Penske Racing Alliance Truck Parts 250 Preview
June 11, 2013
Date: June 15, 2013
TV: ABC 2:00pm ET
Radio: MRN and SiriusXM
DRIVER: Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-249 Last Raced: Texas (finished 34th)
Backup Chassis: PRS-245 Last Raced: Backup at Charlotte
• TWO CLOSE TO HOME: Hornish considers Michigan International Speedway (MIS) his home track since it is located just 70 miles from his home town of Defiance, Ohio and the title sponsor of the race is his primary sponsor, Alliance Truck Parts.
• CLOSING THE GAP: After a strong finish at Iowa, Hornish has closed to within striking distance of the series point leader, Regan Smith. He trails Smith by just 23 points.
• FAMILIAR TERRITORY: Having 16 starts across three different series, Hornish is familiar with MIS. He finished sixth in last year's Nationwide Series race. His best Cup and IndyCar series finishes are fifth (2009) and second (2003), respectively.
• HEAVY DUTY IN DETROIT: Racing in the Motor City's back yard means added fun for Hornish as he will spend Thursday morning and afternoon at Ford Headquarters in Dearborn, MI, while spending Thursday evening at an Alliance Truck Parts event in Livonia, MI.
• TWO MILE TRAJECTORY: While the surfaces make them different, California and Michigan share a similar configuration. At the previous two-mile race this season the No. 12 Penske Ford was strong; leading 28 laps en route to a second-place finish.
• CHALKING UP THE NUMBERS: On the heels of a fourth-place finish at Iowa, Hornish has earned one victory, five top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes through the first 12 races of the season.
• FRIENDS, FANS AND FAMILY: Being close to home means that Hornish will have a lot of friends, fans and family to cheer him on during Saturday's Alliance Truck Parts 250. Hornish's father, Sam Sr., is bringing a group of Hornish Bros. Trucking employees to the race as well.
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 ALLIANCE TRUCK PARTS FORD
YOU CONSIDER MICHIGAN YOUR HOME TRACK, HOW DOES THAT MAKE THIS RACE DIFFERENT THAN OTHERS?
"This track does have great memories for me. I recall coming here as a child with my parents and watching the guys I admired racing. Since it is so close, we will have a lot of people from home. Family is important to me, so it is good to have them at the track. Having all those people here with us does make me want to win just that much more so we can share it together and celebrate. It is a pretty busy weekend for us since it is the home race for Ford too, which means we have to balance our time and focus between partners, family and the race track. "
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CHANCES THIS WEEKEND?
"We had a fast Ford Mustang at Fontana earlier this year, and we have been working hard to improve. The surface at Michigan is much different from California, but we have had fast cars all year and I expect that will continue. As long as we make the right calls during the race and execute in the pits we should be good. We always want to finish up front, but this weekend the incentive to win for Alliance Truck Parts is just a little stronger than usual."
DRIVER: Joey Logano
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-252 Last Raced: Richmond (finished 1st)
Backup Chassis: PRS-242 Last Raced: Phoenix (finished 2nd)
• NEVER GOT THE SHOT: Last weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Iowa Speedway was dubbed an "extreme" double duty weekend for Joey Logano as the Sprint Cup Series veteran was attempting to fly back and forth between Pocono Raceway and Iowa to compete in the event. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had her own plans. After getting to practice that car on Friday and qualify it on Saturday, the race was postponed until Sunday due to rain, meaning Logano had to forgo his shot behind the wheel. Logano gave way to Ryan Blaney, who ended up finishing ninth.
• ANOTHER TRACK, AGAIN DEFENDING WINNER: Following his nine-win season last year, Logano once again comes into the weekend as the defending race winner. Logano led 31 of the 125 laps in last year's NNS event at Michigan en route to the victory. Logano has raced at Michigan four times in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finishing in the top-10 on every occasion.
• LAST FOR A FEW WEEKS: The Michigan event will be the last NASCAR Nationwide Series event on the schedule for Logano until Daytona in early July. AJ Allmendinger will race the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford at Road America next week, while Brad Keselowski will be back behind the wheel of the No. 22 at Kentucky Speedway.
• IMPRESSIVE STATS: Even though he's competed in only four NASCAR Nationwide Series events this season, Logano has an impressive average finish of 2.5 in his four races this year. With his four top-five finishes this season, Logano now has 57 top-fives (and 90 top-10s -79 percent) in 114-career starts, meaning he has finished in the top-five in exactly half of all of his Nationwide Series events.
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
YOU ARE AGAIN THE DEFENDING RACE WINNER? DOES THAT PUT ANY ADDITIONAL PRESSURE ON YOU?
"I don't think it does. I don't let it put any pressure on my even if people want to. Last year was last year and this year is this year. We are looking to go out there and win each and every race we enter with the Discount Tire Ford Mustang. I never really ran that well at Michigan before last year and I was able to learn some things, which hopefully will help me out for this season. But I don't think about last year much. I just want to keep doing what we are doing, which is going out there and running strong and running up front each and every week."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR NNS STATS THUS FAR?
"I don't really pay much attention to stats, but when you look at the numbers, it's something that you take a lot of pride in. This is not an easy sport and you really have to work hard at what you do. So to be able to look back and think that you have finished top-five in half of the events you've run is pretty remarkable. That just goes to show the teams I've been able to be with and a lot of that goes back into the hard work all of them have done over the years."