Weekend Preview: Surging Sam Hornish Jr. Eyes Spot Inside NASCAR’s Top 20

RELEASE

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 11, 2009) – The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for this weekend’s LifeLock 400. Set in the scenic Irish Hills area of southeastern Michigan, Sunday’s event will mark the 80th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the two-mile oval.

All seven Dodge drivers are assured berths in Sunday’s LifeLock 400, the 15th of 36 point races that make up the 2009 Sprint Cup Series. Dodge has won five of the last 11 and six of the last 15 races at MIS.

Roger Penske‘s drivers have won six times at MIS which ties him with Robert Yates for fourth best all-time among owners. Former Penske driver Rusty Wallace won three times at Michigan while Ryan Newman, who drove for Penske from 2000-08, is a two-time winner. Current Penske driver Kurt Busch won at MIS in 2007.

Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) continues his charge toward the top 20. Since Dover four weeks ago, Hornish has advanced eight positions in the NSCS driver standings. Hornish earned his third top-10 of the season last weekend at Pocono and currently sits 23rd in points. During last year’s June race at MIS, Hornish led two laps, the first of his NSCS career.

“Michigan International Speedway is a place I’ve always loved racing at in any type of car and it’s one of Roger’s old tracks, said Hornish. “We led there legitimately last year for the first time and it was an exciting race for this Mobil 1 Dodge team. We are all looking forward to putting on a good show in front of my home crowd (Hornish is from Defiance, Ohio) on Sunday.”

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) looks to rebound from a 37th-place finish (water pump failure) last weekend at Pocono by returning to a track where he has seen much success. In 16 starts at MIS, Busch has two wins, two top fives and six top 10s. Through 14 NSCS races this season, Busch has never been outside of the top-five in the driver standings. He is currently fifth.

“Michigan has been the site of a lot of special memories through my career, that’s for sure,” he said. “Of course, our two wins rank up there at the top of our memory list. I think the fact that they were so different – the way we won those two races – really makes them so distinctive in my mind.”

Other Notes:
• Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) currently sits 14th, 60 points outside the coveted Chase-qualifying 12th spot in the standings. In 10 starts at Michigan, Kahne has one win, five top-five and five top-10 finishes.
• AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Stanley Dodge Charger) raced as high as sixth last weekend at Pocono despite starting 30th.

Twelve races remain in the Race To The Chase in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The top-12 drivers in the point standings after 26 races will compete for the championship and the Sprint Cup in the final 10 races of the season.

2009 Top 12-Drivers
Driver Points

1. Tony Stewart 2,043
2. Jeff Gordon 1,972
3. Jimmie Johnson 1,940
4. Ryan Newman 1,840
5. Kurt Busch 1,819
6.Carl Edwards 1,762
7. Greg Biffle 1,753
8. Matt Kenseth 1,745
9. Kyle Busch 1,731
10. Jeff Burton 1,725
11.David Reutimann 1,701
12. Denny Hamlin 1,679

What You Need To Know
The Race: LifeLock 400
The Place: Michigan International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, June 14
The Time: 2 p.m. (ET)
The Track: 2-mile oval
The Distance: 400 miles/200 laps
Television: TNT, 12:30 p.m. (ET)

2009 Dodge Motorsports Driver Statistics
Driver Rank Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Earnings
Kurt Bush 5 1819 -224 14 0 1 4 7 $2,066,380
Kasey Kahne 14 1619 -424 14 0 0 1 4 $2,164,960
Sam Hornish Jr. 23 1371 -672 14 0 0 0 3 $1,839,870
Reed Sorenson 24 1362 -681 14 0 0 0 1 $1,994,260
Elliott Sadler 27 1309 -734 14 0 0 1 1 $1,757,610
AJ Allmendinger 29 1275 -768 14 0 0 1 2 $1,931,860
David Stremme 30 1267 -776 14 0 0 0 0 $1,912,430

Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)
Friday, June 12

11:30 a.m. – Sprint Cup Practice at Michigan (SPEED)
1:00 p.m. – NASCAR Live (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. – Camping World Truck Practice (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Qualifying (SPEED)
6:00 p.m. – NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
6:30 p.m. – Nationwide Final Practice at Kentucky (ESPN2)
8:00 p.m. – Trackside at Michigan (SPEED)
11:00 p.m. – NASCAR Performance (SPEED)
11:30 p.m. – NASCAR Smarts (SPEED)

Saturday, June 13
12:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. – Camping World Set-Up (SPEED)
2:00 p.m. – Camping World “Michigan 200” (SPEED)
5:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Qualifying (ESPN2)
8:00 p.m. – Nationwide Series Countdown (ESPN2)
8:30 p.m. – Nationwide “Meijer 300” at Kentucky (ESPN2)

Sunday, June 14
10:30 a.m. – NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
12:30 p.m. – NASCAR on TNT Live (TNT)
1:30 p.m. – Countdown to Green (TNT)
2:00 p.m. – Sprint Cup “LifeLock 400” at Michigan (TNT)
7:00 p.m. – SPEED Report (SPEED)
8:00 p.m. – NASCAR Victory Lane (SPEED)
9:00 p.m. – Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain (SPEED)
– 30 –


  • TAZ Allen

    Hello all!!!

    During the Bankruptcy proceedings, Chrysler did not make payments to Richard Petty Motor Sports (RPM). RPM had to layoff people and make pay cuts….. Just another casualty in this saga.

    Tazallen

  • GoDodge

    Petty said he may switch to Toyota next year. Come on Chrysler, don’t let this happen.

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