Sam Hornish, Jr.

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Sam Hornish, Jr.
Sam Hornish, Jr. 2008 Daytona.jpg
Hornish in 2008
Born (1979-07-02) July 2, 1979 (age 35)
Defiance, Ohio, United States
Achievements Three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion (2001, 2002 and 2006)
2006 Indianapolis 500 winner
Awards 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series Most Popular Driver
2007 Scott Brayton Award
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
131 race(s) run over 8 year(s)
Car no., team No. 11, Joe Gibbs Racing
2013 position 72nd
Best finish 28th (2009)
First race 2007 Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil (Phoenix)
Last race 2014 Auto Club 400 (Fontana)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 9 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
107 race(s) run over 8 year(s)
Car no., team No. 54, 20, Joe Gibbs Racing
2013 position 2nd
Best finish 2nd (2013)
First race 2006 Arizona Travel 200 (Phoenix)
Last race 2014 VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Kentucky)
First win 2011 Wypall 200 (Phoenix)
Last win 2014 Get To Know Newton 250 (Iowa)
Wins Top tens Poles
3 57 7
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best finish 74th (2008)
First race 2008 Kroger 200 (Martinsville)
Last race 2008 Kroger 200 (Martinsville)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0
Verizon IndyCar Series
Years active 2000-2007
Teams PDM Racing (2000)
Panther Racing (2001-2003)
Marlboro Team Penske (2004-2006)
Team Penske (2007)
Starts 116
Wins 19
Poles 10
Fastest laps 10
Best finish 1st in 2001, 2002 and 2006

Samuel Jon Hornish, Jr. (born July 2, 1979) is an American auto racing driver. A three-time IndyCar Series champion, he currently competes in stock car competition, driving in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in the #54 car and #20, sharing the former with Kyle Busch.

Early career[edit]

Born in Defiance, Ohio,[1] Hornish began racing at the age of 11 in go-karts. After competing in junior leagues for various seasons, he joined the World Karting Association in 1993, winning seven races and posting twenty-nine top-five finishes. The following season, he won several championships in WKA, including the U.S. and Canadian Grand Championships, as well as the U.S. Junior Class Grand Championship. In 1995, he repeated his U.S. Grand National title and won nine races. He would move up to the United States F2000 Series, driving six races for his family-owned team, and had one top-ten finish at Watkins Glen International. He joined Aim Autosport in 1997 and had two eleventh-place finishes, before signing with Primus Racing. He had a second-place run at Pikes Peak International Raceway and finished seventh in points.

In 1999, Hornish moved to the Toyota Atlantic Series to drive for Shank Racing. He won Rookie of the Year after getting his victory at Chicago Motor Speedway. He also drove the 24 Hours of Daytona for Intersport Racing.

Verizon IndyCar Series[edit]

Hornish began to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2000 for PDM Racing in the #18 Hornish Trucking/Advantage Powder Coating G-Force GF05-Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V8 with additional sponsorship from Uniden, AmeriSuites, Firestone and Bearcat Scanners. Hornish made his debut at the season-opening Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway. Hornish would start 19th and finished 20th, twenty-eight laps down. At the third race of the season, the Vegas Indy 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hornish started 18th and finished in 3rd place, one lap down. Hornisg would qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 14th place after the team replaced the G-Force with a Dallara IR00-Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V8. In the race Hornish crashed on lap 158 and would finish in 24th place. At the following race, the Casino Magic 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Hornish started a season-best 13th and finished 20th with battery issues. Following the race the team began to use the G-Force for the remainder of the season. The team would skip the Midas 500 Classic at Atlanta Motor Speedway. At the following race, the Belterra Resort Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway, Hornish started in 20th place and led for 38 laps. Hornish would finish in 9th place. Hornish would start in 18th place and finish in 27th (last) place at the season-ending Excite 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornish would finish in 21st place in the point standings with 110 points.

In 2001 Hornish would move to Panther Racing to drive the #4 Pennzoil Dallara IR01-Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V8. At the season-opening Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway Hornish started in 2nd place and led for 140 of 200 laps to win the race. At the second race of the season, the Infiniti Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish started in 5th place and led for 142 of 200 laps to get his second-consecutive win of the season. At the third race of the season, the zMax 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hornish started in 4th place and finished in 6th place after having make a late-race pit stop to have enough fuel to finish the race and would finish the race one lap down. At the Indianapolis 500 Hornish qualified in a disappointing 13th place (Hornish's only qualifying result outside of the top 10 during the season). In the race Hornish spun in turn 4 on lap 17 on a restart and would cause Al Unser, Jr. to crash while avoiding Hornish. Hornish would continue the race and would set the fastest lap of the race. Hornish would finish in 14th place, four laps down (this would be Hornish's only result outside of the top 10 during the season). During the remainder of the season Hornish's worst finish was a 6th place at the Harrah's 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. Hornish would have a stretch of three consecutive 2nd place finishes at the Radisson Indy 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway and the Ameristar Casino Indy 200 at Kansas Speedway. Hornish would also start on the pole position at the Gateway Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway and the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, in each case due to the race starting line up being determined by drivers point standings going into the race. Following Indianapolis Buddy Lazier won 4 races and began to challenge Hornish for the championship. Hornish would clinch the championship at the twelfth of thirteen races during the season, the Delphi Indy 200 at Chicagoland Speedway with a 2nd place finish behind Buddy Lazier's brother Jaques Lazier due to Buddy Lazier being 66 points behind Hornish (a win would give 50 points to the winner). At the season-ending race at Texas Hornish started on the pole position and lead for 115 laps to get his third win of the season after narrowly holding off Scott Sharp and Robbie Buhl. Hornish would win the championship with 503 points, 105 more points than 2nd place Lazier.

For 2002 Hornish returned with Panther Racing to drive the #4 Pennzoil Dallara IR02-Chevriolet V8. Prior to the season two of the rival FedEx CART Championship Series major teams, Marlboro Team Penske and Target Chip Ganassi Racing, began to compete in the Indy Racing League full-time in 2002 with Hélio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran for the former and Jeff Ward for the latter. At the season-opening Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish qualified on the pole position (his previous pole positions had been earned due to the race line up being determined by driver point standings) and led 166 of 200 laps to win his fourth career race in the series, with Castroneves finishing 2nd, de Ferran finishing 3rd and Ward finishing 4th. Hornish would then win the Yahmaha Indy 400 at California Speedway after beating Jaques Lazier by 0.028 seconds. At the Indianapolis 500 Hornish qualified in 7th place. In the race Hornish would brush the wall on lap 78, damaging the suspension. Hornish would later return to the race and finish in 25th place, ten laps down. Following the race Hornish dropped to 3rd in the point standings behind Castroneves and de Ferran. Hornish would then crash with Eddie Cheever at the following race, the Boomtown 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and would finish in 18th place with 126 laps complete. Hornish would win two races later at the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Following Texas Hornish's worst result of the season was an 8th place finish at the Michigan Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Hornish would retake the points lead following the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway with a 2nd place finish. At the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway Hornish beat Al Unser, Jr. by 0.0024 seconds, possibly the closest finish to a race in auto racing history until the 2007 Indy Pro Series season when Logan Gomez beat Alex Lloyd at the same racetrack by only 0.0005 seconds, or 1.65 inches (42 mm). In the same race de Ferran was injured in a crash on lap 52. This would cause de Ferran to miss the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. With his victory Hornish would retake the points lead from Castroneves and de Ferran (at the previous race, the Gateway Indy 250 at Gateway International Raceway, the two managed to overtake Hornish in the point standings). Going into the season-ending race at Texas Hornish and Castroneves were the only drivers in contention for the championship (Hornish led Castroneves by 12 points), while de Ferran also could potentially win the championship (he was 38 points behind Hornish) if he would compete in the race. In the race Hornish started in 3rd place and led for 79 laps to win the race by beating Castroneves by 0.01 seconds. Hornish would win his second-consecutive championship with 531 points to Castroneves' 511 points.

In 2003 Infiniti left the series to supply engines to the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. Toyota and Honda (in a partnership with Ilmor Engineering) joinded the series. Several teams from the rival Champ Car World Series would join the IndyCar Series in 2003. These teams included Marlboro Team Penske, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Mo Nunn Racing returned from the 2002 season, while Andretti Green Racing (formerly known as Team Green), Team Rahal and Super Aguri Fernández Racing joined the series for a full-time schedule in 2003 after not competing or competing in a part-time schedule in the IndyCar Series in 2002. Each of these teams would use either the Toyota Indy V8 or Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI3R engines. Hornish would drive the #4 Pennzoil Dallara IR03-Chevrolet V8 for Panther Racing. At the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish started in 3rd place and finished in 10th place. Hornish then started in 17th place and crashed with A.J. Foyt IV after 32 laps at the second race of the season, the Purex Dial Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Hornish would finish in 21st place. Following the race Hornish dropped to 106th in points. Hornish would return to 10th in points following the third race of the season, the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, where Hornish started 13th and finished 6th. At the Indianapolis 500 Hornish qualified in 188th place and would be the highest-starting car with a Chevrolet engine. In the race Hornish retired with a blown engine after completing 195 laps. Hornish would finish the race in 15th place and would drop to 12th in points. At the following race, the Bombardier 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Hornish started in 16th place and finished in 10th place. With the result Hornish would move back into 10th place in the point standings. At the following race, the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, Hornish started in 14th place and finished in 5th place. This result would be Hornish's first lead lap finish of the season.Hornish would then start in 3rd place and finish in 4th place at the following race, the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Around this time Panther Racing, and several other teams using the Chevrolet engine, switched from the Chevrolet engine built by General Motors (the parent company of Chevrolet) to a new engine built by Cosworth that was badged as a Chevrolet engine. The new engine started to get called by the unofficial name, Chevworth. Hornish's results would soon start improving with Hornish starting in 4th place and finishing in 2nd place after leading for 126 of 200 laps at the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Two races later at the Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway Hornish qualified pole position and lead for 181 of 200 laps to win the race. Hornish would then get two consecutive wins at the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway and the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway. In the former race Hornish would win by 0.01 seconds over Scott Dixon and Bryan Herta. After winning at Fontana (California) Hornish would move into 4th place in the point standings. Going into the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Hornish could mathematically win the championship. Hornish would have to compete with Hélio Castroneves, Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Gil de Ferran. Hornish's hopes of a championship ended when his car a spray problem after 176 of 195 laps. Hornish would finish in 17th place while de Ferran won, Dixon finished 2nd, Castroneves finished 13th and Kanaan finished 14th. Hornish would finish 5th in the final point standings with 461 points. Hornish would finish behind Dixon, de Ferran, Castroneves and Kanaan.

