Sam Hornish, Jr. has made a name for himself throughout his career racing on the NASCAR and IndyCar circuits. Now, a new member of the Hornish family is on a mission to become a household name herself. Hope Hornish, the niece of Sam Hornish, Jr., is hoping to take a big step towards that goal this month in the state of Florida.
Hornish is currently planning to compete in the Pro Late Model division during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
Relatively new to the stock-car scene, this will also be the 19-year-old’s first trip south from her hometown of Defiance, Ohio to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Hornish has set realistic expectations as she plans to rub fenders with some of the best short-trackers in the country.
“My biggest expectations are to really get a handle on the car. It’ll be the first time I have been back in the car since September of last year. So, I am excited to get back in the car again and get some laps under my belt,” Hornish told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
“Ultimately I want to finish races and then maybe contend for points and whatnot. I think the first race we just need to get a feel for the car, get a feel for everyone we are working with on the team, communications got to be there, and I feel like things will happen themselves if we just go down there calm and collected and ready to go. I am really excited.”
Compared to many of the other competitors, Hornish has little-to-no track time at New Smyrna Speedway. The minimal track time she does have is in a Late Model Stock Car when she tested there with Rev Racing after being invited to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.
“We tested down there with Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing so to go back down there and actually race and actually get more practice time than just 20 laps at it makes me really excited,” Hornish stated. “I really liked the track when we went down there and was kind of mad we didn’t get to actually race on it or do anything else. I am excited to be back.”
Although new to what comes with Speedweeks and New Smyrna, Hornish is everything but new to the racing world after spending time with her uncle, Sam Hornish Jr., and kicking off her racing career at a young age.
“I was 18 and then I graduated from high school and we had to make a decision of whether we wanted to pursue the career of going for it or making it a hobby and then recollect after I graduated college. So, then after I graduated (high school) we moved into a Sportsman Late Model where we ran a year and then last year we ran in the JEGS/CRA All-Star tour which is crate engines, so Pro Late Models, and then this year we will be doing Pro Late Models and some Super Late Model stuff.”
Hornish is currently a Sophomore at Adrian college where she is studying Political Science and Music. When asked about her choice in a degree she stated, “I really like how politics play their way into racing and I feel like a lot of that transfers over in my political science degree.”
While Hornish is ecstatic about getting back behind the wheel, she still has to lend some of her attention to her college work. With midterms falling during Speedweeks, she will be required to take around eight exams before hitting the track.
For more information on the 51st Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, visit www.newsmyrnaspeedway.org.
- Story by: Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo Credit: Hope Hornish Facebook