BUSCH: Phoenix: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Roush Fenway Racing Phoenix International Raceway, Apr. 20-21 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Subway Fresh Fit 500 Saturday Apr. 21 8:00 PM Eastern on FOX/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Friday Apr. 20 9:00 PM Eastern on ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Phoenix International Raceway, Apr. 20-21

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Subway Fresh Fit 500 Saturday Apr. 21
8:00 PM Eastern on FOX/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Bashas' Supermarkets 200 Friday Apr. 20
9:00 PM Eastern on ESPN2/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan has competed at Phoenix International Raceway in November of 2006 in the Craftsman Truck Series. He started 20th and finished 17th.

* Ragan is currently 24th in the Nextel Cup Championship point standings.

* Ragan is also currently 2nd in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, trailing Montoya by four points.

* The Subway Fresh Fit 500 will be the third Car of Tomorrow race of the 2007 season. There will be a total of sixteen COT races during the 2007 season.

* Ragan finished 26th and 15th in the COT races at Bristol and Martinsville, respectively.

***

* In last year's spring race at Phoenix, Greg Biffle led 151 laps and was running second when he ran short on fuel and had to pit before eventually finishing 15th.

* Biffle has two wins and five top-five NASCAR Busch Series finishes as well as one win and two top-five's in the Craftsman Truck Series at Phoenix International Raceway.

* Biffle finished sixth last week at Texas and currently sits 17th in the point standings, 398 points out of the lead and 41 points out of the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run the black and gold Ameriquest paint scheme.

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* Matt Kenseth's second-place finish at Texas marked his 70th career top five and 125th career top-10 finish. In 263 career Cup starts, Kenseth has finished in the top five 26.6% of the time and finished in the top 10, 47.5% of the time.

* Kenseth's Busch Series win at Texas moves him into sixth on the all-time series' win list with 23; one behind Jeff Burton and Tommy Houston.

* Kenseth's average finish of 8.3 is currently third best among drivers who have competed in all seven Cup events in 2007.

* In the past six Cup races, Kenseth has picked up a total of 127 positions from where he started to where he finished, or an average of 21.1 spots per race.

* Kenseth has completed every lap in Cup so far in 2007, one of only three drivers to do so (Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton).

* Despite notching a win in 2002 at PIR, Kenseth's average finish at the track is just 19.9; which ranks 18th out of 23 tracks where he's competed at in the Cup Series.

* Kenseth will be racing the No. 17 iLevel Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Busch Series on Saturday. For his career, Kenseth has notched one win and six top-ten finishes in eight starts in the Busch Series at Phoenix. Kenseth's first Busch Series pole and first Busch Series win at PIR came last November.

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* Over the last four races, Jamie McMurray has moved up 24 positions to 12th place in the NEXTEL Cup point standings.

* In six visits to the 1.5-mile Phoenix International Raceway, McMurray has posted three top-10 finishes. The best finish came in April 2005, where McMurray finished second.

* The No. 26 team will be taking the same car that ran 15th at Atlanta Motor Speedway and 10th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season.

* In his last four runs, McMurray has posted four top-15 finishes in a row. Three of those finishes resulted in top-10's for the No. 26 team.

* McMurray will carry a special hood decal this weekend at Texas. Chad Provo, 35, of Terrell, Texas, will have his name front and center on the No. 26 hood after winning a statewide sweepstakes conducted by Crown Royal for their promotion, "Your Name Here 400."

***

* After seven races, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently eighth in the overall point standings with 837 points, 299 points behind leader, Jeff Gordon

* This weekend, the Davis Dawgs, a sales team from Office Depot's Business Solutions Division, will be featured on the No. 99 car in Phoenix. The Dawgs earned this honor by achieving the highest sales penetration increase for Office Depot private brand products during the first quarter

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-459 Brand new car
     Back up: RK-467 Brand new, tested at Richmond

