HORNISH FINISHES 16TH IN ALLIANCE TRUCK PARTS DODGE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FT. WORTH, Texas (April 8, 2011) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished 16th in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. Hornish had a car capable of a top-10 finish, but a mid-race wheel issue put him a lap down and ended his chance for strong result.
Hornish started from the 16th position after turning a lap of 30.780 seconds around the 1.5-mile high-banked oval at an average speed of 175.439 miles per hour to qualify 16th on the grid. Early in the race, the Defiance, Ohio native reported that the No. 12 Dodge was running way too free in the corners.
Crew chief Chad Walter and the Alliance Auto Parts team made adjustments throughout the race, but the constantly-changing track conditions proved to be a challenge. Despite a car that was difficult to drive, Hornish ran much of the first half of the race inside the top-15 in the running order.
At the halfway point of the race, Hornish was running in the 13th position when he felt a vibration on the Alliance Truck Parts Challenger and he had to make a green-flag stop for four new Goodyear tires. The unscheduled pit stop put Hornish one lap down to the race leaders. Initially, the problem was believed to have been a cut tire on the No. 12, but the problem proved to be a loose wheel.
We had some ups and downs tonight.
Hornish remained on track during the next caution period to get his lap back, but the next green flag run was extended and the Alliance Truck Parts car had to make another green-flag stop and subsequently fell one lap down once again.
As the laps wound down, Hornish was able to make up some ground and went on to finish the race in the 16th position, positioned one lap down to the leaders.
“Being out of the car as long as I was (since Daytona), we had some ups and downs tonight,” said Hornish Jr. “I feel like we had a car that we definitely could have brought home in the top-10 if not the top-five. We had a wheel issue and had to pit which had us off sequence. We could never get it back. That’s one of the interesting things about the Nationwide Series – we only have five sets of tires. That dictates some of the strategy. That’s what happens sometimes. I’m really proud of all the guys that work on the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge and I look forward to next week, racing two weekends in a row.”
-source: penske racing