IndyCar Series: Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean
Topics: Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 presented by Mr. Clean
Sam Hornish, Jr.
September 8, 2007
MODERATOR: We'll start off here with Sam Hornish on the outside pole. Sam, if you would talk about your run out there this afternoon.
SAM HORNISH: Obviously not as good as we'd like it to be. In practice we felt we had a pretty good opportunity to win the pole. But probably a little bit lofty with our expectations for what we thought we could run as far as speed. Gears were a little bit too long and just couldn't get the RPMs up to where they needed to be able to set the fast time.
Hopefully we'll get that all set right for tomorrow and make good decisions. The guys have given me awesome pit spots all year long and keep the driver under control all day. I think we'll have a good opportunity to go out there and try to win the race.
MODERATOR: Questions for Sam?
Q. Sam, last year you were in the midst of the championship battle and you've been there a few times. But does it feel a little odd? I'm sure it's a little disappointing not to be part of that this year.
SAM HORNISH: It is a little bit disappointing. But as far as myself and the team goes, we've had a terrible year. I mean we've either been in the wrong place at the wrong time, like getting taken out of the race, three, four races that's happened to us. Then we go to the next race and try to overcompensate or the team does and then we make a mistake because we tried too hard. Then we have two bad races in a row instead of just having one.
So it's been a tough year. But definitely there's been some high points and there's been a lot of lows. So I feel really kind of good about coming in the race. Because last year there was so much about the championship. Any one of four guys could still win.
You needed to run well, but you didn't want to get up there and mix it up with some other guys. We're really kind of patient didn't get to show what we really had. I thought we had a car that was capable of winning the race and then ended up didn't get an opportunity to push it at the end because we didn't need to.
Tomorrow, though, we come into this race with kind of, not all or nothing, but we can feel free to go out there and push it and try to win the race and not have to worry about kind of holding back and seeing where we're going to finish in the points.
Q. Sam, this morning's all-car practice session was pretty wild. Can you tell us what you forecast the race to be like?
SAM HORNISH: I tried to stay out of most of that this morning. But I think that there's a lot of guys that are waiting, trying to wait for other cars, trying to get some traffic to run in. I think you saw that there's quite a bit of disparity between the top six cars and the rest of the pack.
So I think that you'll see a couple cars probably run away with it a little bit. But I think that as close as it's been right there at the top, I think Dario, Tony, myself, Helio and Scott and Dan, I think that you're going to see a heck of a race between those six cars and might be a couple others that pop up in there, too.
Q. Sam, does it feel odd to have a race for a championship come down to the wire and you not be part of it?
SAM HORNISH: I don't know, it's kind of a good feeling to not have to worry about the championship tomorrow. But it's a bad feeling that we're not in it. But we've kind of been looking at that for about the past five races that we probably weren't going to be there. So that's how it is. And what can you do?
Q. (Question about injury)
SAM HORNISH: I tore a tendon last week at Detroit in the race. Got hit by another car and bent my thumb backwards. Mobilize it for about eight weeks and hopefully I don't have to have surgery. That will be good.
Q. Will that affect your Cup plans for later in the year?
SAM HORNISH: I don't think so. I mean you'll probably see me like this until the end of the season. And I think that the big thing was the road course at Detroit was tough. We went back out and ran the last 45 laps with everything all banged up and were able to get through that. So I don't figure that's going to be too big of a deal for sure.
MODERATOR: Sam, we appreciate your time. Thank you.
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