Auto123.com - Helping you drive happy

NASCAR: Sam Hornish Jr. returns to Cup racing with Richard Petty

From nascar.com

Richard Petty Motorsports announced it has tabbed veteran Sam Hornish Jr. to succeed Marcos Ambrose as driver of its No. 9 Ford Fusion for the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season and beyond.

The pairing brings together the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Hornish with one of stock car racing's legends and lands the former open-wheel champion his first full-time ride at the Sprint Cup Series level since 2010.

RPM’s Ambrose will return to his native Australia next year to race Roger Penske’ entry in the Australian V8 Supercar series.

After finishing runner-up in the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driving for Penske Racing, Sam Hornish Jr. purposely did not compete in NASCAR full-time this year despite having offers.

When he found out he would not be retained by Penske at the end of 2013, Hornish said he would rather wait out a good, competitive situation than rush to take just any job.

Instead, he has driven part-time in the Nationwide Series this season making eight starts for Joe Gibbs Racing, winning at Iowa Speedway in May and earning the pole position at Talladega, Alabama and his hometown Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.