BUSCH: Roush Racing Richmond preview

Roush Racing heads to triple-threat weekend in Richmond Richmond International Raceway, Sept. 9-11, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Chevy Rock & Roll 400, 7:30PM, Sept. 11 NASCAR Busch Series: Emerson 250, 8:00PM, Sept. 10 NASCAR Craftsman...

Roush Racing heads to triple-threat weekend in Richmond

Richmond International Raceway, Sept. 9-11, 2004
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Chevy Rock & Roll 400, 7:30PM, Sept. 11
NASCAR Busch Series: Emerson 250, 8:00PM, Sept. 10
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Kroger 200, 8:45PM, Sept. 9
Crown Royal IROC Series: Round III, 7:30PM, Sept. 9

Roush Racing Fast Facts

-Mark Martin finished third at California, his third top-three in the last four races, to jump inside the top-10 for the first time in 2004. The team has posted four top-three finishes in the past six races as they head into Richmond. Martin needs a finish of third or better to guarantee his spot in the final 10 race run.

-Martin is currently nine points out of ninth place and 20 points outside of eighth. Martin, who trailed 10th by 123 points and was in 15th place just four races ago, is currently 25 points ahead of 11th and 56 points ahead of 15th. In addition, Martin is only 424 points outside of first place, 24 points outside the point cutoff.

-Martin is no stranger to Richmond, winning the pole and finishing seventh in his first race there in 1981. He's won once in the Cup car, while taking home five victories in the Busch series. He has finished in the top seven in four of the last five there, including a seventh-place finish last spring. The team tested last week at Richmond and were pleased with the results of the test session.

-Martin will again run the reverse paint scheme this week at Richmond. Martin has run the night race scheme in seven races this year (counting the All-Star event), recording top-10 finishes on five of the seven occasions, including a victory at Dover.

-Martin will run the No. 9 Pennzoil Ford in Friday night's Busch race at Richmond. It will be Martin's 22nd Busch start at Richmond, where he has five wins, 13 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

-Martin has won 24 percent of the Busch races he's entered at Richmond and finished inside the top-10 81 percent of the time.

-Martin will be going for his Busch Series record extending 46th win in the series at Richmond Friday night.

-Matt Kenseth finished 22nd at California Speedway one week ago. He still has fifteen top-10 finishes in 25 starts in 2004. Kenseth has now been inside the NASCAR Top-10 for 60 straight weeks*the longest active streak.

-Busch finished 11th at California to narrowly end his streak of consecutive top-10 finishes at four and drop him a position to seventh in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings. Busch, who spent the last two weeks in sixth, fell 18 points behind race-winner Elliott Sadler.

-In order to secure his spot in the inaugural "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup," Busch must gain 37 points this weekend in Richmond. He can do that by either finishing 42nd or higher in the event, or starting the race leading one lap.

-Busch is running the IRWIN Industrial Tools paint scheme for the 16th of 19 events in 2004.

-Though Busch's success at short-tracks cannot be disputed, he has only managed one top-10 finish in seven career starts at Richmond. He has led races twice at the facility, including 17 laps on his way to an eighth place finish in May of 2003, and six laps earlier this year before a mechanical failure took him out of contention.

-Busch has extra incentive to run well at Richmond to benefit low-income families. For a top five-finish, IRWIN will donate $10,000 in product to the charitable foundation Rebuilding Together, and $20,000 for a win.

-The No. 99 team tested at Richmond last week.

-Rookie Carl Edwards has posted two top-10 finishes in just three NEXTEL Cup Series starts this year.

-Thirteen drivers, including Carl Edwards, have made their NEXTEL Cup debut in 2004. Looking at their first starts, Edwards posted the highest finish out of the 13 when he raced to 10th at Michigan.

-Thursday evening Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch will compete in round three of the Crown Royal IROC Series. Busch and Kenseth are fifth and ninth in the points respectively, following events in Daytona and Texas earlier this year.

