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Hornish wins Nationwide race at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Sam Hornish drove a dominant car to victory Saturday afternoon, streaking away from Kyle Busch during a seven-lap dash to the finish in the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The win was Hornish's second in NASCAR's Nationwide series and the former three-time IndyCar champion's first since Nov. 12, 2011, at Phoenix. It was the first Las Vegas victory for Penske Racing in any NASCAR series and the first Nationwide triumph for crew chief Greg Erwin, a winning Sprint Cup crew chief who joined Penske in the offseason.

The Penske organization also collected its first victory after switching from Dodge to Ford.

Busch was second, 1.1 seconds behind Hornish. Pole-sitter Brian Vickers ran third, followed by Trevor Bayne and Elliott Sadler. Bayne recovered from an early brush with the wall.

Hornish led 114 of the 200 laps around the 1 1/2-mile oval.

It wasn't until race day that Hornish learned of the similarity between his name and that of the title sponsorship.

"I didn't know until this morning that this was the Sam's Town 300," Hornish said.

"Man, the car was awesome today. It was a real joy to drive. … When you have a car that good, you're always worried something bad is going to happen or you'll get caught in somebody else's problem."

Busch, who dominated at Phoenix a week earlier, had an excellent car Saturday, but not quite strong enough.

"It was a tough race out there today all around," Busch said. "Cars were really getting loose out there in the early stages of the race through the middle part of the race. … The second-to-last run and the last run, I felt like our car was really good. There wasn't much else that we could do to make it better.

"Sam was just that much faster than us."

Hornish wins Nationwide race at Las Vegas 03/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 9, 2013 8:54pm]
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