Indianapolis: Sam Hornish Jr. preview

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, has a storied racing history at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). As a young racer, Hornish held the childhood dream of one day qualifying for the prestigious...

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, has a storied racing history at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). As a young racer, Hornish held the childhood dream of one day qualifying for the prestigious Indianapolis 500. In 2006, Hornish not only started the Indy 500 from the pole position for Team Penske, but he captured the coveted win in a last-lap pass on Marco Andretti, coming off of Turn 4. The spectacular finish remains the second-closest in 90 years of Indy 500 race history with a margin of victory of .0635 seconds.

* Hornish is one of two current NASCAR Cup Series drivers that have the opportunity to be the first driver in history to win both the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 at IMS. Fellow competitor and former open-wheel standout driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, won the Indy 500 in 2000.

* Last season, Hornish started the Brickyard 400 from the 15th position and ran inside the top-15 for much of the race until contact with the wall in Turn 1 forced the Mobil 1 team to the garage for brief repairs and Hornish was relegated to a 37th-place finish.

* The No. 66 car that Mark Donohue drove to victory in the 1972 Indianapolis 500, marking the first Indy 500 win for Roger Penske, is currently on display in the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.

* Hornish will be on hand to sign autographs for fans at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer at IMS on Sunday, July 25 from 9:15 -- 9:45 a.m. EDT.

Sam Hornish Jr.:

How would it feel to be the first driver in history to win both the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400?

"To be the first driver to win the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would be amazing. We just have to be sure that we position ourselves, do things the right way and make sure we get ourselves to the end of the race. I had a really, really good car there last year and I got caught up trying to go the front too quickly and took us out of contention. Patience will be at the top of my mind this weekend for sure. It would mean the world to me to win my first Cup race at Indy. You couldn't write it any better."

What is the difference between driving a NASCAR stock car and an Indy car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

"It's a lot different driving a stock car at Indianapolis. The line is basically the same -- you want the car to hit the same points. In Indy cars, you trim the car until you are able to run flat out. In NASCAR, you know that every lap you are going to brake in Turns 1 and 3 as well going into Turns 2 and 4. You can easily upset a stock car by doing the wrong thing. Indy is one of my favorite places to run in NASCAR since it is so much different than Indy cars. Although, I never really felt like I got it all down at Indianapolis when I raced there in Indy cars."

Crew Chief Travis Geisler:

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

"Driving into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway you can't help but think about the racing history that has been made within the walls of the 2.5 mile-rectangular oval. A lot of the history I think about has been made by our team owner, Roger Penske, and our driver, Sam Hornish Jr.

"It is a very challenging track with 90-degree corners and long, fast straightaways. It certainly pushes a stock car to its limits with corner entry speeds as fast as we see anywhere. Every race is important but there is a sense of pride that comes with running well at Indy that is unlike any other."

-source: penske racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Team Penske