USA Today: Sam Hornish Jr. won his third IndyCar championship and his first Indy 500 title last year. Along with his IndyCar Series duties for Penske Racing, he's run seven Busch Series races for you along with some ARCA events, leading some to believe you're about to expand to three cars. Are there any firm plans for expansion?
Roger Penske: I don't think it's something we have to do. I think we are going to do it at our cadence and not anybody else's. It's based on having sponsors to support the costs (of a third car). There's lots of talk about whether Sam will go or won't go. We haven't made that decision. Within the next 60 days, we will be clear on what we want to do. We have the capability. It's a matter of wanting to take the Busch program and make it a Cup program next year.
So now we know. This is far and away the most insightful paragraph about Sam Hornish Jr's venture into NAPCAR yet, because now it's appears this isn’t about Sam’s personal goals or challenges or whatever. A lot - if not all - of this “thinking” of late is based on a cash money sponsorship.
If Penske isn’t bouncing out one of his cup drivers and stuffing Uncle Sam into a tin top featuring Miller Lite or Alltel then that means he needs a third sponsor for a third car. So if you’re a super successful guy like Roger and you don’t have a sponsorship locked down, you start saying things like “I think we are going to do it at our own cadence” or “I don’t think it’s something we have to do”. A man’s gotta appear above all this silly money stuff.
It sounds like Sam has already made up his mind, and if not this year then next year could potentially provide the opportunity (read: money) for him to jump into another form of racing. Sixty more days of waiting may be unbearable, but from the quote above it may be another year before Hornish can actually attempt a Nextel/Sprint Cup jump. Like the saying goes: No bucks, no Buck Rogers.
Although...if Sam REALLY wants to raise some funding himself, he can always go back to selling Uniden phones.