. The Skip Barber trained racer was also contesting his first-ever IROC event.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , IROC , Other open wheel
Drivers Scott Sharp , Helio Castroneves , Jack Sprague , Skip Barber , Sam Hornish Jr.