BUSCH: RFR Montreal, Pocono preview

Roush Fenway Racing Pocono Raceway, Aug. 3-5 Long Pond, Pa. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Pennsylvania 500 Sunday August 5 1:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Aug. 2-4 Montreal, Quebec NASCAR Busch Series: NAPA Auto Parts ...

Roush Fenway Racing

Pocono Raceway, Aug. 3-5
Long Pond, Pa.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Pennsylvania 500
Sunday August 5
1:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Aug. 2-4
Montreal, Quebec
NASCAR Busch Series: NAPA Auto Parts 200
Saturday August 4
3:00 PM Eastern - ESPN 2/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed at Pocono Raceway back in June. He started 36th and finished 26th.

* Ragan currently trails Juan Pablo Montoya by 24 points in the race for Raybestos Rookie of the Year.

* The 1994 Pennsylvania 500 had THREE Raybestos Rookies place inside the top-five, the best performance by a rookie class in 59 previous NEXTEL Cup races at Pocono. Three rookies finished in the top-five: Burton, Joe Nemechek (third) and Jeff Burton (fourth).

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* Greg Biffle finished 15th at Indy last week and currently sits 16th in the point standings, 128 points out of the top 12 with six races remaining until the Chase.

* Over the last three weeks, Biffle has gained a total of 171 points on the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run a special black "Dog the Bounty Hunter" paint scheme for Dish Network.

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* Matt Kenseth's 14 top-10 finishes in 2007 are the second most of any Cup driver behind points leader Jeff Gordon. During Kenseth's 2003 Championship season, he had posted 15 top-10 finishes at this point in the season.

* Mr. August? Last season Kenseth caught fire in August posting two wins and a second place finish in four races. In 2005, Kenseth posted one win and three top fives in August.

* Kenseth's 11.2-average finish this season ranks second among Cup drivers who have competed in all 20 events. By comparison, Kenseth's average starting position of 21.7 ranks 20th among 29 drivers who have competed in all 20 events.

* Pocono is one of 15 tracks (including North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham) where Kenseth has scored three or more top-five finishes in his career.

* Kenseth has led only 26 laps in 15 races at Pocono, the lowest total number of laps led at any track where Kenseth has nine or more starts.

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* In nine starts at the 2.5-mile, tri-oval track, Jamie McMurray has one NEXTEL Cup pole and two top-10 finishes.

* McMurray's average start at Pocono Raceway is a 14.1, which is his third best qualifying track on the NEXTEL Cup circuit. (Behind Sonoma and Martinsville.)

* Last weekend in Indianapolis marked McMurray's 170th career NEXTEL Cup Series start - in 170 races, McMurray has three poles, two victories, 25 top fives, and 62 top-10 finishes.

* McMurray is currently 15th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings and only 113 points out of the "Chase."

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* Carl Edwards will make his sixth start at Pocono Raceway. In five starts, Edwards boasts one win, two top-five and two top-10 finishes.

* International Traveler: Edwards will be traveling between Pocono and Montreal this weekend competing in both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series events. Currently Edwards leads the Busch Series point standings with an 852 point lead over second place.

* Office Depot store No. 2655 from Bensalem, Penn. is this week's weekly sales winner and will ride along with Carl on the No. 99 this Sunday at Pocono.

* WIN Carl's Laptop: This is the last week for fans to try and "Win Carl's Laptop." Office Depot is running a promotion for fans to have the opportunity to actually win a new laptop from Carl Edwards. For a chance to win a new TOSHIBA Satellite Notebook computer loaded with the latest technology and autographed by Carl Edwards, fans can simply log on to www.officedepotracing.com to register.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK- 394 Previously ran at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finished 16th
     RK- 405 Previously ran at Texas Motor Speedway, finished 35th after being involved in a wreck.

