Race Weekend Central

Off the Wall With: Sam Hornish Jr.

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?

Hornish: Monster.

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
Joey Logano



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
J.R. Todd


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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