Thanks to the nice folks at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) and its Alliance Truck Parts, I got to meet Sam Hornish, Jr.
For those of you who may not be into car racing, this 33-year-old from Defiance, OH, is one of the most successful drivers in the recent history of open-wheel racing.
Hornish, Jr. won the 2006 Indianapolis 500.
He is one of the most decorated drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series and the winner of three IZOD IndyCar Series Championships.
He produced 62 top 5 IZOD IndyCar Series finishes.
The week before I got to visit with Hornish, Jr., he won the 2011 WypAll 200 race.
Down to earth
I would have though such an accomplished race car driver would be rather full of himself, brash and impertinent.
To my pleasant surprise, I found Hornish, Jr. to be a down to earth, unassuming, friendly individual, with a wonderful sense of humor.
Hornish, Jr. told me he transitioned from Penske Racing's IZOD IndyCar team to its NASCAR team full-time in 2008 because he was looking for a new challenge.
He has since captured eight NASCAR Cup top 10 finishes.
This year, he competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the No. 12 Dodge Challenger race car in eight races.
The primary sponsor of the No. 12 Dodge Challenger is Alliance Truck Parts.
The private-label parts brand of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), Alliance Truck Parts is a leading provider of replacement parts for the commercial transportation industry.
Alliance Truck Parts will again sponsor No. 12 Dodge Challenger and Hornish Jr. for 2012 season, with an expanded racing schedule.
Why the sponsorship?, you may ask. So did I. I asked John H. O’Leary, DTNA’s senior vice president, service and parts.
He said the sponsorship is to increase the brand visibility of Alliance Truck Parts.
Some 70 percent of the company’s customers are NASCAR fans, he pointed out.