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Sources: Hornish to share car with Kyle Busch in Nationwide Series
Last November, Sam Hornish promised he wasn’t going to settle for any ride just to be able to “say I’m a race-car driver.”
Thanks to Joe Gibbs Racing, Hornish won’t have to.
Sources tell FOXSports.com that the three-time IndyCar Champ and Indianapolis 500 winner will share seat time with Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Toyota in the Nationwide Series this season.
Hornish could not be reached for comment.
Hornish finished second in the Nationwide points standings to Austin Dillon last year in his second full season on the tour driving the No. 12 for Penske Racing. He finished fourth in 2012. However, Penske Racing could not secure sponsorship for Hornish to continue in the ride.
The 34-year-old native of Defiance, Ohio, posted his second career victory with his win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Hornish had competed for Roger Penske since 2004, first in the IndyCar Series. Hornish made his first NASCAR start in the Nationwide Series in 2006 at the penultimate race in Phoenix. Hornish’s Sprint Cup debut came in 2007, followed by three full seasons on the Cup tour.
Busch ran 26 Nationwide races last season with Adam Stevens as his crew chief. He won 12 of the events in the No. 54 Monster Toyota. Busch is expected to run a similar schedule in 2014 with Hornish filling the balance.
New faces in new spaces
It won’t be the usual suspects testing for BK Racing this week at Daytona International Speedway.
Alex Bowman, who subbed for David Reutimann in the No. 83 during the Charlotte Motor Speedway test in December, will continue in that role. Ryan Truex will shake down the No. 93 Toyota. Truex remains under contract with Richard Petty Motorsports but was given permission to test with BKR.
“We’re going to test those two to keep our options open,” said Ron Devine, BKR team owner.
On Sunday, Devine said both he and the team were impressed by Bowman’s performance at the Charlotte test. He added BKR’s driver lineup “is not set yet for 2014.”
Given the uncertainty surrounding his current drivers, that’s understandable. Travis Kvapil, who competed in the No. 93 Toyota last year, has a pending court date Jan. 17 following charges of misdemeanor assault on Oct. 8. The case was continued from Nov. 19. Reutimann struggled to finish 33rd in the points standings last year.
While Dale Ferguson will continue as the crew chief for the No. 93 team, Dave Winston will replace Doug Richert on the No. 83 squad. However, Devine says Richert will remain with the organization.
Rick Ren returned home last Wednesday following a well-deserved sabbatical.
After letting go of 33 employees at Kyle Busch Motorsports, the former general manager was also released.
Because of his contract, Ren could not pursue a new position until Jan. 1. Ren joined KBM at the end of 2009. Before that, he held a similar role with Kevin Harvick Inc.