NSCS: Hornish Optimistic Heading to Weekend

Chats Halloween and the Tricks of Martinsville Speedway

Welcoming back Jacob Companies, Sam Hornish Jr. and the No. 9 Jacob Companies Ford team head to the paper clip-shaped oval, Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, for Sunday’s 500-lap Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. Hornish and the team will qualify on Friday.

Hornish goes to Martinsville with eight previous starts at the track in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He has a best finish of 13th (spring 2010 and fall 2012) at the flat short track. He is looking for his first Top-10 finish at the track this weekend. His best start at Martinsville Speedway is 24th.

“I enjoy coming to Martinsville, and it’s a fun track. You have to use the brake and let the car roll in the center. You have to be smart how you apply the throttle, and finally, you have to think about who you are racing and what part of the race it is. There is a lot happening in a short lap.

“The first race, I think we got a little ‘antsy’ trying to make up some ground early. It’s a reason why qualifying is so important. But, we got the radiator pushed back a little, and it rubbed one of the lines. We had to stop and fix that. It cost us a few laps, and that defined the finish.

“All-in-all, we are a good team on short tracks. If we do what we know we can do on Sunday, we should be in the Top-15 all day. At the end, if things work out, we can see what happens at the end. I feel confident in what we can do.

“Yeah, it’s nice to have Jacob Companies back on the car. They have been a great company to work with, and they have really started to become good friends of the team. They hung out with us last weekend at Talladega and are back on the car this weekend. It’s a pretty good looking car, and I think fans like the colors too. It’s great to see them back.

“It’s Halloween weekend. Last weekend (in Talladega), we had Halloween for the families. That was a lot of fun for us. My kids dressed up as their favorite characters. My oldest daughter was Mary Poppins, my other daughter was Miss Doubtfire and Sammy and I were Scooby and Shaggy. That was a lot of fun for us, and I’m sure everyone will have more fun with it this weekend.”

A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneur Andrew Murstein, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Almirola pilots the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion with primary partners Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force, STP and Fresh From Florida, and Sam Hornish Jr. drives the No. 9 machine with primary partners Medallion Bank and Twisted Tea. In addition, Dakoda Armstrong wheels the No. 43 WinField Ford Mustang full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The team is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.