Hornish would begin to drive for Marlboro Team Penske in 2004. Hornish would drive the #6 Marlboro Dallara IR03-Toyota Indy V8. At the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish started in 7th place and led for only 6 laps and passed teammate Hélio Castroneves, who had dominated the race on the final lap of the race. At the following two races of the season, the Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway and the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi, Hornish finished in 15th place and 19th place (the latter due to a crash). Hornish would drop to 6th in points after these two races. Hornish would qualify in 11th place at the Indianapolis 500. In the race Hornish was battling for the lead with Buddy Rice and Dan Wheldon and would eventually lead for 9 laps, the first laps Hornish led in his Indianapolis 500 career. On lap 94 the race went under caution due to a crash by P.J. Jones. At this point the race needed to get to the halfway point of the race (101 laps) to become official due to the possibility of rain occurring before 200 laps would be completed (the race had been stopped after 29 laps due to rain). Rice and Hornish would both make pit stops and Hornish would drop to 19th place. On lap 105, entering the main straightaway out of turn 4, Hornish had moved up to 15th place and was attempting to pass Darren Manning for position and the lapped car of Greg Ray when the three collided and crashed into the pit lane. Hornish would finish in 26th place and would drop to 9th in the point standings. Hornish would then finish in 4th place at the following race, the Bombardier 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. At the following race, the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway, Hornish started in 4th place and lead for 76 laps. Hornish would finish in 13th place, four laps down. Hornish's results would recover at the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway and the Menards A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile, where he finished in 2nd place and 3rd place. Hornish's best finish following these two results were a pair of 4th place finishes at the Michigan Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway and the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway. During this time at the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway Hornish started in 9th place and led for 67 laps. On lap 158 Hornish crashed in turn 4. Going into the season-ending Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Tony Kanaan had clinched the championship with a 2nd place finish at the previous race at Fontana (California). This would be the first year since 2000 that Hornish did not go into the season-ending race with a chance to win the championship or have already clinched the championship. In the race Hornish started in 2nd place behind teammate Castroneves and led for 53 laps and suffered electrical problems after 163 laps and would finish in 17th place. Hornish would finish in 7th place in the final point standings with 387 points. This would be Hornish's worst finish in the final point standings since finishing 21st in 2000.

In 2005 Hornish returned with Marlboro Team Penske to drive the #6 Marlboro Dallara IR05-Toyota Indy V8. After a disappointing 2004 season for Toyota (the engine only won two races during the season, one each coming from Hornish and Castroneves) the Toyota engine was modified to competed with the Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI4R engine. At the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish started in 8th place and finished in 2nd place. At the second race of the season, the XM Satellite Radio Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Hornish started in 2nd place and won the race after leading for 25 laps. Following the race Hornish took the points lead in the series. Hornish would then qualify on the pole position at the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi and finish in 7th place after leading for 14 laps. During practice for the Indianapolis 500 Hornish crashed in practice when Paul Dana crashed in turn 2. Hornish would then drive over a piece of debris from Dana's car and would flip over. Two days later on the second day of qualifying (it was Pole Day due to the previous Saturday being rained out). Hornish qualified in 2nd place. During the first half of the race Hornish battled with Tony Kanaan for the lead. On lap 147 Hornish attempted to pass Sébastien Bourdais for position on the outside in turn 1. Hornish would crash out of the race after leading for a race-high 77 laps. Hornish would finish in 23rd place. Hornish would recover to finish in 2nd place at the following race, the Bombardier Learjet 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornish would then qualify on the pole position at the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. Hornish would lead for 42 laps before crashing after 165 laps and would finish in 18th place. During the season Toyota announced that they would withdraw from the IndyCar Series after the 2006 season. At the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile Hornish would qualify on the pole position and lead for 123 of 225 laps to get his second win of the season after passing Dario Franchitti with nine laps to go in the race. Hornish's best finish following the Milwaukee race was a 2nd place finish at the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway after starting in 2nd place and leading for 71 laps. Hornish would finish in 3rd place in the final point standings with 512 points. Hornish would be the highest finishing driver in the point standings not to be driving for Andretti Green Racing (behind Dan Wheldon and Kanaan), not to use a Honda engine and to be an American.

In 2006 Hornish would return with Marlboro Team Penske in the #6 Marlboro Dallara IR07-Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI4R after both Toyota and Chevrolet exited the series after the 2005 season. At the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish would qualify on the pole position. In the final practice session Ed Carpenter crashed in turn 2 and Paul Dana would drive into Carpenter's car at 176 miles per hour. Dana was killed in the crash and would be the first driver to be killed in a Verizon IndyCar Series race since Scott Brayton was killed during practice for the 1996 Indianapolis 500 (between Brayton and Dana's accidents Tony Renna was killed at a private test session for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2003 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway). In the race Hornish led for 145 of 200 laps to finish in 3rd place. Hornish would then finish in 8th place and 4th place at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. At the Indianapolis 500 Hornish was the fastest car in each of the six veteran practice days. Hornish then qualify on the pole position with teammate Hélio Castroneves qualifying in 2nd place. In the race Hornish ran consistently in the top 10 while defending winner Dan Wheldon and Castroneves dominated the race. Castroneves would then crash out of the race on lap 110 while lapping Buddy Rice. On lap 149 the race went under caution due to a crash by Al Unser, Jr.. On lap 150 Hornish made a pit stop with several of the leaders. When Honish was exiting the pit stall the fuel nozzle was still connected to the car. Hornish would stop the car in the pit stall to allow the now ripped nozzle from the car. Hornish was then running in 6th place, the last car on the lead lap, behind Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Dario Franchitti, Michael Andretti and Scott Dixon. Each of them, except Michael Andretti, all had to make pit stops. On a restart on lap 196 for a crash by Felipe Giaffone Hornish was in 4th place behind the Andrettis and Dixon. Hornish soon passed Dixon and was challenging Michael Andretti for 3rd place. Andretti was trying to prevent Hornish from passing to protect the lead for his teammate and son Marco Andretti. Hornish would manage to pass Michael Andretti on lap 197. On lap 199 Hornish attempted to pass Marco Andretti for the lead in turn 3. Andretti would then cut off Hornish in the turn and would cause Hornish to lose momentum . Andretti would then get a 1 second lead over Hornish. Hornish would then regain his momentum and would attempt to pass Andretti coming out of turn 4 (the final turn of the track) on the final lap of the race. Hornish would pass Andretti for the lead in the final 400 feet of the race to win the Indianapolis 500. Hornish later said about the pass, "I figured I came all this way, I ought to give myself one more shot at it. I kind of looked at it as, I was going to drive over him if I had to. For Marco to come as a rookie and drive like that he should be proud no matter what."[2][3][4] Hornish would lead the race for 19 laps. Hornish would also win the Scott Brayton Award for best showing the best representation of the late driver. Hornish would get his second win of the season at the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway after leading for 212 of 250 laps. Hornish would take the points leadin the championship after the following race, the RoadRunner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway after starting in 2nd place and leading for 149 of 200 laps. Hornish would then finish in 2nd place at the ABC Supply Company A.J. Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile after starting in 2nd place. Hornish would then get his fourth, and final, win of the season at the Meijer Indy 300 presented by Coca-Cola and Secret at Kentucky Speedway after starting 2nd and leading for 57 laps. Following the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway, where Hornish finished in 9th place, Hornishwas only 1 point behind points leader and teammate Castroneves. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Wheldon and Dixon were both also in contention to win the championship. At the season-ending Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean at Chicagoland Speedway Hornish qualified on the pole position and finished in 3rd place behind Wheldon and Dixon. Hornish would score 475 points and would win the championship. Wheldon would also score 475 points. The championship was decided on a tiebreaker based on wins (Hornish had 4 wins while Wheldon had 2).

