Hornish lost his ride after the 2010 season when Mobil and Penske parted ways. With no viable sponsor for a driver who's never finished higher than 28th, Penske was forced to contract to two teams. As noted earlier, Hornish's points will go to Steven Wallace to run in the Daytona 500 this year.
Hornish earned the nickname "Dances With Walls" around these parts for his tendency to take his equipment wallward at the slightest provocation. Postseason analysis by FanHouse (R.I.P.) showed that Hornish ranked second only to Marcos Ambrose in the number of spins or wrecks he had this season. Over 128 starts in five seasons, Hornish has only two top-five and nine top-10 finishes across all series.
So as NASCAR Insiders points out, it's a little strange that he's still making a go of it in NASCAR when he was one of the most successful open-wheel drivers in history -- three championships and 19 wins, including the Indy 500. Plus, every start Hornish makes is one that Justin Allgaier, whom Penske released, could have made. And would you take Hornish over Allgaier in the Nationwide series? If so, does your last name rhyme with "Blornish"?
Good news for Hornish, certainly, but Penske is setting himself up for some serious second-guessing with this one.
- Roger Penske