TWO CLOSE TO HOME: Hornish considers Michigan International Speedway (MIS) his home track since it is located just 70 miles from his home town of Defiance, Ohio and the title sponsor of the race is his primary sponsor, Alliance Truck Parts.
CLOSING THE GAP: After a strong finish at Iowa, Hornish has closed to within striking distance of the series point leader, Regan Smith. He trails Smith by just 23 points.
FAMILIAR TERRITORY: Having 16 starts across three different series, Hornish is familiar with MIS. He finished sixth in last year’s Nationwide Series race. His best Cup and IndyCar series finishes are fifth (2009) and second (2003), respectively.
HEAVY DUTY IN DETROIT: Racing in the Motor City’s back yard means added fun for Hornish as he will spend Thursday morning and afternoon at Ford Headquarters in Dearborn, MI, while spending Thursday evening at an Alliance Truck Parts event in Livonia, MI.
TWO MILE TRAJECTORY: While the surfaces make them different, California and Michigan share a similar configuration. At the previous two-mile race this season the No. 12 Penske Ford was strong; leading 28 laps en route to a second-place finish.
CHALKING UP THE NUMBERS: On the heels of a fourth-place finish at Iowa, Hornish has earned one victory, five top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes through the first 12 races of the season.
FRIENDS, FANS AND FAMILY: Being close to home means that Hornish will have a lot of friends, fans and family to cheer him on during Saturday’s Alliance Truck Parts 250. Hornish’s father, Sam Sr., is bringing a group of Hornish Bros. Trucking employees to the race as well.
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 ALLIANCE TRUCK PARTS FORD
YOU CONSIDER MICHIGAN YOUR HOME TRACK, HOW DOES THAT MAKE THIS RACE DIFFERENT THAN OTHERS?
“This track does have great memories for me. I recall coming here as a child with my parents and watching the guys I admired racing. Since it is so close, we will have a lot of people from home. Family is important to me, so it is good to have them at the track. Having all those people here with us does make me want to win just that much more so we can share it together and celebrate. It is a pretty busy weekend for us since it is the home race for Ford too, which means we have to balance our time and focus between partners, family and the race track. ”
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CHANCES THIS WEEKEND?
“We had a fast Ford Mustang at Fontana earlier this year, and we have been working hard to improve. The surface at Michigan is much different from California, but we have had fast cars all year and I expect that will continue. As long as we make the right calls during the race and execute in the pits we should be good. We always want to finish up front, but this weekend the incentive to win for Alliance Truck Parts is just a little stronger than usual.”