Mark Martin - NNCS
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-264 (new chassis, but tested in Richmond last week)

Mark Martin on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "Richmond is a great race track and I've always enjoyed racing there. They put in a new surface before the spring race this year and they did a great job with that and it allowed for some really good racing in the spring. We tested there last week in both the Cup and Busch cars and I really like where we are going into this race.

"The agenda is the same as always - we are going to go out and try to win the race. It's hard to say what will happen with the top-10 but I know that if we do that, we'll be in good shape. No matter what happens it can't take away from what this race team has been able to do this year. If we get in, then we'll go after it. If not, we are going to try to win some more races just the same, but we'll know more about all that about midnight Saturday night."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We are taking a new car with us to Richmond this weekend. We tested it at Richmond last week and were pretty quick, so we are excited about going back there. Richmond is a good track for Mark. We've had to really fight hard to get to this point, so we are planning on putting together another strong run to secure our place in that top 10. I know Mark's up for the challenge, so it's our job know make sure we give him a good enough car on Saturday to finish the deal."

Greg Biffle - NNCS
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-258 (new chassis)

Greg Biffle on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "The night races at Richmond are usually pretty exciting and I always look forward to running there. I expect that the Cup race this weekend will be extra thrilling because of the chase to get into the top 10. There are about five or six guys that are within 60 points of each other trying to make that top 10 and I have a feeling some feathers are going to get ruffled. Richmond provides some of the best short track racing out there regardless of the point situation, so the fans will definitely get their money's worth. We had a good run going in the National Guard car last time we were in Richmond but a pit road penalty late in the race cost us some track position. Our cars have been running extremely well of late and I'm certain we'll be fast this weekend."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We're taking a brand new car that we tested earlier this year at Indy. We feel really good about taking it to Richmond this weekend because it has good downforce and the balance we would need at Richmond. We had a good car the last time we raced there but struggled a little with being loose in to the corners so we'll know we need to work on that."

Matt Kenseth - NNCS
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush/Mark Martin
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: MMR-23 (first race in 2004, but ran last year at both Richmonds)

Matt Kenseth on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We're fortunate enough to have clinched a spot in the Chase, but we're still focused on winning this weekend. I think we're likely to see a wilder race than even Richmond usually gives us, but our goal is to stay out of trouble, do the best job we possibly can and really get prepared to go into these final 10 races of the year on a roll."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "This chassis has been rebuilt from last year and this marks the first time we've used it all year. If it's a good short track car for us, we may see it again in the final ten."

Kurt Busch - NNCS
Team: No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RP-48 (first time in 2004)

Kurt Busch on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "Richmond provides a great atmosphere for all the venues we partake in, whether it's the IROC race, a truck race, or the full-blown 400 laps of a Cup race, there's different excitement levels in each of those races. 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 and 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. So, it's really a unique track.

"We're also running the IROC cars here this week, and that should be pretty cool to have these Crown Royal cars on such a tight, fast racetrack. This is the first short track that IROC has ever visited, so it feels pretty special to be a part of that."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We haven't had finishes at this track like we wanted, even though Kurt has shown that he really knows his way around some of these short tracks. This week we're just looking for another solid finish so that we're locked in this deal and we can go racing for the final 10."

Carl Edwards - NNCS Team: No.99 Ford Taurus Owner: Jack Roush Crew Chief: Bob Osborne Chassis Number: RK-248 (ran at Richmond and New Hampshire earlier in this year)

Carl Edwards on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I'm looking forward to going to Richmond. We had a pretty good test there last week so I think we look pretty good heading into this weekend. The last three races with Bob (Osborne, crew chief) and the guys have been so much fun. We've got an awesome team and the guys have given me awesome race cars. I'm really excited to get back on track this weekend and continue to build on what we've got going right now."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "The No. 99 team has had some good runs over the past several weeks and we are looking to build on that this weekend in Richmond. We tested there last week and had pretty good results. I think those extra laps have helped us prepare for the upcoming race, there's no doubt about it. Carl has been doing an outstanding job in the No. 99 Ford and we want to continue that momentum through the rest of this year. We just need to stay focused and I think we will be good."

