Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway (.75-mile oval, Richmond, VA) – Friday, September 6, 2013
Start Position: 5
Finish Position: 6
Current Driver Points Position: 1
THE RACE REVIEW
· Hornish started from the inside of Row 3, in the fifth position on the grid, based on his Friday afternoon qualifying effort during which he lapped the .75-mile speedway in 21.781 seconds at 123.961 miles per hour.
· At the green flag, Hornish made a bold move to advance from fifth place to second place on the opening lap of the 250-lap event.
· As the race began, Hornish reported that his Ford Mustang was too free on corner entry and too tight through the center of the turns. This condition would increase in severity over the long, opening run.
· The Penske Truck Rental team was given their first chance of the race to adjust their Ford Mustang at lap 69; the No. 12 machine was scored fifth in the running order.
· Upon exiting the pit box after the first stop, Hornish encountered a congested pit lane and subsequently lost a few positions. He would restart from the eighth position on the lap 73 restart.
· Over the course of the race Hornish reported that his Penske Ford was too free on corner entry and too tight in the center of the turn. The No. 12 pit crew would continue to make adjustments throughout the race.
· While the Penske pit crew gave Hornish solid stops all night long, the combination of his running position and pit lane traffic would result in Hornish losing at least one spot on the majority of his stops.
· The late-race restarts would prove to be critical to the outcome of the series points leader’s race as the outside lane was at a slight disadvantage to the inside lane.
· On the last 16 laps, and the final three restarts, Hornish would drive from 13th to sixth-place.
· With the sixth-place finish, Hornish and the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Ford team hold on to the top spot in the driver’s championship standings and they further extended the lead over second-place, Austin Dillon. They now lead by 16 points.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
SAM HORNISH JR.
YOU SEEM TO STRUGGLE MOST OF THE NIGHT, BUT BROUGHT HOME A TOP SIX.
“Yeah, our Penske Truck Rental Ford was a little to free early in the race and then it began to get tight in the center too. On top of that, we seemed to get jammed up leaving the pit box on every stop tonight. Just like last week the restarts proved to be key as the outside lane was not the place to be. There at the end of the race we kept getting stuck in the wrong lane, but we kept our nose clean and were able to race our way to another respectable finish.”
YOU INCREASED YOUR POINT LEAD TONIGHT, IS THIS WHAT IS GOING TO TAKE TO WIN THIS CHAMPIONSHIP?
“I’ve said all along we have to make the most of the bad days. Tonight wasn’t really bad, but we were a top-10 car for most of the night, especially when we had to restart from the top lane so many times. We just kept our heads down and got some room to race there at the end, and we made an average night into a pretty good result.”