Ragan, NNCS at Phoenix International Raceway: -No Prior Starts

Ragan on racing NNCS at Phoenix International Raceway
"I am looking forward to running the Car of Tomorrow at Phoenix. This is only the third racetrack that we have taken these new cars to this year and it is the first track that is more than a half-mile or so. I raced at Phoenix in the trucks last year so I have some familiarity with the track and we are taking some brand new race cars so I think we definitely have everything we need to go out and have a good day. The Cup Series had a weekend off over Easter, which was nice for all the guys to be able to spend some time with their families, but I don't feel like we have lost any momentum since I ran the Busch car in Nashville last weekend. I definitely want to put on a good show for AAA and all of the 50 million AAA members out there so I hope you will all be watching and cheering us on."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Phoenix International Raceway
"Phoenix is the first 1-mile track that we will go to this year. We will also be taking the COT cars there, which are slowly becoming less foreign to us. Setting up those cars is definitely different from setting up the other cars but all of the guys on the team, our engineers and the guys in the shock department have really been concentrating on figuring these new cars out. David has done fairly well in the COT races so far so I think he is becoming more and more comfortable with them, too. We were able to go to Richmond between Martinsville and Texas to do another test so that should help us out quite a bit too. It is important for us to keep up the hard work and stay up there in the points, that's our main goal."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK - 404 New car

Biffle on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I really enjoy racing at Phoenix because the west coast races feel like home tracks for me. I've run well at Phoenix in the Cup car but just never could get the win. I have two Busch wins at PIR and actually clenched my Busch Championship there, so it's a memorable track for me. I think the kinks are getting worked out of the COT cars and the fans will see a great race this weekend. I know we're taking a brand new car that we tested at Richmond and I think it's a good choice for this track."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We're taking a brand new racecar to Phoenix this weekend. It's one of the two that we tested at Richmond and I feel pretty confident in taking it to Phoenix. We had a great run last weekend in Texas and I think the momentum is starting to build in the right direction for this team. It takes time to build trust between a driver and a team and vice-versa and I think we're getting there.

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-451 Last ran at Bristol in April, finished 11th
     RK-457 Last ran at Martinsville in April, finished 10th

Kenseth on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"It'll be interesting to see how much we've learned about the COT over the past month and we should find out something this weekend. It's still a steep learning curve and I'm sure we'll learn more this weekend, but I think we learned a lot at the Richmond test. Hopefully we can apply some of that knowledge with some of the things we learned at the tire test earlier this year in Phoenix and really show a lot of improvement over the first two COT races.

"I've always enjoyed racing at Phoenix, but it usually seems like we're all or nothing. In the spring last year we ran really well and were able to get a top-three finish. But, in the fall, we weren't able to compete. The car wasn't near where it needed to be and we were lucky to hang on and finish where we did. Hopefully this weekend we can get our car where it needs to be and have a chance to compete for the win. Our guys on pit road have done an excellent job this season, so if we can get the car where it needs to be, we should be there at the end."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We're bringing the same car we ran at Bristol. We took that car to the Richmond test two weeks ago and we're pleased with what we learned. The Richmond test couldn't have gone much better for us and hopefully we can translate that information into good things this weekend at Phoenix.

"The guys have been doing an outstanding job on pit road and there's no reason that it shouldn't continue. They've been gaining positions almost every time we pit whether we're in 15th or fifth. They've really kept us in the game at some of these tracks, especially at Martinsville, they were the reason we stayed on the lead lap and came away with a top-10 finish. That's the good part. The bad part is, we still haven't got our COT program where it needs to be, but hopefully we can take a big step in the right direction this weekend."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary -- RK-428 Last run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway finished 10th
    Backup -- RK-403 Tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- February 2007

McMurray on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"In the past, I've really enjoyed running at Texas. In my first four starts, I ran really, really well. Last year, we just couldn't seem to find the right handling on the track, but I think we have that problem resolved. This weekend we are taking the same car that I ran at both Las Vegas and at Atlanta, where the car wasn't exactly great, but we had a good handle on everything. It's also a car that we found doesn't qualify very well, but races really well and that's obviously what's more important. This weekend, I'm really expecting the same type of run. It was great going into last weekend's off weekend with a string of good runs this No. 26 team put together. Hopefully, we can continue to knock off these top-10 finishes each weekend."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Texas is setup a lot like Atlanta and some of the other tracks we run at, like Charlotte. After our run in Atlanta a few weeks ago, we decided that we would bring the same car to Texas. All the guys on the No. 26 team are excited and pumped up about the recent run of good finishes and effort we have all made both at the track and back at the shop. It's hard not to think about where we would be if hadn't gotten wrecked at Daytona and Fontana earlier this season, but that's water under the bridge. We need to focus on where we are now and the races we have coming up. Texas should be another good run for this No. 26 Crown Royal team. The team has knocked off some great pit stops and the communication between everyone has been great. I'm real proud of this team and look forward to a good effort this weekend in Texas."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-464, this is a brand new car

