New and Notes
- Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger, had a strong showing in the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend capturing a 25th-place finish. Hornish Jr. earned the Rookie of the Race award as the top-finishing rookie at Atlanta. He currently ranks 36th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup season point standings and the No. 77 team is now 36th in the owner standings, just 18 points outside of the top 35.
- Hornish Jr. is the only contender to win the Rookie of the Race award twice this season. He previously won the award for his 15th-place finish in the Daytona 500.
- Hornish Jr. is currently second in the 2008 Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings, trailing Dario Franchitti by just two points.
- This will be the first time Hornish Jr. has competed at the famed .533-mile short track in Bristol. He is also slated to compete in Saturdayâ€™s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Crew chief Chris Carrier is a veteran of the sport and a Bristol native who lives within miles of the speedway.
At Bristol Motor Speedway, Hornish Jr. will attempt his second NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season.
Sunday morning, Mobil 1 will introduce the newest little member of the No. 77 Mobil 1 team.
PRS-511: Hornish Jr. recently tested this race car at Phoenix International Raceway.
PRS-508: The backup car for this weekend was last driven by Kurt Busch at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July 2007. Busch started on the outside pole and ultimately finished the race in 21st place.
Sam Hornish Jr. on Bristol Motor Speedway
"Iâ€™ve never raced at Bristol Motor Speedway before and Iâ€™m pretty excited about this weekend. Iâ€™ve been to the track as a spectator but never as a competitor. Weâ€™re doing all we can to have the best race possible this weekend as we are only 18 points away from the top 35 in the owner points standings. I am running both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series events this weekend. I also have a crew chief (Chris Carrier) who is from Bristol and is a veteran in the sport. If anyone can offer insight on Bristol, itâ€™s Chris.â€
Crew Chief Chris Carrier on Bristol Motor Speedway
â€œA Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is like a December football game at Lambeau Field. You just know thatâ€™s the way itâ€™s meant to be. Iâ€™ve been going to races at Bristol since 1970. Our team needs a good, solid weekend. Our top priority is to get into the top 35 in owner points before Martinsville. The recent resurfacing of the track here drastically changed everyoneâ€™s racing mindset and the way cars are set up. For us, this is a positive because no one has a lot of races on the new surface and the experience advantage is decreased.â€