Hornish Secures 16th-Place Finish in Las Vegas Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 16th in the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. After securing a...
Hornish Secures 16th-Place Finish in Las Vegas
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 16th in the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
After securing a 12th-place starting position for the No. 77 team, Hornish ran well inside the top-15 for much of the first half of the race. With track position and fuel mileage serving as key factors at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, the Mobil 1 crew performed solid pit stops to keep Hornish at the front of the field on his way to the strong result
Once racing action began, Hornish reported the Mobil 1 Dodge was loose-handling while entering the turns. He came to pit road under green flag conditions on lap 51 for four tires, fuel, air pressure and track bar adjustments. When pit stops cycled through, the Mobil 1 machine was running in 10th place.
In subsequent pit stops during the first half of the race, the team utilized effective strategy to keep Hornish running inside the top-10 as the midpoint of the 285-lap race approached. However, a wheel issue forced Hornish to pit road on lap 141 for four tires and fuel. After restarting the race in 24th place, Hornish reported that despite the unfortunate pit stop, he was pleased with the handling of the Mobil 1 Dodge.
Hornish worked intently to regain position on track as racing action continued. He returned to pit lane under green flag conditions on lap 219 for service. As Hornish returned to the race track, a caution flag came out with the No. 77 car shown one lap down to the leaders, running in 17th place.
Hornish raced his way into the free pass position and returned to lead-lap racing with just over 25 laps remaining. Running in 17th place, Hornish was involved in a single-car accident on lap 280 as there were other incidents on track. The former IndyCar Series champion came to pit road for fresh tires and rejoined the race, eventually finishing the Shelby 427 in 16th position while advancing to 28th in the Cup Series driver point standings.
Penske Racing teammates David Stremme and Kurt Busch finished the race in 18th place and 23rd place, respectively.
The Mobil 1 Dodge was pretty stout most of the day, especially when it counted and we were trying to get our lap back, said Hornish. Were pretty happy to get a 16th-place finish today and to move on to next weekend. Were definitely showing improvement. To have had problems today and still finish 16th, it shows that we were pretty quick.
Hornish and the No. 77 team head to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the excitement of the Kobalt Tools 500 on Sunday, March 8, 2009.