Sam Hornish Leaving IndyCar, Heading To Nascar

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Yes, it's true — IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr. is following in the footsteps of Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Jacques Villeneuve by leaving the IndyCar series for the bright lights, big paycheck and loose left turns of Nascar. The three-time IndyCar champ said he'll be driving the #77 Dodge for Penske Racing and he'll have Mobil 1 as the sponsor. So what do we think? Well, the transcript from the IM convo between Matt and I has been helpfully included after the jump:

Wert: You hear about Hornish?

Matt: sam hornish?

Wert: yeah

Matt: is he dead?

Wert: Moving to NASCAR

Matt: that's almost worse

(Hat tip to FreeMan!) [via AP]

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@Shane: Hum, that's not completely accurate. Hornish got his first IRL break in 2000. Gardner didn't make it past 1996. Boat had his first try at the 500 in 1996 and came back in 1997. Since 2003, his presence has been occasional at best.

Sam really made it the last season before Penske and Ganassi came to stay (2001). There were a lot of people who thought he would go down the order when these teams came to the IRL, but it didn't happen.