|Jul, 2, 1979||6' 0"||Alliance Truck Parts/WURTH|
|Defiance, OH||160 lbs.||Ford Mustang|
|Napoleon, OH||Greg Erwin|
Sam Hornish Jr. returns for his second-consecutive season of full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series competition with Penske Racing in 2013. The upcoming season will mark the veteran driver's fifth full-season effort in NASCAR and his seventh season overall in stock car competition.
A native of Defiance, Ohio, Hornish enters this year well positioned to make a strong bid for the Nationwide Series Championship as he will contest this season in a Ford Mustang, the car that has claimed the top spot in the series for each of the past two seasons. Fresh off an impressive fourth-place finish in the 2012 NNS championship race, Hornish will also be paired with experienced crew chief Greg Erwin for the first time in 2013 as the duo looks to secure Penske Racing's second Nationwide Series title.
Alliance Truck Parts will sponsor the No. 12 Penske Racing machine, along with Wurth, throughout the 10-month season. After a strong showing in 2012, which included Hornish's first-ever NASCAR pole at Watkins Glen, five top-three, 10 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes, the dedicated father of two is well prepared to fight for the series crown.
The path Hornish has taken to driving the 2013 Alliance Truck Parts/Wurth Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series has been atypical, as the three-time IndyCar Champion, Indianapolis 500 winner and Nationwide Series winner possesses one of the most diverse resumes in the series.
The 33-year-old Hornish remembers growing up racing with his father while his mother helped run the family business in his native Ohio. Looking back on his advance through the racing ranks en route to NASCAR, Hornish credits the support of his family for the unprecedented success he achieved at a young age.
Hornish began racing go-karts at age 11. Four years later he emerged victorious in the World Karting Association's U.S. Grand National Championship. In 1996, Hornish moved to Formula Ford, spending more than two seasons in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 Series before progressing to the Toyota Atlantic Championship.
Hornish entered the IndyCar Series in 2000. He caught the eye of Panther Racing, which went on to hire him for the team's 2001 campaign. Their decision proved prudent when Hornish claimed victory in his first two starts with the team, ultimately winning the series crown in his rookie season. In 2002, Hornish earned five victories and 11 top-five finishes on his way to his second consecutive IndyCar Series Championship.
After the 2003 season, Hornish realized his childhood dream when Team Penske invited him to join them for the 2004 season. Hornish won his debut race with Team Penske - his victory marked the first time in the history of Penske Racing that an Indy car driver won his inaugural race with the team. In his second season with Team Penske, Hornish earned two victories and finished third in the series championship.
Hornish made two significant additions to his resume in 2006 by earning his third career IndyCar Championship and winning the Indianapolis 500. He captured the win from the pole, making a pass on the final stretch of the last lap to steal the win from rookie Marco Andretti in one of the most remarkable finishes in the history of the storied event. The IndyCar Series Championship marked the first-ever series title for Penske Racing and the Indy win represented the team's 14th 500 victory. At the end of the 2006 season, Hornish made his stock car racing debut with a pair of NASCAR Nationwide Series starts for Penske Racing.
In 2007 Hornish competed in his final season in the IndyCar Series, while contesting multiple NASCAR Nationwide Series races, as well as two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events as he began to transition from open-wheel to stock cars.
During the 2008 Sprint Cup Series, Hornish started strong at the season-opening Daytona 500 and the Sprint All-Star Race, where he was one of two participants to race their way into the event. Hornish earned three top-15 finishes with a season-best result of 13th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. That year Hornish also competed in eight Nationwide Series races with four top-15 finishes and a Camping World Truck Series race where he earned his first NASCAR top-10 finish with a ninth-place result. Hornish finished second in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series Rookie-of-the-Year standings.
In 2009, Hornish completed his sophomore season in the Cup Series with strong results. He captured his first Cup Series top-10 finish at Phoenix International Raceway with a ninth-place result en route to a total of seven top-10 finishes for the year. Hornish continued his momentum by scoring his first NASCAR top-five finish with a fourth-place result at Pocono Raceway. Two weeks later he scored a fifth-place finish at Michigan International Speedway. Hornish earned his first NASCAR victory in the Sprint Showdown qualifying event for the 2009 All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Hornish then went on to finish 16th in the All-Star race.
The 2010 NASCAR Cup Series season saw Hornish make marked improvements in many categories. His qualifying results improved dramatically as he posted two top-three starting positions in 2010. Hornish also made gains in consistency and average finishing position over the course the season. He completed a noteworthy 95% of the laps in which he raced, and he led a NASCAR career-high 50 laps of competition.
Though he only raced a partial schedule in Nationwide Series competition, in 2011, Hornish was able to re-evaluate his goals and career path. On the strength of his first-ever NASCAR victory at Phoenix International Raceway, he emerged from the season more determined than ever to succeed in stock cars.
Though he's a world-class racer, Hornish remembers his roots as he gives back to the sport and his community. In his hometown of Defiance, Ohio, Hornish aided in the creation of a senior center, as well as the addition of a heart center at the Defiance Medical Center. Hornish 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 has raised over $500,000 to benefit the children of North Texas.
Hornish enjoys customizing vehicles. His collection includes a 1930 Model A Ford, a 1951 Mercury, a 1955 Chevrolet Del Ray, a 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville and a 1967 Chevrolet pick-up truck, as well as a Corvette ZO6 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. He also enjoys a diverse collection of antiques such as a 1901 Barber chair, a 1918 Excelsior motorcycle and an intricately carved 1895 Armoire that is now the backdrop to the bar in his Mooresville home. Along with his automotive and antique collections he manages to find time to design and build items for his daughters such as a tree house and a carriage. As busy as he is with racing, parenting and keeping up with his various projects, Hornish says that live music is his guilty pleasure and has diverse tastes in music.
Hornish and wife Crystal have two daughters, Addison and Liza. They divide their time between Napoleon, Ohio and Mooresville, NC.
2012 - 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.
2011 - 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.
2010 - Starts all 36 Cup Series 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 led 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.
2009 - 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 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.
2008 - 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.
2007 - 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).
2006 - 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, marking the first series title for the team, driving the No. 6 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda. 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.
2005 - 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.
2004 - 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.
2003 - 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%).
2002 - 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.
2001 - 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 seriesleading total of 765 laps. Leads the most laps in six of the 13 races.
2000 - 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.
1999 - Wins Toyota Atlantic Series race at Chicago Motor Speedway on his way to Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
1998-1996 - Races in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 Series, highlighted by a second-place finish and two thirds in 1998.
1995 - Wins the World Karting Association Grand National Championship.
1994 - Wins 19 of 55 races and is the World Karting Association’s U.S. Grand National Champion.
2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season Statistics
|Date||Event||Start||Finish||Points (Behind)||Rank (+/-)|
|3/2/13||Dollar General 200 fueled by AmeriGas||19||7||NA||NA|
|3/9/13||Sam's Town 300||7||1||NA||NA|
|3/16/13||Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300||3||4||NA||NA|
|3/23/13||Royal Purple 300||7||2||NA||NA|
|4/12/13||O'Reilly Auto Parts 300||4||34||NA||NA|
Sam Hornish Jr. discusses the "off" week - Sam Hornish discusses his plans for the "off" week preceding the Easter holiday weekend. In addition to a little time off, he talks about testing in preparation for his upcoming Cup race in Kansas.