PHOENIX, Ariz. (Nov. 10, 2007 ¿ ExxonMobil executives announced Saturday that the company is expanding its longstanding relationship with Penske Racing by sponsoring three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. when he moves to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008.
After an incredibly successful eight-year stint in the IndyCar Series that saw Hornish Jr. become the driver with the most wins in the Series¿ history , garner three series championships [2001, 2002 and 2006] and win the 2006 Indianapolis 500, he will move to stock car racing full time and pilot the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in 2008. Hornish Jr. is the latest open-wheel driver to transition to NASCAR.
¿I truly view this move to NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series as the next great challenge for me in racing,¿ Hornish Jr. said. ¿My learning curve has been sharp, but Roger (Penske), everyone at Penske Racing and the team at Mobil 1 have been incredibly supportive throughout the process. The track time this season is all part of the transition to Cup racing and I am committed to making 2008 a successful season for the Mobil 1 Racing team.¿
Hornish Jr. participated in NASCAR Busch Series races in 2006 and 2007, with his best finish being 15th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2007. He also attempted to qualify for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races on seven occasions in 2007. He is making his NEXTEL Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway where he ran his inaugural Busch Series race one year ago.
¿Sam Hornish Jr. is one of the most versatile and skilled drivers in all of motorsports,¿ said Jerry Kohlenberger, president, ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties Co. ¿Everyone at ExxonMobil is looking forward to Sam building his impressive racing resume as he successfully crosses over to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We also are delighted to expand our 17-year relationship with Penske Racing and present Mobil 1 as the title sponsor of the No. 77 Dodge. Our association with Penske Racing and NASCAR reinforces the engine protection and performance that Mobil 1 delivers for both NASCAR drivers on the track and race fans traveling to the track.¿
Hornish Jr. will be the third full-time member of Penske Racing¿s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, which includes veteran drivers Ryan Newman in the No. 12 Alltel Dodge and Kurt Busch in the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge.
¿Sam had a great run with us in the IndyCar Series, and as he continues to adjust to the type of racing he¿ll encounter in the Sprint Cup Series, we expect him to excel there as well,¿ said Penske, owner and chairman of Penske Racing. ¿In Sam, we have a driver with the desire to be the best and win wherever and whenever he races. We can teach him about stock car racing, but we don¿t need to teach him how to be a racer.¿
Race-proven Mobil 1, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, is used by more than 60 percent of the teams in NASCAR¿s top three circuits. ExxonMobil is a sponsor of Penske Racing¿s NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Insurance, IndyCar, and American Le Mans series teams.
A Long History of Performance: Mobil 1 in Motorsports
Mobil 1, the world¿s leading synthetic motor oil, has long been the lubricant of choice for race teams competing in the most demanding and popular motorsports series across the globe.
Mobil 1¿s history in motorsports officially began in 1978 with sponsorship of the Williams Formula One team. From that time, Mobil 1's presence on race tracks and circuits has grown by global proportions. Today, Mobil 1 synthetic oil is relied on for its ability to deliver exceptional engine performance and protection even under the most extreme conditions by automotive technicians, race car drivers, team owners and the world¿s leading automotive manufacturers.
Along with its status as the Official Lubricant of NASCAR, Mobil 1 enjoys a long association with many of the world's most popular and successful race teams, including Vodafone McLaren Mercedes¿ Formula One team, Corvette Racing¿s American Le Mans Series team, the official AMG-Mercedes factory teams in the European-based DTM championship, Alex Job Racing Le Mans GT2 team, Penske Racing's NASCAR and IndyCar Series teams, as well as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup¿the world¿s fastest international one-make series.