Sam Hornish Jr. NASCAR Cup Series Talladega Preview

April 22, 2008

Sam Hornish Jr. – No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
Aaron’s 499
Talladega Superspeedway
April 27, 2008

News and Notes

  • Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, recently captured repeat top-20 finishes in NASCAR competition. He earned a 20th place finish two weeks ago in the NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix International Raceway, and during the Cup Series off-week, Hornish Jr. finished 13th in the Nationwide Series road course event in Mexico City.
  • In the season-opening Daytona 500, Hornish Jr. garnered attention by capturing a 15th place finish in his first-ever restrictor plate race. Running inside the top-10 for the first half of the race, Hornish Jr. was the top-finishing rookie for that event.
  • Hornish Jr. and the No. 77 Mobil 1 team are currently 33rd in the 2008 Cup Series owner points standings. The team sits just 62 points outside of the 30th position.
    Hornish Jr. leads the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings over fellow drivers Regan Smith (-3 pts) and Dario Franchitti (-7 pts).
  • Penske Racing is just two wins shy of reaching the milestone of 300 victories across a variety of racing series, including NASCAR Cup, IndyCar, American Le Mans and more.  

Upcoming Events

5/2/08:  Hornish Jr. and the No. 12 Penske Truck Rental team return to racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the Lipton TEA 250 at Richmond International Raceway.
5/23/08:  The annual Penske Racing Fan Fest will be held at Penske Racing Headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.

Chassis Chatter

PRS-530: This weekend’s race car served as the backup car for the No. 77 Mobil 1 team for the 2008 Daytona 500. The team tested with this chassis in Daytona in January.
PRS-503: The backup car for this weekend was last driven by Hornish Jr. in this year’s Daytona 500. He finished the race in 15th place.

Sam Hornish Jr. on Talladega Superspeedway

“I’m really looking forward to racing at Talladega because of how well we did in the Daytona 500 at the beginning of the season. I’m happy that we are in the top 35 in owner points so we can spend practice running in the pack. That will be a big help as we prepare for Sunday’s race.

“Our goals for race day are the same as they have been for this team all season. We need to race smart, avoid trouble, complete all the laps and hopefully walk away with a top-20 finish. The past few weeks have been good for us and we plan to continue our forward momentum in Talladega.”

Crew Chief Chris Carrier on Talladega Superspeedway

“When I think of Talladega Superspeedway, I think of raw speed especially since the track has been resurfaced. Considering the size of the track, it is truly a marvel because of how smooth the surface is now.

“Since we are in the top 35 in owner points, we will be able to focus on drafting during practice instead of qualifying runs which will be a great advantage to us. Sunday’s race will be a test of patience until the last 100 miles. We had a strong run in Daytona, both as a team and organization, and in the end we hope we are the one getting pushed to the front.”

2008 Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Standings

Position            Driver                      Points
1.                  Sam Hornish Jr.             78
2.                  Regan Smith                 75
3.                  Dario Franchitti              71
4.                  Patrick Carpentier          48
5.                  Michael McDowell           26
6.                  Jacques Villeneuve          1