Mark Martin - NBS
Team: No. 9 Pennzoil Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Tony Liberati
Chassis: RK-17 (new chassis, tested at Richmond last week)

Martin on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I'm looking forward to getting back out there in the Busch race. We had a blast at Michigan a couple of weeks ago. Tony (Liberati) and the guys on the Pennzoil Team have done a good job getting the cars ready and I'm looking to go out there and have some more fun, lead some laps and hopefully put this Pennzoil No. 9 car in victory lane."

Greg Biffle - NBS
Team: No. 60 Charter Communications Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Brad Parrott
Chassis: JR-75 (finished second at Richmond in the spring)

Greg Biffle on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "The night races at Richmond are usually pretty exciting and I always look forward to running there. Richmond provides some of the best short track racing out there regardless of the point situation, so the fans will definitely get their money's worth on Friday and Saturday night. We should be good with both cars this weekend. We finished second in the spring Busch race and we're taking that same car back this weekend. The Charter team is coming off a big win at California and hopefully we can carry that momentum right in to Victory Lane on Friday."

Crew Chief Brad Parrott on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We're taking car No. 75, which is the same car we ran second with in the spring. The second race of the year at Richmond is usually different because the air and track temperatures are hotter. Our teammate Mark Martin tested there last week and we got some good feedback from those guys that will definitely help us with our initial setup of the car.

"Everyone on this Charter team is optimistic heading into Richmond. We had a car capable of winning last time but we would've had to lay a fender on Kyle Busch do to so. We've got extra fender braces on for this race just in case. Really though, this team has really come together and we plan on winning at least five of the last nine races to make it 10 for the year."

Jon Wood - NCTS
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Tony Price
Chassis: #34 (raced at IRP, Gateway, Memphis, Mansfield and Martinsville)

Jon Wood on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I've raced at Richmond three times in the truck. The first two races didn't go so well, but last year we got our first top-five finish there. This year we are going to do everything we can to do at least that well again. We spent two days testing at Memphis since the tracks are somewhat similar. We learned some good things at the test that will help us at Richmond and a few other places. It would be really nice to have a good run in my home state of Virginia. We had a good truck at Bristol and could have finished around the top five if we wouldn't have had some trouble in the pits. Hopefully we have most of that worked out for now and we can get back to being competitive."

Crew Chief Tony Price on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "Jon had a good test at Memphis last week, so that should help us at Richmond. He ran well there last year and he's always good on short tracks so hopefully we'll have a good run on Thursday night."

Carl Edwards - NCTS
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Kevin Starland
Chassis: #35 (raced at IRP, Memphis and Mansfield)

Carl Edwards on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "I'm hoping this year will go a lot better than my first race at Richmond last year. I hit the wall twice last year and ended up in 25th place. I think this year I've learned to be a little more patient and the guys always remind me that if the truck isn't right to wait it out until we can pit for adjustments rather than overdrive it. I spent two days testing at Richmond in the Cup car and I think that will help a lot. Just having the extra track time will really benefit me in both races. Racing at Richmond is a lot of fun, but it can be a pretty tough place. My teammate, Jon Wood, was nice enough to test my Superchips truck at Memphis since I was testing the Cup car in Richmond. We should have everything we need to have a good run on Thursday night and hopefully make another dent in Bobby Hamilton's lead in the point standings."

Crew Chief Kevin "Cowboy" Starland on racing at Richmond International Raceway: "We took our Richmond truck (chassis 35) to Memphis last week and Jon Wood tested it for two days. It was pretty fast at the test, but I don't know how much of that will carry over to Richmond. Carl spent two days testing his Cup car at Richmond so that will really help him. He's only been there once before so track time is probably the most important thing for him."

-rr-

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Series IROC , NASCAR-CUP , NASCAR-NS , NASCAR-TRUCK

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