Monday, June 15, 2009

Driver #4 - Sam Hornish Jr - American - Age 29 - Chances of rejoining the ICS = 40%

IndyCar Garage breaks down ten drivers that aren’t driving in the IndyCar Series and what their impact would have done or could do to the IndyCar series. This includes drivers that have raced partial schedules in years past or in the present season.

IndyCar Garage continues it’s countdown of the top drivers not currently driving full-time in the IndyCar Series with driver number 4

SAM HORNISH JR. – AMERICAN – AGE 29 – Chances of rejoining the ICS = 40%

Sam Hornish Jr. makes the list because he is the most accomplished IndyCar Series driver NOT racing in open wheel. It’s frustrating to have the most successful driver in your series history participating in rival NASCAR. Sam’s early career in the 1990’s was highlighted by his involvement in various forms of open wheel racing, and eventually a full time ride with Panther Racing in 2001 In the Indy Racing League. He would move on to Team Penske in 2004 replacing retired Gil De Ferran. He would capture three IndyCar series championships, the 2006 Indy 500 championship, and 19 career wins in the series. He was a dominating force in the series prior to his jump into NASCAR, and can be considered a casualty of the open wheel spilt. Sam’s last year in open wheel would also be the last year open wheel would be spilt into two series.

Sam currently drives for Roger Penske’s NASCAR team and has made steady progress since his transition, but hasn’t come remotely close to achieving the success he had in open wheel. His return is open to the IndyCar series is 50/50. If Roger Penske thinks that his investment in Sam isn’t the worth the wait, you could see him back in the IndyCar series with Penske or another team. His career is still very young.

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