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Sam Hornish Finishes 21st At Indianapolis

Sam Hornish, Jr., AHS ’98, returned to Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway last weekend after making the transition from the IndyCar Series to NASCAR.

The 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner qualified in the 38th position and persevered through extreme tire wear issues for the duration of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard to secure a 21stplace finish.

Hornish remains 34th in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner points standings.

During practice on Saturday, teams began to note that the issued sets of race tires were wearing down after only a handful of laps on the famed 2.5-mile oval track.

As the race began on Sunday afternoon, July 27, NASCAR informed teams that there would be a competition caution on lap 10 due to the unusual tire wear seen during practice.

On lap 47 of the 160-lap event, teams were averaging approximately 11 laps on each set of tires. Due to the extreme tire wear, NASCAR continued to schedule competition cautions within that window to ensure competitor safety.

In total, six of the 11 caution periods were mandated cautions.

With rapid tire wear issues and competition cautions slated for every 11 green flag laps, it was difficult for drivers to race hard and for teams to employ much pit strategy.

However at the midpoint of the race, Hornish had worked his way into the top-20 in the running order despite flat-tire troubles.

“Despite all of the starts and stops, I feel that we had a really good day,” said Hornish. “Unfortunately, today’s race was a situation where the cars and the tires did not agree with each other.

“I know it wasn’t the race that fans were expecting, but there was a lot of action out there. It was exciting because you were on the edge of your seat hoping your tires would make it to the next caution.

Hornish races at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., Sunday, Aug. 3.

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