Pocono: Sam Hornish Jr race report

Hornish and Mobil 1 Team Finish 10th at Pocono Raceway LONG POND, Pa. (June 7, 2009) -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 10th in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway...

Hornish and Mobil 1 Team Finish 10th at Pocono Raceway

LONG POND, Pa. (June 7, 2009) -- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finished 10th in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday after the team executed impressive fuel-mileage strategy in the closing laps of the race.

After qualifying was cancelled due to rain on Friday, Hornish lined up to start the 200-lap event in the 26th position when the field was set by current owner point standings per the NASCAR rule book. When the caution flag waved on lap 12, Hornish relayed to the team that the Mobil 1 Dodge was tight in the center and loose-handling on the exit of the corners. He came to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment and restarted the race in 29th place.

Hornish began steadily advancing his way through the field and was running 20th when the first round of green flag pit stops began on lap 45. He brought the No. 77 machine to pit road for four tires and fuel along with air pressure and wedge adjustments. When pit stops cycled through, Hornish was posted in 21st place.

Hornish once again pitted during a cycle of green flag stops on lap 75. He piloted the Mobil 1 machine to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He was running in 23rd place when the stops were completed.

At the midpoint of the race, Hornish was running in the 24th spot with 26 cars on the lead lap. He relayed that the No. 77 Dodge was very loose-handling in the center of the corners as a caution flag came out on lap 102. Hornish pitted for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He restarted the race in 20th place.

With 50 laps to go, Hornish was running in 16th position and he noted that the handling on the Mobil 1 Dodge was still too loose overall. He returned to pit lane on lap 158 for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Before the race restart on lap 164, Hornish made another quick visit to the pits for fuel, ensuring that the No. 77 Dodge could go the distance without stopping.

Hornish restarted the race in 26th place, but the fuel-mileage strategy played out well for the team and the Mobil 1 Dodge finished the race in the 10th position. The result marked the third top-10 finish for the No. 77 team in the past seven races. Hornish is now 23rd in the 2009 Cup Series driver point standings, just 63 points outside of 20th place.

Penske Racing teammates David Stremme and Kurt Busch finished the race in 34th and 37th place, respectively.

"Today was a long one for sure," said Hornish. "We started off the race pretty good, but then we lost the handle on the car a bit. We got it back, got some grip and track position, and then we had to come in late to top-off for fuel and try to make it to the end of the race which we did. It's an awesome effort by this Mobil 1 team and another top-10 finish."

Hornish and the Mobil 1 team head to Michigan International Speedway next weekend for the LifeLock 400 on Sunday, June 14, 2009.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , David Stremme , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis
Teams Team Penske