In Sunday’s 160-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sam Hornish Jr. and the No. 9 Medallion Bank Ford team rebounded from two laps down to a 17th-place finish. Damage from the contact caused Hornish to make an unscheduled stop on Lap 21 for a flat right-rear tire. The Medallion Bank team made significant gains throughout the day and raced through the field on a track that is very difficult to pass.
Hornish started the race from the 18th position, but brushed the wall on Lap Six. With what was minimal damage to the No. 9 Ford, Hornish continued on. On Lap 21, he radioed to the crew that he was coming to pit road with a flat right, rear tire. After a four-tire stop, Hornish returned to the track in the 42nd position, one lap down.
Over the next 25 laps, Hornish moved his way up to the 32nd position. He reported the No. 9 Ford was tight if he was by himself but really loose when he was in traffic. When debris brought out the caution on Lap 46, Hornish brought the No. 9 Ford to pit road for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel. He restarted in 32nd on Lap 50.
After another quick caution, Hornish ran in the 31st position when he reported the No. 9 Ford was tight in the center and free on the exit of the corner. Crew Chief Kevin Manion called the Medallion Bank Ford to pit road on Lap 82 for a green-flag pit stop. The crew made an air pressure adjustment during the four-tire stop to help with the handling. Hornish returned to the track in 32nd, two laps down.
Debris on the track brought out the caution on Lap 92. Hornish reported that the No. 9 was better. He stayed out to take the wavearound and restarted 31st, only one lap down, on Lap 97.
After two quick runs, where Hornish was able to take advantage of new tires, he put himself into the Lucky Dog spot. Debris on the backstretch brought out the caution on Lap 142, giving the No. 9 team the break they needed to get back on the lead lap. The last adjustments to the No. 9 Ford helped, but Hornish said he could use a little more. He came down pit road for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel and restarted 26th on Lap 147.
The field saw three more cautions in the closing laps which led to a green-white-checkered finish. Each restart, Hornish advanced his position, and in the end, he took the checkered flag in the 17th position. The Top-20 finish moves Hornish up three spots in the Championship Point Standings to 25th.