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IMO, Hornish will stay

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  • IMO, Hornish will stay

    This does not come from any inside information

    I do not see Sam Hornish going to NASCAR.

    The first reason is his recent talk about buying property and living in Defiance, OH. He has ties to the area and if he is going to race 36 weeks and test even more, he would want to live in Charlotte or Florida. Somewhere closer.

    My next reason is there is no way that I believe Chevrolet lets him get away. Chevy invested too much into the Gen IV, there is no way they can now let their best driver (and possibly the league's best driver) get away.

    I just do not believe Chevy will allow that to happen, no matter what the co$t.

    It makes the most sense to keep him with Panther but if not, then another team (maybe the rumored RCR?) Work a deal that allows him to run with a Chevy team in the Daytona 500 an other Cup races if he chooses.

    One of the stronger garage rumors is that Ganassi has offered a similar deal, stay in the IRL, do any Cup races he chooses.

    Chevy has to be able to match that. They cannot let him get away. They already invested too much $$ with the new engine.

  • #2
    Yep, you have a point. Hornish is the only driver that Chevy had that was consistantly competitive with the Gen III. Without him, even with the Gen IV, wins will be few and far between, unless they can get Barron or J. Lazier in a seat.
    One driver's "fuel strategy" is another driver's "speed up or we will park you!"

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    • #3
      Matt,

      I did not see the interview with Sam at Gateway, but my take is he will remain with Panther and the IRL.

      Sam said in an interview at Michigan, he wanted to follow his heart and I don't think his heart is in a gruling schedule in Winston Cup.

      Most people seem to base their idea that Sam will leave the IRL on a "Some people will be disappointed" (or something like that) statement made at Gateway. I look at it like this. If Sam has been wined and dined by IRL teams and by NASCAR teams, then decides to stay with Panther, well I think there will be some "disappointed" IRL and NASCAR teams.

      And as others have said Sam could stay with the IRL and change teams, creating a "disappointed" team Panther.

      Sam just bought land near his parents in Ohio. He plans to marry soon and said he expects to raise a family and die there. Doesn't sound like someone headed down South. Then again, his mother handled his finances.....so
      Tara was the name of our cat.

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      • #4
        Re: IMO, Hornish will stay

        Originally posted by Matt-OTN
        This does not come from any inside information

        I do not see Sam Hornish going to NASCAR.

        File this under "no news is good news." After all, Matt, you aren't hearing that he is leaving for NASCAR. Sam has friends and if he were planning the big jump, one of his bowling buddies would know and whispers would begin to appear. My guess is his big decision is between Panther and Chevy, who have been very good to him, and one of the other big IRL teams, AGR, Ganassi or Penske in that likely order. Honda and AGR need him the worst. Honda has Kanaan and that's about it; Wheldon has underwhelmed, Herta is an adequate fill-in but not champion stuff and Dario is WAY over paid for what he can deliver. For the money they are paying Dario and Wheldon, they could get Sam and Renna or Jaques and put some money in the bank. And win some races.

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        • #5
          Good analysis Matt. I'm sure your "over the moon" that I agree with you on this

          "IRL is better at everything except selling themselves." -- Jennifer Floyd Engel, ESPN/103.3 FM

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          • #6
            He seems like a very down to earth guy so I would be surprised if he bolts for the land of taxicabs. I think he knows he has some unfinished business in OW racing, namely the Indy 500. Maybe he tackles this unfinished business w/o Panther, we'll see.

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            • #7
              I hope you are right. My guess as for the reason he hasn't decided yet is that he's waiting to see if the Gen 4 can really deliver. Why would he sign up for another year of more with Chevy if he knows its not going to be competitive? If I were in his shoes, I would wait until I was pretty sure Chevy could deliver the goods.

              One thing is for sure -w/o Sam Chevy has little or no hope.

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              • #8
                The move that will determine what Sam does will be what happens to his Engineer Andy Brown, I think these two will be a package deal. And based on this article RC has been impressed by him, but does not indicate anything other than intrest.

                Childress eyes IRLChildress eyes IRL

                NASCAR team owner Richard Childress confirmed Sunday that he is seriously considering being part of a new IRL entry for 2004.

                Reached in Watkins Glen, N.Y., Childress told The Star he has spoken with more than one open-wheel team about fielding a car next season. One apparently is the IRL's Panther Racing, which employs engineer Andy Brown, with whom Childress is impressed.

                "It would be a little of our (stock car) technology and a little of theirs," said Childress, who has been involved in a pair of Indianapolis 500s in minor partnerships with A.J. Foyt and John Menard. "I think it would help our Winston Cup teams."

                Childress' involvement could help Panther retain two-time series champion Sam Hornish Jr., who also would like to run the Daytona 500 next year.
                "Remember, your kids can get student loans, but there's no such thing as a retirement loan."

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                • #9
                  The trivia question during the race yesterday provides another angle on this whole thing. The only active IRL track where Sam Hornish has never led? IMS. Hmmmm. . .
                  "If TF members were given solid gold cars, some would complain about the color." - stnkypete

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rev-ed
                    The trivia question during the race yesterday provides another angle on this whole thing. The only active IRL track where Sam Hornish has never led? IMS. Hmmmm. . .
                    I think it said active US track.....remember, he didn't lead a lap at Motegi this year....
                    All Roads Lead to Indy...

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                    • #11
                      Okay, let's play a game here.

                      Let's assume that Hornish re-signs with Panther this month for 3 years.

                      How long will it take before the "Hornish to (insert NASCAR team of the week here)" rumors start again.

                      Honestly, my gut tells me he stays with Panther, but what do I know.
                      Chicago Blackhawks done didn't do it again!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hardscrabble
                        Okay, let's play a game here.

                        Let's assume that Hornish re-signs with Panther this month for 3 years.

                        How long will it take before the "Hornish to (insert NASCAR team of the week here)" rumors start again.

                        Honestly, my gut tells me he stays with Panther, but what do I know.
                        Less than a week.

                        Randy

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                        • #13
                          I think Sam either stays with Panther or goes to AGR. I think AGR's offer may be too much to turn down. Honda realizes they are FAR below Toyota in teams and driving talent and they are going to make a big offer to Sam. The question is does Sam take a smaller, but still healthy, offer from Panther and Chevy (where he knows he will be happy and the top dog on the team). Or does he take more money from another team (AGR) where he won't be the top gun. (although he will be one of the top guns). It is a tough decision.

                          I guess the best news from all of this is: 1. Chevy is serious about open-wheel racing. 2. Sam will stay in the IRL for the forseeable future.
                          IRL 2009: "Cars you can't see, driven by drivers you have never heard of, on a network you don't get"

                          "I'd hire your grandmother, if she brought a budget"- Bankrupt Indy Car team owner Tyler Tadevic, to Curt Cavin in December, on the tough standards he looks for when "hiring" driver talent.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Re: IMO, Hornish will stay

                            Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                            My guess is his big decision is between Panther and Chevy, who have been very good to him
                            If they've been good to him, it hasn't been financially. I hear he makes $400K--a ridiculous sum compared to other marque drivers in the series.

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                            • #15
                              "If they've been good to him, it hasn't been financially. I hear he makes $400K--a ridiculous sum compared to other marque drivers in the series."

                              Sam was offered a substantial raise by Panther/Chevy for an extension entering into this year. He chose to wait and keep his options open. One cannot blame him for doing so. It likely will put more bucks in his pocket given his performance this year and the demand for his talent. But, to be clear, the fact that he may be underpaid this year is not because Panther did not attempt to pay him more.

                              Beans

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