Practicing for the 2007 Indianapolis 500

For 2007 the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement mandated that Marlboro would have to remove their branding from Team Penske's cars. With the new terms to the MSA the cars would continue to have Marlboro's red and white color scheme with the Marlboro "triangle" logo appearing on the car with Team Penske as the credited sponsor (Marlboro's parent company Philip Morris USA continues to remain as Penske's primary sponsor). In the past the main sponsor had appeared as Marlboro Team Penske with Marlboro appearing above Team Penske. Hornish wpuld drive the #6 Team Penske Dallara IR07-Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI7R. At the season-opening XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish started in 2nd place and finished in 3rd place. Hornish's next best finish in a race prior to Indianapolis was a 5th place finish at the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. At the Indianapolis 500 Hornish nearly qualified on the pole position when he was off of the n-fastest qualifier Dario Franchitti by 0.0327 seconds. At the time Hornish was in 2nd place. Team Penske would withdraw the speed and Hornish would requalify. Hornish would again nearly qualify on the pole position, only to bobble in the northchute. Hornish would start in 5th place. In the race Hornish led for two laps on laps 72 and 73. Hornish was then passed by Franchitti. For the remainder of the race Hornish ran consistently in the top 10 and would finish in 4th place when the race was topped permanently after 166 laps due to rain after running as high as 2nd place to Tony Kanaan following lap 73. Hornish's only win of the season was the Bombardier Learjet 550 at Texas Motor Speedway, where he started in 2nd place and led for 159 of 228 laps. Hornish would get his best finish in the series on a road course or street circuit at the Camping World Watkins Glen Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International with a 2nd place finish. During the race Hornish made contact with Kanaan. Following the race, as the cars were entering the pit lane following the race, Kanaan would make contact with Hornish's car. After Hornish exited his car he went over to talk to Kanaan, just as Kanaan was coming over to talk to Hornish. Hornish's father Sam Hornish, Sr. then pushed Kanaan and was then held back by some bystanders in the area. Kanaan's car owner Michael Andretti attempted to enter the discussion, but was held back by his son Marco Andretti. By this point Hornish, Sr. was in a fight with an unknown man (some sources claim that the man was T.J. Patrick, the father of Danica Patrick (who was Kanaan's teammate at the time)). Several Team Penske and Andretti Green Racing (Kanaan's team) were either involved in the fight or were trying to break up the fight with Indy Racing League officials and security. It was estimated that there were 15 to 20 people in the fight, including Jaime Camara, an Indy Pro Series driver for Andretti at the time. At the season-ending Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway Hornish got his best finish of the season since Watkins Glen with a 3rd place finish after starting in 2nd place and leading for a race-high 90 laps. As of the 2014 season this is Hornish's final race in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

In November 2013 Hornish was offered a chance to drive for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the #10 Target Dallara DW12-Ilmor-Chevrolet Indy V6 for the 2014 season after Dario Franchitti suffered career-ending injuries at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race #2 at Reliant Park. Hornish would eventually not accept the deal[5] to instead drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2014 and Tony Kanaan would drive the car.

Stock car racing[edit]

International Race of Champions[edit]

Hornish was ivited to compete in the International Race of Champions in 2002 as a representative for the Indy Racing League with Buddy Lazier, Hélio Castroneves, Al Unser, Jr. and Scott Sharp. Hornish would drive a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. At the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway Hornish started in 12th place and finished in 2nd place to Tony Stewart. Hornish's best starts of the season each came at the final two races of the season, at Chicagoland Speedway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with a 7th place start. Hornish's best finish was a 6th place finish at the Chicagoland race. Hornish would finish in 11th place in the final point standings with 35 points.

Hornish would return to the series in 2003 as a representative of the Indy Racing League with Felipe Giaffone (later replaced by Scott Sharp when Giaffone was injured) and Hélio Castroneves. Hornish would drive a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Hornish's best start was a 3rd place at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Hornish would also start in 5th place at the races at Talladega Superspeedway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in 7th place at the race at Chicagoland Speedway. Hornish's best finish of the season was a 4th place finish at Talladega. Hornish would finish in 8th place in the final point standings with 30 points.

Hornish competing in a 2006 International Race of Champions race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Hornish would return to the series in 2006 for the series' final season. Hornish would represent the IndyCar Series with Scott Sharp. Hornish would drive a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Hornish's car was numbered 06 and was painted red and white. The car was based on his #6 Marlboro Dallara IR05-Toyota Indy V8 owned by Marlboro Team Penske from the 2005 IndyCar Series season. Hornish's car number jad to be 06 due to Mark Martin also competing in the series in a car numbered 6, due to Martin at the time driving the #6 Roush Racing Ford Taurus in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Hornish's best start during the season was a 3rd place finish at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Hornish's best finish was a 4th place finish at the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Hornish would finish in 8th place in the final point standings with 36 points.

NASCAR[edit]

NASCAR Nationwide Series[edit]

Hornish would begin to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the #12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger in 2006 for Team Penske. Hornish would first compete in the Arizona Travel 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, where Hornish had won the Verizon IndyCar Series race in 2001. Hornish would start in 27th place and finish in 36th place due to a crash on lap 187 with Willie Allen and Stephen Leicht (who continued). Hornish would complete 183 laps. Hornish would then compete at the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where Hornish had won the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Hornish would start in 24th place and would finish in 43rd (last) place due to a crash after 5 laps. Hornish would later return to the race and complete 20 laps. Hornish would finish 117th in points with 89 points.

