Sam Hornish Jr. Drive 4CPOD Race Preview

February 15, 2011

No. 12 Dodge Team News and Notes

• Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Dodge Challenger, will make his 2011 return to NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) competition this weekend in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). Hornish last competed in the NNS Series at the 2010 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he qualified 12th and finished 21st. His last Nationwide Series race at DIS was in February of 2007 when he finished 31st.

• From 2006 to 2010, Hornish has made a total of 20 Nationwide Series starts, scoring five top-15 finishes. Hornish also captured one top-five, three top-10 and eight top-15 starting positions while competing in a limited NNS schedule over the four-year period.

• This weekend's race marks the first event together for Hornish and crew chief Chad Walter, who will sit atop the No. 12 Dodge pit box for Saturday's season opener at DIS. Walter previously served as crew chief on the No. 12 Penske Racing Nationwide Series team as he guided driver Justin Allgaier to top-six championship finishes in each of the last two seasons.

• This race also represents the beginning of the first-full season for the new Nationwide Series car that debuted in 2010 as Hornish will proudly compete in the sleek Dodge Challenger this weekend.

Sam Hornish Jr. comments on this weekend's DRIVE4COPD 300
"I am really excited about the first race of the season. I have not run a Nationwide Series restrictor plate race since 2007 so I am looking forward to this. It is great to have Dodge backing us for this event and the No. 12 Dodge is looking especially sharp - I think this car is going to get a lot of attention. I am very pleased that things have come together. We have been working hard to get a program in place for this year and I am glad to get back to the racetrack. We have a lot of possibilities in this program and I am looking forward to running with Dodge and building our relationship with Alliance Truck Parts over the course of this season."

Crew Chief Chad Walter comments on the first race of the season
"We're all very anxious to get the season rolling with the new Dodge Challengers at the "new" Daytona race track. This track and our manufacturer have much rich tradition together and we would love to add to that with a victory in the Drive4COPD 300. The No. 12 Dodge team is looking forward to establishing a strong relationship with Sam, and working to expand on the solid foundation it set up in the two previous seasons. The Hart Honeywell paint scheme with the retro Le Mans stripes and the modern graphics looks great and it will be exciting to see race. I can't wait to unload this paint scheme and hear the great comments from fans and competitor. It's got the crowd pleaser ‘pop' to it. I've always run well at Daytona, but I have yet to win there in the Nationwide Series. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to work with Sam and we are going to do our best to notch a victory for Dodge and Penske Racing."