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Penske Racing DRIVE4COPD 300 Preview

February 19, 2013

Photo courtesy of Autostock



THE RACE

DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile superspeedway, Daytona Beach, FL)

THE CARS

No.12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang driven by Sam Hornish Jr.
Primary Chassis: PRS-239 Last Race: New Chassis
Backup Chassis: PRS-240 Last Race: New Chassis

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang driven by Brad Keselowski
Primary Chassis PRS-238 Last Raced: New Chassis
Backup Chassis: PRS-237 Last Raced: New Chassis

THE NEWS AND NOTES

CHANGES: After numerous changes in the off-season this is a weekend of many firsts for the No. 12 car team as it is the first race with the Ford Mustang, new Crew Chief Greg Erwin, new Car Chief Bill Henderson and a new pit crew lineup.

BACK IN THE SADDLE: The team welcomes returning partners in 2013 with Alliance Truck Parts on board as primary sponsor this weekend and Wurth, Snap-on and Detroit Genuine Parts will also be featured throughout the season.

• ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?: Hornish says that he is in the best position that he has ever been in terms of tools and experience to compete for a NASCAR championship.

• TALENTED DRIVER ROSTER: Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney will comprise the driver lineup for the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford in 2013. The three drivers have combined for 50 wins in NASCAR's top-three racing series.

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.

DAYTONA DREAMING: Keselowski owns three restrictor-plate wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series competition and is considered one of the best racers in that discipline. However, he is looking for his first victory at Daytona International Speedway this weekend.

THE Q&A

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO RIGHT NOW?
"I'm really looking forward to getting the season started. We are in a pretty good spot heading into 2013. I feel like I am better prepared from a NASCAR driving standpoint than I've ever been previously. Then with the addition of Greg Erwin as crew chief, I think we are ready to go from running top fives to winning races." - Sam Hornish Jr.

WHAT ARE YOUR CHALLENGES? I'm fortunate to be a part of the program here at Penske Racing. I know that success early in the season will help the team build momentum going into the long summer stretch. Sam is certainly up to the challenge and he's hungry to get back to Victory Lane and contend for a title. The biggest challenge for me will be to learn how to communicate with Sam and the team through practice and be able to make the necessary adjustments going into the race to give him what he needs in the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang." - Crew chief Greg Erwin

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR TEAMMATES FOR THIS YEAR?
"When you add someone like Joey Logano to this team, to go along with Ryan Blaney and myself, I really think we are the team to beat for the owner's title. I'm really excited about our potential and the number of wins we can achieve." - Brad Keselowski

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN AT DAYTONA?
"I've been fortunate to accomplish a lot in the Nationwide Series, but I've yet to win a race at Daytona. Obviously it's our flagship venue and a win there would be among the biggest of my career." - Brad Keselowski

HOW HAS THE TRANSITION TO FORD RACING BEEN FOR THE TEAM?
"The level of engagement from the people at Ford has been even better than I could have expected. We are as prepared as we have ever been for Daytona. I think everyone on this team is looking forward to going down there with that Ford horsepower to power us to Victory Lane." - Crew chief Jeremy Bullins