Watkins Glen: Sam Hornish Jr. preview

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, heads to Watkins Glen International after another strong run at Pocono Raceway last weekend. After leading the field late in the race, Hornish tied his season-best finish...

* Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, heads to Watkins Glen International after another strong run at Pocono Raceway last weekend. After leading the field late in the race, Hornish tied his season-best finish of 11th place, which also came at Pocono in June.

* In a total of six starts at Watkins Glen across the NASCAR Cup Series, Nationwide Series and IndyCar Series, Hornish has a total of two top-five and four top-10 starts at the 2.45-mile road course, along with two top-10 and three top-15 finishes.

* Hornish will be on hand to sign autographs at the Penske Racing souvenir trailer at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 8 from 9:45 -- 10:15 a.m. EDT.

Sam Hornish Jr.:

You were involved in a violent accident at Watkins Glen last year. What do you think was learned from that situation?

"Most of the time you go to the road courses and you think you are going slower and the corner speeds are slower, so it should be safer. A lot of times, the tracks don't get those types of wrecks and they don't think something like getting bounced off the tire wall and back onto track could happen. It happened twice last year and it was unfortunate that we were beside Kasey (Kahne) when he got loose and bounced us into the tire wall and back into traffic. It just shows how safe these cars are and Watkins Glen did a lot of work since then to move those walls back and make things safer. At tracks where you only race once a year, like road courses, it's hard to think of all the scenarios that might happen, but it's good that they try to make things better when they do."

Describe the overall importance of winning at a road course like Watkins Glen International?

"In NASCAR, there's no such thing as a 'throw away' race, especially with the 10-point bonus for winning races as we approach the championship chase. The guys in the top 12 are definitely looking to win at Watkins Glen because those 10 points could mean everything in the world in the end. Most of the drivers are in better shape and more focused on road courses because every race counts. The 'road course ringers' who come over are having a hard time finishing in the top-10 now. It just goes to show how important it is to everybody to run well at a road course."

Crew Chief Travis Geisler:

What are your thoughts on this weekend's race at Watkins Glen International?

"Since we only run two road course races a year, this weekend at Watkins Glen will be a nice change of pace. Watkins Glen is more of a true road course as opposed to Infineon Raceway, which races more like a street course. The key difference is speed. At Watkins Glen there are more high-speed corners, where Infineon has slower corners that are more stop and go. Watkins Glen poses unique challenges that force the team to control the platform of the car so the driver can make quick changes of direction. There are also more demands on the brake system because you carry so much speed on the long straightaways. Strategy also plays a huge role in the outcome of the race so it is a challenge from Friday to Sunday for sure."

-source: penske racing

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