Penske Racing DuPont Pioneer 250 Preview
June 4, 2013
Track: Iowa Speedway
Date: June 8, 2013
TV: ESPN 8:00pm ET
Radio: MRN and SiriusXM
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-251 Last Raced: Richmond (finished 7th)
Backup Chassis: PRS-253 Last Raced: Backup at Dover
• PROGRESS IS PROGRESS: Last weekend at Dover, Hornish recorded his eighth top-10 result of the season and, in doing so, closed the gap to NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) point leader Regan Smith by two points. Hornish is second in the standings just 27 markers out of first.
• FAMILIAR WITH THE POINT: In his three appearances at Iowa Speedway, Hornish has led a total of 69 laps and his best finish, a third-place, came last year during the August race.
• ONE OF TWO TO WIN: Upon the completion of 11 races, which works out to be one third of the 2013 NNS season, Hornish is one of only two NNS regular drivers that have earned a victory. He is also one of only two drivers to hold the top spot in the series standings.
• DOUBLED LAPS LED: Hornish has 512 laps led in his Nationwide Series career and over half of those laps led (263) have come through just the first 11 races of the 2013 season.
• CONSISTENCY IN ADVERSITY: Despite having a couple of less than desirable finishes due to contact (34th at Texas and 25th at Talladega), Hornish has completed 97 percent of the laps this season and he has been running at the finish of every race.
• ENJOYING THE RIDE: As one of the more experienced and accomplished drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Hornish is enjoying himself both on and off the track. As a driver, he feels as though he knows what he needs from the car and his success this season has put a smile on his face. He also enjoys the NNS schedule, as it allows him time with his family and the chance to branch out into other areas such as his role as an analyst on SPEED Center.
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 ALLIANCE TRUCK PARTS FORD
YOU'VE HAD MIXED RESULTS AT IOWA - WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES?
"We've actually run a lot better at Iowa than our results show. We qualify pretty well at this track and our race cars have been fast. We just haven't been able to put it all together yet. The Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustangs have had speed in them this year. I like Iowa because it is a short track that drives like a speedway. It all comes down to executing during the race, so that is what we are going to do."
CREW CHIEF GREG ERWIN
THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME RACING AT IOWA SPEEDWAY - HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THIS WEEKEND?
"We have been looking at the data from the two races we had there last year to see how we want to set-up our Alliance Truck Parts Ford. On one hand, with it being a new track, there are some unknowns, and on the other hand we have a clean slate which offers us a lot of potential. The goal is to ensure that our Penske Mustang is at its best Saturday night when the sun goes down."
Driver: Joey Logano
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-252 Last Raced: Richmond (finished 1st)
Backup Chassis: PRS-242 Last Raced: Phoenix (finished 2nd)
• EXTREME DOUBLE DUTY: It's nothing new when Joey Logano, or his Sprint Cup Series teammate Brad Keselowski, pulls double duty between the Cup and Nationwide Series. But this weekend will be a little different. Logano will be pulling double duty between the Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono and the Nationwide Series race at Iowa. The plan calls for Logano to practice and qualify his Cup car in Pocono, then fly to Iowa to compete in final practice before heading back to Pocono. On Saturday, he will compete in both Sprint Cup Series practices before heading to Iowa for qualifying and the NNS race.
• BACK IN VICTORY LANE: Logano won his first Nationwide Series race of the season last weekend at Dover. The win marked several significant accomplishments for Logano. First, it was his 19th-career Nationwide Series win, good enough for 16th all-time. It also extended his streak of six-straight years with at least one NNS race victory. The win was his first for team owner Roger Penske, first for Ford and the 199th Nationwide Series win for Ford Racing. It was also Logano's third-straight win at the "Monster Mile," matching his accomplishment set at Kentucky Speedway, when he won at that track three-straight times.
• OWNER'S POINTS: The victory in Dover allowed Logano to bring the No. 22 Discount Tire team within eight points of second-place in the Nationwide Series owner's point standings.
• FORMER WINNER: Even though Logano has never raced in the Nationwide Series at Iowa Speedway, he is a former winner at the track. He won the K&N Pro Series East vs. West race at Iowa in 2007, beating Kevin Harvick for the win.
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING THE RACE IN IOWA?
"I'm a racer and I love to race. I always tell people that. Any opportunity that I get to race I'm going to take that chance and do it. It's just what I love to do. I know originally Ryan Blaney was supposed to run the event, but since he is running full-time in the Truck Series this year for Brad, he's got a race that night. So I have the opportunity to do it and I'm going to make the most of it. We've have a good start of the season with me and the No. 22 guys with four top-fives and a win. So hopefully, we can just continue to keep that streak going in Iowa."
HOW TOUGH WILL THE WEEKEND DOUBLE DUTY BE?
"It's going to be tough for sure, but we have a plan that will help me get as much rest as possible. I'll get a chance to rest and debrief and change on the plane rides between Pocono and Iowa each night. But when I'm in Pocono, I'm going to be focused on my Shell-Pennzoil Ford. When I'm in Iowa, I'm going to be focused on my Discount Tire Ford. It will all work out just fine. The ultimate goal is to go out there and win both races this weekend and I think we will have a shot at it for sure."