* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, has established himself as a strong contender in the annual Showdown qualifying race for NASCAR's non-points, million-dollar All-Star Race. In his 2008 rookie season, ...
* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, has established himself as a strong contender in the annual Showdown qualifying race for NASCAR's non-points, million-dollar All-Star Race. In his 2008 rookie season, Hornish finished second in the Showdown and transferred into the main event where he finished seventh. Last year, Hornish won the Showdown and once again transferred into the All-Star Race where he finished in 16th place.
* In two career starts in the Showdown, Hornish has one win and two top-two results with an average finish of 1.5. In the star-studded All-Star Race, Hornish has one top-10 and two top-20 finishes with an average finish of 11.5 at the 1.5-mile oval.
* Hornish will be on hand to sign autographs at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer on Sunday, May 16 from 4 -- 4:30 p.m. EDT at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Sam Hornish Jr.:
With the past success you've had in the Showdown, do you feel any pressure heading into this weekend?
"I feel a little pressure since we've been able to make it into the All-Star Race in our first two seasons. One day soon, I'd like to have the opportunity to go into this weekend without running the Showdown in order to get into the All-Star race. It's always given us a little more on-track time and a little extra practice. Hopefully, we'll be able to be good in the Showdown again this weekend at Charlotte.
"Once you're into the All-Star Race, a lot of the pressure is off of you. When it comes down to it, the whole weekend is a practice session for the Coca-Cola 600. But during the Showdown, you can't stray too far away until you are in the main event because you want to have the opportunity to race for the big trophy and the big check."
Crew Chief Travis Geisler:
What are your thoughts on this weekend's Showdown and All-Star Race?
"Getting ready for the All-Star race is always exciting. The format is very different from a normal race weekend and racing in everyone's backyard makes it one of my favorites. The Mobil 1 Dodge team has been able to race into the All-Star race through the Showdown the past two years and we are working hard to make that three years in a row. Winning the Showdown last year was great for the team. The race also provides a good test session for the Coca-Cola 600 the following week. Hopefully, we will be able to capitalize on the extra track time to have a better car for the longest race of the season."