|Sam Hornish Jr. and son Sam III in victory lane in Iowa, June 2016|
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Rainier Ehrhardt
Sam Hornish Jr. isn’t racing on a full-time basis right now, but that doesn’t mean he forgot how to get to victory lane. Find out more about the former open-wheel standout in this week’s Fast Facts, originally published in July 2012.
- Samuel Jon Hornish Jr. was born July 2, 1979 in Defiance, OH. His racing career began at age 11 in go-karts, where he won the World Karting Association U.S. Grand National championship in just four years. He moved up to the USF2000 Series, where he raced from 1996-1998, and also competed in the Toyota Atlantic Series and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
- Hornish Jr. moved to the Indy Racing League in 2000, going on to win three championships (2001, 2002 and 2006) as well as the 2006 Indianapolis 500 as a member of Team Penske. Also in 2006, Hornish Jr. began the transition to NASCAR with Penske Racing, competing in the final two Busch (now Xfinity) Series races of the season. In 2007, Hornish Jr. competed in his final full season in the IRL while competing part-time in both the Busch and Cup Series in NASCAR.
- Hornish Jr. raced in the Cup Series full-time for three seasons (2008 to 2010) before a lack of sponsorship left him without a Cup Series ride for 2011. He competed in several Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series races for Penske Racing that season, picking up his first victory at Phoenix in November, which happened to also be the site of his first IRL win in 2001.
- In 2012 and 2013, Hornish Jr. returned to the Nationwide Series full-time for Penske, and also ran selected Cup Series races for the team, including the final 19 races of the 2012 season as substitute for AJ Allmendinger. He finished fourth in points in 2012 and second in 2013.
- Hornish Jr. ran eight Nationwide Series race for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2014, winning at Iowa Speedway in May and finishing second at Michigan. In 2015, he returned to the Cup Series with Richard Petty Motorsports for one season.
- In 2016, Hornish Jr. returned once again to part-time competition in the Xfinity Series with JGR and Richard Childress Racing. He returned to victory lane at Iowa in June for JGR, and also picked up a second-place finish at Mid-Ohio in August.
- Hornish Jr. and his wife, Crystal are the parents of two daughters, Addison and Eliza, and a son, Sam III.
- For more information on Sam Hornish Jr., visit his website, samhornish.com.