Edwards on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"It's always fun to go to Phoenix .The track itself is pretty unique with a complex shape -- so it makes for great racing. We've had solid finishes at Phoenix in the past, so I know we have the ability to run well there. Our goal for this trip to Phoenix will be to qualify well and bring the Office Depot Ford home with a top-five finish."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is a very different track. It basically has three straight-aways and a shape that's unlike any other track we race at. I think Carl's stats at Phoenix speak for themselves, so I am expecting a strong finish."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-217

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I can't tell you how excited I am to get to Phoenix. The Discount Tire team has made great strides in a matter of weeks. We need to build on the momentum from Texas. Everybody on this team is extremely focused on moving up in the points and finishing races. In order to do this we have to stay consistent and everyone has to do their job. 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 Phoenix International Raceway:
"We had a great finish and a nice jump in the points last week in Texas. It was our best weekend as a team and we are looking to build on that positive outcome. The guys have been working extremely hard on our Discount Tire Ford Fusion and I believe the march for a championship is in motion. Phoenix is a great track and it will definitely be a challenge, but with good preparation and patience, good things will happen for the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion. At the end of the day our goal is still Victory Lane."

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-216 -- Danny O'Quinn raced this car last year at Martinsville

Kluever on racing in Phoenix International Raceway:
"I have not had the greatest luck at Phoenix in the past. It just doesn't seem to be one of my stronger tracks, probably because I'm just not crazy about flat tracks. My first trip there in a Busch car last year was pretty bad, but we made a lot of progress when we went back in the fall. I'm hoping we can make even more progress this weekend and get a top-10 finish for the weekend. We're taking one of Danny's (O'Quinn) cars from last year that he really liked and ran well with, so hopefully that will be a better starting point for us."

Eddie Pardue on racing in Phoenix International Raceway:
"We've got some good notes to work from this weekend in Phoenix so I think that will help us. I know Todd has struggled there a bit in the past so we hope to turn that around for him this weekend. He has improved everywhere he has run this year, so I don't expect Phoenix to be any different for him."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 iLevel by Weyerhaeuser Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 395 last race, Phoenix, finished first

Kenseth on racing NBS at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I'm looking forward to going to Phoenix with Drew and the guys. We had a great run last weekend in Texas, the team really pulled through with some great stops when I wasn't sure what was going on with the car. In the end it all worked out and we were able to pull off the win. Phoenix is a good track for us and we are bringing back the same car we won with in the fall. This time around we'll have iLevel as the primary for the first time this season, so hopefully we can earn a good finish for their debut."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"The guys did a great job last weekend in Texas. This weekend we are bringing RK-395 which is the same car that Matt (Kenseth) won with in the fall. Hopefully we can carry over our momentum from Texas to Phoenix and get a solid finish with the iLevel Ford Fusion."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK- 277

McMurray on racing NBS at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I'm really excited to be back in a Roush Fenway Racing Busch car this weekend. The Friday night Busch race is always an exciting race. I won at Phoenix a couple years ago, so it's certainly a track that I look forward to racing at. I know that Chad (Norris) and the guys have a good car for me this weekend. In our first race together back in Atlanta, we ran really well given all the circumstances; I think we finished 14th in that race. Hopefully, we can run well this weekend in Phoenix and give Dish Network another strong finish."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"The Dish Network team is really looking forward to having Jaime (McMurray) back in the car this week. We had a pretty good test at Richmond a couple of weeks ago. We are hoping that will transpire into a good run at Phoenix.

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 World Financial Group Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK- 461 Brand new chassis

Edwards on racing NBS, at Phoenix International Raceway:
"It will be awesome to have World Financial Group on our Ford Fusion again in Phoenix. Our last time there with them we ended up in victory lane. It was great! I'm proud to have them as a sponsor. I love racing under the lights. We have a lot of momentum and I feel great about our chances on the 1-mile oval. Phoenix is a blast and we will go in there to have fun and gain as many points as we can. Our goal is to finish in the top-five."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Phoenix International Speedway:
"The No. 60 World Financial Group team is excited about heading to Phoenix. It's my hometown and the team has had success there in the past. Carl won the Arizona 200 there in 2005. It would be great to repeat that again for this week. We have a solid points lead, but we are totally aware that anything can happen in racing. Our goal is to keep the momentum going, stay focused and keep adding to our lead."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Todd Kluever , Danny O'Quinn , Mike Kelley
Teams Roush Fenway Racing