In the spotlight this week: NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr.
What’s fun besides racing?
Sam Hornish Jr.: It all depends. Some days it is helping my daughters out with art projects or whatever they have going on. Other days it is building stuff out of wood or metal. I don’t want to say crafty stuff but I like to build stuff and think of things to work on. I usually have about 15 projects in the rotation. If I get stuck on something I’ll think about it and do something else while I’m doing that until I come up with a reasonable way to fix the problem. I don’t seem to ever do anything twice.
What’s the top item on your bucket list?
Hornish: I don’t know. I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve raced the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500. Outside of any kind of racing thing, I would like to walk the Appalachian Trail. I don’t know that I’d hike the whole thing through at one time. I like to be outdoors and do stuff like that. Seeing things I haven’t seen before and going different places. I haven’t been to all 50 states yet so I have to get on that.
Your go-to on movie night is:
Hornish: I like comedies. I don’t have anything that I HAVE to watch. One of the ones that seems to be pretty constant in the rotation is The Departed, I don’t know why. It has a little bit of suspense in it but there is a lot of humor in it too. Even though it isn’t a comedy humor but there is some very good wording in it.
What’s one item that’s always in your grocery bag?
Most memorable fan interaction?
Hornish: There have been quite a few good ones over the years. When I was running Indy cars at Indianapolis, right before I got married, a girl came up to me and pulled her shirt down and wanted me to sign her. She got mad at me because I wouldn’t do it. I told her I’d sign a piece of paper, I’d sign her tank top, or anything else. She actually used the F-word at me. My future wife and my mom were standing there too. No matter what, it was going to be a difficult conversation with two of the most important women in my life at that time.
|What’s fun besides racing?||What’s the top item on your bucket list?||Your go-to on movie night:||One item that’s always in your grocery bag?||Most memorable fan interaction:|
|Cole Whitt||Fishing||Visiting Bora Bora||God’s Not Dead||Ground Turkey||Getting called by the wrong name|
|Nothing||Winning a Martinsville clock||Miracle||Yogurt||Signing an arm so they could have it tattooed on|
|Ron Capps||Watching other racing||Going into space||Something with Will Ferrell in it||A receipt||Visiting the Zoo at Brainerd|
|Casey Mears||Playing with my kids||Winning another Sprint Cup race||Good Will Hunting||Eggs||Meeting with U.S. soldiers|
|Alexis DeJoria||Family adventures||Bungee jumping||Something horror or sci fi||Vegetable juices||A fan who cried when she met me|
|Ryan Newman||Anything outdoors||Nothing-enjoy life every day!||Tombstone||Bread||Anytime a kid asks a question|
|David Gilliland||Riding 4-wheelers||Deep-sea fishing in Alaska||Days of Thunder||Bananas||Getting mistaken for Travis Kvapil (happens a lot)|
|Fast Jack Beckman||Surfing||Skydiving||Any movie, especially action or sci-fi||Bananas||Hanging out with 11-year-old Jacob Delling|
|Brad Keselowski||Personal growth||Winning another Cup title||Forrest Gump||Flowers for my girlfriend||All of them-it’s not fair to rate them!|
|Spencer Massey||Traveling and driving||Winning an NHRA Mello Yello title||Caddyshack||Frozen pizzas||Their reaction to Gatornationals win|
|Brendan Gaughan||Kids||SCUBA diving in the Galapagos||Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, and The Princess Bride||Toilet paper||Too many to choose from|
|Hanging with high school buddies||Winning an NHRA championship||Get Hard||Water||There’s one oddball at every race…|
|Landon Cassill||Anything outside||Visiting Europe||Game of Thrones on Netflix||Avocados||A little girl named Riley|
|Del Worsham||Boating||Nothing; done it all||A drama||Milk||Sharing 10,000 HP margarita machine with them|
|Austin Dillon||Playing soccer||Flying an F-16 fighter jet||Top Gun||Coca-Cola||Signing a baby|
|Richard Childress||Something outdoors||Winning another Cup championship||Something with Clint Eastwood||Childress Vineyards wine||A lot of them!|
|Morgan Shepherd||Roller skating||Getting the No. 89 in some more races||Doesn’t watch movies||Broccoli and carrots||A girl who wanted her underwear signed|
|Matt DiBenedetto||Driving my Corvette and playing raquetball||Racing in the Sprint Cup Series||Days of Thunder||Steak||Whenever people appreciate you|
|Carl Edwards||Backpacking||Winning the Cup championship / base jumping||Smokey and the Bandit||Cereal…lots of cereal||When little kids come up who love the sport|
|Matt Hagan||Farming||Taking part in a tractor pull||American Sniper||Steak||Having someone propose in the pits|
|Ward Burton||Being away from the track||Knowing family is in a good place||Military documentaries||6-pack of Yuengling||All the kids|
|John Hunter Nemechek||Wake surfing||Winning a Sprint Cup championship||American Sniper||Fruit||Anything with the younger generation|
|Justin Allgaier||Wake surfing and golfing right now||Skydiving||American Sniper or Frozen||Fruit||One lady almost passed out, she was so excited|
|Tony Schumacher||Harley riding||Skydiving in a squirrel suit||Mr. Destiny||Pretzels||Make-A-Wish kids|
|Josh Wise||Playing with kids||Wining a Sprint Cup race||Something funny||Almond butter or peanut butter||A random message from a teacher in England|
|Matt Kenseth||Nothing||Doing things with the kids||Not much time to watch TV||Katie does the shopping!||A guy who asked to have his girlfriend’s underwear signed|
|Alex Bowman||Working on cars||Road trip through Europe||Entourage on TV||Doc 360||Riding through the campground at Martinsville|
|Daniel Hemric||Working on race cars||Skydive solo||Days of Thunder||Gum||Visiting a children’s hospital|
|John Force||Racing with granddaughter Autumn||Win another championship||Mad Max||Toothpaste, champagne, and energy drink||Autographing a pig|
|Sam Hornish, Jr.||Projects, especially with daughters||Hiking the Appalachian Trailk||The Departed||Monster||Being cussed out for refusing to sign a body part|
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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