Penske Racing ToyotaCare 250 Preview
April 23, 2013
Date: Friday, April 26
TV Schedule: Friday 7:30pm ET on ESPNEWS
Radio Broadcast: Live on MRN at 7:30pm ET
Sam Hornish Jr.
The No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS - 251 Last Raced: New Chassis
Backup Chassis: PRS - 219 Last Raced: Last year's back-up (never raced)
• HANGING TOUGH: Hornish has been on top of the standings through the first six races of the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) schedule; leading by as little as zero (tied with Allgaier) going into Las Vegas, and by as much as 28 points prior to Fontana. He now has a two point advantage over second-place competitor Regan Smith.
• LOVE FOR VIRGINIA: While Hornish will often say he tries to avoid having a favorite track - Richmond is a track that he truly enjoys.
• NOW IS THE TIME: The team is focused on continuing to improve its performance on the track and in the pits as they work towards securing another NNS title for Penske Racing.
• READY FOR ANOTHER: As a two-time IndyCar winner at RIR (2002 & 2006) Hornish knows what it takes to capture victory at the grueling short-track and he is ready for the challenge.
• NATIVE TALENT: Front tire carrier, Ben Fetzer is from nearby Fredericksburg, Va.
WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES RACING AT RICHMOND SO APPEALING?
"I've always enjoyed racing at Richmond, and we've had some good runs there. It is a tough track that's challenging because it's a fast short-track, which means you have to battle the track and the people you are racing. We have to work hard to find a balance of speed and handling which often means compromising one end of the track for the other, which makes a bit more work for the driver. This track creates exciting racing and makes for a great show. We expect our Alliance Truck Parts Ford to be strong and look forward to giving it our best." - Sam Hornish Jr.
WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND HEADING TO RICHMOND?
"Sam has been talking about this race for over a month which has us all looking forward to it. NASCAR has given us extra track time and extra tires at Richmond this time around which ought to play in our favor. The racing, while demanding for the driver and pit-crew, is always great for fans and competitors alike. Our main focus Friday night is to execute and finish well, in order to garner more valuable points towards the championship." - Crew chief Greg Erwin
The No. 22 SKF/Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS -252 Last Raced: New Chassis
Backup Chassis: PRS -242 Last Raced: Raced at Phoenix (Finished second)
• FORMER WINNER: In one of his most-dominating NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) wins, Keselowski led 189 of 252 laps on the way to his eighth career victory - and his second as a Penske Racing driver - in the 2010 edition of this race. The laps led total is the most laps Keselowski has led in a race in his NNS career.
• HANDING OVER THE REINS: This weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway will be Keselowski's final NNS event until the June 28th event at Kentucky Speedway. Joey Logano - a winner of 18 career NNS races - will make his debut in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway
• 20 AND COUNTING: Keselowski's 20 career NASCAR Nationwide Series victories place him tied with Greg Biffle for 14th-place on the all-time wins list.
WHY DO YOU ENJOY RACING AT RICHMOND?
"I feel as though I have a good understanding of what I need to run well at Richmond and that makes it easy to communicate that to my crew chief and team. As a result, we've been able to put together some good finishes at Richmond. To me, it's the ultimate short track. There is a reason that most drivers put it right at the top of their list of favorite tracks. It's night racing, under the lights, which is similar to what most of us grew up doing. You can run side-by-side and rub fenders and do all of the things that the fans want to see. It's just an exciting racetrack and I feel like we can put the Discount Tire Ford Mustang in Victory Lane this weekend." - Brad Keselowski
HOW MUCH HAVE YOU FOCUSED ON THIS WEEKEND'S RACE?
"We have put a lot of effort into improving our performance at Richmond since we left there last year. The performance of this team there last year is not indicative of what we can do. NASCAR has given us an extra practice to get the Discount Tire Ford dialed in, which we will take advantage of. We need a win and I'm confident that Brad can give it to us on Friday night." - Crew chief Jeremy Bullins