Hornish to Drive No. 38 Ford at Pocono

Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records/Carrier Chevrolet Silverado, makes his fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Texas Motor Speedway for ThorSport Racing Friday, June 10th. The Series points leader after a successful second place finish last weekend in Kansas, Sauter is ready to return to the track where he narrowly missed wins twice in 2010.  Out of four starts for TSR since 2009, the driver has finished no worse than sixth position – safely saying that the track is a comfortable place for the driver.

“Texas is a great track for me.  It’s all about track position there, and you don’t want to work up from the middle of the field.  We’ve always run up front there. The goal with my crew chief, Joe Shear, Jr, is to run up front from the get go.  I’m hoping to build on the finishes we had there last year for sure – twice we finished in second, and we had the truck to win.  I’m pretty motivated to get to Texas right now.” Sam Hornish Jr. will make his 2011 return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway this weekend, manning the wheel of the No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford while Travis Kvapil competes in the Camping World Truck Series in Texas. The three-time IndyCar Champion has 108 Cup races under his belt since making the move to stock-car racing, but this weekend’s event in Long Pond, Pa., will be his first this year.

The 2.5-mile track known as the “Tricky Triangle” is the perfect place for Hornish to make his return.  The low-banked, sharp-turning tri-oval suits the former open-wheel racer.  He has a top-five, two top-10 and four top-15 finishes in his six Cup career starts there.  Hornish is also familiar with No. 38 crew chief Jay Guy, whom he was a co-worker with at Penske Racing in Sprint Cup.

Comments from Long John Silver’s driver Sam Hornish on Pocono and driving for Front Row:

“I’m really excited to get back in a Cup car.  And it’s not just an opportunity to run a Cup race, but I get to race at Pocono.  That’s a track that a lot of drivers don’t like and it puts them in a bad mood trying to figure it out.  And that actually can pay dividends for me because I like racing there and I go there with confidence.  I’ve run well there the past two years with four top-15 finishes.

“I got a call from Penske asking if I was interested in running the ’38’ while Travis was racing trucks, and I was on the phone with Front Row about half an hour later working it all out.  It came together pretty fast but I was excited to do it.

“It’s going to be a little difficult, obviously, because there’s not a lot of time to work together to prepare.  Pocono is hot and it’s 500 miles, so it can be pretty uncomfortable over the course of the race, so it’s important to have a good fit in the car.  I was at the Front Row shop last week and again Monday working on getting fitted.  And I’ve been spending some time with Jay Guy, going over the set-up of the car, so we have a good game plan going in.

“I knew Jay from when he was at Penske, but I didn’t work directly with him.  But I’m looking forward to working with him this week.  As challenging as it’s going to be coming in for one race with a team I haven’t worked with before, it’s refreshing at the same time.  I’ve only raced a stock car with Penske, so it will be good to try something different and get that experience.”

Sauter’s momentum still has competitors in his sights. “We’ve got a lot of talent this year in our Series, and we’re just now hitting the summer, when all the action really starts to happen.  You’ve got rookies like Whitt who are doing well, but there’s always Bodine, Hornaday and my teammate Matt Crafton, who run really well in Texas and are good at these 1.5 mile tracks.  It’s an all-star lineup, so we’ve got to be 150% perfect and execute on pit road and with the setups.  If we can do that, we have a shot at Victory Lane.”

The No. 13 team will have a chance to become honorary “cowboys” on a special VIP tour with their teammates on the No. 88 Menards Chevy team at Cowboys Stadium on Friday morning.  They will get an inside look from the Dallas Cowboys management team at the operations, locker room and get to “pull the Heisman” on the playing field.  “I know the guys are excited to get on the field, we’re all a bunch of sports junkies,” said Sauter. “Every race city we go to, we’re either at a ballpark the day before the race, a basketball court or a football field.  Just depends on the season!  This is a great opportunity to take a look at what the Cowboys do every day.”

“We’re also hosting Kyle Mohan from Kyle Mohan Racing on Friday – the guys are all going to learn how to Ultimate Drift.  It’s really awesome that all these different types of racers will be at Texas Motor Speedway.  IndyCar, Drifters and NASCAR.  That’s great for the fans.”  ThorSport Racing will also take part in a “TweetUp” with IndyCar team Andretti Autosport on Friday for crossover fans.

Sauter has one win under his belt this season, at Martinsville, making him the only non-Sprint Cup driver to win in the Truck series to date.

Front Row Motorsports PR