Sam Hornish Jr., member of the Poplar Ridge Church of the Brethren near Defiance, Ohio, won the 2006 Indianapolis 500. On Sunday, May 28, 2006, Sam Jr. made his sixth appearance in the Indianapolis 500 race—and won it all! Although the day had its share of setbacks and obstacles, Sam and the Penske racing team toughed it out with careful strategy and perseverance.
After starting at the #1 pole position and occasionally leading the race, Sam edged ahead again at the finish line to win the second closest finish in Indy history, just .0635 seconds ahead of Marco Andretti. “I thank God for giving me a lot of talent,” Sam said, “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.”
Only two weeks before the race, Sam’s grandmother, Helen Hornish, died. It was indeed a day of mixed emotions as he spoke to reporters at the close of the race. The Bethany community extends both its congratulations and its sympathy to the Hornish family in this time of victory and of remembrance. We appreciate the financial support to Bethany provided by the Hornish family, including Sam Jr. and Crystal, parents Sam and Jo, and grandmother Helen.