Hornish would return to the series in 2007 and would drive 9 races during the season for Team Penske in the #12 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, with additional sponsorship from Penske Truck Rental and Kodak. At the season-opening Orbitz 300 at Daytona International Speedway Hornish would start in 27th place. Hornish would finish in 31st place, six laps down. Hornish would get both his best start and his best finish of the season at the Nicorette 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he started in 5th place and finished in 15th place. Hornish would also start in 6th place at the season-ending Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he finished in 38th place due to a crash with Todd Bodine on lap 114. Hornish would finish 68th in the final point standings with 551 points.

In 2008 Hornish returned to drive for Team Penske in the #12 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Charger. Hornish would first attempt to qualify at both the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, in each race Hornish would fail to qualify. Hornish would qualify for his first race of the season at the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Hornish would start in 43rd (last) place and would finish in 19th place. Hornish's best finish of the season was a 11th place finish at the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway, where he started in 12th place. At the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway Hornish started in 13th place and led for 8 laps from laps 36 to 43. Hornish would then spin in turn 2 on lap 62. Hornish would then crash on the backstretch on lap 68 after completing 66 laps. Hornish would finish in 39th place. Hornish's best start of the season was an 8th place start at the Zippo 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International. In the race Hornish was involved in a crash with Antonio Perez on lap 42 and would finish in 36th place with 40 laps complete. Hornish would finish 51st in the final point standings with 799 points.

In 2010 Hornish only competed in the season-ending Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hornish would drive for Brian Keselowski Motorsports in conjunction with Team Penske in the #26 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Charger. Hornish would start in 12th place and finish in 21st place. Hornish would finish 114th in the final point standings with 100 points.

Following the 2010 season Hornish's sponsor Mobil 1 left Team Penske to sponsor Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing. Penske would move Hornish to the NASCAR Nationwide Series for a part-time season in the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Charger, with additional sponsorship from 392 Dodge Challenger, PPG and Avis. At the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway Hornish started in 17th place and was involved in a crash with Todd Bodine (who continued) on lap 57 and would finish in 36th place with 53 laps complete. At the Bubba Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway Hornish started in 2nd place and finished in 7th place. Hornish would also start in 2nd place at the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway and would finish in 24th place, two laps down, due to a crash with Justin Allgaier on lap 57 (both continued). At the U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by the Enlist Weed Control System at Iowa Speedway Hornish drove Penske's #22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger. Hornish started in 3rd place and took the lead on lap 13 and led through lap 51. Hornish would later drop five laps down and would finish in 24th place. Hornish would then get a 5th place finish at the next race, the Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway. At the WYPALL* 200 Powered by Kimberly-Clark Professional at Phoenix International Raceway Hornish started in 5th place and led for the final 61 laps of the race after passing Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who lead a race-high 73 laps, for the lead. Hornish would go on to win the race. The win would be Hornish's first win in a points-paying NASCAR race (Hornish had previously won the non-points paying race, the Sprint Showdown at Loe's Motor Speedway in 2009). Phoenix International Raceway was also where Hornish had won his first Verizon Indy Car Series race in 2001. Hornish would also be the first driver to win a race on the track's new configuration. At the season-ending Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Hornish started in 13th place and finished in 7th place. Hornish would finish 23rd in the final point standings with 411 points, despite only starting 13 races (although several drivers who would have scored more points than Hornish were only eligible to score points towards either the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series or the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series).

Hornish returned to the Nationwide Series for a complete schedule in 2012, driving the #12 Dodge.[6] Hornish performed well in the series. At Talladega Hornish barely avoided Eric McClure's horrific massive crash and was in the top ten for the remainder of the race. However he blew a tire and made contact with former IRL rival Danica Patrick. In reply Danica Patrick crashed him after the checkers. Hornish forgave Patrick but nonetheless Patrick was put on a temporary probation for her actions. Later at Montreal Hornish in a final green-white-checkered finish attempt made a run from 14th to 2nd place in two laps.

One of Hornish's 2013 Nationwide Series cars

In 2013 Hornish dominated the race at Las Vegas leading for 114 laps. After a pit stop, Hornish came back through the field to beat Kyle Busch for the win. It is his second NNS victory and it ended a long NNS winless streak dating back almost two years prior at Phoenix. Hornish finished second in the final 2013 Nationwide Series standings, three points behind Austin Dillon; following the 2013 season he was released by Penske Racing due to a lack of sponsorship for the 2014 season.[7]

Hornish in the #54 car at Road America

For the 2014 season, Hornish will drive part-time in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in the #54 car, splitting the ride with Kyle Busch.[8]

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Beginning in fall 2007, he started attempting Nextel Cup races in the #06 for Penske, and made only two races (at Phoenix International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway).

