Sam Hornish Jr. plays strategy to perfection and wins his first Nationwide Series race

We knew Sam Hornish Jr. had a good car all day long, but for the three years he was racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it seemed like he couldn’t find any luck. Hornish finally found the lucky charm as he played the two tire strategy and held off teammate Brad Keselowski for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win on the new configuration at the Phoenix International Raceway.

[media-credit name=”Mike Finnegan” align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]The first lap proved to be very treacherous for drivers as an eight-car crash ensued on the first lap in Turn 3 when Brian Scott was turned head-on by Reed Sorenson into the outside wall. Jeff Green, Danica Patrick, Johnny Chapman, Ron Hornaday, Matt Frahm, and Tim Andrews all couldn’t avoid the melee.

Reed Sorenson didn’t receive any damage from the incident despite spinning, but later met karma as he lost a right-front tire and pounded the wall. A fire burst from the hood and NASCAR safety crews were sent to extinguish the fire. This crash doesn’t help Reed’s cause to keep position #5 in the point standings.

Canadian native D.J. Kennington saw his day come to an end with a cut tire, along with Mike Bliss and Derrike Cope who were both involved in separate incidents.

The incident between James Buescher and Steve Wallace was avoidable. Going into Turn 3, Wallace gave Buescher a shot. Wallace gave Buescher another shot and wrecked him and while trying to avoid the wreck, Wallace was turned and wrecked himself on the front straightaway. Both drivers were ok.

Elliott Sadler saw his championship hopes crumble after being wrecked by Jason Leffler going into Turn 3. Sadler had passed Leffler moments before and gave him extra room just to be safe, but Leffler drove into Turn 3 too deep and tapped Sadler. Morgan Shepherd drove into the carnage as this was the second incident he was involved in during the day. This accident caused a red flag as officials were sent in to clean up the mess.

Sam Hornish Jr. had led 62 laps into the race, but the man of the day was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who had led 62 laps. When it came to the final pit stops, Hornish took a gamble for two. Many sports analysts on Twitter doubted Hornish and didn’t believe two tires would work on the new configuration. Hornish proved everyone wrong to win the race!

Will this set Hornish up potentially for a Sprint Cup ride next year? Or is this just considered ‘Beginners Luck’?

Unofficial Race Results
Wypall 200, Phoenix International Raceway
http://www.speedwaymedia.com/n2s/race.php?race=33
=========================================
Pos. No. Driver Make Points
=========================================
1 12 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge 47
2 22 Brad Keselowski Dodge 0
3 60 Carl Edwards Ford 0
4 18 Joey Logano Toyota 0
5 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 41
6 16 Trevor Bayne Ford 38
7 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 0
8 20 Ryan Truex * Toyota 36
9 31 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 35
10 62 Michael Annett Toyota 34
11 70 David Stremme Chevrolet 0
12 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 32
13 32 Ron Hornaday Chevrolet 0
14 81 Blake Koch * Dodge 30
15 134 Ricky Carmichael Chevrolet 0
16 1 Mike Wallace Chevrolet 28
17 9 Kenny Wallace Toyota 27
18 15 Timmy Hill * Ford 26
19 14 Eric McClure Chevrolet 25
20 52 Kevin Lepage Chevrolet 24
21 7 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 23
22 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Chevrolet 22
23 40 T.J. Duke Chevrolet 0
24 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 20
25 88 Aric Almirola Chevrolet 20
26 38 Jason Leffler Chevrolet 18
27 2 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet 17
28 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet 16
29 66 Steve Wallace Toyota 15
30 30 James Buescher Chevrolet 0
31 19 Mike Bliss Chevrolet 13
32 28 Derrike Cope Chevrolet 12
33 180 D.J. Kennington Dodge 11
34 44 Jeff Green Chevrolet 10
35 182 Reed Sorenson Dodge 9
36 49 Mark Green Chevrolet 8
37 147 Scott Speed Chevrolet 7
38 146 Chase Miller Chevrolet 6
39 171 Matthew Carter Chevrolet 5
40 141 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet 4
41 11 Brian Scott Toyota 3
42 39 Matt Frahm Ford 2
43 104 Tim Andrews Ford 0


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Ryan O'Harahttp://www.twitter.com/RyanPrakOHara
Ryan O'Hara is the Senior Writer of FightNights.com and is recognized as one of the top boxing writers in America. He is also a former Fox News Radio news anchor and TV Producer for several networks. O'Hara graduated with his Masters in Human Security in 2017 with a 3.7 GPA and also obtained his Bachelor's Degree in 2015 in Global Security & Intelligence Studies -- all from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. O'Hara is also a former college ice hockey player and skates in his free time. Follow him @OHaraSports on Twitter!

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