Penske Racing O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Race Preview
October 29, 2013
O'Reilly Auto Parts 300
Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Friday - Practice 2:00pm ET FoxSports1
Saturday - Qualifying 12:00pm ET FoxSports1
- O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 3:30pm ET ESPN2
Saturday - O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 3:00pm ET PRN & SiriusXM
No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driver: Brad Keselowski
THE NEWS & NOTES
No. 12 Wurth Ford
• TEXAS TWO STEP UP: Sam Hornish Jr. and the No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang team enter this weekend holding the second spot in the series standings. He has been either first or second in the standings for all but two races this year. Hornish looks to race his way back to the top this weekend at Texas.
• OPEN WHEEL OPENS DOORS: Having three IZOD IndyCar Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway, Hornish knows the way to the Winner's Circle. In the most recent NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas, he led 29 laps before becoming involved in a lap 141 incident which necessitated lengthy repairs.
• WURTH RED, WHITE AND BLACK: This weekend Hornish and the No. 12 Penske Ford team will be adorned in Wurth regalia. This will be the seventh and final race of the season that Wurth has sponsored the No. 12 Ford Mustang.
• STALKING THE LEADER IN STOCK CARS: Hornish is enjoying his career-best season in NASCAR competition. Throughout the 2013 Nationwide Series season, he has been a looming and credible threat to capture his first NASCAR title.
• PREPARING FOR SUCCESS: After two off weekends for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Hornish spent two days this week testing at Miami-Homestead Speedway in preparation for the season-ending event later this month.
THE Q & A
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 WURTH FORD
HEADING TO TEXAS WITH THREE RACES TO GO, WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK?
"I can't wait to get the Wurth Mustang on the track at Texas. It is another one of the tracks that I truly enjoy, and it is also a place where we run much better than our results indicate. We led laps in the spring race and have run in the top-five at previous races too. I have had a lot of good fortune here in an IndyCar so the place has many enjoyable memories for me. This weekend we just have to put it all together and I think we will. We have the tools, the team and know-how. Now is the time - we have three races to go and we want this one."
GREG ERWIN, CREW CHIEF NO. 12 WURTH FORD
THE TEAM IS SITTING SECOND IN THE POINTS, HOW DO YOU APPROACH TEXAS?
"We go for it. We have to. It is coming down to the end, and we want to win. Sam and I feel as though we know what we need from each other and this Wurth Ford team has been getting the job done. Our Mustangs have the speed to run up front. We've been doing our homework on the intermediate tracks, and we are as well prepared as we can be going into this race. I am looking forward to a thrilling race and a strong finish."
THE NEWS & NOTES
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford
• THREE TO GO FOR THE TITLE: With three races remaining in the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season, the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang sits just four points out of the lead for the NNS owner's championship. This is the one title that Penske Racing has not captured in its illustrious history.
• TIME TO START ANOTHER STREAK: In the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) this year; Keselowski began a streak of seven-consecutive top-two finishes - including five wins - that was broken when he was involved in an incident at Kansas Speedway earlier this month. He will be determined to start another such run to carry the team through the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month.
• CLOSING THE DEAL: Keselowski has finished inside the top five in seven of his last eight NNS start at TMS, however he has yet to visit Victory Lane at the 1.5-mile oval. A win this weekend would be a significant boost to the team's quest for the owner's title.
• 25 AND COUNTING: Keselowski's win at Watkins Glen International in August gives him 25 career NASCAR Nationwide Series victories, which places him in eighth-place on the all-time list.
• MEET KESELOWSKI: Keselowski will make an appearance at the Discount Tire store located at 1330 N. Highway 377 in Roanoke, TX beginning at 2:00 pm CT on Thursday, October 31.
THE Q & A
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET YOUR FIRST VICTORY AT TEXAS THIS WEEKEND?
"Man, we've been so close at Texas over the years but haven't been able to lead that last lap. We've had great speed but it seems like someone else always has just a bit more. This year, though, I think it will be a different story. These Discount Tire Ford Mustangs have a lot of speed everywhere we go. We lost a lot of points a few weeks ago and we need to start making them back up this weekend. Winning the race would go a long way towards doing that."
JEREMY BULLINS, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD CREW CHIEF
WHAT IS THE KEY TO RUNNING WELL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?
"By far, the most important thing to work on when going to Texas is making sure you get over the bumps in Turn 1 without upsetting the car. It is one of the fastest corners we see all year and it doesn't take much to get out of shape. If you can get through that corner and keep the car turning, the rest of the lap should be pretty fast."