BUSCH: Loudon: Roush Racing preview

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: New England 300, Sunday July 17 NASCAR Busch Series: New England 200, Saturday July 16 Roush Racing Fast Facts - After a 10th-place run in Chicago last weekend, Mark Martin and ...

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: New England 300, Sunday July 17

NASCAR Busch Series: New England 200, Saturday July 16

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- After a 10th-place run in Chicago last weekend, Mark Martin and the No. 6 Viagra Team head to Loudon, New Hampshire where they will look for their first top 10 finish at the 1-mile track since November of 2001. Martin and the team come into the race on a bit of a roll, having finished inside the top 15 in five of the last six and inside the top 10 in four of those.

- Martin's top-10 finish at Chicagoland moved him up two places to sixth in the Nextel Cup point standings, only 28 points out of fifth. He currently trails first place by 346 points.

- Martin won the first Cup pole at New Hampshire in July of 1993. He has never won at Loudon (one of only seven current tracks to have that distinction), but he has finished second on three occasions. Martin finished inside the top 10 in 10 of his first 12 and 11 of his first 13 at Loudon and has two poles and seven top-five finishes in 20 starts at the track.

- Martin started his 500th consecutive race at Loudon in September of 2003.

- With his 11th place finish at Chicago last week, Greg Biffle maintained the second position in the point standings. He is currently 108 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson and holds a 43-point advantage over Tony Stewart in third.

- Biffle led 34 laps in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400, putting him at 995 total laps led this season. Biffle has led the most laps this season, followed by Tony Stewart at 831 laps led and Jimmie Johnson at 392 laps led.

- The National Guard/Post-it paint scheme returns as sponsor of the No. 16 Ford this weekend in New Hampshire for the second week in a row. This is the same paint scheme he drove to victory lane in California and Texas.

- In his five Busch Series starts at Loudon, Matt Kenseth has one win, two top-five's and three top-ten finishes.

- Kenseth led 50 laps in last year's event on the way to his first victory at Loudon in the Busch Series.

- In his ten Cup Series starts at Loudon, Matt Kenseth has finished in the top-five four times, and in the top-ten six times. He also has one pole position.

- Kurt Busch dropped one spot to 10th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings despite an eighth-place effort in Chicago last week. He trails point leader Jimmie Johnson by 376 points, but is only 30 points out of sixth place.

- Busch has four top-10 finishes in eight races at New Hampshire. He won both 2004 races there, and his path to the series title began with his win in New Hampshire's second race, the first race of the inaugural "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." Busch led 110 laps in this race one year ago and 155 laps at Loudon last September on his way to victory.

- Busch's 2004 sweep is one of only two at New Hampshire, a track that debuted on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule in 1993. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), the current point standings leader, swept both races in 2003.

- Busch has been in the top 10 for 17 of 18 weeks thus far in 2005. Busch has two top-10 finishes in his last four races, including an eighth-place effort last week at Chicagoland Speedway.

- The No. 97 team brings the blue and yellow of IRWIN Industrial Tools to Loudon, the same paint scheme that Busch took to victory lane twice there last year.

- The IRWIN team brings chassis #52 to Loudon, the car that swept both Loudon events last year. Busch took this car to victory lane four times in eight races since 2002, most recently at Phoenix this year.

- In three career starts at New Hampshire, Carl Edwards has two top-five finishes in the Craftsman Truck Series with his best finish coming in 2003 when he finished second in his first start at the track. Overall in both series Edwards averages a starting position of 11.6 and a finishing position of 8.6.

- Edwards currently sits 475 points out of first in the overall point standings, the first time he's been out of the "Chase" in 18 weeks. Sitting in 12th position he's 99 points out of 10th and with eight races left could still get back in contention for the "Chase".

- Edwards continues to return to his roots running local dirt and pavement races in his spare time. Last Saturday Edwards raced in Elko, MN with some fellow Cup competitors bringing home a win. Edwards will race a Silver Crown car this Wednesday (7-13-05) in Stafford, CT and again at IRP on August 4.

Nextel Cup Series:

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-251 (tested at Milwaukee, new chassis)

Martin on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "Loudon can be a really tough race track. It can be really hard to pass there and if you don't handle well, then you are in for a long day. We ran really well there when we first started going, but haven't ran well there the last few years. Hopefully we'll be able to go there and reverse that trend this weekend and come out of there with a good finish, which we haven't had there in a while.

