Sometimes the biggest stories start with just a few lines at the end of a column. For example, earlier this year there was a single sentence in a Michigan paper about Sarah Fisher testing an IndyCar, and a few weeks later we get the Battle in the Bluegrass media hype.
Well, here we go again with an oh-by-the-way item following a NASCAR roundup in The New York Times.
Roger Penske, who owns teams in the Indy Racing League and Nascar, said Saturday that he was working on a plan that would allow his I.R.L. driver Sam Hornish Jr. to race in some Nascar second-tier Busch Series and lower-level ARCA events next season. That would be in addition to a full I.R.L. schedule for Hornish, who won the Indianapolis 500 this year.
“Sam has talked about running some Busch or ARCA races, and we’re looking at a potential program,” Penske said before the Sharpie 500. “We haven’t put all the pieces together.”
Although Penske used an ARCA, Busch and Nextel Cup program to develop the driver Ryan Newman before promoting him to the Cup series full-time, Penske said it was too early to say if Hornish would move up to compete in the Cup series by 2008.
Of course it’s “too early to say”, but if Hornish shows some promise in those races in 2007 then you can bet he will be heading off to a fulltime job with the bumping behemoths faster than you can say “Tony Stewart”.