BUSCH: Daytona II: Roush Fenway Racing preview

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Pepsi 400 Saturday July 7 6:30 PM Eastern - TNT/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo Friday July 6 7:30 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts * David Ragan got his first...

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Pepsi 400
Saturday July 7
6:30 PM Eastern - TNT/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo
Friday July 6
7:30 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan got his first start at Daytona International Speedway in February 2007. He started 35th and finished fifth in the 500 mile race.

* Three Raybestos Rookies have led the 2006 Pepsi 400, the most rookies to ever lead the summer race at Daytona. The 2006 race was the first Pepsi 400 since 2004 where a Raybestos Rookie led a lap in the event.

* Since 1975, only three Raybestos Rookies have scored a top-five finish in the Pepsi 400: 1979 - Dale Earnhardt, third; 1993 -- Jeff Gordon, fifth; 2003 -- Greg Biffle, first

* Ragan also competed in the Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway in February 2007. He started 17th and finished 43rd after being involved in an early race incident.

* Ragan is currently second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Race. He trails Juan Pablo Montoya by 14 points.

***

* Greg Biffle recorded his first NEXTEL Cup race in the July Daytona race in 2003.

* With the same car the team is taking this weekend, Biffle was running in the top five on the final lap of this year's Daytona 500 when he got caught up in a wreck that unfolded in front of him. He was credited with a 25th place finish.

* Biffle finished 31st last week at New Hampshire and currently sits 17th in the point standings, 299 points out of the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run the black and red Dish Network paint scheme.

***

* Matt Kenseth has led at least one lap in the last seven restrictor-plate races for a total of 105 laps; the fourth most of any driver during that span.

* Kenseth has three top fives and five top-10 finishes in the past eight restrictor-plate races.

* Daytona Blues -- The past three Daytona 500s have been nothing but heartbreak for Kenseth.  In 2005, Kenseth had a mechanical failure cut his day short on lap 34, sending him home in 42nd.  In 2006, Kenseth had led the most laps and was running in second when he was sent spinning on the superstretch on lap 108.  This year, Kenseth was running in the third position coming to the
checkered flag when he was sent spinning off of turn four.  In the two previous seasons, Kenseth has rebounded with a top-10 finish in the July race.
* Matt Kenseth will fly the R+L Carriers colors this weekend for the second of four times in 2007.  In the previous showing, Kenseth drove the R+L Carriers Ford Fusion to a 12th-place finish at
Charlotte in the 600.  The paint scheme will run two more times in 2007, Fontana in September and Martinsville in October.

* Kenseth has three top-10 finishes in the past four Pepsi 400s.

* Kenseth returns to Daytona ranked third in the championship point standings. The last four seasons he has entered this weekend ranked first in 2003 (Championship year), third in 2004, 20th in 2005, and second in 2006.

* Since the beginning of 2000, no one has collected more top-five finishes or top-10 finishes on the two, two-mile ovals than Kenseth, who has scored 10 top fives and 17 top 10s in 26 starts.

***

* Jamie McMurray has one top five and two top-10 finishes in his last four starts at Daytona International Speedway.

* Daytona is statistically McMurray's most challenging track on the NASCAR Cup circuit. McMurray averages a 27.9 finish at the 2.5-mile speedway.

* In nine starts, when finishing on the lead lap, McMurray has produced two top-10 finishes -- otherwise, McMurray has finished 31st or worst.

* McMurray will pilot the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools / Marathon Saw Blade Ford Fusion. This is a special paint scheme promoting IRWIN's Marathon Saw Blades.

* McMurray is currently 14th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings and only 184 points out of the "Chase."

***

* Carl Edwards will make his sixth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start at Daytona International Speedway. In five Cup Series starts at Daytona, Edwards has one top-15 finish

* Edwards has one win at Daytona International Speedway. In February of 2004 he drove the No. 99 Superchips F-150 to his first truck win of the season. In his rookie debut in the Cup car, Edwards drove the No. 99 Ford to a solid 12th place finish

* After 17 races, Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently seventh in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings with 2148 points, 465 points out of first place.

