What's Buzzing:

Sam Hornish Jr. eager for victory

AP - Sports
Sam Hornish Jr. eager for victory
.

View photo

In this May 18, 2014 photo, Sam Hornish Jr. celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide auto race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Hornish is on a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide series this season despite nearly winning the title a year ago, but the 34-year-old says he's enjoying his time away from the track. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (AP) -- If Sam Hornish Jr. could do it over, he would be more selective in the way he made the jump from open-wheel racing to NASCAR six years ago.

Now, Hornish understands the value of having the right ride. So he relishes his shot to win in the Nationwide series this year - even if those chances aren't coming every week.

Hornish, the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner and a three-time series champion in Indy-style racing, is racing a part-time Nationwide schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2014.

He's splitting the No. 54 car with Sprint Cup series star Kyle Busch, so he'll only get to race when Busch can't.

His next opportunity is Saturday's race at Road America, a scenic 4-mile road course that winds through the tree-lined hills of central Wisconsin.

''There were a lot of people that had negative comments about the fact that I was running a part-time schedule,'' Hornish said.

''But you need to look at what the 54 has done over the past couple of years, what the strength of the JGR organization is. I feel like I'd rather have seven shots at it with an opportunity to win every time, rather than (a full schedule) and knowing that if I come home 10th, everybody on the team is going to be happy.''

Hornish took the part-time ride at Gibbs this year after losing his Nationwide ride at Team Penske; despite his second-place finish to Austin Dillon in the Nationwide drivers' championship standings in 2013, his sponsorship dried up and the team didn't have a place for him.

In three Nationwide races this year - two in the No. 54 car and one in the No. 20 car - he has a victory at Iowa, a second-place finish last week at Michigan and a fifth-place finish at Talladega.

And he likes his chances at Road America, where he has finished fifth each of the past two years.

It's one of Hornish's favorite tracks, one he visited as a fan on family vacations and raced on in open-wheel cars early in his career.

''I remember sitting down in Turn 5 as a kid watching the Indy car race,'' Hornish says. ''Any time you can go back to a place that you have these happy childhood memories from, from a vacation or whatever it happened to be, that's always a good thing.''

A win at Road America would add to the already compelling case Hornish is making for another shot at the top-tier Sprint Cup series, where he's still fighting the stigma of the disappointing first impression he made from 2008 to 2010.

Getting back to Cup remains his ultimate goal, but he won't necessarily take any opportunity that comes his way.

''I'm going to be a little more choosy about that at this point in time, because I know that I can't carry the car,'' Hornish said.

''Nobody can. You can put even the best drivers in the Cup series in a car that's not capable of running in the top 15, and they might get a 12th out of it a day here and there. But that's not enough to keep yourself where you want to be or to move up to that next ride.''

For now, Hornish wants to make the most of the opportunities he has while appreciating the additional time he has at home with his wife and three kids - a different kind of full-time schedule.

''I went to being kind of a glorified limo driver or taxi driver, taking kids here and there,'' Hornish says. ''But it's awesome. There's been so many part of this year that I would have heard about, instead of being able to experience.''

View Comments (4)
  • Maccabi Haifa beat Maccabi Tel Aviv to win Israeli State Cup

    Maccabi Haifa beat Maccabi Tel Aviv to win Israeli State Cup

    By Ori Lewis JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Veteran Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun bade farewell to his club Maccabi Haifa with a 1-0 win in the State Cup final over favourites and holders Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Haifa ended an 18-year wait for the … More »

    Reuters - 6 minutes ago
  • French Open Lookahead: Raonic's serve could be 'painful'

    French Open Lookahead: Raonic's serve could be 'painful'

    Milos Raonic's second-round opponent at the French Open knows what he's in for: a real challenge when it comes to returning serve. You know that it will be very difficult to adjust your (style of) play,'' said Mannarino, a Frenchman who is ranked … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago
  • SportsFlash - Tuesday May 24, 2016 Evening Edition

    SportsFlash - Tuesday May 24, 2016 Evening Edition

    Yahoo Sports recaps Tuesday's top sports headlines including future Super Bowl sites, Tyler Eifert's injury, and another change in goal for the St. Louis Blues. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 9 minutes ago
  • Washington names Jennifer Cohen new athletic director

    Washington has named Jennifer Cohen as its new athletic director after she served as the interim athletic director following Scott Woodward's departure for Texas A&M. Cohen becomes the 15th athletic director in school history and second female … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
  • Baylor reviewing report on sex assaults

    Baylor University and its president faced mounting pressure Tuesday over how the school has handled reports of rape and assault by football players, and the Texas university said its governing board was still considering the results of an internal … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago