Biography

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Birth Date: July, 2, 1979
Birth Place: Defiance, OH
Residence: Napoleon, OH
Height: 6′ 0″
Primary Sponsor: Twisted Tea
Car: 2015 Ford Fusion


Sam Hornish, Jr. makes his debut in the No. 9 Twisted Tea Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2015.

After finishing a part-time effort in the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, Hornish, Jr. is again poised to challenge for victories as he returns to the Sprint Cup Series full-time.

As he enters this year with great hopes and expectations, Hornish, Jr. can rely on his many successful years of motorsports experience to help guide him in what he believes will be a year of racing renaissance.

The 33 year-old Hornish, Jr. remembers growing up racing with his father while his mother helped run the family business in his native Ohio. Advancing through the racing ranks en route to the IndyCar Series, he credits the support of his family for the unprecedented success he achieved at a young age.

Although Hornish, Jr. is a world-class race car driver, he hasn’t forgotten his roots and is actively involved in giving back to the sport and his community. In his hometown of Defiance, Ohio, he was involved in the creation of a senior center as well as the addition of a heart center at the Defiance Medical Center. He also turned his love of bowling into a successful charity campaign at the fall race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. In conjunction with Speedway Children’s Charities, Hornish, Jr. has raised over $500,000 to benefit the children of north Texas.

Hornish, Jr. also enjoys customizing vehicles. His collection includes a 1930 Model A Ford, 1951 Mercury, 1955 Chevrolet Del Ray, 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, and 1967 Chevrolet pick-up truck as well as a Corvette ZO6 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car.

Hornish divides his time between Napoleon, Ohio and Mooresville, North Carolina. He and his wife, Crystal, have three children.

Career Highlights

Sam competed part-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the No.54 Monster Energy car for Joe Gibbs Racing.  Sam scored a win at Iowa Speedway and ran competitively in every race he entered. Though he would always prefer to be racing full-time, the strategic decision to go with the powerhouse No.54 team for a part-time schedule gave Sam the chance to show Sprint Cup Series teams that he could continue to be competitive in NASCAR. The decision paid off with the signing of a full-time ride for Sam in the No.9 Sprint Cup Series car for 2015.

Finished seconds in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver Point Standings. Helped win the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship. He had one win, 16 top-5 finishes, 25 Top-10 finishes, four poles, and led 603 laps.

Contests a full-season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) driving the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts/Wurth Dodge. Scores his first-ever NASCAR Nationwide Series pole at Watkins Glen. Takes over as the driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the summer Daytona race and goes on to compete in the last 20 Cup races of the season. Finishes a NASCAR career best fourth place in the NNS championship standings on the strength of 10 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes and earns one top-five and two top-10 finishes in Cup Series competition.

Runs a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), driving the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge. Earns his first points-paying victory in NASCAR by winning at the newly re-configured Phoenix International Raceway. In just 13 NNS starts, qualifies on the front row twice, and posts two top-five and six top-10 finishes. After conclusion of the season, Hornish is named to drive the No. 12 car for a full-season campaign in 2012 with sponsorship from alliance Truck Part and new Penske Racing partner WURTH.

Starts all 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races for the No. 77 team and makes significant improvements in his average starting position, average finishing position, laps completed, and laps led. Earns seven top-15 finishes. Posts strong qualifying efforts throughout season highlighted by top-three starting spots at Phoenix (third) and Texas (second). Leads laps at Pocono, Talladega and Daytona for a NASCAR career-high 50 laps over the course of the season. Drives a double-duty weekend in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway driving in both the Nationwide and Cup races and completes every lap in both events.

Produces improved results in solid sophomore season competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Earns first top-10 result with a ninth-place finish in April at Phoenix International Raceway. Wins the Sprint Cup Showdown qualifying event for the All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May to secure first NASCAR victory. Captures first top-five result with a fourth-place finish at Pocono Raceway in August. Just two weeks later, posts another top-five result with a fifth-place showing at Michigan International Speedway. In all, records two top-five and seven top-10 finishes for the No. 77 team.

