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Sam Hornish Jr eager to keep Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup seat after AJ Allmendinger's dismissal

Sam Hornish JrSam Hornish Jr hopes he does enough during the reminder of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season in order to stay as the driver of the #22 Penske Dodge.

The three-time IndyCar champion was drafted to fill in for AJ Allmendinger following the Californian's positive test for prohibited substances last month at Daytona, which then led to an indefinite suspension after a second test confirmed the initial result.

After leaving IndyCar at the end of 2007, Hornish spent three years as part of Penske's Cup line-up but lost his full-time drive after 2010.

He ran partial schedules both in Cup and the Nationwide Series before getting a full campaign in the second-tier series this year, having won his first NASCAR race last year at Phoenix for Penske.

Earlier this week a statement from Penske said Hornish would continue to drive the #22 Cup car for the "foreseeable" future following Allmendinger's dismissal from the team, but Hornish hopes he is able to remain on board next season as well.

"I feel like the way things have been going we've been steadily progressing," said Hornish. "Hopefully before too much longer we'll be running well enough that they'll want to keep us in there for the unforeseeable future.

"I feel like we've got some really good opportunities here and just trying to maintain everything and not get stressed out about it because that's not going to help anything; just enjoy it.

"Something good happened to me at the end of last season. We got the opportunity to go full-time Nationwide racing and we're doing pretty good over there.

"Now we've got the opportunity to go Cup racing too so I'm just trying to take both things and run with it and enjoy it as best I can because it's a good feeling to be in a little bit of demand."

Hornish's best result thus far in three races behind the wheel of the #22 car has been a 16th place finish at Indianapolis last week.

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