"We just weren't quite good enough to win last weekend at Chicagoland, but it says a great deal about this race team that we hung in there and kept fighting - even down to the last lap - and we managed to come out of there with a top-10 finish and a good day in the points. We know that we have some work to do with the cars, but if we can just keep fighting through it like we did last Sunday then I know we'll be okay."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "Loudon hasn't been our best track as of late. We ran okay there last year, but we weren't really strong in either of the races there. Mark has a pretty good record there, so we know that he can get the job done if we give him a good enough car to work with, so I guess the real pressure will be on the team this weekend to make sure we get the job done. If we do, I'm sure we'll be just fine on Sunday."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-258 (ran at Martinsville earlier this season)

Biffle on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I always enjoy racing at New Hampshire. It's a flat track and those are always fun for a driver because it requires a lot of throttle and brake input. The keys to New Hampshire are getting the car to rotate in the corner and have lots of forward bite exiting. If you can hit both of those things with the setup then it's generally a good day."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We're taking chassis number 258, which is the car we raced at Martinsville earlier this year. It has been completely re-bodied with the current body style and we've decided to take it to New Hampshire this weekend. We have had quite a few good runs this season with the new body style and I think that will carry over into our performance this weekend at New Hampshire."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-23 (won at Phoenix and Richmond in 2002)

Kenseth on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I was disappointed last weekend when the win slipped away from us, but I am happy about the progress we've made over the past several weeks. We're gaining on the top-10 on our way to working ourselves back into the Chase, and that has been our focus. It has been a while since we've had the dominant car on the track and it felt good. I know we have the equipment and the personnel to get it done, and right now it seems like it's all coming together."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We've posted top-10 finishes the last five times we've raced at Loudon, so we've had some success there. We were so close to getting our first win last weekend in Chicago, and the team is more determined now than ever to make that happen. I'm very pleased with the consistency that we've shown over the last five or six weeks and we're steadily creeping up on the top-10 in point standings."

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #52 (swept Loudon in 2004, won Phoenix in 2005)

Busch on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I really enjoy the new banking at Loudon. It allows for better side-by-side racing, and we've found a set-up for our IRWIN Ford that works well in all the grooves. The set-up that we've had here will definitely help us run well, but you always have to be adapting and changing to keep up with the current track conditions. Our second trip here in September marks the start of the 'Chase for the NEXTEL Cup', so this is a track where our team feels it is vital to run well. We need a good run this weekend to help with the points. We're in contention right now, but not where we want to be to feel comfortable. But we're only 50 points or so out of fifth place, so the points are extremely competitive right now, and Loudon would be a great place to gain some ground."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "The key to this track is getting through the middle and off of the corners. We've had two good runs at Loudon last year, and the same was a good one at Phoenix and Richmond before we had a lug nut problem, so we feel good about the IRWIN Ford this weekend."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK-264

Edwards on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I like New Hampshire, it's one of my favorite tracks. It's flat and fast and it puts a lot of things in the driver's hands. We unfortunately have taken a big hit in the points so this weekend it will be real important for us to run well there. We struggled a bit last year in the fall but hopefully we learned some things that will help us out this weekend."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "After the last few weeks we are really looking to turn things around this weekend at New Hampshire. We've had some fast cars which is a really positive thing, unfortunately we've been involved in a wreck for one reason or another and it's cost us with our finishes. I think we have one of the strongest teams and drivers in the garage and I'm confident we can turn things around and come out on top."

Busch Series:

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Waste Management Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: JR-41 (posted top 10 finishes at Fontana and Richmond this year)

Kenseth on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I was disappointed last weekend when the win slipped away from us, but I am happy about the progress we've made over the past several weeks. We're gaining on the top-10 on our way to working ourselves back into the Chase, and that has been our focus. It has been a while since we've had the dominant car on the track and it felt good. I know we have the equipment and the personnel to get it done, and right now it seems like it's all coming together."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "Our team was off for a while before our race last weekend in Chicago. I think we were a little rusty on our pit stops and the guys have really focused on that this week in preparation for Loudon. Matt is the defending race winner here so I know he is looking forward to getting behind the wheel. We've finished in the top-ten all year, but really want to get another win, and that is what we'll be focusing on come Saturday."

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