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Press Snoop: Hornish debuts.

SAM HORNISH/#39 Mobil 1 Dodge is attempting to make his first start in the NASCAR Busch Series. In the first practice early Friday afternoon, Hornish was thirty-eighth fastest in a field of 47 drivers vying for the 43-car grid. He turned a 28.623/125.773 mph. KYLE BUSCH/#5 Lowes Chevrolet was fastest at 27,761/129.678 mph.

Hornish said he's a bit nervous and a lot of new things he has to learn, including how to drive the car into pit lane. "Some things you have to try and pick up as quickly as you can."

Hornish said "I'll be harder on myself than anyone else. I will be as realistic as I can going into this. If I'm smart and patient and stay out of trouble, there's no reason we shouldn't be in the top fifteen."

When asked if he is ready to race NASCAR full time, Hornish said it was "too soon to tell how I'm going to fare, or if I will 100 percent like it. Racing NASCAR gives me the opportunity to try something different, and race against drivers I've never driven with before. Penske Racing has been supportive in whatever I want to do in racing. That's the great thing about driving for Roger - I don't have to give up my IRL seat to race here in Busch. And there will be a certain amount of pride for Roger if I do well here in NASCAR. It will be a busy season and with both IRL and NASCAR, I will have a good idea of what a 38-race schedule will be like."

Indy Racing League will be testing at Daytona International Speedway in January 2007. Hornish, who races IRL with Penske Motorsports, expects to spend a lot of time during the 'off season' in Daytona. "Why wouldn't we want to race there? I think it will be a neat thing. A night race would be great."

Hornish thinks the two American open wheel series are as healthy as they can be while remaining separate. "If it hadn't been for TONY (TONY GEORGE, President of Indy Racing League) bringing American drivers to an open wheel series, you wouldn't know who Sam Hornish was."

Meanwhile, the driver that Hornish last raced as a Rookie in the 2000 Indianapolis 500, JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/#42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge, was fifteenth fastest in the first Busch practice, with 28.163/127.827 mph. Montoya ran his won and only Indy 500, starting second as a Rookie and winning. Hornish also started that race as a Rookie in twenty-fourth place and finished fourteenth. He tried six more times and this year won the Indy 500 from the pole, in one of closest and exciting finishes seen at The Brickyard.

The Rookie Busch Series practice, which includes new drivers but not necessarily officially declared Rookies was mid-afternoon Friday. The weather continued to be sunny and warm, with an autumnal crisp and breeze.

Hornish was second fastest among the 14 drivers on track, behind SHANE HUFFMAN/#88 NAVY Chevrolet, and ahead of JPM in third place. Busch Series Qualifying is Saturday morning.


Related Pictures

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Sam Hornish Jr, Marlboro Team Penske, 2004 Indy 500
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, leads Sam Hornish, Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, through a turn during the Gardner Denver 200 Fired Up by Johnsonville race at Road America on June 21, 2014 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 Presented By Sherwin Williams at Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nation (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning he NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 Presented by Sherwin Williams at Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. (R), driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and crew chief Adam Stevens celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 Presented By Sherwin Williams at Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, does a burnout on the start/finish line after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 Presented By Sherwin Williams at Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 Presented By Sherwin Williams at Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tires Ford, and Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, lead the field to the green flag during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 Presented by Sherwin Williams at Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, and Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, lead the field to the green flag at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 Presented By Sherwin Williams at Iowa Speedway on May 18, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron`s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, prepares for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. Hornish is replacing Denny Hamlin who was not cleared to race due to illness.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, lead the field during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #12 Wurth Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, pit during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series 5-Hour Energy 200 Benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2013 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Media/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr, driver of the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford, races Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 21, 2013 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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