With Penske Racing's plans for Hornish's No. 12 Ford up in the air -- and him not expected to be at the forefront of said plans -- it leaves a talented driver in the dark with just three races to go before the books close on 2013.
"(There's no update) as of right now," Hornish said Thursday at the Dallas Cowboys training facility where he and points leader Austin Dillon made an appearance. "I try not to think about it too much, because it'll affect what I do on the track. The more I can put that out of my head, the better off (I'll be)."
The fact that Hornish, in the midst of one of easily his best season as a NASCAR driver, has to be on the lookout for a potential job in the first place is hard to quantify. He's earned a top-10 finish in 22 of 30 Nationwide races this season, an incredible 14 top-fives in those 22 and is within extremely close striking distance of Dillon at the top of the standings.
Still, the unknown remains.
"I've told people that the worst-case scenario is that I sit home and spend time with my wife and kids. The really good point about where I am in my career is I want to do things that are going to be beneficial to my career and that are going to move me forward," said the 34-year-old Hornish.
"(I want to be in) a competitive ride that gives me an opportunity to at least feel like maybe next year is not just the best opportunity but is going to put me into position to move forward. That's a great position to be in, because there aren't a lot of people that can sit there and say 'I can afford to sit home if I have to, to not be in something that I'm not comfortable in.' So I feel very blessed that I'm in that position but on that same token, I don't know how I'd feel sitting at home watching everybody else go out there and have a whole bunch of fun and race."
Hornish has done some television work in the past and hasn't ruled out returning to the studio or booth in 2014, especially if it's the only way it'll keeps him in the sport.
"I haven't been asked (to do TV), but the whole TV thing I don't think can hurt, because if I were to not be in a car or be in a car full-time, it keeps your head in the game because you're focusing on what's going on so you can talk about it in the proper way and it keeps people thinking about you.
"I'm sure my mom would much rather be on TV than in a race car; she still gets nervous."
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- Austin Dillon