Sam Hornish Jr. Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 Preview

May 20, 2008

Sam Hornish Jr. – No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
Coca-Cola 600
Lowe’s Motor Speedway
May 25, 2008

News and Notes
• Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, raced his way into the NASCAR All-Star Race last weekend after a second-place showing in the Sprint Showdown. Hornish Jr. and the Mobil 1 team overcame a two-lap deficit to finish the million-dollar main event in seventh place.
• Hornish Jr. and the No. 77 Mobil 1 team are currently 36th in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner points standings. The team sits a mere 18 points outside of the 35th position.
• Hornish Jr. is currently second in the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, trailing current leader Regan Smith by two points. He leads third place driver Patrick Carpentier by 32 points.
• Hornish Jr. will pull “double duty” once again this weekend, competing in both the Carquest Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race as well as the Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series event.
• Penske Racing is just one win shy of reaching the milestone of 300 victories since 1966 across a variety of racing series, including NASCAR Cup Series, IndyCar Series, American Le Mans Series and more. 

Upcoming Events
5/23/08: The 2008 Penske Racing Fan Fest will be held at Penske Racing Headquarters in Mooresville, N.C. Hornish Jr. will be on hand to sign autographs from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

5/25/08: Hornish Jr. will be signing autographs at his souvenir trailer at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 25 from 2 to 2:30 p.m.

Chassis Chatter
This primary car for this weekend is a brand new race car.
PRS-563: The backup car for this weekend recently served as the backup for the No. 77 team at Richmond International Raceway, Darlington Raceway and for the All-Star Race.

Sam Hornish Jr. on Lowe’s Motor Speedway
“Our team has a lot of momentum following our performance last weekend in the All-Star Race. After our disappointing race at Darlington, we needed to have a competitive run and a bit of fun before the Coca-Cola 600.

“This weekend we will have to qualify on time. That always adds extra pressure to the team and it changes our strategy a bit. Qualifying will be our focus on Friday. But, with all of the recent tests we’ve done at Lowe’s Motor Speedway along with the opportunity to run the All-Star Race, we have had extra time to prepare the Mobil 1 Dodge for the race on Sunday.

Crew Chief Chris Carrier on Lowe’s Motor Speedway
“The All-Star Race was the shot in the arm for our team that could turn our whole season around. Momentum is a huge tool. It’s the best or worst tool there is in any competitive sport. Now we’ve got some momentum on our side and that’s what we’ve been looking for all year.

“We will have to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 but we tested at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and found some things that have helped us. Hopefully, we will have the strong run we are looking for this Sunday.”

2008 Rookie-of-the-Year Standings

Position   Driver                   Points
1.           Regan Smith          107
2.           Sam Hornish Jr.      105
3.           Dario Franchitti         73
4.           Patrick Carpentier     72
5.           Michael McDowell      56
6.           Jacques Villeneuve     1