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“Hornish Wins 90th Indy 500”

Former HPC sponsored IRL-Champion wins his first Indy 500.

Jeff Holm shakes hands with 2006
Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish
(Picture circa 2001 proudly sponsored by HPC)

Indianapolis, IN (May 31, 2006) -- Two-time Indy Racing League (IRL) Champion and long time High Performance Coatings (HPC) client Sam Hornish, Jr. won his first Indianapolis 500 Sunday, beating out Marco Andretti by .0635 seconds.

In one of the closest finishes in IRL history, Hornish of Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone pulled off a stunning maneuver in Turn 4 to overtake #26 Marco Andretti in the final lap of the race. The Ohio-born driver had made an earlier attempt to pass Andretti during Lap 198 but was blocked in Turn 3 by the rookie Andretti.
With his teammate Helio Castroneves out of the race after a crash in Lap 110 and a penalty for a pit stop error in Lap 150, Hornish worked to make up the lost time. In the end, Hornish’s skilled driving won the 90th Indy 500.

"It's been a long month, and not everything went our way as we saw today," Hornish said. "But we stuck together as a team. We had a good plan, and we were fast when we needed. I thank God for giving me a lot of talent, not so much the fact for what I can do driving, but the fact that I didn't want to give up. And then He also put me with such a great team and gave me great parents and a great wife to support me very much."

“We hired Hornish because he beat us like a drum,” said Team Marlboro Penske owner Roger Penske. “He sure did the same job on these people today. Got to give it to him. What a great finish.”

“Sam Hornish has been a friend of HPC and its founder, Jeff Holm since 2000,” said Paul Clayson, CEO of HPC. “His immense talent, tenacity and winning experience won this race. This is a great win for Sam, the Marlboro Penske team and the entire IRL. America is buzzing with talk of the dramatic finish.”

Hornish, 26, began driving for the Pennzoil/Panther/HPC Indy team in 2001. That same season in his second year of driving, Hornish won his first IRL Championship at 22 years of age. On September 15, 2002, Hornish won his second IRL Championship trophy, making him the only driver in IRL history to win back to back championships. Hornish was named ‘2002 Driver of the Year.’

HPC began working with Team Panther in 1999 by supplying their renowned heat management and friction reducing coatings to the team’s cars. The coatings help provide an increase in performance to the cars’ engines and added protection for components during the IRL season. These same coatings have been used by 14 past Indy 500 champions as well as leading OEM manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Defense, and even the National Aeronautical and Space Administration and helped power Hornish to his back to back IRL Championship wins. 

Now in his seventh season in the IRL, Hornish has stood on the podium 38 times and has 47 top-five finishes in 88 starts. Hornish is the Series’ all-time leader in wins (15), laps led (2,683), races led (55), and wins from pole position (6).

HPC congratulates Sam Hornish, Jr. of the Marlboro Team Penske #6 car on his first Indianapolis 500 victory.  

About HPC
The leader in innovative coating technology. HPC develops, manufactures and applies coating (surface treatment) solutions for thermal management, anti-corrosion, friction reduction, and color appearance. Now in its twenty-fourth year, the company’s coatings are used by legends in the motorsport racing world as well as by the US Military and the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA). HPC is a market leader in internal and external engine parts coatings in automotive and diesel engines. At HPC, there IS a difference…and the difference is experience.

To learn more about HPC’s world famous coatings, please visit the company’s website at: or call the toll-free technical information line at (800) 456-4721.

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