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Sam Hornish Jr.
Sam Hornish Jr.
2006 Indianapolis 500 Champion
July 18, 2006

Sam Hornish Jr.
President George W. Bush meets with Sam Hornish Jr., the 2006 winner of the Indianapolis 500, and his wife, Crystal Hornish, as they stand next to the 500 race Borg-Warner Trophy Tuesday, July 18, 2006, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. White House photo by Eric Draper Thanks for having me here today. It is a true pleasure to be at the White House and to meet the President. This is one of the great benefits of winning the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. I look forward to answering some of your questions. Again, this is a great thrill.

Ken, from Indianapolis writes:
Sam, I just saw Indycar racing for the first time at Carb Day last May, having just moved to Indianapolis last winter, from Washington, D.C. I have no background in racing, but loved the experience. So, how does the feeling of winning the Indy 500 compare to being recognized for it at the White House? Ken

Sam Hornish Jr.
It's a great honor to be at the White House, but when your childhood dream is winning the Indianapolis 500, it's hard to compare anything to that.

Mark, from Sacramento, CA writes:
Would you let the President drive your race car?

Sam Hornish Jr.
I'd let him drive the car, as long as I wouldn't have to take over the duties of the President. There are many days when I feel like I have so much going on that I can't keep up, but being around the President for just a little bit today made me realize how much he deals with on a daily basis.

Jon, from Smyrna, Tennessee writes:
Sam, Do you feel now that since you have won both a points championship and the Indy 500 that you have fulfilled your career goals or do you have other things you would like to do before your racing days are over?

Sam Hornish Jr.
My first goal is to win an IRL championship for Roger Penske. He's won 11 National Championships, but never an IRL championship and it would be a great thrill for me to get that for him.

Secondly, I'd love to win the 2007 Indianapolis 500, and with the team we have in place, I think both of those things are achievable.

Michael, from Florida writes:
How many faces are on the Borg Warner Trophy and are multiple winners duplicated?

Sam Hornish Jr.
I'm fairly certain multiple winners are duplicated on the Borg Warner trophy, but I'd like to find out for sure next year!

thomas, from st. louis, mo writes:
How are you holding up being ahead in the points race with Scott, Helio, and Dan right behind you??

Sam Hornish Jr.
I'm holding up fine, but I need to make sure we don't have more mistakes like we did last weekend in Nashville. We entered that race with a 20-point lead over my teammate Helio Castroneves, but our crash took us down to just a five-point lead heading into Milwaukee this weekend.

Daryl, from Pekin, IL writes:
Mr. Hornish, Congratulations on your Indy 500 Victory. My question to you is, will this win go down as being the greatest of your career?

Sam Hornish Jr.
I think it will always be my most memorable win. The last-lap pass, and what we overcame to even have an opportunity to win the race, is something I'm proud of and will never forget.

Krista, from Indiana writes:
Were you suprised to win the Indy 500, or were you pretty confident that you could do it after qualifying first?

Sam Hornish Jr.
I felt like we had a great opportunity all month long. After being the fastest after almost every day, and qualifying on the pole, and then being out front for the first three-quarters of the race, I felt extremely confident that we could win. But after the miscue in the pits, I thought we were a longshot. Sometimes things just work out.

cindy, from columbus, Indiana writes:
We were at the Indy 500 race and we were cheering you on but must admit we thought there was no way you were going to win the race after your bad pit stop. We were in the first turn and on the final lap we still didn't think you could catch up and then heard Dave Calebro yell in the microphone that you had won. It was a great thrill After all the celebrating, kissing the bricks, photos and interviews, when did it truly sink in that you had won the 500 mile race?

Sam Hornish Jr.
I'm still working on that. As soon as my likeness is on the Borg Warner trophy and I get my 500 Championship ring, then it will really hit me. But, days like today at the White House remind you that you've certainly accomplished an amazing feat.

Clifford, from Houston, TX writes:
Sam - The technology behind the IndyCar Series is very facinating. What kind of adjustments were you able to make at the Indy 500 to help you make the pass by Marco Andretti for the win?

Sam Hornish Jr.
I made adjustments in the car all day long. Nothing in particular towards the end on the final lap. We were just fast enough and had a car that handled well in traffic, that gave us an opportunity to win.

Regarding the technology on the cars, I feel like the IndyCar Series is always on the forefront of technology, as well as safety.

John, from Irvine, CA writes:
Hey Sam, I keep track of many sports, including the Indy racing league. You are an inspiration on the track, but I believe in judging sports figures more than what they just do on the court (or track in your case). Please tell me what charitable activities you have been involved in and what you are doing to leave behind a legacy beyond your numberous racing victories. Thank you

Sam Hornish Jr.
First, I feel very blessed to have had so many opportunities in my life, and feel it is important to give back especially to those less fortunate than me. To date, we've sponsored two charity bowling tournaments to benefit Speedway Children's Charities, which raised more than $200,000.

In addition, my family and I funded the Sam Hornish family heart center at the Defiance Regional Medical Center in my hometown in Ohio. We do many things at the Shriner's Hospital for children, Christmas for Kids, and many other things throughout the year.

With the start of the Sam Hornish Jr. foundation, we'll be able to do more. The foundation is in its early stages, and will provide us with a vehicle to help those in need.

It's important to lead by example and hopefully our work will encourage others to contribute, as well.

Sam Hornish Jr.
Thanks again for all of the great questions. A lot of people wrote in and said they would continue to cheer me on this season, and I appreciate all of my fans. We race again this Sunday at the Milwaukee Mile, a track where I won last year, so make sure and tune in to see if we can repeat. Again, thanks for being part of this amazing day for me.