Truth & Rumors > Auto Racing

Hornish given permission to seek new team

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10:43 AM ET 09.18 | Sam Hornish Jr. has been given permission by Penske Racing to seek employment elsewhere, and the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner no longer is ruling out a return to IndyCar. The three-time champion of the Izod IndyCar Series is nearing the end of his third full season in the Sprint Cup Series, and sponsor Mobil 1 is leaving the team. Hornish says team owner Roger Penske wants to keep him in the fold but might not be able to if sponsorship doesn't materialize.

USA Today

Sam Hornish Jr., Todd Warshaw/Getty Images Sam Hornish Jr., Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
September 18, 2010  10:55 AM ET

Lack of sponsors is getting more amd more noticeable throughout Nascar.

September 18, 2010  10:58 AM ET

You would think as much money as Penske has.. he could sponsor a team with just his name on the car.. maybe times are getting tough for everyone

September 18, 2010  11:23 AM ET

And another open-wheel guy finds out that NASCAR is a lot tougher than they thought.

Comment #5 has been removed
September 18, 2010  12:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

My guess would be that a sponsor guarantees a profit on that specific team. With ut one, a financial loss.

Good point.. never thought of that.. I guess even Penske would feel a 15 million dollar loss.. even with his deep pockets.. Sam wasn't doing anything in Cup Series anyway.. not that Brad was doing any better

September 18, 2010  01:03 PM ET

More on FI -- Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said that if all goes well, fuel injection could debut in the middle of next season in Cup -- sure hope it turns out to be mechanical FI ... if these bone heads go to electronic FI that will be nothing more than cheaters delight. The only way around it is if TRASHCAR hands out the computers and FI units just like they do the dreaded plates.

September 18, 2010  02:05 PM ET

two new articles. both crap. oh well.

September 18, 2010  03:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

two new articles. both crap. oh well.

at this point we cant be picky, LOL

September 18, 2010  10:08 PM ET

If racing does not pan out. Does he have a college degree?

September 19, 2010  12:42 AM ET

Permission? He shouldn't need no stinkin permission. MF may I?

September 19, 2010  07:59 AM ET

Now they'll have to find someone else to finish 30th-43rd each week.

September 19, 2010  11:58 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Now they'll have to find someone else to finish 30th-43rd each week.

That'll be Danica Patrick.

September 20, 2010  06:49 AM ET

another great article about something insignificant

September 20, 2010  03:39 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

And another open-wheel guy finds out that NASCAR is a lot tougher than they thought.

Uh-huh. Put Kyle Busch or whoever you want in the 77 and see how they do. Hornish is not an untalented chump.

September 21, 2010  07:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Uh-huh. Put Kyle Busch or whoever you want in the 77 and see how they do. Hornish is not an untalented chump.

you are correct, to a point, Mears, Hornish, Sadler, all these guys are not "Untalented". Its just that there is a huge gap in the scale of talent between the truly elite at the top, and the mid pack.

September 21, 2010  08:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Uh-huh. Put Kyle Busch or whoever you want in the 77 and see how they do. Hornish is not an untalented chump.

Nobody has said Hornish wasn't a talented guy. But in a Cup Car, he doesn't have the same talent that he had in Open Wheel. Look at Dario Franchitti. He came from Open Wheel and was essentially doing the same thing as Hornish, driving in circles and not winning races as in Open Wheel. Dario goes back to Open Wheel after a season in NASCAR and wins a Championship. You can't tell me Roger Penske hasn't given good equipment to either Hornish or Franchitti. Bottom line that I've said all along, SOME of these Open Wheel guys just aren't competitive in NASCAR and yet were champs in Open Wheel. Success in one racing discipline, doesn't guarantee the same success in another. Except for Tony Stewart and perhaps Jeff Gordon, there aren't too many guys who'd succeed in Open Wheel. An interesting experiment would be to see what Kyle Busch would do in an Open Wheel car uinder racing circumstances. But lets face it. Unless the IRL puts up a ton of money for Kyle's seat time, it ain't happenin any time soon!

September 21, 2010  09:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

You would think as much money as Penske has.. he could sponsor a team with just his name on the car.. maybe times are getting tough for everyone

Interesting story on your comment about Penske having the money to sponsor the team. First in Indy Car he has had his name only on at least one car when the Marlboro sponsorship finally went away. Second I knew a man who drove a Porsche 962 and won at Sebring in the 1980's. He owned a large company and was a multimillionaire. He said if he could not secure sponsorship he would not race as he was not going to spend HIS money on racing. That is one way the rich stay rich by not spending their money when they can get others to spend theirs especially for their hobbies or passions.

September 21, 2010  10:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#22):

Nobody has said Hornish wasn't a talented guy. But in a Cup Car, he doesn't have the same talent that he had in Open Wheel. Look at Dario Franchitti. He came from Open Wheel and was essentially doing the same thing as Hornish, driving in circles and not winning races as in Open Wheel. Dario goes back to Open Wheel after a season in NASCAR and wins a Championship. You can't tell me Roger Penske hasn't given good equipment to either Hornish or Franchitti. Bottom line that I've said all along, SOME of these Open Wheel guys just aren't competitive in NASCAR and yet were champs in Open Wheel. Success in one racing discipline, doesn't guarantee the same success in another. Except for Tony Stewart and perhaps Jeff Gordon, there aren't too many guys who'd succeed in Open Wheel. An interesting experiment would be to see what Kyle Busch would do in an Open Wheel car uinder racing circumstances. But lets face it. Unless the IRL puts up a ton of money for Kyle's seat time, it ain't happenin any time soon!

I CAN tell you that Penske hasn't given Hornish the equipment to challenge Hendrick, Gibbs, Childress and Roush. I CAN tell you that Penske didn't give Franchitti competitive equipment, because he raced for Chip Ganassi, in equipment that wasn't competitive.

And you forgot to mention Montoya. Of course, he can't hold a wheel either, right?

And btw, speaking of Tony Stewart, he was recently asked who are the best race car drivers he has raced with. His response, ''Jeff Gordon, Robby Gordon, and Jaun Montoya are easily the most naturally talented drivers I have ever been on a race track with, in any series''.

Hmmmmm, that's 2 open wheelers and only one NAPCAR driver.

I would love to see Kyle in an Indy car at Indy. But I would worry about him getting himself hurt.

September 21, 2010  10:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

You would think as much money as Penske has.. he could sponsor a team with just his name on the car.. maybe times are getting tough for everyone

Penske has been spending his own money on his race teams.

 
September 21, 2010  10:51 AM ET

Oh, and one other thing about Franchitti. He really had a fair shot in NAPCAR didn't he, I mean how much seat time did he have, 1/3 of a season.

Put Kyle in a Dryer and Reinbold machine for 1/3 of a season and see how he does in open wheel.

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