NASCAR & Auto Racing

Hornish trying again this week at Charlotte

Three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. is still trying to qualify for his first NASCAR Nextel Cup race after coming up short three times in the last four weeks.

The 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner will try again this week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., hoping to make the field for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500.

Hornish’s three previous qualifying attempts, which all came close to putting him in the lineup, were in NASCAR’s new car of tomorrow, which will run the entire Cup series in 2008. But this week the competitors are back in the current car.

“This will be the first race I’m attempting to qualify in a car that will be obsolete after this season,” Hornish said. “I have more experience driving this style of car and on similar tracks running in the Busch Series. So I’m a little more comfortable approaching this weekend than I was at New Hampshire and Dover.

“It’s not my first time at Lowe’s, though. I ran there in a Formula Ford in the late ’90s.”

Hornish, who drives for Roger Penske in both IndyCar and NASCAR, is considering a move to stock cars full-time in 2008. For that reason, he will enter no more than seven races this year, keeping his eligibility to race for Rookie of the Year next season in the Nextel Cup.

That means the only other events for which he will attempt to qualify are the two remaining car of tomorrow events at Martinsville and Phoenix.