Talladega: Sam Hornish Jr. preview

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Penske Truck Rental/AAA Dodge Charger, has just three starts at Talladega Superspeedway. Last spring, after starting from the fourth spot, Hornish battled illness to run inside the top-20 for...

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Penske Truck Rental/AAA Dodge Charger, has just three starts at Talladega Superspeedway. Last spring, after starting from the fourth spot, Hornish battled illness to run inside the top-20 for most of the race. The Penske Truck Rental/AAA Dodge was collected in a multi-car accident with seven laps to go and Hornish ultimately finished the race in 34th place.

* With a 19th-place result this week at Texas Motor Speedway, Hornish has captured three consecutive top-20 finishes, coming at both short tracks (Martinsville, Phoenix) and intermediate venues (Texas).

* In 77 Cup Series starts at Talladega Superspeedway, Penske Racing has yet to score a victory at the 2.66-mile tri-oval. The organization has one pole position along with 10 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes at the famed superspeedway.

* Hornish will be on hand to sign autographs at the Dodge display on Saturday, April 24 from 9:30 -- 10 a.m. CDT at Talladega Superspeedway.

Sam Hornish Jr. Quotes

Explain how you have adapted to restrictor-plate races so well since coming to the NASCAR Cup Series... "I love restrictor-plate races because they are like a chess game. They remind me of the 1.5-mile races in the IndyCar Series because a lot of them came down to making your move at the last possible minute. I had the opportunity to run some IROC races at superspeedways before coming to NASCAR and was able to get some experience with drafting. It just seems like adapting to these tracks came quicker to me than places like Martinsville."

What are your thoughts on racing at Talladega with the new spoiler package in the NASCAR Cup Series? "I think the real final test of the spoiler is going to be when we return to Daytona International Speedway in July. We are so much closer to being on the edge there than we are here at Talladega. The track surface at Talladega is fairly new; it's very smooth and there's a lot of downforce. Plus, the corner radiuses are just a little bit bigger. The handling issues on the race cars are never really like what they are at Daytona so I am anxious to see how the cars respond to the spoiler down there."

Crew Chief Travis Geisler:

What are your thoughts for this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway? "Talladega is always an exciting race for the fans. With the new spoiler rule and restrictor plate size, NASCAR has made some changes that should keep the race exciting and make it safer for the drivers. We have had good speed at the restrictor-plate races but have struggled to get the results we're capable of. We are looking forward to turning this around with the Penske Truck Rental/AAA Dodge this weekend."

-source: penske

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