Don’t Call It a Comeback: Sam Hornish Jr. Wins the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen
Hornish stands in for injured Matt Tifft and winds up in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane
NEWTON, Iowa (June 19, 2016) – A week ago, 2014 Get To Know Newton 250 presented by Sherwin-Williams winner – Sam Hornish Jr. – had no idea that he would be spending Father’s Day in Newton, Iowa let alone find himself in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane at race’s end.
But there he stood, with a backdrop of confetti and his wife and three kids by his side. It was a memorable Father’s Day in the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen.
“What an unbelievable day. I feel so lucky and blessed to have come out and raced today. I knew the car was good,” said Hornish who led 183 of 250 laps. “I feel like Iowa has been a special place to me in the fact that this was my first opportunity to bring my kids to Victory Lane. In my racing career, I always wanted them to have the opportunity for them to experience that.”
Hornish filled in behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 after scheduled driver Matt Tifft was advised by his doctor to rest a disc condition in his back. Strong results for Hornish at Iowa Speedway are nothing new. In his last five starts at the Fastest Short Track on the Planet, the Ohio native has five top-four finishes – including his win in 2014.
Hornish last raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship finale 201 days ago at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Since Homestead, Hornish has been doing “a lot of normal dad stuff” as he describes it: dance recitals and more with his wife and three children. He also went to Alaska with his dad and took his kids to the Indianapolis 500 for the 100th running of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – a race he won in 2006.
The only races on Hornish’s schedule prior to being called to sub for Tifft were two standalone events later this summer. He will pilot the Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on July 30 and a race at Kentucky.
“I definitely want to thank the fans and happy Father’s Day to everybody,” Hornish said. “This is definitely one of the best ones I’ve ever had. I can guarantee you that.”
Ty Dillon, driving the RCR No. 3 Chevrolet, finished second. 2012 Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski came home third. Of the top three finishers, only Dillon earned points in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
“We still got some speed to gain, but all in all, proud of our guys,” Dillon, a 2011 ARCA winner at Iowa Speedway, said. “We executed on pit row and put ourselves in a position to win.”
Keselowski raced at Iowa Speedway during a weekend off from Cup action. He hosted a party in the Newton Club on Friday night benefitting his Checkered Flag Foundation and offered fans a ticket package, “Brad K’s Father’s Day Special for 2.”
“I thought we had a shot at the 18, but we got stuck behind the 3 car there and couldn’t quite clear him,” Keselowski said. “All in all, a decent day. We wanted a lot more than that, of course. But that’s where we ended up.”
Next up for Iowa Speedway is the ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores and the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 on July 9-10.