Sam Hornish Jr. has to be pleased with his performance so far this season, especially with Auto Club next on the docket.
Hornish has a certain familiarity with the Southern California track that should help him this weekend. Although he has never won a NASCAR national series event at Auto Club, he’s won there twice in the IndyCar Series. His best NASCAR Nationwide finish at the two-mile track came in last year’s Royal Purple 300, when he finished 13th.
In four races this season, he has four top-10 finishes, including a victory two weeks ago in Las Vegas. His lowest finish was a seventh at Phoenix. The other three have all been fourth or better. For comparison, in 2012 – Hornish’s best year in NASCAR – he didn’t earn his third top-five finish until the 14th race.
Hornish’s consistency on the track has given him a 22-point advantage over his closest competition, Justin Allgaier. Allgaier finished eighth in Bristol. Coming into last Saturday’s race, Hornish led a trio of drivers (Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott) deadlocked 19 points back.
Engine problems at Bristol relegated Sadler to a 36th-place finish and dropped him to 10th in the standings (-51). A 10th-place finish at Bristol left Scott third in the standings (-25).