Hornish gets a surprise phone call

Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, walks on the grid after NASCAR announced that AJ Allmendinger failed a random drug test and was pulled from the #22 Shell Dodge prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Sam Hornish Jr. will be Allmendinger replacement for the Coke Zero 400. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, walks on the grid after NASCAR announced that AJ Allmendinger failed a random drug test and was pulled from the #22 Shell Dodge prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Sam Hornish Jr. will be Allmendinger replacement for the Coke Zero 400. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Sam Hornish Jr. was done racing for the weekend. After a 10th place finish in Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Hornish headed home to Charlotte ready for a media obligation followed by a relaxing weekend at home.

Fate and NASCAR however had other plans.  Saturday afternoon only hours before the start of the Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400, NASCAR informed Penske Racing that AJ Allmendinger, driver of the team’s No. 22 Dodge, had failed a random drug test given at Kentucky Speedway and was suspended, temporarily, from NASCAR competition.

Suddenly the team had to scramble for a driver and Hornish, who competed in the Sprint Cup Series fulltime in 2009-2010 and now races fulltime in the Nationwide Series, got the call. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.