BUSCH: Roush Racing Richmond preview

Richmond International Raceway, September 8-10th, 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Chevrolet Rock and Roll 400, Saturday 7:40PM NASCAR Busch Series: Emerson 250, Friday @ 7:50PM NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: ...

Richmond International Raceway, September 8-10th, 2005

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Chevrolet Rock and Roll 400, Saturday
7:40PM

NASCAR Busch Series: Emerson 250, Friday @ 7:50PM

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Cheerios 200, Thursday @ 8:15PM

Crown Royal IROC Series: Round III, Thursday @ 7:00PM

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- Martin clinched a spot in the 10-race 'playoff' that will decide the Nextel Cup Champion last week in Fontana. Regardless of where Martin finishes at Richmond this weekend, he will make the chase and Martin, who is currently fifth, cannot finish any worse than eighth after the 26-race cutoff.

- This will be Martin's 42nd start at Richmond, dating back to Sept. 13, 1981 when he earned his second career Cup pole in only his fourth career start and first at RIR. Martin rolled on to a seventh place finish, the first of his 22 career top-10 finishes at Richmond, where he's finished top 10 in five of his last seven.

- Martin and the team will run the 'reverse' white paint scheme this weekend at Richmond.

- Martin's first and last Sept. runs at Richmond would have to rank among two of the most memorable of his celebrated career. Martin earned his second career pole and first career Cup top-10 finish at his first Richmond start in 1981. He clinched a spot in the inaugural Race for the Nextel Cup top-10 there last year on Sept. 11, capping off a mad furry of top-five finishes and surviving a multi-car wreck and 360 degree spin down the backstretch to clinch a spot in the playoff run for the championship with a fifth-place finish at the ..75-mile track.

- Martin has finished inside the top 10 in five of his last seven races at Richmond.

- Martin earned his 41st career Cup pole at Richmond in September of 2001.

- With the 2nd place finish at California, Greg Biffle moved to second in the point standings, 209 points behind leader Tony Stewart.

- Biffle currently holds a 49-point advantage over third place contender Jimmie Johnson heading into the final race before the "Chase."

- Biffle has complete 97.1% of the laps is his Cup Series starts at RIR. His best finish came earlier this year when he finished sixth at the May 14th event.

- This weekend the signature National Guard red, white and blue paint scheme returns to the No. 16 Ford.

- The National Guard is committed to the relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. They currently expect to send nearly 40,000 soldier to the affected areas but have committed to send as many as are needed.

- Matt Kenseth will be pulling triple duty this weekend in Richmond, as he competes in the Crown Royal IROC Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events.

- With his seventh-place finish in Fontana, Kenseth broke into the top-10 in points for the first time this season, moving up two spots to the ninth position.

- In his eleven Cup starts at Richmond, Kenseth has six top-10 finishes, including a win in 2002.

- Kenseth has finished in the top 10 at Richmond in five of his last seven Cup starts.

- Kenseth tested at Richmond last week in preparation for this weekend's races.

- Kurt Busch finished 12th last week at California and climbed from seventh to sixth in the NEXTEL Cup point standings. Busch will become the sixth driver to clinch a spot in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup" when he starts the race Saturday night at Richmond. Busch is 456 points behind leader Tony Stewart, but sits only 35 points behind fifth-place Mark Martin.

- The defending champion's younger brother Kyle became history's youngest Cup winner with his victory at Fontana Sunday night. Ironically, the previous record belonged to Donald Thomas whose older brother Herb was also defending Cup champion when Donald won his race in 1952.

- Though Busch's success at short-tracks cannot be disputed, he has only managed one top-10 finish in nine career starts at Richmond. He has led races in the past three visits to the facility, including 94 laps in this event one year ago when he was forced to pit for fuel in the closing laps. In two of the past three trips Busch suffered mechanical difficulty while leading (a failed alternator belt in the spring of '04 and a lug nut caught in the brakes earlier this year) that took him out of contention.

- Busch's No. 97 Ford Taurus carries the purple and gold of Crown Royal this weekend at Richmond.

- Busch will compete in round three of the Crown Royal IROC series Thursday night at Richmond. Busch, the 2003 IROC Champion, currently sits ninth in the point standings with two races remaining (Richmond this weekend and Atlanta on Oct. 29).

- Last week at California Speedway marked another first for Carl Edwards as he claimed his first NEXTEL Cup pole for Sunday's 500-mile event. Edwards clocked a lap time of 38.906 seconds, beating teammate Mark Martin by just .048 seconds.

