Penske Racing STP 400 Preview
April 18, 2013
STP 400 at Kansas Speedway
The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion
Driven By Brad Keselowski
• FORMER WINNER: Keselowski picked up his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win as a member of Penske Racing in the 2011 STP 400. In addition to his NSCS win, Keselowski also dominated the field in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kansas in 2011, leading a total of 173 of the 200 laps run.
• MR. KESELOWKSI GOES TO WASHINGTON: On Tuesday afternoon, Keselowski and members of Penske Racing were honored by President Barack Obama for winning the 2012 NSCS championship. The event took place on the south lawn of the White House.
• TEAMMATE, TEAM OWNER: For the second-consecutive week, Keselowski will not only be a teammate to Joey Logano, he will be his team owner. Logano will pilot the No. 19 Ford F-Series in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
BRAD KESELOWSKI, NO. 2 MILLER LITE FORD
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO THE WHITE HOUSE?
"Getting to spend some one-on-one time with the leader of the free world is something I never thought I would do in my life. To have the focus just on Penske Racing was very cool. My goal is to make him tired of seeing my face year after year."
HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR WIN AT KANSAS TWO YEARS AGO, YOUR FIRST CUP WIN AT PENSKE RACING?
"As a racecar driver, it's really hard to try to reflect back on past successes as you are trying to continue to move forward and progress. I've always said that past success, or failure for that matter, doesn't guarantee anything for the future. Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) and I knew we could get it done at this level and that win at Kansas kind of validated that for us. For the reason it will always be a fond memory of mine."
The No. 12 SKF Ford Fusion
Driven By Sam Hornish Jr.
• FIRST GO AROUND: Hornish has 129 NSCS starts with five of those coming at Kansas ,but this will be his first start in the Gen 6 Ford Fusion.
• ADVANTAGE ERWIN: Greg Erwin likes Kansas Speedway and he has two NSCS victories at the venue (2007 & 2010).
• ONE OF TWO: This weekend is the first of two NSCS events that Hornish and the No. 12 SKF Ford are scheduled to compete in this year.
• LEADERS OFTEN WIN: As the leader of the Nationwide Series standings, Hornish relishes the opportunity to show just how strong the No. 12 Penske Ford team is this year.
• PIT CREW SHUFFLE: Due to members of the No. 12 NNS Penske pit crew having other NSCS roles this weekend the pit crew of the No. 22 NNS Penske Ford will pit the No. 12 SKF Ford with the lone exception being Fueler Kellen Mills who is a team regular.
• LOCAL TALENT: Mechanic Ryan Tschudi hails from nearby Creighton, Mo. and Tire Carrier Dylan Dowell is from Fowler, Kan.
SAM HORNISH JR. NO. 12 SKF FORD
WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY GOAL THIS WEEKEND?
"Our initial focus is on qualifying. We have to get our No. 12 SKF Ford in the race. Once we have accomplished that we will go to work on the race set-up. After that we must execute during the race in order to contend and we plan on contending."
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT KANSAS?
"From a racing standpoint, the resurfaced track makes it interesting. On a personal note, my daughter, Addison loves the Wizard of Oz and she thinks we should find her a Dorothy dress, so I have my work cut out for me on and off the track."
CREW CHIEF GREG ERWIN
DOES YOUR APPROACH CHANGE FOR THIS RACE?
"Since we have to qualify for this one, we will place more emphasis on that than we do for a NNS race. Other than that it isn't much different. The pace of the weekend is a bit different and we have more tires, which is nice. I like this track and based on what I've seen from Sam and this team I think we may surprise a few people this weekend."
The No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion Driven By
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• COMEBACK KID: Joey Logano might have a new nickname, that of the "Comeback Kid." Last weekend, Logano had to come from the back of the pack to earn a top-five finish in the Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Then on Sunday, racing in just his second NASCAR Camping World Series Truck race at Rockingham Speedway, Logano came back from a lap down to challenge for the lead on a final green-white-checkered finish, eventually finishing second.
• TRAVELING MAN: This will not be a week for Logano to just kick back and get some rest. The 22-year-old will be on a whirlwind appearance schedule, spending time in New York City and Indianapolis making appearances for sponsors before heading back to North Carolina just in time to leave for Kansas.
• DOUBLE DUTY AGAIN: Coming off of two top-five finishes last weekend, Logano will once again be a double-duty driver this weekend at Kansas, competing in the Truck Series again for BKR and the Cup Series event.
• BACK HOME AGAIN: Shell-Pennzoil crew member Eric "Stretch" Baily will return home this weekend. Baily hails from Olathe, Kan., just miles away from Kansas Speedway. Baily, who is one of the mechanics on the No. 22, is an avid runner and hiker as well.
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 AAA FORD
HOW BIG WAS LAST WEEKEND'S TOP-FIVE FOR YOUR TEAM?
"It was huge for our team. When you are thrown some adversity, you let it define you. You can either fold under the pressure or excel because of it. And that is what we did. We've had a lot of things thrown at us this year and every time, we've been able to come out of it on a positive note. That builds a team's moral and character and it's really brought our team together. That's a pretty awesome feeling. I think in the long run, it will make us even stronger and give us a lot of momentum heading into this long stretch of races."
HOW'S IT FEEL TO BE NINTH IN POINTS?
"It is nice, but you always want to be better and I feel like we could be even better than ninth. But we just have to work on maintaining that position. If we can go out there and have some consistent runs, grab some top-five and top-10s and a few wins along the way, the points will take care of themselves. The biggest thing is to make the most out of bad days, which is what we did in Texas. If we can keep that up, then things will work out just fine."
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