Sam Hornish and the No. 9 GoBowling.com/Cox Communications Ford team finished 31st in Sundays’ rain-delayed event that turned the race into a race under the lights. The adjustment made every team struggle to find a new balance to their cars.
For Hornish and the No. 9 team, the issue was getting the front of the car to turn through the center. The crew made adjustments through various pit stops and did make the car better for Hornish. But, before the team could advance any higher, rain showers finally cut the race short.
Hornish started from the 28th position and fell back to 31st reporting that the front of the car wouldn’t turn in the center of the corner. This was the biggest issue of the night for the team. A Lap 40 Competition Caution allowed the team to make their first adjustments. The team was aggressive with their changes and Hornish restarted 31st ready to race back on the Lead Lap.
A long run, the car was still not handling well. Hornish raced smart to help save as much track position as possible. On Lap 75 he was running 35th.
On Lap 115, Hornish made his second stop of the night. The team reversed their adjustments and Hornish came back on the track. During this run, Crew Chief Kevin Manion reported that the lap times were picking up. Hornish was working hard inside the cockpit and at halfway was 34th. The team was running as high as possible with the cars on their lap.
Hornish needed more cautions to gain track position. But, the next caution came on Lap 195. It proved to be the final caution of the race as rain started to fall again. NASCAR was then forced to call the race. Hornish finished 31st after gaining three spots their final run of the night.
“We struggled to get the car to turn yesterday and it was the same tonight,” said Hornish. “It just wouldn’t turn from the center off and we couldn’t carry the speed we needed. We were starting to head in the right direction before this rain came.”