Atlanta: Sam Hornish Jr. preview

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, recently participated in a tire test for Goodyear at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for this weekend's Kobalt Tools 500. The Defiance, Ohio native was selected as...

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, recently participated in a tire test for Goodyear at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for this weekend's Kobalt Tools 500. The Defiance, Ohio native was selected as the driver test representative from the Dodge camp.

* Hornish has been strong at intermediate tracks like Atlanta Motor Speedway since his move to NASCAR in 2008. In 21 total starts at intermediate-track venues, Hornish has five top-20 finishes along with a non-points victory in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

* In 81 Cup Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Penske Racing has a total of two wins -- one with Rusty Wallace in 1993 and the other last spring with Kurt Busch -- along with nine top-five and two top-10 finishes. The organization also has eight Cup Series poles at the 1.54-mile oval.

* Hornish will sign autographs at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 7 from 9:45 -- 10:15 a.m. ET.

Sam Hornish Jr.:

Describe the challenges of Atlanta Motor Speedway?

"Atlanta Motor Speedway is a fast track. Tire wear is a big concern, and as they wear off, your lap times get slower and the cars slide around on the track all race long. You never really feel in control at all during the race. The track changes so much from year to year that it seems hard to get a good handle on it."

You participated in the recent Goodyear tire test at Atlanta. What are your thoughts from the test?

"We had a good tire test at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this year. We were able to come up with a couple of ideas that we tried out in California and Las Vegas. Hopefully, we will be able to tweak those things for a strong result in Atlanta."

Crew Chief Travis Geisler:

What are your thoughts on this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway?

"Atlanta is always a challenging race track. The weather this time of year is unpredictable and the track is very sensitive to temperature and sun. The surface at Atlanta has a lot of character and is very hard on tires. Therefore, lap times fall off very quickly and it is normal to be two to three seconds slower per lap at the end of a fuel run. The 77 Mobil 1 Dodge team did get to participate in the tire test at Atlanta in January and I feel this will be helpful to getting a good setup for the race on Sunday."

-source: penske racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Kurt Busch , Travis Geisler , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Team Penske