Sam Hornish Jr. Infineon Raceway Preview

June 17, 2008

Sam Hornish Jr. – No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger
Toyota/Save Mart 350
Infineon Raceway
June 22, 2008

News and Notes
• Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road course debut this weekend at the 1.99-mile Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.  In three starts at Infineon in the IndyCar Series, Hornish posted one top-five and two top-ten finishes.
• Hornish garnered attention last weekend at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). Pit strategy catapulted Hornish into second place on lap 151, where he battled then-leader Jimmie Johnson for the lead, passing him briefly on lap 162. The move marked Hornish’s first green flag pass for first place in Sprint Cup Series competition. Hornish finished the race in 22nd place.
• Hornish and the No. 77 Mobil 1 team gained two spots in the 2008 NASCAR Cup Series owner point standings following Michigan. The team is 33rd, a mere nine points outside of 30th place.
• For his performance at MIS, Hornish received Rookie of the Race honors. He is currently second in the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, trailing leader Regan Smith by one point.
• Hornish recently completed a two-day test at Infineon in preparation for this weekend’s event. Earlier this season he competed in the Nationwide Series road course race in Mexico City and has also tested at Virginia International Raceway.

Upcoming Events
7/11 - 12:  Hornish is slated to once again pull “double duty,” competing in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series events at Chicagoland Speedway.

Chassis Chatter
PRS-508: The primary car was driven earlier this season by Hornish at Martinsville Speedway. He also tested with this car at Virginia International Raceway earlier this month.
PRS-511: The backup car for this weekend was last raced by Hornish at Bristol Motor Speedway in March 2008.

Sam Hornish Jr. on Infineon Raceway
“I’m excited for my first Sprint Cup Series road course event. I raced in the Nationwide Series race in Mexico City earlier this season and we have done quite a bit of testing to prepare for this weekend.

“It is very important to take care of your front valance on a road course. You have to be careful with all the curves and be aware that getting your wheels off course can cause damage. Brakes are obviously important in these types of races, as is fuel mileage. There is a fine line between aggressive and smooth driving on a road course. You want to advance but you need to remain on the course to avoid damaging the tires and splitter. Basically, the entire race is a test of patience and strategy.”

Crew Chief Chris Carrier on Infineon Raceway
“Racing at Infineon Raceway requires a lot of strategy. Fuel mileage plays a vital role in having a successful race. You have to start planning for fuel mileage long before you get to the track.

“Road course racing involves every aspect of the race car from the brakes, to the transmission, shifter, drive train and gears. It is particularly difficult on the engine. Engine tuning is one of the biggest issues of the week because that affects gas mileage which typically affects the final outcome of the race.”

2008 Rookie-of-the-Year Standings
Position  Driver                  Points
1.          Regan Smith        146
2.          Sam Hornish Jr.    145
3.          Patrick Carpentier 109
4.          Michael McDowell    92
5.          Dario Franchitti       87