Competes full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series contending for the Rookie-of-the-Year title while also running a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series campaign. Has strong debut in season-opening Daytona 500 finishing 15th in first restrictor-plate race. Garners attention by racing into the All-Star Race and capturing a seventh-place finish. Earns three top-15 finishes with a season-best result of 13th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Competes in a total of eight Nationwide Series races collecting four top-15 finishes with a best result of 11th at Darlington Raceway. Finishes a close second to Regan Smith in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series Rookie-of-the-Year race.

Makes NASCAR Cup racing debut competing at both Phoenix and Miami in the No. 12 Mobil 1 Dodge for Team Penske. Wins the pole for the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Michigan and finishes second in the race. Competes in nine Busch Series races with a top finish of 15th at Atlanta. Finishes fifth in the IndyCar Series championship with a win at Texas and eight top-five finishes driving the No. 6 Team Penske Dallara / Honda. Earns a fourth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500. Announces in November that he’s leaving the Team Penske IndyCar team to join Penske Racing and concentrate on stock car racing full-time. Leaves the IndyCar Series as the all-time leader in wins (19) and laps led (3,428).

Begins his stock car racing career with two starts in the NASCAR Busch Series competing at both Phoenix and Miami for Penske Racing. Captures his third IndyCar Series Championship driving the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara / Honda marking the first series title for the team. Wins his first Indianapolis 500 in dramatic fashion by passing Marco Andretti on the final stretch of the final lap. His .0635 second margin of victory was the second closest in the history of the Indianapolis 500, and his last lap pass marked the first time in the history of the race that the winner has made the winning pass on the final lap. Scores four victories – Indianapolis, Richmond, Kansas. and Kentucky. Wins four poles – Homestead, Indianapolis, Texas, and Chicago. Captures season-ending Marlboro Pole Award bonus. Receives the Scott Brayton Award at the Indianapolis 500 for displaying the character that best exemplifies the racing spirit of the late Scott Brayton.

Finishes third in IndyCar Series Championship driving the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara / Toyota, marking the best finish by a Toyota driver, and his best finish since winning the 2002 Championship. Wins at Phoenix and Milwaukee and is named the IndyCar Series Short-Track Driver of the Year. Wins three pole positions – Twin Ring Motegi, Richmond, and Milwaukee – tying for most poles of 2005 with three other drivers. Captures season-ending Marlboro Pole Award bonus based on winning most poles and championship finish.

Debuts with Marlboro Team Penske driving the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Toyota. Wins the season opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway, marking the first time in Penske Racing’s 39-year history that an Indy car driver has won in his debut. Finishes seventh in the IndyCar Series championship.

Scores three victories – Kentucky, Chicago, and California – driving the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Racing Dallara / Chevrolet en route to a fifth-place finish in the IndyCar Series Championship. Records the fastest race win on a closed course with an average speed of 207.151 mph at California Speedway. Wins at Chicago by 0.0099 seconds over Scott Dixon and 0.0100 seconds over third-place Bryan Herta, the closest 1-2-3 finish in IndyCar Series history. Wins three of the final six races while leading 389 of 393 laps (99%).

Captures his second consecutive IndyCar Series Championship by edging out future Penske teammate Helio Castroneves by just 20 points while driving the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara / Chevrolet. Records closest finish in IndyCar Series history by defeating Al Unser, Jr. by 0.0024 seconds at Chicago. Scores a record five wins and ties Buddy Lazier for most career victories with eight. Leads IndyCar Series in laps led by leading 654 out of 3,100 possible laps.

Wins IndyCar Series Championship in dominant fashion, driving the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara / Chevrolet and beating second-place Buddy Lazier by 105 points. Scores three victories including the first two races of the year, which were also his first two events with Panther Racing. Completes 2,643 of 2,650 laps (99.7%). Leads laps in 11 of the 13 races for a series leading total of 765 laps. Leads the most laps in six of the 13 races.

Competes in eight IRL races for PDM Racing driving the No. 18 PDM Racing G-Force / Oldsmobile; records a top finish of third at Las Vegas. Leads 38 laps at Kentucky, marking the first laps led in his Indy Racing League career. Records his first start at the Indianapolis 500 by qualifying 14th and finishing 24th.