Sam Hornish Jr. insisted Friday his focus is on improving as a NASCAR driver, rather than returning to the IndyCar Series, in which he has won three championships.

Hornish says he won't follow the path of Dario Franchitti, who opted to return to the open-wheel series after owner Chip Ganassi shuttered Franchitti's #40 Cup team.

Instead, Hornish expects to be back with Penske Racing in the Cup series next season.

"I don't know where we got off on the wrong foot there, but it all started basically when Dario decided to go and run IndyCars," he said, "and then all the questions started coming on what I was going to do...

"But I'm focused on running here, and I'm focused on trying to be the best Sprint Cup driver I can be. I came over because I wanted the challenge of doing this. I wanted to see it out.

"I wanted to get to the point where I felt like I could win races. We're not there yet, but we're still working on it."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News