BUSCH: Roush Fenway Racing Bristol preview

Roush Fenway Racing Bristol Motor Speedway, Aug. 22-25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharpie 500 Saturday August 25 8:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Food City 250 Friday August 24 8:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN 2/MRN NASCAR Craftsman ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Bristol Motor Speedway, Aug. 22-25

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharpie 500
Saturday August 25
8:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Food City 250
Friday August 24
8:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN 2/MRN

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: O'Reilly 200
Wednesday August 22
8:00 PM Eastern -- SPEED/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan has one previous star at Bristol Motor Speedway. He competed in the Food City 500 in March 2007, finishing 26th.

* Ragan is currently second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race.

* Ragan is currently 23rd in the NEXTEL Cup Series Championship point standings.

* Ragan also competed in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in March 2007. He finished 13th.

* Ragan placed 15th in the No. 6 Craftsman Truck in 2006 at Bristol.

***

* Greg Biffle Stats & Notes:

* Average finish of 10.3

* Driver Rating of 105.4, third-best

* Average Running Position of 10.9, fifth-best

* 158 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

* 143 Green Flag Passes, third-most

* Second-fastest Green Flag Speed

* 1,823 Laps in the Top 15, fifth-most

* 86 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), second-most

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

***

* Matt Kenseth has an average finish of 5.7 in the past 11 races at Bristol, tops among all drivers during that span.

* Kenseth has seven top-fives and nine top-10 finishes in the past 11 races at Bristol, which leads all drivers during that span.

* Kenseth has led 532 of a possible 1,000 laps in the past two August night races at Bristol (53.2%).

* Kenseth has completed all but four laps in the past 11 races at Bristol (5,500 of 5,504); the second most during that span (Earnhardt Jr. 5,502).

* For his career, Kenseth has led 742 laps at Bristol, which is the highest number of laps led at any track during his career. Second on the list is Rockingham with 413 laps.

* Kenseth's career average finish for Bristol is 10.7, the fifth highest among the 23 tracks he has competed on throughout his career.

***

* In nine NEXTEL Cup career starts at the .533-mile speedway, Jamie McMurray has one top-five and four top-10 finishes. McMurray's best finish came in August 2003, where he finished third.

* McMurray has a career-average starting position of 17.0 and an average finishing position of 16.9 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* In McMurray's last start at Bristol Motor Speedway, he posted his fourth top-10 finish at the .533-mile speedway; which was also the first "Car of Tomorrow" race.

* This weekend, the No. 26 Ford Fusion will sport the IRWIN Industrial Tools paint scheme. This is the first time the IRWIN Industrial Tools paint scheme has been run at the .533-mile speedway.

* Currently, McMurray is scored 17th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings and 438 points out of 12th.

***

* Carl Edwards will make his seventh NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway. In six starts, he has achieved one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

* The No. 99 Office Depot team will be unloading chassis No. RK-464 Edwards raced this car at Dover earlier this year. He started that race fifth and finished third

* Edwards is currently fifth in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings with 2,970 points, 501 points behind leader, Jeff Gordon

* Office Depot Store No. 2458 from Rockaway, NJ, is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 at Bristol this weekend

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK- 455 (Previously ran at Martinsville, finished 15th; Darlington, finished 27th)
     Back-up: RK- 478 (Brand new car)

Ragan on racing in the Cup Series at Bristol:
"I'm really looking forward to going back to Bristol. I really like the short tracks a lot and the Bristol night race is considered to be one of the most exciting races of the season. We had a decent finish at Bristol back in March, but I think we can definitely improve on that finish now that I have more experience in the COT and in the car in general. Our main goal is to complete all the laps and bring our car home in one piece."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Bristol:
"Bristol is one of those race tracks that you really have to take care of your car. There are going to be some major wrecks and we need to make it our top priority to stay out of them. As a team we would like to be in the top-20 when the end of the season rolls around so it is very important for us to finish the race and hopefully finish up front. David likes the short tracks and now that he has some seat time he should be able to improve on his prior finish."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: 446 (Martinsville '07 - 32nd and Bristol '07 -- 5th)

Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I got to test the Busch car on the new surface at Bristol and I have mixed feelings. I've never been a fan of resurfacing racetracks and I think Bristol put on a good show with their old surface. The way the new surface is, it's a lot smoother through and off of the corners, so you can't really get the speed off of the corners that you used to but at the same time I think you'll still see good racing there. Either way, it throws a challenge to everyone and kind of puts everyone on even ground."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the same car the team raced at Bristol earlier this year. Biffle had a top-five finish with it there in the spring. The team had a little brake trouble with it in Martinsville but I don't think that will be a factor this weekend. I think the re-pave is going to be the story at Bristol. We'll see if the spring and shock packages that everyone takes there for the new surface work out. Then you've got the survival factor like you always do at Bristol. Qualifying well is always important for pit selection at Bristol, so we'll focus on that when we unload."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-473 Last raced at Dover, June '07 -- finished fifth
     RK-457 Only outing: Martinsville, April '07 -- finished 10th

Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol has such a cool atmosphere. The place is full of people. You have 150,000 people around a half-mile racetrack, it's a Saturday night and the crowd's kind of rowdy. Usually there's a lot of action going on and there's always some accidents and there's some people getting mad. It's kind of a cool, crazy, party-type atmosphere and it's a special place to be able to win at. There's a lot of cool history there. Darryl Waltrip has won a ton of races there, Dale Earnhardt too, and there are a lot of cool races and cool highlights throughout the years that's come from there.

