BUSCH: Las Vegas: Roush Fenway Racing preview

California Speedway, Feb. 23-25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400, Mar. 11 NASCAR Busch Series: Sam's Town 300, Mar. 10 Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts * David Ragan made his first and only...

California Speedway, Feb.  23-25

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400, Mar. 11
NASCAR Busch Series: Sam's Town 300, Mar. 10

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan made his first and only start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004.

* Ragan is currently fifth in the Nextel Cup Series point standings.

* Ragan finished 16th at California Speedway and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race for the second time this season.

* Ragan currently leads the Raybestos Rookie point standings by nine points.

* This will be David Ragan's 1st career Busch Series Race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

* In addition to Greg Biffle's Cup stats at Las Vegas, he also has six Busch Series top 10's and one Craftsman Truck Series win.

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* Biffle claimed his first of two Bud Pole Awards in 2006 when he topped time trials last March at Las Vegas.

* Biffle finished 15th last weekend at California and currently sits 17th in the point standings, 124 points out of the lead and 21 points out of the top 12.

* Prior to the race in Vegas, Biffle plans to spend some time at the sand dunes about two hours outside of the city with his sand car and a few friends.

* This weekend Biffle will run a black and gold Ameriquest/3M co-primary paint scheme.

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* Matt Kenseth is coming into Las Vegas riding the momentum from the winning the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway two Sunday's ago.

* The win was Kenseth's 15th of his career, but first without Robbie Reiser atop the pit box. It was also Interim Crew Chief, Chip Bolin's, first win as crew chief.

* Kenseth has now won at least one Cup race in every season since 2002, six straight years.

* Since 2002, Kenseth has now recorded four wins in the second race of the season: Rockingham '02, Rockingham in '04, Fontana '06, and Fontana '07.

* Sunday's race will mark the third for interim crew chief, Chip Bolin, calling the shots atop the No. 17 pit box. Bolin, who hails from South Carolina with a degree in mechanic engineering from Clemson University, has been the engineer on the No. 17 team since it's inception in 1999.

* Kenseth's average finish at Las Vegas in the Cup Series in 8.1; second among all drivers with at least four starts at the track (Jimmie Johnson 7.0).

* Kenseth has led 367 laps for his career at Las Vegas in Cup competition, 124 laps better than any other driver.

* Kenseth's last victory at Las Vegas marked the fifth for owner Jack Roush, out of a possible nine races in which the Cup Series has ran at Vegas.

* In four career Cup starts at the 1.5-mile speedway, Jamie McMurray has one top-five finish. This finish came in March 2004, where McMurray started fourth and finished in the same position.

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* McMurray has completed all but nine laps (1062/1071) at LVMS, a 99.2% laps completed record.

* McMurray has a career starting position average of 14.2 and an average finishing position of 18.5 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

* In 152 Nextel Cup starts, McMurray has posted 22 top-five and 55 top-10 finishes, along with two pole awards.

* The No. 26 Crown Royal team will unload a brand new Ford Fusion for this weekend's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.

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* Ride-Along with Carl Edwards -- this weekend the No. 99 Office Depot team will be featured on DIRECTV's HotPass. Fans can experience all the Office Depot team's racing action from the comfort of their couch by subscribing to this DIRECTV program.

* Success at 1.5-mile tracks is usually a given for Edwards, however he has never really had any luck at Vegas. In two starts, Edwards has just one top-15 finish.

* Edwards captured his best Cup finish at Las Vegas on March 13, 2005 when he finished 14th.

