O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval, Fort Worth, Texas)
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Start Position: 3
Finish Position: 3
Current Driver Points Position: 2
THE RACE REVIEW
· Sam Hornish Jr. and the No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang started the 200 lap event from the inside of the second row in the third position based on the results of the morning time trials.
· Early in the race Hornish reported that his Penske Ford was to free on corner entry and exit, yet he made his way to the second position by lap 17.
· The veteran driver would run in the top-three through the first quarter of the race.
· At lap 51, while entering the pits Hornish had to take evasive action to avoid hitting a competitor while entering the pit lane and hit the orange cone that marks the pit entrance. This resulted in the No. 12 machine being assessed a drive-through penalty.
· The drive-through cost the No. 12 team several positions as well as dropped them one lap to the leaders.
· A lap 70 caution allowed Hornish to receive the wave around which put him back on the lead lap scored in the 14th position.
· Over the next 35 laps, he made his way through the running order, advancing up to the eighth position by lap 111 when a caution flag set-up a pit-stop.
· The Penske Racing pit-crew made adjustments to improve the Wurth Ford’s handling.
· Hornish would continue to fight his way towards the front over the following segment of the race as he passed his way up to fourth-place by lap 165.
· The Wurth Ford received its final service of the day at lap 169 during a green flag stop. A caution would fall shortly after at lap 171 with Hornish scored fourth in the order.
· Hornish made a spirited charge over the closing laps of the race to finish in third-place.
· The top-three finish marks Hornish’s second consecutive and 11th top-three finish of the season and allowed him to close to within six points of the series leader, Austin Dillon.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
SAM HORNISH JR. NO. 12 WURTH FORD
TALK ABOUT THE MOMENTUM YOU TAKE FROM A STRONG RUN TODAY.
“It is a real good run to come back from being a lap down. It was a good strategy call to get us the wave around, and we had to start at the back. Then when we came down pit road the yellow came out, and we had to go to the back of the lead lap cars. I am really proud of all the guys at Penske Racing, and the work that they do. I tried to stay calm and work my way back up there. We over tightened the car up when we got back to the very end and it just didn’t happen. I didn’t have anything for Brad or Denny at the end. We had an opportunity to make it three wide for the lead there, but I thought better of it.”
DID YOU CUT ENOUGH OF THE LEAD TODAY TO INCREASE YOUR CONFIDENCE THAT YOU CAN CATCH AUSTIN?
“We did what we could do. We took care of ourselves. We had a decent run. We came back when it didn’t look like we would gain points for quite a bit of the race. I was thinking that we would gain three today, but I didn’t realize that he led a lap. I thought that we were going to chunk three off at a time. I am really looking forward to going to Phoenix. I love that track and have a lot of good memories there. We will see what happens. We didn’t lose any and that is the key thing. If we can take one or two off the following weekend that puts the pressure on him. He doesn’t just have to finish within a couple spots of us then, he will have to beat us.”