Hornish moved up to drive the #77 for Penske in Sprint Cup in 2008 with Mobil 1 sponsorship.[9] In his first Daytona 500, Hornish had a 15th place finish. Teammates Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch finished first and second to give Roger Penske his first 1-2 finish in the Daytona 500. After the race Roger Penske said, "It is nice to see Sam display some of his racing talent in the biggest race in NASCAR." After struggling to make his first NASCAR Cup Series events; Phoenix where he finished 30th and Homestead where he finished 37th, after the 2008 Daytona 500 he admitted that even he was surprised to see himself running in the top-10 most of the day. He also said, "I wish they would have started the race about two hours sooner, so it still could have been sunny out. If the sun had never gone down, we would have had a better chance. Once the sun goes down, everybody starts getting more and more evenly matched up, because there's not all that worry about the tires sliding around so much because of the heat." To allow Hornish to start in the first five Sprint Cup races of the season, Penske swapped the owner points of Kurt Busch's #2 car with the #77's, which ensured Hornish of a place in each of the races as Busch's team had finished seventh in the final 2007 Nextel Cup standings (and also protected Busch in case of bad qualifying efforts as he would have been able to use the Champion's Provisional for the first five races in 2008, as the rules state that the most recent Cup champion not qualified gets into the field; Busch's 2004 championship qualified him for use of the provisional). At the May All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway Hornish finished second in the Sprint Showdown to earn a start in the All-Star race. Hornish finished 7th. Hornish would finish second in a competitive Rookie of the Year race to Regan Smith, which could not have been helped by Hornish's string of poor finishes and failure to qualify for two.

As the 2009 season started, the team had high hopes for the season. However, bad luck late in 4 of the first 6 races kept Hornish from being able to achieve his elusive first top 10 finish in a Sprint Cup points race. Nevertheless, he showed great improvement from 2008. Finally, on April 18 in Phoenix, he got his top 10, finishing the race in 9th place. Two races later Hornish again improved on his career best finish scoring 6th in the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. A week later, despite its being a non-points race, Hornish got his first NASCAR victory by winning the annual Sprint Showdown, which qualified him for the Sprint All-Star Race for the second year in a row. He'd go on to finish 16th in the event. While Hornish's results improved from his rookie campaign, the team still struggled with consistency and finishing races. In addition to his two top ten finishes early in the year, Hornish scored 5 additional top tens (both Pocono races, New Hampshire, Michigan, and again at Richmond) and also gained his first two top five finishes with a fourth place effort in the Pennsylvania 500 and a fifth place finish at Michigan. Those efforts, however, were countered with 13 finishes of 30th or worse (with 7 of those being finishes of 35th or worse). Since his debut, Hornish has finished 30th or worse in 33 of his 62 career starts.

Hornish drove the #38 Front Row Motorsports Sprint Cup car at Pocono, as regular driver Travis Kvapil was competing for the Truck Series championship and was unavailable for the race.

Hornish returned to the Cup Series at the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, driving the No. 12 Dodge for Penske Racing;[10] he was also scheduled to compete in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 later in the season.[11] After A.J. Allmendinger was suspended for drug abuse, Hornish took over the #22 Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series beginning at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.[12] Hornish with the #22 Cup ride had several top tens or good runnings after replacing Allmendinger. He had an almost win at Watkins Glen after a genius pit stop by his crew but was passed by the fastest drivers of the day Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose with a few laps left. After the race Hornish who finished in 5th place, said the Watkins Glen finish was one of his best performances in the cup series. After the season ended Joey Logano took over the #22 car.

Hornish made his first appearance in the Cup Series for 2013 driving his NNS #12 for the Spring NSCS race at Kansas. In the final stages Hornish crashed because of winds and collected fellow driver Casey Mears in his accident.

For the 2014 Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup race, he replaced Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing car.[13] Hornish finished 17th.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Hornish with his daughter Addison at Road America in 2014

Hornish is a 1998 graduate of Archbold High School in Archbold, Ohio, and now resides in Napoleon.

On February 4, 2008, Sam and his wife Crystal welcomed their first child, Addison Faith Hornish, into the world. Baby Addison weighed 7 lb (3.2 kg). 2oz. and measured 18 inches (460 mm). Hornish finished 15th in his first Daytona 500 just a couple of weeks after. Sam and Crystal welcomed their second child, Eliza Jo, on December 28, 2010. Baby Eliza weighed 7 lb (3.2 kg). 15 oz and measured 20.5 inches (520 mm). Hornish's third child; this time a son, named Samuel Hornish III, was born in January 2014.

Motorsport career results[edit]

American open-wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Atlantic Championship[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
1999 Shank Racing LBH
8
NAZ
18
GAT
4
MIL
8
MTL
12
ROA
9
TRR
19
MDO
7
CHI
1
VAN
10
LS
6
HOU
10
7th 67