NNCS
UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400, March 11, 2007

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary RK-318 Previously ran at California Speedway, finished 16th
    Backup RK- 405 Previously ran at Texas Motor Speedway, finished 35th

Ragan on racing in the Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We've got a decent package to go back to Vegas but it's going to be a learning program for us all this year. We tested out there about a month or so ago so I learned a little bit about the track and feel a little more prepared for this weekend. Jimmy is taking advantage of every situation that will help me and this team succeed. I am real happy with how things have been going so far this season so all we need to do now is keep it up and keep improving week in and week out."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We are taking the same cars to Vegas as our primary and backup that we took to California. David is doing a great job so far with these first two races. He just needs to stay focused and we will work on getting a good qualifying spot so we will hopefully be able to continue to avoid the mess near the back of the field."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-407 Brand new

Biffle on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"Obviously Vegas is a great city to visit whether you're racing or not but it has generally been one of my favorite tracks too. I'm interested to see how the racing is on the new surface. I've been there for two tests and lost one racecar in each test. NASCAR is making us run a smaller fuel cell to counter any tire issues, so pit strategy will play a big part in the race this weekend."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We're taking a brand new racecar to Vegas this weekend. We did run it at the open test and were very happy with its performance. It was actually faster than the one that we wrecked, so we're taking it this weekend and hoping for better luck than we had at the test. The smaller fuel cell should help with tire issues but there are still a few unknowns with the new track surface. We'll have to be on our toes in the pits and play it safe at the same time."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin (interim)
Chassis: RK-317 Last ran: Won Auto Club 500 at Fontana two weeks ago. Also ran: Pocono, Jul. '06, finished 14th, All-Star race '06; finished 11th '05 ran Kansas (pole), Texas & Homestead recording three top fives
    RK-340: Tested Las Vegas in Jan. '07. Last ran: Pocono, Jun. '06, finished fifth

Kenseth on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
Well, Vegas used to be one of my favorite tracks to race at and I hope it's still that way after this weekend. I loved the old configuration because tire wear really became a factor. To me, that makes the racing a lot of fun because it comes down to who can tune on their cars and find the best line around the track to make their car work on old tires.

"Obviously, that has changed. They've put a lot more banking in the turns and during the test the track was super fast. I think it will still be good. We had a pretty good test here and we're bringing the same car that won Fontana a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully we'll get the same result this weekend.

"Vegas has been a good track for this group and we came within half a car length of winning our third race in four years the last time we went out there. That was frustrating, especially when you think about all of those laps we led. But, there was a late caution flag that put Jimmie (Johnson) right behind us, and he was faster than us anyway at the time-- so, that didn't work out for us. It'd be nice to go back this year and make amends for the one that got away from us last year."

Interim Crew Chief Chip Bolin on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"Matt and the guys did a great job at California and really won the race for us by putting us out front on the last pit stop. This group as a whole is continuing to do the things they need to do to pick up the slack in Robbie's (Reiser) absence.

"We're bringing the same chassis that won with two weeks ago in California. We were real happy with the way it seemed to handle there and feel that the balance of the car should be similar at Vegas this weekend.

"It's a bit of a learning experience for me atop the pit box, but I can't say enough about the guys around me, that Robbie has put in place, to help this team excel. This is his team, but he's done such a good job a getting talented people in place, that when everyone does their job, it practically runs itself."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK--428 Brand New
    Backup: RK--403

McMurray on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"It's always a good time when you go to Vegas, and not just for the race, it's a great city. I've always had a good time when we go out there. I know for me it's going to be nice to get back into the swing of things after having last weekend off. During our testing session out there a few weeks ago, we didn't hit on anything that we really liked, so Larry (Carter) took the notes back to the shop and built a brand new chassis with a new body design and a new suspension package. I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we have under us. I have no doubt that we will have a fast Ford Fusion, as this is one of the tracks that Roush Fenway Racing has excelled at in the past. Hopefully we can finish the race this weekend and post a strong finish, which would help us out a lot in the points."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"Well, I didn't feel like we had the best test session here a month ago, so we went back to the drawing board. We took everything that we learned at the test and compared notes with the other teams -- the end result is a brand new chassis for this weekend's race. We are sitting behind the eight ball a little bit right now and need a strong finish in Vegas. Overall, I'm expecting we made the right changes and are bringing a great car to the track."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-272 Edwards last raced this car at Texas in November 2006; he started and finished that race in the 15th position.

