- Sam Hornish Jr.
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Pocono was an OK weekend for us. We definitely had a lot better weekend there this time around than we had the first time. We should have finished better than 26th, but when the rain came, we rolled the dice and hoped it would keep raining. I've never been lucky with rain situations, so I was pretty skeptical that it was going to work out for us. Even though we finished where we did, it still was a whole lot better than the first trip to Pocono, so I'm not too upset.
The decision to stay out was the crew's deal. I told them whatever they wanted to do, do it. I try to pick my battles when I really feel strongly about something. There, I felt if we go out and run another 20 laps and get a yellow, we would have been much better. We got three laps in after the rain and got a yellow, and that hurt us. At that point, our hands were tied. You just accept what happens from there on out. What can you do?
It looks like there's going to be rain this weekend at Watkins Glen. I didn't get to watch a whole bunch of that rain portion of the Nationwide race from Montreal last weekend, but I wouldn't mind if we ran a rain tire. I ran in the rain quite a bit growing up, in go-karts, Formula Ford, Toyota Atlantics, and I ran the 24 Hour race in rain a couple of times, even Watkins Glen in an Indy car. I've seen it, done it, but obviously not in a stock car. I always liked racing in the rain -- people call it the great equalizer, and it is.
We've done quite a bit in preparation for the road courses this year. We did the Nationwide race at Mexico City, and we did three tests. I like racing at Watkins Glen because there's a lot more action there. You have to keep up on it.
As far as this season, I'm having fun. It's more fun all the time, the better you get at it. You can see the improvement in performance, the second time around. It just makes you super excited to go back and try again. It's just that now we're trying to stay in the top 35, and that's enough for us. Even this last week we should have gotten another 50 points out of it, we're hanging on and not racing as hard because we want to hang on to the top 35 -- that's such a big thing for next season.
Sam Hornish Jr., 28, drives the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger. He will take ESPN.com readers inside his life on and off the track each week with the help of writer Angelique S. Chengelis.
12dTom McKean, ESPN Stats & Information