Verizon IndyCar Series[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
2000 PDM Racing G-Force GF05 Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V8 WDW
20
PHX
Ret
LSV
3
INDY
DNQ
PPIR
Ret
ATL KTY
9
TX2
Ret
21st 110
Dallara IR00 INDY
Ret
TXS
Ret
2001 Panther Racing Dallara IR01 Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V8 PHX
1
HMS
1
ATL
4
INDY
14
TXS
3
PPIR
2
RIR
2
KAN
2
NSH
6
KTY
3
STL
3
CHI
2
TX2
1
1st 503
2002 Panther Racing Dallara IR02 Chevrolet V8 HMS
1
PHX
3
CAL
1
NZR
17
INDY
25
TXS
Ret
PPIR
3
RIR
1
KAN
2
NSH
3
MIS
7
KTY
2
STL
5
CHI
1
TX2
1
1st 531
2003 Panther Racing Dallara IR03 Chevrolet V8 HMS
10
PHX
Ret
JPN
6
INDY
Ret
TXS
10
PPIR
5
RIR
4
KAN
Ret
NSH
11
MIS
2
STL
6
KTY
1
NZR
2
CHI
1
CAL
1
TX2
Ret
5th 461
2004 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara IR03 Toyota Indy V8 HMS
1
PHX
15
JPN
Ret
INDY
Ret
TXS
4
RIR
11
KAN
8
NSH
2
MIL
3
MIS
4
KTY
14
PPIR
Ret
NZR
11
CHI
6
CAL
4
TX2
Ret
7th 387
2005 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara IR05 Toyota Indy V8 HMS
2
PHX
1
STP
Ret
JPN
7
INDY
Ret
TXS
2
RIR
Ret
KAN
12
NSH
2
MIL
1
MIS
5
KTY
7
PPIR
2
SNM
17
CHI
3
WGL
7
CAL
5
3rd 512
2006 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara IR05 Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI4R HMS
3
STP
8
JPN
4
INDY
1
WGL
12
TXS
4
RIR
1
KAN
1
NSH
Ret
MIL
2
MIS
Ret
KTY
1
SNM
9
CHI
3
1st 475
2007 Team Penske Dallara IR07 Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI7R HMS
3
STP
7
JPN
5
KAN
6
INDY
4
MIL
9
TXS
1
IOW
Ret
RIR
15
WGL
2
NSH
4
MDO
14
MIS
Ret
KTY
Ret
SNM
5
DET
12
CHI
3
5th 465
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
8 3 116 12 19 27 32 1 (2006) 3 (2001, 2002, 2006)

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2000 Dallara IR00 Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V8 14 24 PDM Racing
2001 Dallara IR01 Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V8 13 14 Panther Racing
2002 Dallara IR02 Chevrolet V8 7 25 Panther Racing
2003 Dallara IR03 Chevrolet V8 18 15 Panther Racing
2004 Dallara IR03 Toyota Indy V8 11 26 Marlboro Team Penske
2005 Dallara IR05 Toyota Indy V8 2 23 Marlboro Team Penske
2006 Dallara IR07 Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI4R 1 1 Marlboro Team Penske
2007 Dallara IR07 Ilmor-Honda Indy V8 HI7R 5 4 Team Penske

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Nationwide Series[edit]

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

24 Hours of Daytona[edit]

(key)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sam Hornish, Jr. Official Biography". Penske Racing. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Race Breakdown". The Indianapolis Star. 2006-05-29. p. R8. 
  3. ^ "Sam's the Man". The Indianapolis Star. 2006-05-29. p. R2. 
  4. ^ "0.0635 Seconds". The Indianapolis Star. 2006-05-29. p. A1. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (2013-11-15). "Sam Hornish Jr. not going to IndyCar". ESPN. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  6. ^ "NNS: Hornish Says He’s Here To Stay". SPEED Channel. Speedtv.com. February 24, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ Long, Mark (November 17, 2013). "Roger Penske says maybe he started Sam Hornish Jr.'s career going 'backwards'". Autoweek. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  8. ^ Spencer, Lee (January 5, 2014). "Sources: Hornish to share car with Kyle Busch in Nationwide Series". FOX Sports. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  9. ^ Hornish in No. 77 Mobil 1 Penske Dodge in 2008
  10. ^ "No. 12 SKF Dodge Charger Preview – STP 400". Penske Racing. April 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  11. ^ Adamczyk, Jay (March 30, 2012). "Hornish Jr. scheduled to make two Cup starts". Jayski's Silly Season Site – #12 Team News. ESPN. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  12. ^ "Hornish back in No. 22 car at New Hampshire". NASCAR. Turner Sports. July 9, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ Bromberg, Nick (March 23, 2014). "Denny Hamlin to miss race at Auto Club, Sam Hornish Jr. to fill in". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  14. ^ "2014 Auto Club 400". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Buddy Lazier
Indy Racing Northern Lights Series Champion
2001, 2002
Succeeded by
Scott Dixon
Preceded by
Dan Wheldon
IRL IndyCar Series Champion
2006
Succeeded by
Dario Franchitti
Achievements
Preceded by
Dan Wheldon
Indianapolis 500 Winner
2006
Succeeded by
Dario Franchitti
Awards
Preceded by
Kenny Bräck
Scott Brayton Trophy
2006
Succeeded by
Tony Kanaan