Edwards on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"In the past, I haven't had the best finishes at Vegas, but this year I am really looking forward to racing there. Our Office Depot Fusion was really good at the test back in January, so I feel confident heading into the race. The new banking of the track is awesome and fans will see a different kind of racing as result. It's going to awesome."

Edwards on the "Official Small Business of NASCAR" Promotion:
"I think it's awesome that Office Depot is continuing to give this type of unique opportunity and tremendous exposure to small businesses. It's the American dream to start a business and grow it and make it work. I think it's neat that Office Depot is giving a small business the chance to realize this dream. And, judging from the reaction of past winners, it's been a lot of fun for the winner."

Crew Chief, Bob Osborne on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"I've been disappointed with our results the past two weeks -- we've just had some bad luck. This weekend I am looking for the luck to change and for the Office Depot team to get a solid finish. We had a lot of success testing here in January and were able to gather a lot of information that I feel will be beneficial for the race."

NBS
Sam's Town 300, Mar. 10, 2007

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-378 Previously ran at Texas

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Las Vegas:
"I can't tell you how excited I am to get to Las Vegas. We had a phenomenal test last month and the car is set up perfect for this track. The No. 6 Discount Tire team has been working so hard to improve on our finishes and move up in the points. I think it's only a matter of time before we get that first win under our belt."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Las Vegas:
"We had a good finish and a nice jump in the points last week in Mexico City. I hope we improve like that every week. Our preparation at the test in Las Vegas last month is the key to our success this weekend. I believe our Ford Fusion is as fast as any car in the field. We must set our own pace and take what the car gives us. It is a must that we continue to finish races. If we do what we are supposed to, good things will happen for the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-373 -- finished fifth at California

Biffle on racing in the Busch series at Las Vegas:
"I love racing at Vegas. I'm still looking for my first Busch Series win there and I think we've got a good shot at it this weekend. We're taking the same car we raced at California a few weeks ago, which was good enough to win, but finished fifth after a bad pit stop. I feel good about our chances this weekend and think the odds are in our favor."

Eddie Pardue on racing in Las Vegas:
"I expect Greg to have a strong run in Vegas. We're taking the same car we raced at California a few weeks ago and got a top five there. Greg has a good record at Vegas so I would bet we'll have a good run again this weekend."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 360 (last ran California -- finished first)

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We've come close at Vegas the past couple of years. It has been one of my better tracks but, now that they've reconfigured it, we'll just have to wait and see. We had a great test out there in Vegas last month and we're bringing the same car that's won the past two times out. That doesn't necessarily translate into success, but it definitely gives you confidence going into the weekend. Drew (Blickensderfer) has done a great job of picking up where Jimmy (Fennig) left off last year and he's got these guys operating at a level where we should be able to continue to compete for wins."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We are bringing one of our favorite cars to Vegas this weekend. This is the same car we won California with and the guys worked hard to get it ready so we could bring it to Vegas. Matt had a good run there last year and even sat on the pole. Hopefully with RK-360 we will be able to earn a good finish for Arby's."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK-419 brand new chassis, tested at Vegas

Edwards on racing in the Busch series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We had a spectacular test in Vegas and our car was awesome. It's going to be an exciting week. I'm really pumped about running on the new surface and seeing how the Dish Network Fusion is going to run. We tested really well there. I have a feeling this is going to be a good race for us. It's great to be going to Vegas as the Busch points leader. The No. 60 team is really pumped."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"I'm really looking forward to Las Vegas. We've got a new sponsor Dish Network. We had a pretty good test out there. We're going to go back with a lot of the same things we ran at Fontana. We are going to move forward with this chassis type program we've been working on and hope to bring back success."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Mike Kelley
Teams Roush Fenway Racing