Sam Hornish Jr., former IndyCar champ and former Penske Racing driver, joins Joe Gibbs Racing for 2014, driving the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in seven Nationwide Series races. The No. 54 will run the full schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens returning. JGR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch will pilot the No. 54 in 26 races, while Hornish will fill the driver’s seat in the remaining races.
“I’m excited about driving the No. 54 Monster Energy car this year. It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Hornish Jr. on the JGR website. “It’s the best possible situation for me to jump into great equipment and have the opportunity to go right out and win. After working with Penske for 10 years and now to have the opportunity to partner with Joe Gibbs Racing, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. These are great people, top notch. To partner with Kyle, and all this team provides, with the support of Joe and J.D., it provides me with everything I need to succeed. It’s also a phenomenal opportunity for me to partner with a market leader such as Monster Energy. The brand identity and fan following that goes along with this sponsor is super. I can’t wait to get into that car!”
Hornish Jr. spent 2012 and 2013 driving the No. 12 car for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series. In 2013, he earned one win, 25 top 10 finishes and four poles. In 99 career starts in the series, Hornish Jr. has two wins and 53 top 10 finishes. He also has made 130 career starts in the Sprint Cup Series.
“This year will be fun with Sam and me behind the wheel of our Monster Energy Camry,” said Kyle Busch. “Last year we lost the chance for another Owner’s Championship by a slim margin and I think you can expect a close battle again this season. Having an experienced guy in there to fill the role on a regular basis when I’m not there, gives Adam (Stevens, crew chief) the opportunity for real consistency. Sam was a strong competitor last year and I look forward to having him on our side this season.”
Hornish Jr.’s first race in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota will be May 3rd at Talladega. He’ll also race at both Iowa Speedway races, Road America, Chicagoland Speedway on July 19th, Mid-Ohio and Kentucky Speedway on September 20th.
Keep up with the off-season at joegibbsracing.com.
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