Martinsville: Sam Hornish Jr preview

New and Notes * Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, posted a 29th-place finish in his first-ever start at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago. This finishing spot secured the No. 77 team's position in the...

New and Notes

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, posted a 29th-place finish in his first-ever start at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago. This finishing spot secured the No. 77 team's position in the top 35 in car owner points heading into Martinsville, guaranteeing a spot for the former IndyCar Series champion. The team currently ranks 35th in car owner points standings, while Hornish Jr. is 35th in the Sprint Cup season point standings.

* Hornish Jr. is currently tied for second place in the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with Regan Smith. He is only one point behind current leader Dario Franchitti.

* Hornish Jr. has a total of two short-track starts in Sprint Cup Series competition. These two outings at tracks less than one mile in length have produced an average start of 16.5 and an average finish of 29.5.

* In preparation for Hornish Jr.'s first start at Martinsville Speedway, the No. 77 team recently tested at the half-mile Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. Crew chief Chris Carrier feels the test was beneficial in preparing both car and driver for this weekend's race.

4/5-4/6: Hornish Jr. is slated to compete in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series events at Texas Motor Speedway.

Chassis Chatter

PRS-508: This weekend's race car was last driven by Kurt Busch at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July 2007. Busch started the race on the outside pole.

PRS-553: The backup car was driven by Hornish Jr. at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. He finished the race in 25th place.

Sam Hornish Jr. on Martinsville Speedway

"I'm really looking forward to going back to Martinsville. The track is unique and the shorter tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit have been my favorites so far. Last year, we attempted the fall race at Martinsville and were bumped by the past champion provisional because we were outside of the top 35 in owner points. We had a good car and I felt we would have had a strong race. Heading to Martinsville in the top 35 this weekend is a relief to the whole team and we're eager to get back to pick up where we left off last season."

Crew Chief Chris Carrier on Martinsville Speedway

"I love Martinsville because it takes you back to 'grassroots' racing. Our sport was founded on tracks like Martinsville. As a crew chief, I like the fact that you can be close enough to watch the race car on the track and see what it is doing. The driver and crew chief are really in control at Martinsville because it's all about the chassis, tire management and brakes. We had a good test during the off-week at Greenville Pickens Speedway. If we can stay out of trouble and take care of our brakes on Sunday, we should be able to walk away with a good finish at Martinsville."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Dario Franchitti , Regan Smith , Sam Hornish Jr. , Sam Hornis , Chris Carr
Teams Team Penske