Backmarker Hornish to run limited schedule with PenskeUPDATE Sam Hornish Jr. will compete in at least 10 NASCAR Nationwide races this season, beginning with the DRIVEFORCOPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, team owner Roger Penske confirmed by email on Saturday. Chad Walters will serve as Hornish's crew chief. Penske's acknowledgment confirms a report earlier this week by FOXSports.com's Jeff Hammond, who said Hornish would not return to Sprint Cup competition in a Penske car this season. Penske also verified that the #77 car's [owners points, was 30th in 2010] points will be used by Stephen Wallace, who is attempting to make his Cup debut at Daytona. Wallace, 23, currently drives the #66 Toyota for his father at Rusty Wallace Racing in the Nationwide Series. FoxSports
01/14/11 Sam Hornish Jr. will not be in anything Penske-owned in Daytona. He is basically done.
Penske Racing downsized not only Hornish’s NASCAR Sprint Cup organization, but also its Nationwide Series crew.
To take it one step further and know that there’s not really interest in running that third car, somebody might say how do you know they’re not going to come in at the last minute and do this? They cannibalized the No. 77 crew of Hornish and what was left of the 12 Nationwide crew to make up the best for one with Brad Keselowksi’s organization, whatever they were lacking in Nationwide, but also to beef up what is now the No. 2 car for Keselowski for the Cup season.
It’s the right thing to do and I’ll go back and I’ll just use the Richard Childress scenario that sometimes less is more. They’ve never had any success with a multi-car organization when it comes to Penske Racing, in Cup, as far as they’re concerned. So I think the combination that they were able to come up with in Nationwide proved out last year with the championship and I think, again, reducing the number of teams may make them even more effective in the long run.
I just think that when you kind of discuss or talk anything over, not to put down the Hornish organization or that team with Sam, but they never really were able to contribute to teammate Kurt Busch’s efforts and I don’t think they benefitted Keselowski. Brad has shown that if you give him a decent ride, not only can he win races, like he did in Nationwide, he can win championships and we know that in a good Cup ride he’s a threat because he does have one Cup win. He had more Cup wins than Hornish did in the number of years he drove for Penske.
You got to believe it was a tough time for team owner Roger Penske and everybody over there, but you’ve got to look at what they were trying to accomplish. Fox Sports
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