AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 7, 2008) – Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Penske Racing Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, will line up in the 33rd starting position for the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday.
With just two races remaining in the hotly contested 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle, Hornish leads fellow contender Regan Smith by four points.
“The big thing for this Mobil 1 team is to go out there and try to finish these last two races and get top-20 finishes because we’ve been so close the last three weeks,” Hornish said in a press conference on Friday. “I want to capitalize on the momentum we have going and get the finishes out of the car that the team deserves.”
In qualifying on Friday afternoon, Hornish posted a fast lap time of 27.193 seconds at a speed of 182.387 miles per hour securing the Mobil 1 team the 33rd starting position for the 312-mile race.
“We have a much better race car than that run,” Hornish said. “Where other cars were picking up several tenths, we didn’t pick up that much. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get things figured out tomorrow in practice. The Mobil 1 Dodge was really good today in race trim so I think we’ll do well here on Sunday.”
Coverage of the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway will air live on the ABC television network on Sunday, November 9 beginning at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on MRN at 2:45 p.m. ET.
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
Pole: Jimmie Johnson
Penske Racing Teammates:
3. Kurt Busch
6. Ryan Newman