Penske drivers hope Chicagoland success carries over to Indianapolis

  • Article by: JAY COHEN , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 22, 2013 - 10:00 PM

Joey Logano and Sam Hornish Jr. finished 1-2 in the Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway. Now the Penske teammates hit Indy.

hide

Sam Hornish Jr., right, and his daughter Addison looked at the car before the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Sunday. Hornish finished second in the race.

Photo: Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

JOLIET, Ill. — Sam Hornish Jr. has been coming to Indianapolis for a long time. His mother went to the Indianapolis 500 when she was eight months pregnant.

This could be another special visit.

NASCAR makes its annual stop at one of racing's most historic tracks this weekend, with Hornish returning to town as the leader of the Nationwide Series. He finished second at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, wresting control of NASCAR's second-tier circuit from Regan Smith.

"When we looked at what the day could bring, we felt like if we just continued to go out there and run the way that we have, we're going to have good days," Hornish said.

There could be more good days to come.

Hornish had the best car for the STP 300, winning the pole and leading the first 49 laps of the race. But a penalty for speeding into pit road sent him to the back of the field, and he wasn't quite able to run down Penske teammate Joey Logano at the very end, finishing second.

Logano's 20th career Nationwide victory also came at an important time for the lone Sprint Cup regular in the field on Sunday. A pair of wrecks for the 23-year-old Logano led to disappointing results at New Hampshire and Daytona, and the Chicagoland win put a stop to that negative run.

"The last two weeks haven't gone great on the Sprint Cup side, with two tire failures," Logano said. "So to get back out and get back to Victory Lane, it builds the momentum back up. It's a big deal for next week going to Indy."

Logano has made five career starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway between NASCAR's top two circuits. He has no wins and two top 10s, but the relative lack of success hasn't diminished the appeal of the track for the driver.

"I love going to Indy, because it's Indianapolis, and it's cool," said Logano, who will compete in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races this weekend. "I'm pumped up about going there and trying to get a win."

Hornish knows what it's like to win in Indy, taking the Indianapolis 500 in 2006. The three-time IndyCar champion then made the switch to NASCAR, but his biggest racing victory still follows him around.

"It's something that's kind of in my blood, I love going back there," he said. "A lot of people ask me if I miss the Indy 500. And I don't miss it at all. Because I watch it every year from start to finish and I get the opportunity to actually enjoy it now. When I was racing in it, I took it very seriously and for about 11 months out of the year I was frustrated, why weren't we at Indianapolis and how do I win this race? And now I get to just watch it and be a fan like I was as a kid."

The 34-year-old Hornish hasn't enjoyed the same success in Indianapolis since he moved to NASCAR, with no wins and one top 10 in five career starts between the top two series. He finished second to Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide race at Indy last season.

This could be the year he returns to Victory Lane at the beloved track.

Hornish has recorded five consecutive top 10s to move into the lead in the Nationwide standings, seven points ahead of Smith. He won at Las Vegas in March, and another big win in Indy could springboard him to a series title that could help him reach his goal of returning to the Sprint Cup.

"I was glad the race didn't go any longer. I think Sam had something for him," said Jeremy Bullins, who was the crew chief for Logano's winning car at Chicagoland. "But just congratulations to everyone at Penske Racing for taking it home 1-2."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 88 FINAL
Charlotte 79
Philadelphia 103 FINAL
Detroit 109
Dallas 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
NY Islanders 3 FINAL
Boston 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Chicago 2 FINAL
Nashville 3
Arizona 0 FINAL
Minnesota 2
Carolina 0 FINAL
Calgary 5
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Columbus 5 FINAL
San Jose 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close