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5 things you may not know about NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr.
- Prior to joining the NASCAR ranks, Hornish competed in the IndyCar Series, where he enjoyed great success. He is the only three-time champion in the IndyCar Series, having won titles in 2001 and 2002 with Panther Racing, and in 2006 with Team Penske. In 2006, he won the Indianapolis 500. If he holds onto the points lead in the NNS, he will be the first Indy 500 champion to win a title in any of NASCAR’s three national series. In eight seasons, Hornish won 19 races, and had 47 podiums and 10 poles in 116 starts.
- At the Indianapolis 500 in 2006, Hornish won the “Scott Brayton Award” for best exemplifying the tenacity and friendliness of the late IndyCar driver Scott Brayton.
- Hornish often gives back to his sport and his hometown of Defiance, Ohio. For five years, he participated in a charity bowling tournament during the fall Texas race weekend, held in conjunction with Speedway Children’s Charities, which raised more than $500,000. He was involved in the creation of a senior center in his hometown and the addition of a cardiac care center at Defiance Medical Center.
- Aside from racing cars at high speeds on race tracks across the country, Hornish enjoys customizing cars and has quite an impressive collection. His collection includes a 1930 Model A Ford, 1951 Mercury, 1955 Chevrolet Del Ray, 1965 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, 1967 Chevrolet pick-up, 1977 Kenworth w900-A semi-truck and a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z-06 that he received for winning the 2006 Indy 500.
- Hornish has been around racing and race tracks for most of his life. He began racing karts at 11 and four years later won 19 of 55 races and the World Karting Association U.S. Grand National Championship (two consecutive seasons), as well as the Canadian Grand Championship.