Sam Hornish Jr. NSCS Auto Club Speedway Preview

August 26, 2008

Sam Hornish Jr. - No. 77 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Charger
Pepsi 500
Auto Club Speedway
August 31, 2008

News and Notes
• Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Charger, will make his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. this Sunday night in the Pepsi 500. Earlier this season, Hornish started seventh and finished 43rd after an accident at the two-mile D-shaped oval.
• Hornish has a total of four IndyCar Series starts at California Speedway with an impressive record of two wins (2002, 2003) and four top-five finishes.
• Hornish is currently in second place in the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. He trails leader Regan Smith by two points and leads third place driver Patrick Carpentier by nine points.
• Hornish and the No. 77 team are currently 35th in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner points standings following the race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Upcoming Events
Hornish will be on hand to sign autographs at his souvenir trailer on Sunday from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m.
10/30/08: Hornish will host the fourth annual Sam Hornish Jr. Celebrity Bowling Tournament during the NASCAR Sprint Cup race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Over the past three years, the tournament has raised $307,000 to benefit the Texas chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.

Chassis Chatter
The primary car for the Penske Truck Rental team this weekend is a brand new race car.
PRS-571: The backup race car for this weekend was the primary car for Hornish earlier this season at the first event at Pocono Raceway (June 8) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 27).

Sam Hornish Jr. on Auto Club Speedway
“I’ve definitely had a lot of success at Auto Club Speedway in the IndyCar Series. I have two wins there and have always finished well there in the Indy cars.

“The track in Fontana is a very similar to Michigan International Speedway (MIS). It’s like being at home a little bit since I was raised around MIS. Although we’ve finished 22nd at Michigan twice this year in the Sprint Cup car, we have raced much better than that. Since both tracks are so similar, I am expecting this to be a good weekend for myself and the Penske Truck Rental team.”

Crew Chief Travis Geisler on Auto Club Speedway
“One of the biggest challenges we face at Auto Club Speedway is the weather conditions in inland Southern California. It is typically extremely hot out there this time of year. With the race starting in the day and ending at night, it is important to be able to have some adjustability in the race car.

“With our first race together under our belts, I’m looking forward to having a normal race schedule with Sam this weekend. This will allow us more time for discussion about the Penske Truck Rental Dodge and getting a solid game plan in place for Sunday night.”

2008 Rookie-of-the-Year Standings
Position  Driver                  Points
1.          Regan Smith          181
2.          Sam Hornish Jr.      179
3.          Patrick Carpentier    170
4.          Michael McDowell     156
5.          Dario Franchitti        97