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Penske Racing Zippo 200 Race Preview

August 6, 2013

Photo courtesy of Autostock
THE RACE

Zippo 200
Watkins Glen International
(1.99 mile road course, Watkins Glen, NY)
Saturday, August 10, 2013


THE CARS

No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Ford Mustang
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.

No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang
Driver: Brad Keselowski

No. 48 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driver: Joey Logano

THE NEWS AND NOTES

No. 12 Penske Truck Rental Ford Mustang

• WELL QUALIFIED AT THE GLEN: At last year's NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Watkins Glen Hornish earned his first-ever NASCAR pole. He led 15 laps as he went on to score a top-three finish.
• THE ROAD WELL TRAVELED: Over the last two seasons in NNS competition Hornish has an average finish of 3.75 at road-course events.
• TIGHT POINTS RACE TIED: After last weekend's strong second-place finish, Hornish is just 14 points out of first in the series standings. He and Regan Smith both have 684 points with Smith holding a one win advantage over Hornish.
• #ONEWAY4PVA: Hornish spent some time with a couple of veterans at the Penske Racing facility on Tuesday in support of the OneWay4PVA Penske Truck Rental promotion. The bright yellow and blue Penske Truck Rental Ford will race at The Glen this Saturday.
• THREE FOR THE ROAD: This weekend Penske Racing has three Ford Mustangs entered in the Zippo 200.

THE Q & A

SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL FORD
THE ROAD-COURSES HAVE BEEN GOOD TO YOU, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS RACE?

"We are coming of a solid performance last weekend at Iowa and we ran very well last year at The Glen. So we are looking forward this race. I do enjoy the road course races as I feel like they suit my driving style. It is a challenge to set the car up as best as possible and then the driver has to carry it through the tough spots, and I like that. It is also a beautiful area and the fans are great too. The Penske Truck Rental Ford team is ready for this one."

GREG ERWIN, CREW CHIEF, NO 12 PENSKE TRUCK RENTAL FORD
THE TEAM IS COMING OFF A STRONG FINISH, HOW DOES THAT TRANSLATE TO THIS WEEKEND?

"Our road-course Ford Mustangs have been strong this year, and our driver knows his way around The Glen. We have been fine tuning our driver-crew chief communications which has been paying dividends. Our Penske pit-crew has been solid and we feel as though we are poised to turn it up over the second half of the season. We plan on building on last weekend's momentum and bringing home another strong finish."

THE NEWS AND NOTES

No. 22 Hertz Ford Mustang

• HERTZ COLORS FOR BK: For the first time this season, Brad Keselowski will pilot a No. 22 Ford Mustang with sponsorship from Hertz. Penske Racing teammate, Joey Logano, has already driven Hertz to Victory Lane twice this season.
• OWNER POINTS BATTLE: By grabbing the win at Iowa Speedway last weekend, Keselowski helped the No. 22 team close to within 33 points of the lead in the Nationwide Series owner points standings.
• CLOSE TO A WIN: In four career series starts at Watkins Glen, Keselowski has never finished outside the top 10. While he is still searching for his first win he is coming off a second-place finish at the road course in 2012.
• 23 AND COUNTING: Keselowski's win at Iowa gives him 23 career NASCAR Nationwide Series victories, which ties him with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for ninth-place on the all-time list.

THE Q & A

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 22 HERTZ FORD
DO YOU FEEL ANY PRESSURE AFTER WHAT JOEY LOGANO HAS DONE IN THE HERTZ FORD MUSTANG?

"It's funny that Joey has been carrying the banner for Hertz this year and I've been doing my winning with Discount Tire. Now we get to swap and see who can get the win for the other one. We're lucky that we have two great sponsors on this car and we both get a chance to get them to Victory Lane. But Joey has probably more pressure on him because he has that No. 48 on the side of his car this weekend! My spotter is going to have to keep reminding me that it's Joey in the No. 48."

YOUR WIN LAST WEEKEND AT IOWA PLACED YOU TIED FOR NINTH ON THE ALL-TIME WINS LIST WITH DALE EARNHARDT, JR. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO PASS ALL OF THESE GREAT NAMES?
"It's really an amazing feeling to see your name above some of these great names in the history of our sport. After we won Kentucky earlier this year they told me that I'd just broken a tie with Dale Earnhardt and Harry Gant. I almost couldn't believe that. Then you start looking at the fact that you could possibly pass Tommy Houston and Jack Ingram. These are guys that helped build the Nationwide Series and I never want their accomplishments to be forgotten."

THE NEWS AND NOTES

No. 48 Discount Tire Ford Mustang

• A NEW TEAM, A NEW NUMBER: Joey Logano will once again run double-duty this weekend at Watkins Glen International. But it won't be for his regular No. 22 team. Penske Racing will debut a new, third NASCAR Nationwide Series team this weekend, the No. 48 Discount Tire team.
• GORDON, BUSKIRK TO LEAD: Todd Gordon, Logano's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief, and Kevin Buskirk, the current test team manager for Penske Racing, will share the lead of the No. 48 team this weekend. Logano's Shell-Pennzoil over-the-wall team will pit the car, while former driver Mark Green will spot for Logano. Green spotted for Logano for his victory earlier this year at Chicagoland Speedway.
• WATKINS GLEN HISTORY: Logano has raced in the NASCAR Nationwide Series five times at Watkins Glen and has earned two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Logano has finishes of second and third and was on his way to another top-five in one race when he was wrecked with just a few laps to go.
• THE CAR: Logano will be racing chassis PRS-223, which has served as the backup at the other road course races this year for the No. 22 team, as well as a test car.

THE Q & A

JOEY LOGANO, NO. 48 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
WHAT WAS BEHIND THE DECISION TO RUN A THIRD TEAM AT WATKINS GLEN?

"Well road courses are one of those places that the more on-track time you have, the better it's going to be for you. A lot of time when you run double-duty, there are a few things you can learn from Saturday to take to Sunday. But at a road course, it's all about track time and just getting more practice running on the road course. I know both me and Brad (Keselowski) wanted to run that race as it would be just a little extra help for Sunday, so Roger (Penske) was good enough to say ‘let's just run three teams.' So it's a good opportunity and should be a lot of fun."

IS THERE ANY REASON THE TEAM CHOSE THE NO. 48 FOR THE THIRD TEAM?
"No, I don't think there was anything behind it. When you have a third car, you have to pick from the available numbers that are left by NASCAR and we chose the No. 48. It will be interesting to drive that number for obvious reasons. We are already having fun with it though. I told Todd (Gordon, crew chief) that I'm going to call him Chad all weekend and he can call me Jimmie all weekend. I have also said I'm going to have to answer to some people if I don't win in the No. 48."