Ragan on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"This will only be my second trip to Pocono. My first trip was back in June and the weekend was nothing like what I expected. Prior to the June race there, I had some good finishes on the larger tracks and thought I would be able to catch on pretty quick. There was a little more to it than that though. Pocono is very different from other 2.5+ mile tracks. The corners so a lot tighter and you get a lot of speed on the straight-aways heading into those corners which means you have to get on the brakes a lot harder and know when to brake. I think I learned a good bit from the June race and I will learn more each time I go to these tracks especially as a rookie."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"This will be David's second trip to Pocono. He has a little bit better idea of what to expect this time as far as the racing goes and he should be a little bit more familiar with the track this time around. We are taking the same car that we took to Indy last weekend and finished 16th in. I think David is capable of going to these tracks for the second time this year and bringing home at least a top-10 finish. He is a very talented young man his is still just learning. Our main goal right now is to continue to move up in the points. We are currently 22nd and we would like to move into the top-20 this weekend."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-314 Last ran: Charlotte, May '07, All-Star race, finished 15th

Biffle on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"Pocono can be a lot of fun if you have a good car but it can drag on when the cars get stretched out. I'd have to say it was more fun when we shifted but it can still be challenging because there are three completely different turns. Pocono is a little different than most of the tracks we go to just because you can get so much speed in the straightaways but the corners are so flat that you've got to be able to slow down and control the car almost like a road course. Corner exit is very important, so that is something we'll focus on early in practice."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"We're taking the same chassis we ran this year at the All-Star race with a new body. The body is similar to the one we ran last weekend at Indy and it had good wind tunnel numbers, so we feel confident in taking it to Pocono this weekend. This is also a chassis that Mark Martin won a couple of races with, so Roush has seen success with this particular chassis. We made a few changes on the setup from what we took to Pocono in June and we're going to do everything we can to improve on that finish."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-340 Last outing: Pocono, Jun. '06, led three laps and finished fifth. Also: Has served as "backup" in eight races since last outing
     RK-317 Last outing: Pocono, Jun. '07, finished ninth. Also: Scored four top fives in '07 including a win in Fontana, Feb. '07

Kenseth on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"Pocono is a very challenging track for a number of reasons. Primarily because there are three distinctly different turns, and that's the only track we go to like that. The only other tracks with more than two distinctly different turns are road courses. You need a lot of horse power to get down the long straight-a-ways and you'll need a good handling car to carry that momentum through the turns. At least that part is the same as everywhere else. The principal is the same at Pocono as anywhere, you have to get through the center of turn better than the other guys.

"We'll be looking to bounce back this weekend at Pocono. Yeah, we got a top-10 finish at Indy, but we sure didn't run like a top-10 car. It was pretty frustrating all weekend. We unloaded pretty good, but it just went downhill from there. We had high hopes going into the weekend, and struggling to finish 10th wasn't anywhere near what we had in mind. So, bouncing back at a place like Pocono, which has really been one of our tougher tracks, would go a long ways towards gaining some momentum in this stretch run leading up to the Chase."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"We're bringing a car that hasn't seen much action over the past year, but it's been to a lot of tracks as the backup. We've put a lot of work into this car since it last ran at Pocono, last June and finished fifth. We think we've made some big improvements, but we really won't know what we've got until we unload on Friday. No matter how many simulations and tests that you run on the car, until it's on the track turning laps with Matt driving it, you can't say for sure what you've got. But, hopefully we've gone the right way on this one.

"Pocono is a tough track to setup for because it's relatively flat and every corner is different. We've seen it come down to fuel mileage in the past, so we've got to do our part to stay on top of pit strategy and the field gets pretty strung out here too. A good stop can be worth four or five positions on the track that aren't that easy to get back. So, like every weekend, we'll have to be on top of our game and take care of everything that we have control over. If we can get the car to turn, I know Matt can get the job done."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-428: Last raced at Pocono, June 2007; Finished 29th
    Backup- RK-403: Last tested at Las Vegas, Jan. 2007

McMurray on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"Last time we visited Pocono, I thought we had a pretty good car going into the weekend, but when we put the car on the track, it didn't perform like we thought it would. After the shortened race, we brought back all the data we collected over the weekend and made a lot of changes for this trip back to Pocono. It's a track that I really enjoy racing at even though my results really don't reflect that, I really do. It's a track that is so different from any of the other tracks that we run at.

"This past weekend at Indy, I thought we had a pretty good car, certainly one capable of running in the top 10. However, the bad luck continued. I'm glad we didn't lose that much ground in terms of points, but it's one of those weekends you wish could have played out differently. Hopefully we have worked out all the bad luck and can focus on the upcoming races."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"Well, it's no news that we didn't run very well the last time we were at Pocono. We were off base and couldn't make the changes to put a good car on the track. This weekend we are taking the same car back there, but with a lot of changes to the car. We replaced the right-front fender, and made a handful of chassis adjustments to the car. We think we have a lot better car going into Pocono for the second time this season. Last weekend was tough for the guys, but even after we fixed the car we were still running great lap times. Hopefully that is completely behind us and we can work on the races we have coming up."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-387 previously ran Texas Motor Speedway, started 10th and finished 12th

Edwards on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"I'm excited to go to Pocono. I feel like over the past several weeks our team has made some great improvements and I'm really proud of my Office Depot team. We certainly have what it takes to run well there, even though we struggled some at Pocono on our last visit."

"This weekend will be especially exciting since I'll be traveling between the Busch and Cup Series races. I'm looking forward to racing Montreal and hopefully I'll be able to a race in two different countries in the same weekend."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Pocono Raceway:
"The Office Depot team has been pretty consistent so far this year. We've had some really good finishes and our team continues to improve. I am looking forward to continuing to improve and hopefully winning more races. And, Pocono is a place where I feel like we can accomplish that. It's a challenging race track, but I enjoy racing there. With three different turns, there is a fine line between being good and being good enough to win. I know Carl has what it takes to be successful there. Hopefully we'll give him the car to go and do it."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-343 Last ran at Mexico City, Mar. '07, finished 14th. Ran at Watkins Glen, Aug. '06, finished 25th w/Danny O' Quinn

Ragan on racing in the NBS at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"I am glad the NASCAR Busch Series has expanded into Canada. It will be a challenge for all of the drivers because we have never competed on this road course. The key to a road course is actually staying on the course itself and taking care of your equipment. We are bringing the car that ran at Mexico City in March. It was a fast race car that handled very well. I am confident we can run well this weekend and make up some ground in the point standings."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"We have to take what the course gives us. The entire Discount Tire team has to be at their best this weekend. We can't afford any mistakes on an unfamiliar road course. I am confident with the way our race car is setup, but most importantly I believe in our driver, pit crew and equipment. If we take care of business a top 10 finish is very likely."

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-339 - Kluever finished 12th with this car at Mexico in March

Kluever on racing in the NBS at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"Since I've never been to Montreal and I've only run three road races in my career, I've spent a lot of time practicing on the computer. Last weekend I bought a Formula One game which has the Montreal track on it since that was the only way I'd be able to see the track ahead of time. Although I realize there is no way to duplicate actual on-track experience, the computer games are pretty realistic. When I compare the game to a track I've actually run like Road Atlanta or Watkins Glen, the characteristics are very similar in terms of braking points, where you get loose and stuff like that. I don't know how much this will help me, but it certainly won't hurt."

Eddie Pardue on racing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"This will be a new track for all of us so the extra practice time on Thursday will be very valuable. We're taking the same car we ran in Mexico City earlier this year so at least we have notes on that car which will help. Todd did a great job road racing in Mexico and finished 12th, so this weekend we hope to get a top-10 finish in Montreal."

Michel Jourdain Jr.
Team: No.17 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-423 Last raced Mexico and finished 25th

Jourdain, Jr. on racing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"I really like racing at Montreal. As a driver you have to be really aggressive on the brakes to get a good lap, but at the same time you must take care of them to finish the race. You can pick up a lot of time in the chicanes by being very aggressive. I've been racing overseas this summer in the WTCC with SEAT and have had fun while learning a lot, but I'm excited to be back in the No. 17 Dish Network Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"This weekend is going to be a whole new experience for everyone, but it's pretty exciting to be racing in Montreal. Luckily for us Michel is a great road course racer and knows his way around the Montreal course. Michel had a good run going in Mexico, but got caught up in an accident. Hopefully our luck will be better and we can get a good finish for him."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK- 313 Last ran at Mexico; finished 4th

Edwards on racing in the NBS at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"I think it's great that NASCAR has expanded to another international venue. I can't wait to run the inaugural Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. It's going to be awesome. I have been brushing up on my French since I'm going up there early to do the media advance. It would be great to win the first race there in our Scotts Ford Fusion. I can't wait. It's going to be a blast."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:
"It's going to be awesome to run the Busch Series first road course race in Montreal. We're taking our car from Mexico and I feel very confident that we'll have a dominating Scotts Ford Fusion. It would be great to win the inaugural race. We are hungry for another win and we have the driver, the team and the car. Now all we need to do is make it happen."

-credit: rfr

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Series NASCAR-CUP , NASCAR-NS