Penske Racing Dollar General 300 Race Preview
September 10, 2013
Dollar General 300 presented by Coca-Cola
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Practice 2:30pm ET FoxSports1
Practice 6:30pm ET FoxSports2
Qualifying 12:00pm ET FoxSports2
Dollar General 300 3:30pm ET ESPN2
Race 3:00pm MRN & SiriusXM
No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang
Driver: Sam Hornish Jr.
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang
Driver: Joey Logano
THE NEWS & NOTES
No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang
• GOOD GETS BETTER: In his last four NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts at Chicagoland Speedway, Hornish has a 3.8-average starting position and a 5.2-average finish. At his most recent Chicago start, Hornish started first and led 53 laps on his way to a second-place finish.
• OTHER FORMULA FOR SUCCESS: Chicagoland was an extraordinary track for Hornish during his open-wheel racing days. In his seven starts at the venue he had an average start of 4.0 and his average finish was 2.7; including two victories (2002 & 2003) and six top-three finishes.
• CONSISTENCY LEADS THE WAY: Through 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts this season, Hornish has held the top-spot in the series standings for 12 races. As the season winds down, Hornish's consistency will factor in his continued success. He currently has a series leading 9.5 average finish - the best among series regulars.
• BACK IN RED, WHITE AND BLACK: This weekend Hornish and the No. 12 Penske Ford team will be adorned in Wurth regalia. It will be the sixth race of the season for the No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang as they look to once again add to their lead in the championship standings.
• RISING STOCK IN STOCK CARS: Hornish is enjoying his best-ever season in NASCAR competition. The decorated veteran driver, backed by a strong team and savvy crew chief, has demonstrated the speed and consistency necessary to earn top finishes. Throughout the 2013 Nationwide Series season he has been a looming and credible threat to capture his first-ever NASCAR title.
• FLAT OUT OFF TRACK: As a guy that has the need for speed, Hornish has been looking into a way to go faster. His father, Sam Sr., recently purchased a car to run at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Hornish says he has driven 248 mph in an IndyCar and he thinks that 400 mph is a goal of his in the future.
THE Q & A
SAM HORNISH JR. NO. 12 WURTH FORD
YOU WERE STRONG AT THE LAST CHICAGO RACE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS FOR THIS WEEKEND?
"We did have fast Ford Mustang at Chicago. We were leading with just a few laps to go and then we had a yellow for a blown engine. Joey (Logano) got me on the restart and we had to settle for second place. That was a tough one for sure, after leading quite a few laps and then ending up second. Looking to this weekend, we are in a great spot. This Wurth Ford crew has been giving me fast cars and great pit stops. As long as we continue building on what we have been doing, we will be in great shape at the end of the race."
GREG ERWIN, CREW CHIEF NO. 12 WURTH FORD
THE TEAM IS LEADING THE POINTS AND HEADING TO THE FIRST OF A STRING OF INTERMEDIATE TRACKS, WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK?
"This team is hitting its stride. We are bringing the same Ford Mustang that we ran here the last time. We earned the pole, led laps and finished second at the summer race with this car. Our Wurth Ford has been fast on these intermediate tracks and the Penske Racing crew has been executing well. While we still have room to improve, overall our outlook is one of determined optimism."
THE NEWS & NOTES
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford
• DOUBLE WINNER IN THE WINDY CITY: Joey Logano is coming into the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway as the driver to beat. That's because Logano comes into the event at the most recent NASCAR Nationwide Series winner at Chicagoland Speedway. Logano bested teammate Sam Hornish Jr. back in July during the off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series. In five-career starts at the 1.5-mile oval, Logano has two wins, three top-five and four top-10 finishes.
• INTERMEDIATE TRACKS RANK HIGH WITH JL: Of Logano's 20-career NASCAR Nationwide Series wins, nine of them have come on 1.5-mile ovals, or the so-called "intermediate" tracks of the schedule. In addition to his two wins at Chicagoland, Logano has also won races at Kentucky (three), Kansas (two), Charlotte (one) and Nashville (one).
• 15TH ALL TIME: Logano's win at Chicagoland Speedway in July was his 20th-career Nationwide Series triumph. Those 20 wins put him in a tie for 15th on the all-time list with former series champion Greg Biffle. With 121 starts, Logano has averaged a NNS win every six starts over the course of his career.
• STATS, STATS & STATS: Stats have always been impressive when looking at the course of Logano's Nationwide Series career. In 121 starts, Logano has 59-career top-five finishes (49-percent) and 94-career top-10 finishes (78-percent). He also has 22-career poles, averaging one pole every six starts. He has won at least one NNS race every year he's competed in the series, dating back six seasons.
• FIVE RACES EVER: While the wins, poles, top-five and top-10 stats are all impressive for Logano, maybe the most impressive stat is his ability to finish. In 121-career NNS starts, Logano has been running at the finish of the event in all but five races in his entire career. The last time Logano failed to finish a Nationwide Series event was when he was involved in an accident in June of 2011 at New Hampshire.
THE Q & A
JOEY LOGANO, NO. 22 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD
WHY HAVE YOU EXCELLED AT THE 1.5-MILE TRACKS OVER THE YEARS IN YOUR NNS CAREER?
"I don't think there is any particular reason. That type of track just really suits my driving style. I like fast, wide tracks where you and run at the top or at the bottom. That's why I've done well at places like Michigan and California as well. But I don't think there is anything that stands out. I've just always been fortunate enough to have fast cars on those tracks. I don't think I'm better there than I am on other tracks. I've just had good runs and a lot of success there."
AS WE GET TOWARDS THE END OF THE SEASON, HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SEASON SO FAR?
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"I think it's been good. This is the fewest Nationwide Series I've raced up to this point in a year in my career and that's ok, because we've been having a lot of success on the Cup side, but it's been fun. I didn't get into the car until April and it only took a couple of races to win our first event together as a team. It's been awesome getting to learn the team and working with Jeremy (Bullins). This is a great team and I think I've been able to bring a lot to the team."
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