. Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger, will make his second start of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season this weekend in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS). Hornish last competed in the Nationwide Series during the 2011 season opener at Daytona International Speedway, where he qualified 17th and finished 36th. His last Nationwide Series race at TMS was in April of 2008 when he finished 19th.
. From 2006 to 2010, Hornish made a total of 20 Nationwide Series starts, scoring five top-15 finishes. Hornish also captured one top-five, three top-10 and eight top-15 starting positions while competing in a limited NNS schedule over the five-year period.
. This weekend's race marks the second outing together for Hornish and crew chief Chad Walter, who will call the shots for the No. 12 Dodge team during Friday night's race. Walter served as crew chief on the No. 12 Penske Racing Nationwide Series team in the past as he helped guide driver Justin Allgaier to top-six championship finishes in each of the last two seasons.
. This will be one of three events that Hornish will compete in during the month of April. The former IndyCar champion will also race at Talladega and Richmond later this month.
. Hornish has visited Victory Circle three times at TMS as an open-wheel competitor (2001, '02 and '07).
Sam Hornish Jr. comments on this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300
"I always love going to Texas. I was able to celebrate two of my IndyCar Championships there, as well as my last IndyCar race victory. The track is very fast and has multiple lanes, which makes the racing great. We've had the Sam Hornish Jr. Celebrity Bowling Tournament there and have raised over $500,000 for North Texas Children's Charities, which is another reason why I love heading back to Texas. I am looking forward to having a strong run this weekend. I am really excited about driving the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge in this race. It's a sharp-looking car and I expect to have a good race."
I am looking forward to having a strong run this weekend.
Crew Chief Chad Walter comments on this weekend's race
"We are looking forward to getting the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge on the track at Texas. It seems as though we have been away from the race track for far too long. This weekend should be very interesting, as Texas is known for its speed and its 'rough' track surface, both of which present challenges to the driver and the crew. What's more is that this will be the first night race for the Nationwide Series at this track, and the speeds will increase even more. The combination of all these factors should make this an interesting and exciting race. Sam has enjoyed success here in the IndyCar Series and I think he is really anxious to get back to work. The entire team is looking to build a good chemistry with each other and the Alliance Truck Parts brand, and to build a winning NNS effort for the future at Penske Racing."
-source: penske racing