Penske Racing Aaron's 312 Preview
April 30, 2013
Date: May 4, 3:00pm ET
TV: Friday: Qualifying 12:00pm ET (ESPN2)
Saturday: Aaron's 312 3:00pm ET (ESPN)
Radio: Live on MRN and SiriusXM at 2:30pm ET
Sam Hornish Jr.
The No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-239 Last Raced: Daytona 2013
Backup Chassis: PRS-240 Last Raced: New Chassis (Daytona Backup)
• LEADING MAN: Through the first seven races of 2013, Hornish has led three times more laps than any other NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) regular. He has also led more laps in 2013 than he did in 2012 and 2011 combined (46 starts).
• TOUGH ON TOP: While enduring his fair share of racing ups and downs - with the high being a win in Vegas and the low being a 34th-place result at Texas - Hornish has led the series standings for seven-consecutive races to start the 2013 NNS season.
• SURVIVAL IS PARAMOUNT: In his two previous NNS starts at Talladega, Hornish has completed every lap of competition.
• WURTH: The No. 12 Penske Ford Mustang will once again be shorn with red and white Wurth livery this weekend as the team looks to score big at Talladega.
• NEW DRAFTING PARTNER: This will be the first time that Hornish and Joey Logano will race together as teammates. The two drivers met early in the week to share their approach to superspeedway drafting and driving.
• SPOTTER TAB: Tab Boyd is Hornish's NNS spotter and Logano's NSCS spotter. For this race, Boyd will stay with Hornish and Logano will borrow spotter Joey Meier from teammate Brad Keselowski.
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 WURTH FORD
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES TALLADEGA PRESENT?
"Talladega provides excitement for the fans. For the driver, there are more things that are out of your control than are in your control. We need to be cognizant of whom we are racing around and who we are racing with. Having a few drafting partners to work with is critical. Joey and I have discussed our approach to this race, and we are ready to push/draft each other to the front. We will do our best to take care of our Wurth Ford Mustang so that we can be there at the end and hopefully get a shot at the victory."
GREG ERWIN, CREW CHIEF NO. 12 WURTH FORD
AS THE POINTS LEADER HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS RACE?
"At this point in the season, the series standings become more of a factor in terms of how you approach a race. Talladega brings specific challenges due to the inevitability of a multi-car crash. Our Ford Mustang is quite strong on the superspeedways, so we know we have a car that is capable of winning. We are focused on the championship, which means we will have to balance our approach. We'll do our best to position ourselves to finish up front."
Driver - Joey Logano
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-254 Last Raced: New Chassis
Backup Chassis: PRS-237 Last Raced: Backup Chassis in Daytona (never used)
• FINALLY, LOGANO IN THE SEAT: Joey Logano will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series season debut behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Logano will be behind the wheel of the No. 22 for the next several Nationwide Series races, including events at Darlington, Charlotte and Dover.
• DEFENDING WINNER: While the No. 22 Discount Tire team is coming off of their first win of the season last weekend with Brad Keselowski at Richmond, Logano comes into Talladega as the defending race winner. Logano made a daring, last-lap pass to take the win over Kyle Busch coming through the tri-oval to the checkers in what Logano called one of the most exciting wins of his career. In four-career races at Talladega, Logano has finished no worse than third.
• STATS, STATS & MORE STATS: Logano has won 18 races during his NASCAR Nationwide Series career, nine of them coming last season, the third-most races ever one in a single season for a Nationwide Series driver. Logano has also won at least one race in each of his five seasons in the Nationwide Series. Logano has 22-career Nationwide Series poles, which has him in a tie for eighth on the all-time list. His 53 career top-five and 86 career top-10 finishes have come in just 110 series starts.
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO GET BACK IN A NATIONWIDE CAR?
"It's been a long time coming for sure. I really enjoy running in the Nationwide Series and to sit there and watch all of the races up to this point this season has been hard. I'm a racer and I just want to be out there running as much as I can. So I'm pretty excited to finally get a chance to get behind the wheel of the Discount Tire car and check out these Ford Mustangs. I'm pumped for sure."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT THE TEAM IS COMING OFF A WIN LAST WEEKEND IN RICHMOND?
"A win always is good for a team. It will lift the guys' spirits and give them some confidence. It doesn't only do it to a driver, but it does it to a team as well. So it's great to finally get one under their belt. Now both of our NASCAR Nationwide Series teams at Penske Racing have won a race this season and that says something about our program. And it's good for me to come in when the guys' confidence is high. In fact, I joked with Brad last week and told him ‘thanks' for getting a win right before I was getting ready to get in the car so the guys' confidence is as high as it's been all year. It's going to be a fun weekend for sure."