* This weekend the colors of Office Depot will return to the No. 99

* Office Depot Store No. 2512 from Stratford, Conn. is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 at Daytona this weekend

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-382 Previous ran in the Daytona 500 in February 2007; finished 5th, and Pepsi 400 at Daytona in 2006; finished 31st
     RK-433 Previously ran in the Gatorade 150s in 2007, finished 28th

Ragan on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"We are definitely looking forward to getting back to Daytona. It was our best finish of the year at the Daytona 500 earlier this season and we are taking the same car back with us so hopefully we will be right up there again. We have had success at the track, but that doesn't mean that I am not aware of all the messes you can get caught up in there too. I have had a lot more seat time since the 500 so hopefully that will show during Saturday night's race. I am also racing a Busch car on Friday night which should help out quite a bit to help get reacquainted with the track."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"David has done well on the superspeedways so far this year. We will be taking the same car that we had at Daytona earlier this year, so that will be a big help with the set up now that we know how the car handles on that track. Another top-five would be nice, but at this point we are racing for points and making certain that we keep a good positioning in the top-35. We have AAA Travel on our car this weekend and the National AAA office is in Heathrow, FL not far from Daytona so we are excited that so many AAA folks will be able to make it out this weekend. All the guys in the shop have been working hard to get things ready and we are all looking forward to a good weekend."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-422 Daytona, Feb. '07 -- started 25th finished 25th

Biffle on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"Racing at Daytona in July is a whole different ball game than racing there in February. The track conditions are much different and that affects several aspects of the race. When you combine that with the fact that you can go out there and run a good race but get caught up in someone else's wreck on the final lap, it makes Daytona a gamble on the schedule. We're taking back the same car that we raced there in February. We had a good run with it and it looked like we had a top-five finish until we got caught up in a wreck ahead of us on the final lap."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"We're taking the same car that this team took to Daytona in February. It has more downforce than the car they took to Talladega earlier this season because it was built for handling specifically at Daytona. Handling will be extremely important this weekend. It always seems like the most important thing about racing at Daytona in July is being able to stay on the bottom. We'll focus on that early in practice. Tire wear will also come into play. The older that track gets, the more it changes and the harder it is to figure out every year. Hopefully we'll figure it out early and then just work on fine-tuning during Friday's practice sessions."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-327 Last outing: Daytona, Feb. '07 -- Finished 27th after last lap spin. Also: Daytona, Jul. '06 -- Finished fifth; Daytona, Feb. '06 -- Finished 15th
     RK-418 Never raced. Tested at Daytona, Jan. '07

Kenseth on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"Daytona has been very frustrating over the past couple of years, for us anyway. We've had a car good enough to win two or three races, but it seems like something always happens to take us out of contention. We thought we were in good shape with about 15 to go in the 500 this year, but things got shuffled around and we ended up restarting eighth or ninth for the green-white-checkered finish. Then it looks like we're going to finish third, maybe even second and we get taken out coming out of (turn) four on the final lap-- so go figure.

"Restrictor-plate racing, for me, is maddening. You have to make the right decisions, but a lot of it is luck. You have to depend on other cars to help you get to the front. If I have a good car and I'm riding second or third on the last lap and I pull out of line, I might win it, but I might finish sixth or 10th or worse. You 're really at the mercy of the cars behind you, and for whatever reason, I haven't been able to make it work at the end and win one of these things. No one would like to change that more than me this weekend."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"We're taking what's basically been our 'Daytona car' for the past two years. It hasn't ran anywhere other than Daytona, because it's been pretty good down there. Unfortunately, like our old 'Bristol car,' it's going to be obsolete after this weekend, as we'll be running COTs at plate races from now on.

"This car seems to handle really well at Daytona, which, unlike Talladega, handling comes into play at Daytona. Matt seems to like this car and thankfully it didn't have much damage from the last lap wreck in the 500.

"The biggest thing for us this weekend is to make sure we take care of everything on our end to help Matt on the track. There are so many things out of your control when it comes to plate racing, so you better hit all the marks on everything you can control, or you can really dig yourself a hole. It's our job in the pits to make the right calls and to make sure we have flawless pit stops all night to get Matt track position, keep him up in front of the draft, and hopefully in contention to win by the end of the race."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Marathon with WeldTec Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK--192 Last raced at Talladega, April 2007; Finished 5th
     RK--328 Tested at Daytona; Jan. 2007

McMurray on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"Daytona is one of the race tracks that I will either finish really well, or really bad. It's a track that if you are there at the end of the race, you will finish really well, but in the case for me, I tend to get caught up in a wreck. Daytona is still one of my favorite places to race at. It's funny because either guys love restrictor-plate racing or they hate it. I'm one of the guys out there that enjoys drafting and running three or four wide.

"This weekend in Daytona we are sporting a new paint scheme from IRWIN Industrial Tools. It's the same IRWIN blue but with yellow flames and a huge Marathon Saw Blade on the side of the No. 26 Ford Fusion.

