Sam Hornish Jr. finally gets a shot in the car in the 1st of 7 races with Joe Gibbs Racing

After spending the first three months of the season on the sidelines, Sam Hornish Jr. finally gets a chance to get back in a car.

His seven-race Nationwide Series deal with Joe Gibbs Racing starts Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, where Hornish will drive the No. 54 Toyota typically piloted by Kyle Busch.

That's right: After falling just three points short of winning last year's Nationwide championship, Hornish was rewarded with a seven-race deal.

But Hornish isn't complaining. He insists the JGR offer was the best one for him, and the only one that gave him both a chance to win races and potentially expand his role. He was also sold on the limited schedule after speaking to owner Joe Gibbs.