"The track is definitely a lot different than what it was. I really enjoyed the old configuration. It had a lot of character and a lot of unique parts about the track that you had to negotiate and it's a lot different now. We're going to have to relearn that and hopefully we can get a handle on it like we did the old one."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We really don't know what to expect from the new track configuration. I'm sure Friday will be a busy day for everyone trying different things. The Busch cars tested up here but they had rain for most of the day which limited track time. I don't really think it would've helped much anyway because the COT is so different.

"Bristol was a pretty easy place for us to set up for until this year. We had brought the same car for about 11 or 12 races and it was pretty good each time. So, when we use to show up at Bristol, we were pretty sure of what we had and that it was going to be pretty good. Now, we don't really know how it's going to play out. We struggled a little bit in the spring with the new car here and now the track is different, we won't really know what we got. But, no one else knows what they have either."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK -- 456 (Last raced at Dover; June 2007; Finished 24th)
    Backup -- RK -- 462 (Brand New Chassis)

McMurray on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"After our run in the spring, I'm really looking forward to going to Bristol this weekend. In the spring race, I think we started fifth and finished in the top 10. We've been pretty good on the shorter tracks with the Car of Tomorrow, which gives me a lot of reasons to look forward to Bristol. I really enjoy racing at Bristol and in the past, I've either posted pretty good finishes, or been caught in a wreck. So hopefully, we can keep our IRWIN Industrials Tools Ford Fusion out of the wrecks and have another good weekend at Bristol.

"It will be interesting this weekend at Bristol with the new surface. We didn't get a chance to test out the new surface because it ended up raining all day, which has been the norm this season. We really don't know what to expect, so the practice sessions are going to be really important for all the teams. I'm glad I get to run in the Busch race this weekend to get some extra practice with the new surface.

"The fall Bristol race is one of the coolest races of the year. The pre-race show is always exciting and the racing under the lights at Bristol is really exciting and a lot of fun. It's one of the races that I look forward to each season."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is an exciting race track and one that I really enjoy setting the car up for. When we ran the first Car of Tomorrow race there in the spring, I was surprised at how good we were in our first race out. This time, we are taking back the same car that we raced there earlier this year, and hoping for the same results, maybe even better. If we can avoid the wrecks, which we haven't been too good at the last few weeks, we should post a good finish. This is a very important qualifying track. It always seems that the closer you start up front, the better chance you have of staying up front. Hopefully we can have another solid qualifying run and a good finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-464 captured a top-five at Dover in June of this year.

Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a tough track. This is an important race for the Office Depot No. 99 team as far as the 'Chase' goes. We need to have a solid run this week to continue momentum heading into the Chase. I think it will be all about survival at Bristol. It's a tough track, but its going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we'll get a great finish."

Crew Chief, Bob Osborne on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is going to be a big challenge for the Office Depot No. 99 team. There are a lot of elements that you can't control so we have to do the best we can at controlling what we can. I think we've made some significant gains with the Car of Tomorrow and our finishes have improved. I think Carl has become more comfortable in those cars since the spring race at Bristol. If we can survive Bristol and come away with a decent finish, I'll be pleased. The 'Chase' is our primary goal right now and we really just need a good points day."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-345 Ran at Nashville, Apr. '07, finished first w/ Carl Edwards

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol:
"I really enjoy short track racing, especially at night. I think it brings out the best in every driver because most of us grew up racing at night. I have had some success at Bristol in the Busch Series so I am really confident in what our team can do. We have a great car and a tremendous setup. As long as we keep working hard as a team and maintain the high level of preparation, we will be fine. We have struggled a little bit lately, but we are still fifth in points and fully capable of getting a few wins this year. There is no quit in the Discount Tire team and we will battle for great finishes the rest of the season."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Bristol:
"The Discount Tire team needs a good finish this weekend to gain some momentum going into the last 10 races of the year. David has plenty of experience at Bristol so I think his high comfort level will rub off on the rest of the team. We ran in the top 10 here in April, so I am sure we can duplicate that performance this time around. I am really excited about our equipment for this weekend. Our race car should be among the best in the field."

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-296 -- This car raced at Kentucky and tested at Bristol in July

Kvapil on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol:
"I'm looking forward to this opportunity. I've only made a couple of Busch Series starts in my career, but I've spent some time this year in the No. 60 helping Carl Edwards with practice and qualifying at some of the non-companion events.


"We had a great test here with the No. 6 truck a few weeks back. The resurfacing project that was done here was amazing, I can't get over how smooth the track is. I've won at Bristol in a truck before, and it's one of the places I really look forward to racing at. Hopefully we'll be able to make the most of this opportunity. I know Eddie's got a great group of guys over here on this No. 16 crew, and I'm really looking forward to working with them."

