Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday first notes

Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Notes Saturday, October 28,2006 HORNISH TO DEBUT IN BUSCH SERIES: Penske Racing officials announced Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. will attempt to qualify for...

Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Notes
Saturday, October 28,2006

HORNISH TO DEBUT IN BUSCH SERIES: Penske Racing officials announced Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. will attempt to qualify for two NASCAR Busch Series races this season.

Hornish will pilot the No. 39 Mobil 1 Dodge at the Nov. 11 Phoenix and Nov. 18 Homestead events.

"It makes me feel good that we're starting at these two tracks, where I have five wins between the two," said Hornish, who has two wins at Phoenix (2001 and 2005) and three wins at Homestead (2001, 2002 and 2004). "On the other hand, this is a totally different car, though."

Penske Racing will expand its Busch Series effort in 2007, splitting duties between Hornish and fellow Penske drivers Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch.

"We feel like this is the right time to give it a shot," said Tim Cindric, president of Penske Performance, Inc.

Hornish has tested the Busch car twice already, at Kentucky and Iowa.

"The first tests have gone OK, but there's nobody there to compare to," Hornish said. "I still have some questions in my mind."

MARLIN TAN, RESTED AND READY FOR A GOOD FINISH: Sterling Marlin had a longer flight than usual to Atlanta Motor Speedway. He flew straight from his home in St. Thomas to NASCAR's fastest track on Thursday night, relaxed after four days in the blissful Caribbean paradise.

Marlin spends several weeks a year at his St. Thomas home, heading there to recoup from the stress of fulltime NEXTEL Cup racing.

Now that he's back, Marlin is hoping that relaxed feeling translates to a good weekend on track. He'll be driving the same No. 14 Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevrolet that yielded an 11th-place finish two weeks ago at Charlotte.

"Running better each week is a step in the right direction," Marlin said. "But we know what counts is the final result. I'm hoping to top (the Charlotte finish) on Sunday."

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK (YET): With Bobby Labonte posting four top-10 finishes in the last five races, things certainly seem to be on the upswing at Petty Enterprises. Although Kyle Petty isn't ready to call it a "turnaround" just yet, he is encouraged by the progress.

And with Labonte's record at Atlanta, this weekend could mean another weekend of good results. Labonte has six wins at AMS, tying him for third on the speedway's all-time record list. His last win was in the spring 2003 race.

DALE JR. SAYS HELLO TO HIS LITTLE FRIEND: Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently recorded the voice for one of the characters for the video game "Scarface". It took only about an hour in the studio for Earnhardt to record the soundbites for "Tommy the Mechanic". Based on the soundbites he recorded, which cannot be reproduced here, this is not a game suitable for young kids.

-credit: ams

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About this article
Series IROC , NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bobby Labonte , Kyle Petty , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske