Penske Racing Camping World RV Sales 500 Race Preview
October 15, 2013
Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile superspeedway, Talladega, Ala.)
Sunday, October 20, 2:00pm ET
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion - Driver: Brad Keselowski
No. 12 SKF Ford Fusion - Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion - Driver: Joey Logano
• 2:30 pm ET, Practice (FS1)
• 4:00 pm ET, Final Practice (FS1)
• 12:00 pm ET, Qualifying (FS2)
• 2:00 pm ET, Camping World RV Sales 500 (ESPN)
• 2:00 pm ET, Camping World RV Sales 500 (MRN & SiriusXM)
THE NEWS & NOTES
No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
• BIG TIME WIN: Brad Keselowski's win in last weekend's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the first of the year for the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) champion. The No. 2 entry has now won at least one race in 21 of the 23 seasons it has been sponsored by MillerCoors. Keselowski has won at least one race in four of the last five NSCS seasons.
• MULTI WINNER: Talladega Superspeedway is one of two NSCS venues where Brad Keselowski has multiple wins. He picked up his first career series win at the mammoth oval in the 2009. He followed that up with a second victory last season. Keselowski also captured his first NASCAR win with Penske Racing in the April 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Talladega. He is one of 11 drivers to claim a victory at the track in both series.
• HOMESTEAD VICTORY TOUR: On Tuesday afternoon, Keselowski will make a trip to Zoo Miami as part of the Homestead Victory Tour event to preview the upcoming Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo with notable wildlife expert and communications director for Zoo Miami, Ron Magill.
• LOCAL TIES: Two pit crew members on the Miller Lite Ford hail from the state of Alabama. Hauler driver Mike Williams is from Blue Springs while front tire carrier Jeremy Ogles is from Birmingham.
HAVE A BEER WITH BRAD: Keselowski will make an appearance at Montana's Saloon and Grill, located at 75023 Alabama Highway 77 in Lincoln, AL on Friday night beginning at 7 pm CT.
No. 12 SKF Ford Fusion
• FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME: Hornish has 130 NSCS starts with six of those coming at Talladega, but this will be his first restrictor plate race in the Gen Six Ford Fusion.
• SKF DOES IT AGAIN: This is also the second time this season that SKF is featured as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. They also appeared earlier this year at Kansas where Hornish qualified fourth and finished 37th after his raced ended early when a competitor spun in front of him and the 12 car suffered contact.
• BEING ON DURING THE OFF WEEKEND: As a strong contender for the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) title, Hornish relishes the opportunity to showcase the strength of the No. 12 Penske Ford team. This weekend the team will take advantage of the the break from NNS competition to do some Cup racing at Talladega.
• PIT CREW SPECIAL TEAM: Due to members of the No. 12 NNS Penske pit crew having other NSCS roles this weekend, the No. 12 SKF pit crew will be a collection of various Penske Racing crewman.
• IN MEMORY: The No. 12 SKF Ford Fusion will feature a decal to honor the recent passing of SKF President of Vehicle Service Market North America, Michael "Mike" McGrath, who passed away October 11 at the age of 54.
• LOCAL TALENT: The sole Alabama native on the team, engineer Brian Campe is from Madison, AL.
No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion
• REDEMPTION: Talladega Superspeedway, known for its pack racing, has been both good and bad for Joey Logano over the years. In his nine-career Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega, Logano has recorded two top-five and four top-10 finishes in his first five races at the track. Back in the spring, Logano was looking to get back on track at Talladega. He was running third before a lengthy rain delay stopped the race for several hours. During the rain delay, a small hole in the radiator allowed all the water to leak out, unbeknownst to the team. Once the race restarted, Logano blew an engine while running third, which resulted in a 35th-place finish.
• RESTRICTOR-PLATE RESULTS: In three points-paying restrictor-plate races this season, Logano's results aren't an accurate reflection of his ability. In the season-opening Daytona 500, Logano was running eighth with just a handful of laps to go before getting shuffled out in the draft. At the first Talladega race, Logano was third before his engine let go. And in the summer event at Daytona, Logano was running sixth before a right-front tire failure caused him to slam into the wall.
