IndyCar career seems like ‘a different lifetime’ to Sam Hornish Jr.

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For eight years, from 2001 to 2007, Sam Hornish Jr. competed in the Verizon IndyCar series for three different teams. Each year saw Hornish attempt to capture an Indianapolis 500 win. Then, in 2006, Hornish passed Marco Andretti on the last lap to win the 90th running of race.

Life is much different now for the Ohio native, nine years after he kissed the bricks.

“It’s often tough to remember a whole lot about IndyCar racing,” Hornish told reporters Wednesday. “I was only married for a couple of years at that point in time without any kids. Pretty much spent all my time in Ohio that I wasn’t at a race track.”

In 2008, Hornish made the jump to NASCAR to race in the Sprint Cup Series for Penske. After bouncing back and forth between the Cup and Xfinity Series for years, Hornish is back full-time in the former with Richard Petty Motorsports.

“Now, we’re running 38 races a year, (have) three kids and live in North Carolina,” Hornish said. “It seems like a different lifetime, not so much a life time ago.”

Hornish and his team were at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of the Sprint Cup’s testing for the Brickyard 400 on July 26. While he competed in the Sprint Cup race at IMS four times for Penske, he’s never came close to equaling his 2006 success in IndyCar, finishing no better than 16th.

Hornish’s has won only three times in Xfinity Series. But the lack of consistent success doesn’t have the 35-year-old yearning to recreate his open-wheel success. At least not anytime soon.

“Everytime I think about the possibility of coming back, there’s something that pops up that tells me it’s not time to do that or its not the right thing to do,” Hornish said. “I still don’t feel like I’ve done what was trying to accomplish over here on the stock car side yet. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done with that. If I felt that I could get to the point being where I wanted to be competitively over here, there might be that opportunity.”

Hornish said it’s almost easier on himself as a driver to not return for a one-off appearance in the Indy 500 and that he get’s to enjoy the race like he did as a kid watching it on TV in Defiance, Ohio.

“When the race is over, if I like who won, I’ll watch the interview. If I don’t, I’ll change the channel and I don’t have to think about it for the next 12 months,” Hornish said. “(As a driver) it is definitely a lot easier not carrying it with you all year long, waiting for the next one to come along, because whether you do good or bad, you just sit there for the next 364 days and prepare. It takes up a lot of your time when you’re a driver.”

Another part of Hornish’s legacy is that he is just one of two American-born drivers to win the Indy 500 since Buddy Rice in 2004, with Ryan Hunter-Reay the last in 2014. Hornish was asked what it meant to him to see Josef Newgarden, a Tennessee native, win his first IndyCar race on Sunday.

“I’m sure Josef would say ahead of me, it’s been a long time coming,” Hornish said. “He’s definitely had the speed at a lot of different race tracks where you thought it was just around the corner, but it was being able to put the whole puzzle together.”

What made it even better, Hornish believes, is the win came from driver on a small team, Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing, and not a large, four-team operation.

“If you look at the ownership of the team, with Ed (Carpenter) and Sarah (Fisher), those things (and) Drivers that have wanted to move to that next step of being part of it, I think it’s good for the sport in general to be able get those kind of teams to victory lane,” Hornish said.

 

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans