Advertisement
  1. Archive

INDYCAR'S HORNISH MOVING TO NASCAR, JOINING PENSKE

Published Nov. 9, 2007

Six times already Sam Hornish has tried to make it into NASCAR's main event, and all six times he has been sent home.

The failure has only made him want it more.

The three-time IndyCar Series champion is moving to NASCAR in 2008, joining the mass exodus of open-wheel stars fleeing to America's most popular racing series. He told the Associated Press he will drive the No. 77 Dodge next season for Penske Racing with Mobil 1 as the sponsor.

"I've tried to qualify for these Cup races, and it's kind of lit a little bit of fire in me to see if we can't get to the point where I am competitive," said Hornish, who will try again to make his Nextel Cup debut this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.

"I am a much better racer than I am a qualifier, and if I can just get in, I feel confident I can figure it out."

Hornish, 28, has been flirting with NASCAR since last season, but this jump was not guaranteed. Team owner Roger Penske left it in Hornish's hands.

The most prolific American driver in open-wheel right now chose NASCAR, but said leaving the other formula was "one of the more difficult decisions" he has ever had to make.

Penske will officially introduce Hornish as the third driver for his NASCAR team Saturday night at the Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix. He'll join a team that already fields cars for Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.

Hornish joins Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Jacques Villeneuve as former Indianapolis 500 winners and IndyCar Series champions now racing in NASCAR's top series.

Renault accused of possessing McLaren info: Formula One's spying scandal took another twist when Renault was accused by the sport's governing body of possessing confidential information belonging to rival team McLaren. FIA has summoned Renault officials to a hearing of the World Motor Sport Council on Dec. 6 in Monte Carlo, Monaco, to answer a charge of having "unauthorized possession of documents and confidential information" of McLaren cars between September 2006 and October 2007. A Renault F1 spokeswoman said the company "for legal reasons" couldn't give detailed comment. The move follows McLaren's involvement in a spy scandal that overshadowed much of the season. McLaren was fined a record $100-million by the World Motor Sport Council on Sept. 13 after FIA found the team guilty of using leaked secret data from Ferrari.

Petty moving shop: Petty Enterprises will leave its longtime home in Level Cross, N.C., and move its NASCAR shop 70 miles down the road to Mooresville next month to be closer to the center of racing in the Charlotte area. The company said team owners Richard and Kyle Petty agreed to lease space in the shop formerly used by Robert Yates Racing until the team can find land to build its own facility.