Hornish looks to build on career-best sixth at Richmond
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge, scored a career-best NASCAR finish with a sixth-place result in Saturday's Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway. It marked the second consecutive top-10 finish for Hornish in short-track competition.
"Our Mobil 1 Dodge was outstanding pretty much all night long," said Hornish. "I'm really proud of this Mobil 1 team and how hard they worked. I told a lot of people yesterday we had a better car than where we qualified. We got into the normal short-track stuff tonight but we were able to get out of here with another top-10 finish.
"I like the short tracks more all the time. I wouldn't have thought my first two top-10s would come on short tracks. I feel like I'm learning all the time. This No. 77 team is growing and getting stronger. Penske Racing as a whole is also getting stronger. It was a good day for us in the points and hopefully we'll get ourselves a couple more spots closer to being in the top-20."
Running solidly inside the top-10, the Mobil 1 machine suffered damage to its left-front fender when the No. 29 car spun directly in front of Hornish on a restart. He was forced to come to pit road for minor repairs and subsequently fell to 19th place when racing action resumed on lap 298. Another caution flag came out shortly thereafter and the Mobil 1 team opted not to make a pit stop. The move catapulted Hornish back to the front of the field, where he lined up fourth for the restart.
A series of late-race cautions ensued and Hornish was running seventh with just 50 laps to go. After falling to 18th in the running order due to a tight-handling condition, Hornish came to pit road for service during the last of 15 caution periods. Restarting the race in 17th place, he methodically passed competitors on track in the waning laps to move back up to sixth by the finish. Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and David Stremme finished 12th and 38th, respectively.