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Hornish gets new crew chief

| Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Travis Geisler replaced Chris Carrier as crew chief for rookie Sam Hornish Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Tuesday.

Geisler, a 27-year-old mechanical engineering graduate from Vanderbilt, has been the race engineer for Ryan Newman's No. 12 Dodge. He played a key part in that team's Daytona 500 victory in February.

"We appreciate the effort Chris has put into this role. However, this is a performance-oriented business. When the results are not meeting the expectations, we have to make changes," Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said. "Travis is another example of our willingness to promote from within. His depth of knowledge as a racer and engineer, as well as his proven ability to work with both drivers and crews, will be a great addition to the entire Mobil 1 team."

Hornish, a three-time IndyCar Series champion and the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner, is trying to make the transition to stock cars. Heading to Bristol this week, Hornish, driving the No. 77 Dodge, is 33rd in the season points and has a best finish of 13th in May at Charlotte.

Ben Atkins, previously with the Penske test team, will replace Geisler as the race engineer for Newman. Before joining the Penske team, he was a race engineer for Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Dixon to race at Atlanta

Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon will team with former Indy winner Gil de Ferran in the 10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 4.

It's the 10th race this season in the American Le Mans Series and will be Dixon's first Petit Le Mans since 1999.

Dixon, going for his second IndyCar championship, has won six races this season for Ganassi Racing.

De Ferran Motorsports is in his first season of competition in ALMS. The third team driver is Simon Pagenaud, a former Champ Car driver and Atlantic series champion.

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