- Edwards currently sits eighth in the overall point standings heading into the final race until the "Chase". With 3,014 points, Edwards sits 86 points ahead of 11th place. He needs to finish 19th or better in this week's race at Richmond to clinch a spot in the "Chase" no matter what anyone else does.

- Edwards returns to the track this week in the No. 99 Scotts Ford. In two Cup starts at the track Edwards has an average starting position of 12 while his average finishing position is 13.5.

- Mark Martin and the Red Apple No. 9 Racing Team will be looking for their third Busch Series win in 2005 when they take the green flag this Friday night in the Richmond International Raceway, where Martin finished second in the Busch race in the spring.

- This will be Martin's 24th start in the Busch Series at Richmond, where he boasts five wins, 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. Martin has won 22 percent of his Busch races at Richmond, while finishing inside the top 10 77 percent of the time. Martin finished seventh earlier this year in the Busch race at Richmond.

- Martin will be going for his record-extending 48th win in the Busch Series. Martin's first win in the Busch Series came on May 30, 1987 at Dover. His last win in a Busch car came in March at Las Vegas. It was Martin's second Busch win of the season. Despite running a limited schedule of 15 races or less, Martin won at least two Busch races each year from 1993-2000, including six-win seasons in '92, '96, '97 and '99.

- This will be the sixth of eight scheduled Busch starts for Martin in 2005. In addition to Richmond this weekend, Martin will make starts at Kansas City in October and Homestead in November.

- Martin has five Busch wins at Richmond and has finished inside the top 10 in 77 percent of his 23 Busch races at the track.

- Matt Kenseth will be competing in the Emerson Radio 250 in the No. 17 Waste Management Ford Friday night in the Busch Series. In his eleven Busch starts at Richmond, Kenseth has six top-five finishes, nine top-10's and one pole.

NNCS

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-221 (won the All-Star race in May, finished fourth at Atlanta)

Martin on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "Richmond has been a good track for us over the years. We've been pretty good there and we've had a lot of big races there. It always makes for an exciting race and we are looking forward to going there and just seeing what we can do. We were kind of off there in the spring, so we'll have our work cut out for us getting back on track and hopefully running up front.

"Obviously clinching our place in the chase last week takes some of the pressure off and we hope to just go there and let it all hang out. We definitely have to shift our focus and look towards that championship. Our goal has been to make the chase and now we shift to winning the championship."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We are locked in the chase now, so we've accomplished our first goal. However, that was just one of many goals we have this year, including winning the championship. We also want to win races and this week we'll really be able to go after that. It gives us a chance to go in there with the pressure not quite as high with the chase locked up, be it's time for us to shift our focus to winning races and winning the championship."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-229 (has not yet raced this season)

Biffle on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "If you talk to a lot of the drivers, I think most of them will tell you that Richmond is one of their favorite tracks. It's just a driver's track. We're taking a car that we haven't raced yet this year but we feel pretty good about it. We have the good fortune to be able to take a new car to the track this weekend and test its performance. Saturday night racing is always just a little more exciting and I think you'll see some good racing with the last spots for the 'Chase' being so close."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Richmond International Raceway: " We have totally rebuilt chassis 229 from last year. It is very similar to the car we raced at New Hampshire but we think it will be even better for Richmond. We're going to use the opportunity in Richmond this weekend to test this car and if it performs well, we may be able to use it in New Hampshire or even Martinsville later in the year. We did take this car to the wind tunnel and are pretty happy with the numbers."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-23 (ran at Phoenix and Loudon this season)

Kenseth on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I am excited about going to Richmond this weekend. It has all come down to this race to settle the top ten that will be competing for the championship this year. We've had a good run over the last several months and have put ourselves in contention for this thing. We have to have no mistakes this weekend -- not by the driver and not on pit road. It's going to be exciting, I know that."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "It all comes down to this weekend. We tested at Richmond last week and learned about a lot of things that didn't work. Hopefully, we can take what we know and get the right set up on our car. Matt and the team have stayed committed and focused and have gotten us this far, somewhere that at times we didn't think we'd be. So this is it -- it should be a wild night!"