Eddie Pardue on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol:
"We had a pretty good test here in July so we're taking the same car back for the race. Travis Kvapil will be in the car Friday night and we are looking forward to working with him this weekend. I am sure having him race Wednesday night on the new surface in the Craftsman Truck race will help us tremendously for the Busch race. This team had a good run at Michigan so hopefully we can keep the momentum going."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 295 Last ran Bristol -- finished second

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of my favorite tracks. You can't beat racing under the lights there. It's so tough to pass; you really have to have your car handling well. Things tend to happen quickly so you really have to be focused for 250 laps straight. Luckily we are bringing one of our favorite cars. This is the same car we won with last year at this race and finished second with in the spring. If everything goes smoothly on the track and on pit road we should have a good run."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We tested Bristol a few weeks ago with chassis 295. It is the same car Matt (Kenseth) won with in the fall last year and finished second with in the spring. It handled really well on the new track surface during our test session so hopefully we can pull off another top-five finish for Arby's."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK- 371 Last ran Texas with Mark Martin and finished 12th

McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a tough track, but it makes for some great racing. It's a place where you really have to be on top of the wheel and the fans know they are in for a wild night. Unfortunately I've been caught up in some of the inevitable accidents in the past, but hopefully we can avoid them this time around. Last weekend we came from the back and earned an 11th-place finish, so hopefully we can get another good run this weekend."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We are looking forward to going to Bristol with Jamie (McMurray) this weekend. We had a pretty good test there a few weeks ago and we have a new sponsor onboard with us this week. It's always exciting when a new sponsor like Aflac comes into the sport and hopefully we can give them a solid top five run this week."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis Number: RK- 377 (Ran last at Bristol & Darlington; finished 1st & 3rd)

Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I can't wait to get back on a concrete track and, to top it off, Bristol. Under the lights at Bristol is awesome and exhilarating. We had a great win there back in June for Scotts and we'll be back in the Scotts Ford Fusion. We have struggled over the past three races and we feel Bristol is the track where we can turn things around."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Our Scotts Ford Fusion team is very excited about racing at Bristol. It's one of the greatest experiences in NASCAR. There is always a great crowd and racing at night puts on a spectacular show for the fans. We have had four wins this year on concrete and would love to get another. We won here with Scotts in the spring, but they have a new surface. We tested on the new surface and Carl was strong. It's time to shake off the past couple weeks and finish strong."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-330-45, last raced at Dover in 2006 where Mark Martin started 13th and won

Travis Kvapil on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of the coolest tracks we go to. It's a super-fast, high-banked, half-mile racetrack. I won here a few years ago in a truck, and the No. 6 truck won this race last year. That gives us a lot of confidence heading to Bristol. Qualifying is very important here. It's hard to pass, track position is everything. We're looking to sweep the Tennessee races this year. We've won at Memphis and Nashville, we'd really like to get the win this week to sweep the three races."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We couldn't be more excited to be heading to Bristol. We won this race last year with Mark Martin, and Travis has won here in the past as well. We had a great test a few weeks back, so we'll expect to contend for the win. We've been running so well the past few weeks, and I can't say enough about all the hard work that these guys put in on this K&N team."

Danny O'Quinn
Team: No. 50 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-363-48, last raced at Nashville where O'Quinn started 12th and finished 17th

Danny O'Quinn on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is my home track, so I'm really excited for this race. There will be a bunch of family and friends in the stands, so we'll do what we can to give them a good show. We tested here a few weeks ago, and we were pretty fast. Nashville was a bit of a learning experience for me, it was the first time I'd raced a truck. I think with the experience I gained last week, we should have a pretty good run here this week at Bristol."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We're pretty optimistic heading into Bristol. Danny's raced here before in the Busch Series and in late models, so he knows his way around the place. We tested here a few weeks ago, and that was the first I've worked with him. I was very impressed with him. He communicated very well, he's a knowledgeable guy. We felt like we had a top-10 truck at Nashville, but ran into some late race problems. Hopefully we'll be able to get the finish this time around."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-386-53, last raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway where Darnell started fifth and finished 30th

Erik Darnell on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"When things happen at Bristol, they happen in a hurry. You've got to stay on your toes every single lap. Avoiding the wrecks and staying up front are the keys to getting a good finish there. We had a pretty good test here a few weeks ago, the resurfacing project was a great success in my eyes. I'm really looking forward to the race, I think it's going to be a great one."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"What can you say about Bristol that hasn't already been said countless times, it's a track where you've got to be on your toes every single lap. You can be having a great night and get caught up in someone's mess in front of you. It's important to take care of your equipment and know when it's time to drop the hammer and make your move. Everyone tends to run a little short on patience here, drivers and crews equally. Bristol is a place where everyone wants to win, and there's a lot of pressure because of that. Hopefully we'll steer clear of a lot of the beating and banging that goes on here and we'll put ourselves in position to be there at the end."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Erik Darnell , Danny O'Quinn , Greg Erwin , Mike Kelley , Mark Martin , Travis Kvapil
Teams Roush Fenway Racing