"The car we are taking is the same car that I've run at every restrictor-plate track since I've been over here at Roush Fenway Racing. It's the same car that I was driving when we were third this year at the Daytona 500 before getting wrecked, and the same car I drove to a fifth-place finish in Talladega a couple months ago. Needless to say, I really enjoy the car we are taking and think we have a really good shot at a strong finish this weekend in Daytona."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"It's hard to believe that we are already at the midpoint of the season. I 'm really pleased with how far this team has come along. It didn't take the team very long to start clicking. We have a really good group of guys that are really focused on getting Jamie into the NEXTEL Cup Chase. I know the guys are really excited with going to Daytona this weekend. They know how well Jamie runs at the restrictor-plate tracks, so if we can avoid the wrecks out there, I know we'll have a good finish. The guys at the Roush-Yates engine shop have come a long way with their restrictor-plate program, and I know they are looking forward to heading down to Daytona with us. It should be a great weekend for the No. 26 IRWIN Tools team."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-287, previously raced the 2007 Daytona 500; started 14th, finished 23rd

Edwards on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"After the disappointment of last weekend in Loudon, I'm really looking forward to going to Daytona and having a strong run. I know a lot can happen at Daytona and I haven't had the best finishes there, but I feel really confident in my team and our equipment. If I can keep the Office Depot Ford out of trouble and finish up front, I think we'll be in good shape. We have a fast car and a great team so it's not out of the question to finish well at Daytona. It would be pretty neat to win there and that's what we are going there to do."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"I think we will be competitive this weekend, no doubt. The most important thing for us right now is to stay out of the wrecks and finish the race up front. I think a solid run at Daytona will be important to get our team back on track. Anything can happen there, but I feel that with smart racing, we'll be in good shape. My goal is to contend for a championship and I think Carl and the entire team are capable of that. We just need to finish up front and I know we can do that."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-344 Ran at Daytona this year started 17th finished 43rd

Ragan on racing in the NBS at Daytona International Speedway:
"I am extremely focused for Daytona. I am still annoyed by our disappointing finish here in February. It is one thing to have a bad run, but to complete just four laps is unacceptable. I feel like we have something to prove this weekend. We did show that our speedway program is improving because of our fourth place finish in Talladega, but this is personal for the entire Discount Tire team. I can assure you the second time around will be much different. The Discount Tire team has prepared well for this challenge and we are poised to make a strong run. A win is the only thing on my mind at this point in the season."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"David has proved he is a threat at any restrictor plate race. Our finish in Talladega opened up a lot eyes and I am hoping that experience will carry over to this weekend. It takes a lot of patience and controlled aggression to do well at Daytona. David is an aggressive driver determined to break into the win column. The Discount Tire team has worked hard preparing a fast racecar that sets up nicely for this track. We are confident in our speedway program and the plan we have put in place for Friday night. Anything can happen on this track, so our entire crew has to be ready to perform at any moment. I am confident we have the team to pull off a memorable finish on Friday night."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-289 Car has not raced yet this season

Biffle on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"I'm looking forward to getting back in the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. I haven't raced with this team since Dover a month ago. The last two races I ran with them (Lowe's and Dover) we were in a position to win until flat tires knocked us out of contention in both races. Daytona is a tough race because you can have the best car out there but that doesn't necessarily mean you will win. You have to stay out of trouble throughout the race and find some friends on the track to draft with you. I'm sure we'll have a shot to win if we can avoid the big wreck that takes out half the field, which seems to be inevitable at restrictor-plate races."

Eddie Pardue on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"We decided to take a different car to Daytona than we ran there in February. That car was damaged at Talladega so this car was our back-up there. I' m sure it will run just as well. We just need to continue the quick pit stops this team has every week to make sure we help Greg maintain, or gain track position to stay in front of the wrecks."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 AFLAC Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK- 338 last ran at Talladega; finished 10th

Edwards on racing in the NBS at Daytona International Speedway:
"We have the AFLAC duck on our Ford Fusion this weekend at Daytona. This is their first race with us and we want to make it exciting. As always, we need to stay out of the 'big one' and find drafting partners in order to finish well. Our goal is to survive and have a good points night. Daytona is always big, but racing under the lights on the fourth of July weekend is just awesome. There would be nothing bigger than putting the No. 60 Ford in Victory Lane."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"We are all excited about running the AFLAC Ford Fusion down at Daytona. We get to run the duck on the car. That's going to be cool. We are looking to keep going on our speedway program. We had a good finish at Daytona there in the spring, finished 10th in Talladega. Hopefully, we'll keep our top-5 run going."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing