Hornish Finishes 23rd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway LOUDON, N.H. (June 27, 2010) -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 AAA/Go Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 23rd in the Lenox Industrial Tools...
Hornish Finishes 23rd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
LOUDON, N.H. (June 27, 2010) -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 AAA/Go Penske Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 23rd in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Shortly after starting from the eighth position at the 1.058-mile oval, Hornish reported that the No. 77 machine was loose-handling everywhere except in the center of the turns. When the first race caution flag of the day came out on lap 34, Hornish was running in 12th place and came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Several other competitors opted to make two-tire pit stops and, as a result, Hornish lined up for the race restart in the 20th spot.
The handling on the AAA/Go Penske Dodge remained unchanged during the long run that ensued. On lap 104, Hornish came to pit road during a cycle of green-flag pits stops for fresh tires, fuel and substantial adjustments. When pit stops cycled through, he was running in 26th place, on the tail end of the lead lap. He reported that the No. 77 Dodge remained loose-handling overall and had no forward drive on the exit of the turns as he fell one lap down to the race leaders on lap 116.
At the midpoint of the 301-lap event, Hornish was running in the 27th spot, one lap down to the leaders. Although the AAA/Go Penske machine had improved in the center of the turns, the No. 77 crew made further adjustments to the racecar when Hornish visited pit road during another round of green-flag stops. Once all competitors had received service, Hornish was posted in the 28th position.
As the race laps wound down, the second caution of the race occurred on lap 238. Hornish came to pit road for the final time for service and restarted the race in the 19th position, still one lap down to the leaders. A couple of caution flags came out with under 20 laps to go, and when the checkered flag waved, Hornish crossed the finish line in 23rd place, positioned one lap down to race winner Jimmie Johnson.
"Our AAA/Go Penske Dodge was pretty much loose all day," said Hornish. "We struggled with forward drive, and although we kept working on it, we didn't get the car right where we needed it to be. With the long, green-flag runs it makes it hard to really dial the car in, especially when you pit under green. The AAA/Go Penske guys worked hard all day and I look forward to coming back to New Hampshire later this year."
Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski finished the race in third place and 26th place, respectively.
Still ranked 29th in the Cup Series standings, Hornish and the No. 77 team head to Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 3, 2010.
-source: penske racing