Chicagoland: Sam Hornish Jr. preview

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, is no stranger to Chicagoland Speedway. He has a total of nine starts at the track across the NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar Series. In seven open-wheel starts at the ...

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, is no stranger to Chicagoland Speedway. He has a total of nine starts at the track across the NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar Series. In seven open-wheel starts at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, Hornish has a total of two wins, six top-three and seven top-10 finishes along with two pole awards.

* Hornish will be on hand to sign autographs at the Dodge display in the fan zone at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 10 from 3 -- 3:30 p.m. CDT.

Sam Hornish Jr.:

What are some of the key factors to a strong run at Chicagoland Speedway?

"You've got to have a car that has good horsepower, turns well in the middle and allows you to put the power down on the exit of the corners. It's a lot of fun running at Chicago; it's always been one of my favorite tracks. You want to qualify as high as you can -- it gives you a little more confidence and the opportunity to keep yourself on the lead lap if your car is not that great to start. That way, you'll have the chance to make it better without going a lap down."

What are your thoughts on Danica Patrick and the transition from open-wheel racing to NASCAR?

"It's totally different than IndyCar Series racing. You've got to do a lot of testing whenever you can. When I ran a full IndyCar Series season and limited Nationwide Series races, it was tough. It's not an easy thing. I think her eyes are wide open now as far as how much different this really is in NASCAR.

"I caught a lot of grief when I first came over. A lot of people don't really understand how hard it is until you make the move. For a lot of open-wheel drivers, that's all they have ever done and it's a difficult transition. I think that it's very seldom that you'll find somebody that would adapt seamlessly. Tony Stewart is really the biggest exception you're ever going to find of someone that was good quickly on both sides of the coin."

Crew Chief Travis Geisler:

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

"Chicagoland Speedway has often been referred to as a 'cookie cutter' intermediate track, however, over the past few years it has really aged into a unique track. The grip level has decreased significantly and the harsh winters have brought out some bumps that really affect the handling of the car.

"It is also a tough track because we only race there once a year so the track changes a lot and there have been some significant rule changes since we raced there last year. The Mobil 1 Dodge team is ready to take on the Windy City and bring home a good finish going into the 'off' weekend."

-source: penske racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Travis Geisler , Sam Hornish Jr. , Danica Patrick
Teams Team Penske