• GREG BIFFLE FOUNDATION: On Monday, Logano participated in the Fourth Annual Greg Biffle Foundation Mountain Retreat, a favorite event of one of Logano's fellow racers. The event, which grants monies to shelters and rescue groups who assist with animal welfare nationwide, included driving UTV's, clay pigeon shooting and archery.
• RACER'S DREAM GARAGE CALENDAR: Logano recently announced a new project to help raise money for his Joey Logano Foundation. The 2014 Racer's Dream Garage presented by Shell V-Power calendar will show off drivers like Logano, Brad Keselowski, Travis Pastrana, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Helio Castroneves and several others along with their personal street vehicles. Several fans' cars are also featured as part of the Shell Ultimate Enthusiast contest. Fans can preorder the calendar at www.joeyloganofoundation.org.
THE Q & A
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
WHAT DID IT MEAN TO YOU TO GET YOUR FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON LAST WEEKEND AT CHARLOTTE?
"No one on this Miller Lite Ford team wavered in their confidence that we would win again. The way we won, with the adversity we had to endure, speaks a lot to that point. I will say it is a little bit of a relief to get a win on the board, though. At the end of the day you can talk all you want about having cars that were good enough to win - which we've had all year long - but like any sport it's about winning. To do it at Charlotte, a place where everyone wants to win, makes it that much more special because of all the friends and family that were there for everyone on the team. We're obviously not in the Chase but I will enjoy playing the spoiler role. If we had executed a little better earlier in the year we could've been in the Chase, but we can't focus on that now. We are moving forward and I think we can win a couple more of these before the end of the year."
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO RACING AT TALLADEGA?
"You really have to pay attention to how the race unfolds at Talladega. There are times when you need to be patient. There are times when you need to keep your head about you and race smart. But you are going to have to be aggressive at the end. Those are three elements of restrictor-plate racing that I work on throughout the race."
SAM HORNISH JR. NO. 12 SKF FORD
WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY GOAL THIS WEEKEND?
"We are excited to be running the SKF Ford this weekend. This is our second Cup race this season and what a great place to race. Talladega is always full of surprises and we are going to do our best to surprise people this Sunday. This will be my first restrictor plate race in the Gen Six car so I will be learning as I go. This SKF Ford team was strong at our first outing at Kansas and I expect that we will be just as good this weekend. It is nice to be able to just go out there and race for the win."
CREW CHIEF GREG ERWIN
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR THIS RACE?
"We have an idea of how we will approach this weekend in terms of practice and qualifying. We really can't say what our race will look like though since we haven't ran a restrictor plate race in this new Generation Six SKF Ford. Since this is just our second race of the season, and we are the third Penske Racing entry, we are not sure who we will be able to work with in terms of drafting partners. We know our teammates will be there for us but we will just have to take a wait and see approach where the race is concerned."
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD
THOUGH YOU HAVEN'T HAD THE RESTRICTOR-PLATE RESULTS, CAN YOU WIN AT TALLADEGA THIS WEEKEND?
"Our restrictor-plate results haven't really shown how well we have been there this year. From the beginning of the year, I think we have been strong. We ran really well in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona and backed that up at Daytona until we got shuffled out of the draft with just a couple of laps to go. We were good at the first Talladega race before we lost an engine and were looking good at Daytona before our tire issue. We've been strong. A top 10 car there for sure. We just need to finish the race this weekend. We are good enough to win for sure."
DO YOU LIKE THE PACK RACING OR THE TANDEM RACING?
"It doesn't really matter, because we have to race what we are given. There are pros and cons to both, but I've always been pretty good at the tandem racing. I think it gives you a lot of choices and changes the strategy a lot. But in the same sense, you are pretty much at the mercy of someone else. In pack racing, you can make bigger moves, but one mistake by someone else can take out a bunch of cars all at once. But you race what you race. I feel like I've improved as a restrictor-plate racer over the years since I started."