Hornish out in the cold

Posted by Iannucci | 4/12/2007 | 0 comments »
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Despite being tabbed to sell some tickets in Kansas yesterday, Sam Hornish Jr and Team Penske had to nix some testing this week at the brand spankin’ new Iowa Speedway because of…snow. Yes, snow in April. So much for global warming in Des Moines, eh?

Now, I’m presuming that’s IndyCar testing and not extracurricular Busch series lappage. Besides, those Penske cars are fast enough – they don’t need more testing, do they? Come on, Roger. Share the love, man.

At any rate, let’s hope Mr. Cold Miser leaves the Midwest soon because there’s a race in Kansas in a few weeks. It would be ironic if they suffered a cold spell after moving the race to April to escape the sweltering summer racing of previous years.

And speaking of Sam, the intrepid Curt Cavin dropped this in his Q&A blog yesterday:

Question: If there was any doubt that Sam Hornish is headed to NASCAR next year to be replaced by Ryan Briscoe in the IRL, does the announcement that Penske will essentially field Briscoe in the 500 this year clear that doubt up? (Clint, Chicago)

Answer: I've certainly been thinking this for a while, but after spending the day with Hornish yesterday in Defiance, I'm not ready to say he's bound for NASCAR.It's been a struggle for him so far.
Allow me to take this moment to clarify my viewpoint on Hornish because a few folks have commented that I am being harsh on Uncle Sam and his performances in NASCAR. Let me clearly state that I wish him well in whatever racing endeavors he chooses and by no means am I enjoying his, well, futility in stock cars thusfar.

At the same time Hornish currently represents the best of IndyCar racing, and as a fan of said glorious racing I and many like me are in a strange position. If it were up to me (and it most certainly is not) I would prefer to see him continue his incredible career in IndyCar racing, but (and that’s a LaKisha Jones sized but) I also want him to succeed because I don’t want to see the perpetuation of open-wheel drivers failing to cut it in tin tops.

So if I seem harsh it’s only because I want to see him represent (double chest thump) the skills of all Indy drivers. I know a Dodge Charger is a totally different car requiring a separate set of skills to drive, but other racing fans aren't going to allow the guy excuses. He either gets it done and does us proud (like P2’s favorite driver) or he doesn’t and returns to lots of Victory Lane celebrations in the ICS.

Either way, I will still think the world of him as an IndyCar driver. As an American he is without peer in open-wheel racing...although Marco Andretti is getting closer.