Three-Time IndyCar Series Champ Sam Hornish Jr. to Drive ...
Three-Time IndyCar Series Champ Sam Hornish Jr. to Drive #77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
PHOENIX, Ariz., November 10, 2007 -- ExxonMobil today announced that it is expanding its longstanding relationship with Penske Racing by sponsoring three-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. when he moves to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008.
After an incredibly successful eight-year stint in the IndyCar Series that saw Hornish Jr. become the driver with the most wins in the Series' history (19 wins), garner three series championships (2001, 2002 and 2006) and win the 2006 running of the Indianapolis 500, he will make the move to stock car racing full time and pilot the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge in 2008. Hornish Jr. is the latest open-wheel driver to transition to NASCAR.
"I truly view this move to NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series as the next great challenge for me in racing," said Hornish Jr. "My learning curve has been sharp, but Roger, everyone at Penske Racing and the team at Mobil 1 have been incredibly supportive throughout the process. The track time this season is all part of the transition to Cup racing and I am committed to making 2008 a successful season for the Mobil 1 Racing team."
Hornish Jr. participated in NASCAR Busch Series races both in the 2006 and 2007 season, posting a best finish of 15th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2007. He also attempted to qualify for NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races on seven occasions in 2007.
"Sam Hornish Jr. is one of the most versatile and skilled drivers in all of motor sports," said Jerry Kohlenberger, president, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Company. "Everyone at ExxonMobil is looking forward to Sam building his impressive racing resume as he successfully crosses over to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We also are delighted to expand our 17-year relationship with Penske Racing and present Mobil 1 as the title sponsor of the #77 Dodge. Our association with Penske Racing and NASCAR reinforces the engine protection and performance that Mobil 1 delivers for both NASCAR drivers on the track and race fans traveling to the track."
Hornish Jr. will be the third full-time member of Penske Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, which also includes veteran drivers Ryan Newman in the #12 Alltel Dodge and Kurt Busch in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge.
"Sam had a great run with us in the IndyCar Series, and as he continues to adjust to the type of racing he'll encounter in the Sprint Cup Series, we expect him to excel there as well," said Roger Penske, owner and chairman of Penske Racing. "In Sam, we have a driver with the desire to be the best and win wherever and whenever he races. We can teach him about stock car racing, but we don't need to teach him how to be a racer."