10 Led And 10 To Go: Through 23 races Hornish has led the series point standings on three separate occasions for a total of 10 races. He has a six point advantage going into Atlanta with 10 races remaining in the season.
Third Time Is A Charm: This will be just the third NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Atlanta for Hornish (2007 and 2012). His best finish came last year with a ninth-place run at the 1.5-mile track.
Primary Color: The No. 12 Penske Ford Mustang will once be adorned with bright yellow Alliance Truck Parts livery this weekend at Atlanta.
Well Qualified: Hornish and the No. 12 Penske Ford team have been qualifying remarkably well this season. The former open-wheel standout has qualified in the first or second row on 10 occasions this year. In 2013, he has a NASCAR-career high two poles and average starting position of 6.6.
Good “Bad” Days: One of the areas that the team has been working on is turning bad days at the track into decent results. This past weekend at Bristol, they were able to accomplish that as the team held on for a top-12 finish despite running on seven cylinders for 167 of the 250- lap race.
Car Chief For A Race: This weekend long-time Penske Racing employee, Jeffrey Thousand will take-over car chief duties for Bill Henderson who has to take the weekend off to attend to family matters. Thousand, who has previously served as a car chief on Penske Racing Cup teams, most recently filled that role on the No. 48 Discount Tire Ford at Watkins Glen.
SAM HORNISH JR., NO. 12 ALLIANCE TRUCK PARTS FORD MUSTANG
HOW DOES ATLANTA COMPARE TO OTHER INTERMEDIATE TRACKS?
“I love Atlanta because the surface of the track is old; it has bumps and lots of places to pass. As a driver, you have to manage your tires in order to maintain any kind of consistency over a long run. I think most of the drivers will tell you that they like racing at Atlanta for the reasons I mentioned – the track just has a lot or personality and that makes it one of the most fun and challenging places we race.”
GREG ERWIN, NO. 12 ALLIANCE TRUCK PARTS FORD CREW CHIEF
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES ATLANTA PRESENT A CREW CHIEF?
“It presents numerous challenges. The biggest one is tire management. This is a race where everyone will want more tires. Since the track surface is old and rough, the tire wear is more prevalent than most of the other intermediates we visit. Over the course of a run, the speed of the car changes so drastically with tire wear that the aero balance of the car changes too and that creates challenges for driver and crew chief alike.”