Sam Hornish Jr. NSCS Bristol Preview

August 19, 2008

Sam Hornish Jr. – No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
Sharpie 500
Bristol Motor Speedway
August 23, 2008

News and Notes
• Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, will make his second Sprint Cup Series start at the famed Bristol Motor Speedway in the Sharpie 500 this Saturday night.  Earlier this season, Hornish started seventh and secured a 29th place finish in his debut at the .533-mile oval.
• Travis Geisler replaces Chris Carrier as crew chief of the No. 77 team beginning this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. A Vanderbilt University-trained mechanical engineer, Geisler was formerly the race engineer for the No. 12 team.
• Hornish has a total of six short track starts in Sprint Cup Series competition. He has an average start of 23, with a best starting position of seventh (Bristol), and an average finish of 26 with a best finish of 13th (Lowe’s Motor Speedway).
• Hornish is currently in second place in the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. He trails leader Regan Smith by just one point and leads third place driver Patrick Carpentier by eight points.
• Hornish and the No. 77 Mobil 1 team are currently 34th in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner points standings following the race at Michigan International Speedway.

Upcoming Events
Hornish is scheduled to compete in the Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, driving the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Dodge. Racing action begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
8/23/08: Hornish will sign autographs at the Mobil 1/Penske Racing souvenir trailer on Sunday afternoon. He will appear from 4:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Chassis Chatter
  The primary car for this weekend was raced by Hornish earlier this season at Bristol Motor Speedway.
PRS-562: The backup car for the Sharpie 500 also served as backup earlier this season in Indianapolis, Pocono and Michigan.

Sam Hornish Jr. on Bristol Motor Speedway
“I feel like this is a big weekend for me in the Mobil 1 Dodge. Now that I have some experience in a Cup car at Bristol, I am hoping to have a much better finish this weekend in the Sharpie 500. I feel that we have learned a lot since March and I’m anxious to see how we race overall.

“I always liked racing on short tracks in the IndyCar Series, but it doesn’t seem as if that has transferred over to the Sprint Cup Series yet. I like short tracks but I don’t run as well there as at the larger tracks. Hopefully, I will have that breakthrough this weekend.”

Crew Chief Travis Geisler on Bristol Motor Speedway
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity before us at Bristol because it is a track where anything can happen. It’s a place where you only have to worry about the racing. If the driver has patience and a decent race car at Bristol, you can get a good finish.

“Sam has improved greatly since his first races in the Sprint Cup Series and those strides are showing on track. The extra seat time he will get this weekend in the Nationwide Series should serve to improve our outcome in the Cup race. I’m looking forward to a strong showing for the Mobil 1 team on Saturday night.”

2008 Rookie-of-the-Year Standings
Position  Driver                 Points
1.          Regan Smith       178
2.          Sam Hornish Jr.   177
3.          Patrick Carpentier 169
4.          Michael McDowell  156
5.          Dario Franchitti      97