CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Reports that IRL champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will make his stock car debut next month at Phoenix in a NASCAR Busch Series car are premature, a Team Penske spokesman said Friday night.

A story posted Friday on, the racing Web site for The Charlotte Observer newspaper, cited unidentified sources as saying the Penske team will enter Hornish in the Busch races at Phoenix and Homestead in November, as well as running him in selected Busch and ARCA events next season before launching a full-time Nextel Cup career in 2008.

“Roger Penske has said publicly that we are considering a plan that would allow Sam to race in some Busch and ARCA races next year, for sure, along with his IRL schedule,” Chris Schwartz, director of marketing and communications for the Penske team, told The Associated Press.

“That’s all in motion and it’s a goal of ours to get him into a Busch race this year,” Schwartz added. “But he hasn’t even tested a (stock) car, yet. We hope to get that accomplished soon and we hope to get him in the Phoenix (Busch) race and maybe the Homestead (Busch) race, too. But nothing is done yet.”

The 27-year-old Hornish is a three-time IRL champion. He won his first two titles with Panther Racing in 2001 and 2002.

He moved to the Penske team in 2004 and gave his new team owner his first IndyCar Series championship this season.

In seven seasons, Hornish has won 18 IndyCar races, including his first Indianapolis 500 last May at the famed brickyard.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.