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Published: 7/16/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Hornish might get nod to drive at Indy

Defiance native would race again in 2 weeks

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Defiance's Sam Hornish, Jr., who finished 22nd at New Hampshire on Sunday, won the Indianapolis 500 in 2006.
Defiance's Sam Hornish, Jr., who finished 22nd at New Hampshire on Sunday, won the Indianapolis 500 in 2006.
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Penske Racing President Tim Cindric announced Sunday that Defiance native Sam Hornish, Jr., will drive in the Sprint Cup event two weeks from now in Indianapolis if AJ Allmendinger is not available to drive.

Hornish, driving the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing, finished 22nd in the Sprint Cup Series LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. He finished fourth in Saturday's Nationwide Series F.W. Webb 200 at NHMS.

Cindric made the announcement on his Twitter account, moments after Kasey Kahne won the LENOX Industrial Tools 301.

"@SamHornish n the 22 4 Indy as well if @AJDinger is not available," Cindric wrote.\

RELATED ARTICLE: Kahne cruises to win in N.H.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the Brickyard 400 on July 29.

Hornish has driven in the last two Sprint Cup races in place of Allmendinger. whom NASCAR temporarily suspended after Allmendinger failed a random drug test. Hours after NASCAR announced Allmendinger's suspension on July 7, Hornish finished 33rd at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

"Probably the most difficult thing for everybody at Penske Racing right now is the uncertainty of not even really knowing where anything stands at this point," Hornish said prior to the weekend. "We're just trying to get through these next couple days and regroup."

But, Hornish added, "The good thing about them not telling me is, I don't have to worry about if I tell somebody."

Allmendinger's business manager, Tara Ragan, said last week that Allmendinger's urine sample tested positive for a stimulant in a test administered June 29 at Kentucky Speedway. Allmendinger has requested that an independent toxicologist be present when his "B" sample is tested this week.

If Allmendinger's "B" sample tests negative, NASCAR can reinstate him. If Allmendinger's "B" sample tests positive, then NASCAR would suspend Allmendinger indefinitely, and he would be required to complete a substance-abuse program before seeking reinstatement.

Team owner Roger Penske said Sunday that Allmendinger would return to drive with Penske Racing if he passes the second drug test this week.

If Allmendinger is not available to drive in 13 days, Hornish will return to the site where he won the 2006 Indianapolis 500, when he drove on the open-wheel IndyCar circuit. Hornish said last week that he would like to be considered to drive the No. 22 car full-time for Penske Racing, if it becomes available.

Hornish is currently fourth in the Nationwide Series standings, 32 points behind Elliott Sadler, entering Sunday's STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Penske Racing has not yet announced if Hornish will drive in the event.



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