Penske Racing Dollar General 300 Race Preview
October 8, 2013
Dollar General 300
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Friday, October 11, 2013
Thursday - Final Practice 6:00pm ET FoxSports2
Qualifying 4:00pm ET FoxSports2
Friday - Dollar General 300 7:30pm ET ESPN2
Friday - Dollar General 300 7:00 PRN & SiriusXM
No. 12 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford Mustang
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driver: Joey Logano
THE NEWS & NOTES
No. 12 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford
• SECOND AND FOUR: With just four races remaining, Sam Hornish, Jr. holds second-place in the championship standings, just eight markers behind Austin Dillon. Through 29 races, Hornish has held the runner-up position in the points battle on four separate occasions for a total of 12 races. He had held the top-spot for seven consecutive weeks prior to giving it up at Kansas last weekend. He has held the series lead for 15 of 29 races this season.
• BACK IN BLUE: The bright blue Detroit Genuine Parts colors will adorn the No. 12 Penske Ford Mustang Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway for just the second time this season. It ran earlier in the season at Phoenix where Hornish overcame early race adversity to bring home a top-10 finish.
• GRATEFUL BEGETS GREATNESS: Despite a couple of less than ideal finishes in the last two races, Hornish is thankful for the opportunity he and the team have in front of them. They look forward to the challenge ahead of them as they work to close out the season in style.
• SEE SAM SIGN: Hornish will be at the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil merchandise trailer to meet fans and sign autographs on Thursday, October 10, from 5:00-5:30pm ET.
• LOCAL MAN UP FRONT: The lone local crew member on the No. 12 Detroit Genuine Parts Ford is front tire changer, Dennis Terry who hails from nearby Shelby, NC.
THE Q & A
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 DETROIT GENUINE PARTS FORD
WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND HEADING TO CHARLOTTE?
"This race is a nice change of pace for us. Being able to go home to our families after a day at the track is a treat, especially this late in the season. It is also nice to have family and friends come out to the race track. We are ready to make the most of this race and hopefully our Detroit Genuine Parts Ford will be up front at the end of the night. It would be great to have a weekend at home to celebrate a win."
DOES BEING SECOND IN THE STANDINGS CHANGE YOUR APPROACH?
"It doesn't change how we approach the race, though it does add a little bit of urgency since we are getting close to the end of the season. We've been either first or second for all but two races this season. Looking at it, we have had fast cars and a solid team all year long. We are aware of what we need to do, and we know what we are capable of doing. This series is highly competitive right now. I think most of us have known that this championship would come down the wire. We are happy that we are in contention, and we will continue to do our best."
THE NEWS & NOTES
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford
• QUICK SWITCH: For months, Brad Keselowski was on the schedule to run the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang this weekend at Charlotte. But a simple ask to teammate Joey Logano, and the two drivers have swapped races, with Logano now driving at Charlotte and Keselowski taking the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Texas.
• DEFENDING WINNER: Logano is the defending winner of the fall NNS race at Charlotte. Last season, Logano started third and led 62 of the 200 laps en route to his eighth win of the 2012 season. Earlier this year, Logano finished third in the spring race at Charlotte in what was just his third time behind the wheel of the No. 22 Ford Mustang and working with crew chief Jeremy Bullins.
• POINTS GETTING CLOSE: With Keselowski's accident near the end of the NNS race at Kansas due to contact with the No. 54 machine, the Penske Racing team's Owner's Championship points lead fell substantially. The No. 22 team now holds just a five-point advantage over the No. 54 from Joe Gibbs Racing with four races left in the season. Going into Kansas, the team was up by 26 points.
• POLE STREAK CONTINUES: At Dover, Logano earned his first Nationwide Series pole of the season, giving him 23 for his career. It also continued his streak of winning at least one pole in each of the seasons he's raced in the Nationwide Series dating back to 2008.
• MEET LOGANO: Logano will make an appearance at the Concord Mills Discount Tire store (8521 Concord Mills Blvd, Concord, NC) from 10:00-11:15 AM on Thursday, October 10th
THE Q & A
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
THE POINTS LEAD IS CLOSE. ARE YOU FOCUSED ON POINTS RACING AT ALL?
"It's really unfortunate that we lost all of the points that we did last weekend and the way we did. You want to see people beat you by out-running you and not something else happening. But we will just focus on running our races from here on out, trying to win those races and scoring as many points as we can. We will never really think about points racing other than the fact that we won't make any dumb mistakes and take any chances. But the best way you can points race is to win the race and let everything play out."
CAN YOU WIN THE DOLLAR GENERAL 300 AGAIN?
"I think so for sure. Our No. 22 team has been really good on the 1.5-mile tracks this year and Charlotte is what I consider my best track on the entire schedule. I feel like I know what it takes to get around here. And everyone wants to win at Charlotte, because a lot of the crew guys from the shop get to come out and a bunch of the road guys can bring their families. We can win it again. And I think we have as good of shot as anyone to do so."