By Compiled from Times wires
Published July 25, 2003
As his self-imposed deadline nears for making a decision regarding his racing future, two-time Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. admittedly is agonizing over whether to stick with open-wheel racing or make a move to stock cars.
Hornish's name has been linked to Winston Cup rides with Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Inc. DEI reportedly is interested in Hornish because of his relationship with his IRL sponsor, Pennzoil, and DEI's desire to retain that company as the primary sponsor of its No. 1 Chevrolet, which is driven by Jeff Green.
While the Hornish-to-NASCAR rumors have died down of late, Hornish said he intends to make his decision by the middle of next month. Hornish's contract with Panther Racing expires at the end of this season.
"I've heard, pretty much everybody that I've talked to, I've heard all their plans and now it's time for me to sit back and think about what I want to do and what's going to make me happy in the long run," Hornish said.
"This is a decision time for me; it's closing in on August and I told everybody I'd make a decision around mid August and that's not too far away."
Hornish will debut Chevrolet's new Gen IV engine this weekend at Michigan, which is said to produce 50 to 60 more horsepower than the current engine. But that might not be enough to keep him in the IRL.
B. BODINE IS BACK: Brett Bodine will drive the No. 4 Morgan-McClure Pontiac at Pocono, his first race since breaking his right clavicle in a crash during practice last month in Michigan.
Bodine has been a struggling owner-driver since 1996, so driving for someone else again will be a little different.
"Larry wanted an experienced driver to race at Pocono, and I was very happy when he called me," Bodine said. "It's a one-race deal for the Kodak team, but who knows?"