Hornish Finishes Eighth at Chicagoland Speedway
JOILET, Ill. – Sam Hornish, Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished eighth in Sunday afternoon’s STP 300. The result marks Hornish’s 11th top-10 finish of the season and keeps him solidly in the championship hunt.
Hornish qualified for the event in the third position after turning a lap of 30.618 seconds, or 176.367 miles per hour, around the 1.5-mile speedway during the Sunday morning qualifying session. As expected Hornish was strong at the start of the race as he went from his third starting position to the lead on the opening lap. He would lead the first six laps of the event. Hornish would go on to run in the top three from lap 12 to lap 23 before moving to the second spot for the next 79 laps.
At lap 128 a yellow flag slowed the action and crew chief Chad Walter called the Alliance Parts Dodge into the pits to make adjustments to the car with a mind to keeping up with changing track conditions. Hornish was the only lead pack car to pit during this caution period which resulted in Hornish dropping to sixth in the running order when the green flag brought the field back up to speed.
The Dodge Challenger would hold station in the top-six for the next 35 laps until Walter once again called the Alliance Truck Parts car to the pit lane for fuel and tires. Just a few laps after Hornish rejoined the fray an unwelcome yellow was displayed, costing him valuable track position. Hornish was scored 13th when the racing action picked up again at lap 172. Hornish would fight his way forward over the closing laps of the race – making up multiple positions and when the checkered waved he had clawed his way back to the eighth position.
“We had a strong Alliance Truck Parts Dodge today – a car that ran up front for most of the day,” said Hornish. “With the benefit of hindsight, however, we probably didn’t have the right strategy late in the race. We had been on the same sequence as (Elliot) Sadler and I think we had a better car, but then we pitted earlier than we should have and were caught out by a yellow flag. One strategy won the race and one didn’t. The Penske Dodge team has been building fast race cars – now we have to work on execution.”
With the result Hornish and the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge hold fast at fourth in the championship standings trailing first place by 42 points.
Penske Racing teammate, Parker Kligerman finished seventh in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge.
Hornish and the No. 12 Penske Dodge team will next race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the inaugural INDY 250 on Saturday, July 27. Coverage will air live beginning at 4 PM EST on ESPN. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90.