Bristol: Sam Hornish Jr. preview

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, had a strong run going in the August race at Bristol Motor Speedway last season before a problem with the radiator forced the team to the garage for repairs. Hornish and...

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, had a strong run going in the August race at Bristol Motor Speedway last season before a problem with the radiator forced the team to the garage for repairs. Hornish and crew are optimistic about returning to Bristol after a 2009 season of successful performances at short-track venues.

* Last season, Hornish and the Mobil 1 team captured a total three top-10 and four top-15 finishes in short track competition. Hornish earned his first top-10 result in the Cup Series with a ninth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway (April) and followed that with a sixth-place effort two weeks later at Richmond International Raceway (May).

* In 73 Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Penske Racing has a total of eight wins, including seven with Rusty Wallace and one with Kurt Busch, which came in the spring of 2006. The organization also has a total of 10 pole positions, 21 top-five and 37 top-10 finishes at the famed .533-mile oval.

* Hornish will sign autographs at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 21 from 9:15 -- 9:45 a.m. EDT.

Sam Hornish Jr.:

Describe your first impressions of Bristol Motor Speedway...

"The first time I went to Bristol Motor Speedway was as a fan and I was in awe of the stadium-like atmosphere. My first race at Bristol was in a Cup car with very limited practice and it was definitely a learning experience. I continue to learn each time we race there and I really feel this could be a good weekend for the Mobil 1 team."

Describe racing at Bristol Motor Speedway with the newer track configuration...

"I think there have been more lead changes and passing now that there is a second groove at Bristol. Obviously, there is less on-track action because you don't have to bump someone to pass them. And if someone bumps you to get by, you can move up into that second groove and lose a spot or two instead of wrecking. Of course, the new outside wall may change the race dynamics but we'll have to wait and see. I think the more we get used to the new cars, the better the racing at Bristol will be."

Crew Chief Travis Geisler:

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

"Heading to the 'World's Fastest Half-Mile' is something I look forward to every year. It is the most intense short track racing there is. Bristol has made some changes by adding soft walls on the straightaway, which should tighten up the racing even more. Last year, we had a strong run going and that makes me even more excited about the trip to Bristol this weekend."

-source: penske racing

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