Penske Racing Johnsonville Sausage 200 Race Preview
June 18, 2013
Date: June 22. 2013
TV: ESPN 5:00pm ET
Radio: MRN and SiriusXM 4:30pm ET
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 12 Snap-on Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-236 Last Raced: Bristol (finished 4th)
Backup Chasssis: PRS-219 Last Raced: Test Chassis
• Second by A Nose: After last weekend's race at Michigan, Hornish and the No. 12 Snap-On Ford Mustang team maintained the second position in the series standings as they lead third-place driver, Justin Allgaier, by just one point.
• On the Road Course: Heading into this weekend at Elkhart Lake, Hornish is well positioned to capture his first-ever road course victory in NASCAR competition. He has progressively improved on these circuits over the last two seasons. He captured three top-five finishes on road courses last year with a second-place at Montreal (NNS), a third-place at Watkins Glen (NNS) and a fifth-place at Watkins Glen (NSCS).
• The Second Coming: This weekend the No. 12 Penske Ford will feature Snap-on livery for the second time this season. The paint scheme, which debuted at Charlotte, has been popular with the fans.
• Stopping in on Snap-on: Thursday prior to arriving at Elkhart Lake, Hornish will visit the Snap-on plant at Crystal Lake, Ill. There, he will meet employees and tour the facility. The No. 12 Snap-on Ford Mustang transporter and race car will also be on site during the visit.
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 SNAP-ON FORD
YOUR ROAD COURSE PERFORMANCES HAVE BEEN STEADILY IMPROVING; CAN YOU WIN THIS WEEKEND?
"We have been finishing remarkably well on the road courses our last few times out. I am looking forward to this race as Elkhart Lake is one of those tracks that challenge the driver and the crew. It is a long track, so as a driver you have to be quite good to put together consistent fast laps. The length of the track makes fuel mileage critical as if you miscalculate a pit stop, you are going to run out of fuel and there is no coasting back to the pits there. I've been saying it all year that our Ford Mustangs are fast and we are capable of winning most everywhere we run. This weekend is no different, as long as I do my job and the crew does theirs, we have a strong shot at this one."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT ELKHART LAKE?
"The area is beautiful. The track is fun to drive and it has a lot of history too. After last weekend, I just want to get back in the car and get back at it. We have a lot of work to do, but we are ready and we want to make it a memorable weekend for the Snap-on folks."
Driver: AJ Allmendinger
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Primary Chassis: PRS-235 Last Raced: Bristol (finished 5th)
Backup Chassis: PRS-223 Last Raced: Bristol backup
• Welcome Back: AJ Allmendinger is returning to the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) this weekend after a five-year hiatus. His last start and his best finish (a 12th-place) came in Phoenix of 2008 while driving for Gillett-Evernham Motorsports. Between 2007 and 2008, Allmendinger made a total of eight NNS starts.
• Familiar with Victory Lane: Having two previous starts under his belt at Road America, Allmendinger made a trip to Victory Lane in 2006 in the CART Series. He also made a visit to the facility in the same series in 2004 where he finished 13th. His victory in 2006 marked his last win in an open-wheel series.
• Road Course Connoisseur: Over the last seven years, Allmendinger has competed in nine road course events on the NASCAR circuit. Out of those nine starts, he has completed over 900 miles as well as recorded eight top-15 finishes.
• Back behind the wheel: Allmendinger rejoins Penske Racing for two of the three Road Course events on the NNS schedule for the 2013 season. Competing in five IZOD IndyCar Series events for Team Penske earlier in the in the year, Allmendinger was credited with a fifth-place finish in his first Indianapolis 500.
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS SINCE YOU LAST RACED IN THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RETURNING?
"I am very excited to be back behind the wheel of a NNS car and for none other than Roger Penske. It's been a few years since I've been in the series and I'm eager to return as the field of competition is the best it's ever been. Jeremy Bullins (crew chief) and the guys back in the shop have built an awesome Discount Tire Ford. I was fortunate enough to join the team in VIR (Virginia International Raceway) a few weeks ago for a test and log some laps in a Nationwide car, which was great experience as they handle differently than a Sprint Cup car."
YOUR LAST OPEN-WHEEL VICTORY CAME AT ROAD AMERICAN IN 2006; WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON COMING BACK?
"Road America has always been a good track for me. It is the most challenging of the natural road courses that I've ever experienced, yet still so much fun to drive. Getting my last victory in an open wheel car here means a lot to me and I'm ready to come back. I am hoping we can create the same magic that I had here then and bring home a win for Penske Racing and Discount Tire."