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 Crown Royal Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #48 (led 94 laps here one year ago)

Busch on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "It feels like we've had about anything that can go wrong happen at Richmond. Earlier this year we were leading here late in the race when we had a lug nut get caught in the brakes and put us a lap down. Last year in the spring it was an alternator belt that broke when we were leading that took us out of contention, and then in the fall last year we were leading at the end before fuel strategy cost us the win. But Richmond is a terrific racetrack. The side-by-side racing action provides a little bit of balance between a speedway attitude and a short track feel. The track is its own unique length. There's no other track on the circuit that's ¾ of a mile, but the way that the Cup cars run here, it feels like it is a mile in speed, but it feels like it's a half-mile in handling characteristics. We're running our Crown Royal paint scheme this weekend, and I'd love to put it in victory lane."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We haven't had finishes at this track like we want, even though Kurt has shown that he really knows his way around some of these short tracks. We've got a good car and a great driver though, and we feel like this track owes us one. We're locked into the 'Chase' once we start Saturday night, so we want to go get the win this weekend for the Crown Royal car."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Scotts Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK-264 (raced at first Loudon)

Edwards on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "Richmond is a great track, and it will be a fun race to watch this week. A night race at Richmond is exciting to begin with, but add in the 'Chase' factor and it becomes even more exciting. Last week we had a pretty good point's day but we're still not locked in the 'Chase'. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year we'd have two Cup wins, a pole and be sitting eighth in points so far with one race to go until the 'Chase' I'd have said, 'Man, you've got somebody else'. I just didn't expect our year to go this well. Our primary goal this week is to make the 'Chase'. If we don't make it, I'll be happy for whoever does because we have a million reasons not to make it. But we really want to make it and I think we can."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "The races at Richmond are always fun to watch for the fans. I think the added value of the 'Chase' makes things that much more exciting. Obviously our primary focus this week is on making the 'Chase' and I think we can do that. The Scotts team is strong and we have a driver that can get up on the wheel. We just need to have another good solid run and we should be fine."


NBS

Mark Martin
Team: No. 9 Red Apple Racing Team Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-292 (only car team has run this year, winning at Fontana and Vegas)

Martin on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "Richmond usually makes for some really good racing and we've had some good races there in the Busch Series over the years. We've had a lot of wins there in the Busch car and we'd love to notch another one this season. We weren't quite good enough in the Busch car to win there in the spring, so we'll have our work cut out for us if we are to win our third Busch race this season."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Waste Management Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: JR-41 (won earlier this year at Loudon)

Kenseth on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I am excited about going to Richmond this weekend. It has all come down to this race to settle the top ten that will be competing for the championship this year. We've had a good run over the last several months and have put ourselves in contention for this thing. We have to have no mistakes this weekend -- not by the driver and not on pit road. It's going to be exciting, I know that."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "It's been a while since we raced -- not since Loudon in July. We have a long stretch ahead of us, running seven out of the last eleven races. We hope to start that stretch on a good note this weekend. We've finished in the top ten all year, but we'd really like to get some more wins before the season is over."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 Charter Communications Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Brad Parrott
Chassis: JR-83

Carl Edwards on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I can't wait to return to Richmond. I had an awesome time back in May. I'm looking forward to another exciting finish, with hopefully the same results. The adrenaline is still flowing from California. I can't wait to race at Richmond Friday night. The whole team is pumped and returning to Richmond after a big win is just what this team needs. We won the earlier race there this year and feel we can go in there under the lights and repeat. Racing at Richmond is so awesome and the whole Charter Team is ready to get a back-to-back win."


NCTS

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 50 World Financial Group Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: #34 (finished second at IRP)

Todd Kluever on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "Richmond is a really cool track. I can see why so many drivers love racing there. I spent a day testing there last week and I think it was a pretty good test. We took chassis 34, which is the same truck that we finished second with at IRP. We started off pretty fast early in the day, but lost some speed throughout the day. Most of the other teams there slowed down also, so I guess the track got a little slower as the day went on. All in all, I believe it was a good test."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I think Todd will run really well at Richmond. We spent a day testing there last week and learned a lot. This team has really come on strong in the past two months and we're not too far out of the top 10 now. That is our goal for now -- win races and get in the top 10 in points."

Ricky Craven
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: #35 (rebuilt after accident at Memphis)

Ricky Craven on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I've always enjoyed racing at Richmond. It's a great facility and I don't think the fans have ever been disappointed with a race there. The Craftsman Truck Series will surely put on a tremendous show, as they do everywhere.

"We didn't test at Richmond since I've been there several times in the Cup and Busch cars, but we did spend a day at the Motor Mile in Radford, Va., to make sure this truck is what we think it is. This truck was in pretty bad shape after Memphis and the steering wheel is probably about the only thing we didn't touch. We had a good test with it last week and I think we should be very competitive at Richmond. Our goal is still to get to victory lane a time, or two, during these last eight races."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "This team has turned a corner the last few weeks, but we don't really have the results to show for it since we've had some bad luck. Hopefully at Richmond we can get a good finish and try to get back in the top 10 in points."

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About this article
Series IROC , NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Ricky Craven , Carl Edwards , Todd Kluever , Doug Richert , Mark Martin