Penske Racing O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Preview
April 9, 2013
O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
(1.5 mile speedway, Fort Worth, Texas)
Friday, April 12, 8:30 pm ET
5:00pm ET Nationwide Qualifying (ESPN2)
8:00pm ET O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 (ESPN2)
Live on PRN, 8:30pm ET
The No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang - Sam Hornish Jr.
Primary Chassis PRS - 249
Last Raced New Chassis
Backup Chassis: PRS - 245
Last Raced: New Chassis
• LEADING MAN: Having led the series standings through the first five events, Hornish is ready to get to work at Texas. Having tasted victory two-times at the venue in IZOD IndyCar Series competition; he is ready to pull the trigger this Friday night in Victory Circle.
• MILE AND A HALF MAGIC: This season the No. 12 Penske Ford has been perfect on 1.5 mile tracks. The driver and crew chief have placed much emphasis on these tracks, and they expect continued success at Texas.
• QUIET CONFIDENCE: While not brand new to winning and running up front - it has been a while for Hornish. This season has brought a renewed spring to the step of one of the most accomplished drivers in the Nationwide Series. • AT HOME ON THE RANGE: Prior to the last NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Texas Motor Speedway, Keselowski had finished inside the top-five in six-consecutive races at the 1.5-mile oval. He will be looking for his first win there on Friday night.
YOU ARE OFF TO A GREAT START, HOW DO YOU FEEL?
"Our No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford has been a blast to drive. We've had competitive Mustangs everywhere so far this year. The pit crew has been solid too. It feels great to know that we have a legitimate shot at winning every weekend. We are having a good time, and I am ready to race." - Sam Hornish Jr.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TEXAS?
"I love the track at Texas, and our intermediate track program is in a good place right now. We feel confident that our Ford Mustang will have good speed. We just need to work on being sure the car is fast late in the race. We had a strong car at Las Vegas and just missed it at Fontana so this weekend we know what we have to do. Overall, we believe that we will only continue to improve on the intermediate tracks and the Alliance Truck Parts car ought to be strong Friday night." - Crew chief Greg Erwin
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang - Brad Keselowski
Primary Chassis PRS -250
Last Raced New Chassis
Backup Chassis: PRS -246
Last Raced: New Chassis (Fontana backup but not used)
• AT HOME ON THE RANGE: Prior to the last NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Texas Motor Speedway, Keselowski had finished inside the top-five in six-consecutive races at the 1.5-mile oval. He will be looking for his first win there on Friday night.
• THE SPEED IS THERE: Keselowski has led laps in each of his NNS starts this season. Unfortunately he has not found the good fortune necessary to put together the consistency he has been known for in this 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.
• MAKING AN APPEARANCE: Keselowski will make an appearance at the Discount Tire store located at 2505 West Interstate 20 in Grand Prairie, Texas at 3 pm on Wednesday, April 10.
WHAT IS A LAP AT TEXAS LIKE IN A NATIONWIDE SERIES CAR?
"Texas is an extremely fast track in a Nationwide Series car. It actually feels faster than a Cup car. You enter Turn 1 at around 190-195 mph, depending on whether you are in race trim or qualifying trim. If your car is handling the way it needs to, you'll go through that corner without lifting, or barely lifting, out of the throttle. You're on the edge the entire lap and if you don't hit your marks you can easily end up in the wall." - Brad Keselowski
WHAT MEMORIES DO YOU HAVE OF CLINCHING YOUR 2010 NATIONWIDE SERIES TITLE AT TEXAS?
"The biggest thing I remember is after the race everyone putting on their cowboy hats. That was a cool photo. Honestly it was the faces of Roger (Penske) and Walt (Czarnecki), who had been around motorsports for years without a NASCAR title. That was a big moment in the history of our company. It gave us a lot of confidence - Paul Wolfe and I - that we could race with anyone." - Brad Keselowski
WHAT IS THE KEY TO RUNNING WELL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY?
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"By far, the most important thing to work on when going to Texas is making sure you get over the bumps in Turn 1 without upsetting the car. It is one of the fastest corners we see all year and it doesn't take much to get out of shape. If you can get through that corner and keep the car turning, the rest of the lap should be pretty fast." - Crew chief Jeremy Bullins
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