Great Clips-Grit Chips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.5- mile speedway, Hampton, GA.) – August 31, 2013
Start Position: 6
Finish Position: 3
Current Driver Points Position: 1
THE RACE REVIEW
· Hornish started from the sixth position on the grid based on his Saturday afternoon qualify effort during which he lapped the 1.5 mile speedway in 31.058 seconds at 178.505 miles per hour.
· As the race began, Hornish reported that his Ford Mustang was too free all around the track.
· At lap 37, the Penske Racing pit crew serviced the Alliance Truck Parts machine during a caution flag pit-stop, making adjustments addressing the vehicles handling.
· Over the next stint, Hornish reported that the adjustments had made the Penske Ford tight on corner entry and free on corner exit.
· Throughout the middle of the race, Hornish would run consistently in the top-10 as the Alliance Truck Parts Ford needed help on the drive off of the corner.
· A late race yellow flag gave crew chief, Greg Erwin the opportunity he needed to make one last adjustment on the ill handling machine.
· The race went green for the final time with just eight laps remaining with Hornish scored in the seventh position. On the ensuing restart, the series point leader would make his way to third place, which he held on to until the end of the race.
· With the third-place finish, Hornish and the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Ford team keep the top spot in the driver’s championship standings as they extend their lead over second-place competitor, Austin Dillon by 10 points.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
SAM HORNISH JR.
YOUR FORTUNES CHANGED FAST BECAUSE OF THAT LATE CAUTION.
“At the end of the race, it was a good set of calls, and having the right lane choice there at the end that made the difference. So many times you get stuck being in the wrong lane, but tonight it worked out for us and we were exactly where we wanted to be. Our Ford Mustang was strong on the long runs. I was glad we were able to make those adjustments on it to be able to make it fast for that last short run.”
DO YOU FEEL YOU’VE REGAINED THE CONSISTENCY YOU SHOWED EARLY IN THE YEAR?
“We sure hope so. Last week we ran on seven cylinders for about three-quarters of the race, so to get a 12th out of that was pretty decent. I’ve been real happy with the performance of this team and these Mustangs. This was a new car that we brought tonight, so in my eyes that is a good thing that we’re continually trying to evolve and make ourselves better. I think we can go to any of the upcoming race tracks, and have a shot at a top finish as long as we continue to perform like we did here tonight. The fact we can take days like today, where we were not as strong as we probably needed to be – we were probably about a fifth-place car, and we were able to get a third out of it, that is great.”