Sam Hornish Jr. to Race Full-Time for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2015

Sam Hornish Jr. to Race Full-Time for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2015

by October 8, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

CONCORD, N.C. — It’s official, Sam Hornish Jr. has been named the successor to Marcos Ambrose for Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 9 Ford.

Richard Petty Motorsports formally announced this morning that the three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and current part-time driver for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series will move up to their team next season as part of a multi-year deal.

Drew Blickensderfer will serve as crew chief for Hornish in 2015, continuing his relationship with the No. 9 team. As of now, Twisted Tea have announced that they will partially sponsor the car next season; more sponsors are expected to be announced prior to the start of the 2015 season.

With this ride for 2015, Hornish will run his first full season in the Sprint Cup Series in four years.

“This is a great opportunity to join Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 9 Ford team in the Sprint Cup Series,” Hornish said in a statement released by Richard Petty Motorsports Wednesday morning. “Owners Richard Petty, Andrew Murstein, and Doug Bergeron have built this organization into a championship-contending team with world-class sponsors and partners.

“Many people have noticed the progress being made here and I’m ready to build off this momentum. My goal is to put the No. 9 team in victory lane in 2015 and be a competitor in ‘The Chase.'”

Team co-owner and NASCAR legend Petty would speak on the opportunity to welcome Hornish into his organization, stating that Hornish’s personal values align well with those that his organization holds.

“Sam is a really good fit for RPM and will be a great addition to the team,” Petty said. “He’s a family man who fits well with our core values and he will be a great ambassador for our partners.

“Sam’s also proven that he can win races and compete for a championship. He came into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a steep learning curve from open wheel racing, but has shown in the Nationwide Series that he is a winner. We feel that he can get the No. 9 team to Victory Lane and compete in ‘The Chase’ for us.”

Hornish initially debuted in the Sprint Cup Series in 2008 with Team Penske, driving their No. 77 Dodge. In his three years in the premier division of NASCAR, Hornish had two top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes to his name across 106 starts before being dropped by Penske to his Nationwide Series program.

In his three-year tenure in the Nationwide Series with Penske, Hornish contended for two championships in two full-time seasons – racking up two victories, 28 top-fives, and 53 top-10 finishes in 79 starts.

The 35-year-old from Defiance, Ohio’s first year with Joe Gibbs Racing has provided the driver one win at Iowa along with four top-five finishes in eight starts in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota.

Hornish will make his debut for Richard Petty Motorsports in the 2015 Daytona 500. There are no plans by Richard Petty Motorsports to field their new driver in a third car in any of the remaining races in 2014. Hornish will however test for the team this year before NASCAR eliminates private testing.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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