Hornish to stay in NASCAR in 2011

Sam Hornish Jr. will compete in at least 10 NASCAR Nationwide races this season, beginning with the DRIVEFORCOPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, team owner Roger Penske confirmed by email on Saturday.

Chad Walters will serve as Hornish’s crew chief.

Hornish, 31, competed in the No. 77 Dodge for Penske Racing for the past three seasons. The former IndyCar Series champion scored just two top-fives during his Sprint Cup experience, earning both in 2009 when he finished a career-high 28th in the point standings.

While Penske had hoped to campaign three Cup teams and two full-time Nationwide efforts in 2011, the recent economic climate and a lack of sponsorship forced the company to scale back.

Penske’s acknowledgment confirms a report earlier this week by FOXSports.com’s Jeff Hammond, who said Hornish would not return to Sprint Cup competition in a Penske car this season.

Penske also verified that the No. 77 car’s points will be used by Stephen Wallace, who is attempting to make his Cup debut at Daytona. Wallace, 23, currently drives the No. 66 Toyota for his father at Rusty Wallace Racing.

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