Much ado will probably be made over the next several days and weeks regarding one Mr. Sam Hornish, Jr. and his future in racing. Much more will likely be made again about a return to Indycars and specifically, the Indy 500.
I'm not going to pretend that just because we're both from the humble, rural midwest that this writer has any particular insight into his current state of mind, BUT, honestly, it's almost as if Sam needs the advice of a trusted friend who might suppose he just didn't need a break from it all.
Playing third-string on a team can be taxing, especially when you consider he's been the first-string all-star on the upward trajectory for a vast majority of his career. First-string until he stepped into a stock car that is. A new challenge is precisely what he got when he traded wings for fenders, but I'm guessing being support for, first one, then two, other drivers was not the dream job he was looking for.
Understanding that 'taking a year off' in sports most often leads to the severe decline in career opportunities (and performance), the reluctance to step back from it for a second is without question. Yet in review of his career path, one has to wonder if a year of doing something different (ALMS, Grand-Am, Rally cars, Sprinters) or whatever, just for the fun of it, might not be a panacea for his driving malaise.
Again, this is pure speculation by a rank amateur whose only credentials in driving are a current and valid Indiana drivers license and has driven the wonderful Indy Racing Experience car for 4 laps at the hallowed IMS. Still, one wonders if this is less a racing issue and more an issue 'between the ears'. Most true fans would certainly only hope he does what's best for him and that it helps his journey in racing for the long-term.