BUSCH: Roush Fenway Racing weekend preview

Roush Fenway Racing Atlanta Motor Speedway, Oct. 26-28 Hampton, Ga. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Pep Boys Auto 500 Sunday October 28 1:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/PRN NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 Saturday...

Roush Fenway Racing
Atlanta Motor Speedway, Oct. 26-28
Hampton, Ga.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Pep Boys Auto 500
Sunday October 28
1:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/PRN

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200
Saturday October 27
12:30 PM Eastern -- SPEED Channel/MRN

Memphis Motorsports Park, Aug. 31 -- Sept. 2
Memphis. Tenn.

NASCAR Busch Series: Sam's Town 250
Saturday October 27
3:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan ran his first Craftsman Truck Series race in the No. 6 Scotts F-150 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2006. He started 16th and finished 22nd.

* Ragan also competed in the Craftsman Trucks in October 2006 when he started 11th and finished sixth.

* Ragan most recently competed in at AMS in the NEXTEL Cup Series in March 2007. He started 38th and finished 33rd.

* Ragan is currently 22nd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings.

* Ragan is currently second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race. He trails Juan Pablo Montoya by 19 points.

***

* In the spring race at Atlanta, Greg Biffle was running ninth on lap 230 when contact from David Reutimann sent him into the wall.

* Biffle has one win, five top-five finishes, and six top-10 finishes in seven NASCAR Busch Series starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* Biffle finished seventh last week at Martinsville and currently sits 15th in the point standings, 95 points out of 13th.

* This weekend, Biffle will run a yellow and black Lumber Liquidators paint scheme.

***

* Matt Kenseth's fifth-place finish at Martinsville was only his second top-five at the .526-mile speedway, and his first since 2002.

* By finishing fifth at Martinsville, Kenseth snapped the worst four-race stretch of his 288-race Cup career. Starting at Dover and carrying through Charlotte, Kenseth failed to finish on the lead lap and finished 26th of worse in each race.

* For the second time this season Kenseth's No. 17 Ford will carry the DEWALT NANO Technology paint scheme. The predominantly black car will run twice more, at Phoenix and Homestead.

* Kenseth's average finish during the Chase at Atlanta is 16.6; ranking sixth among all Chase tracks.

* Kenseth has three top-five finishes in the last four Atlanta Cup races.

* What a difference a year makes -- Last season, Kenseth entered Atlanta 36 points ahead of the field in first place in the Championship Standings. This season, Kenseth currently sits 12th, 462 points out of first.

***

* In 10 career Cup starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jamie McMurray has three top-10 finishes. In Busch competition, McMurray has one win at the 1.5-mile speedway.

* This weekend, McMurray will participate in the NASCAR Busch Series race in Memphis, Tenn.

* McMurray will pilot the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion in this weekend's Pep Boys 500.

* In his last run at the 1.5-mile speedway in March 2007, McMurray posted a 15th-place finish.

***

* Carl Edwards is currently fifth in the 'Chase' for the NEXTEL Cup with 5770 points, 285 points behind the leader, Jeff Gordon

* Edwards will make his seventh Cup start at Atlanta this weekend. In his previous six starts, Edwards has achieved two wins, three top-five and five top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' average finish at Atlanta is 9.8. His average running position of 11.9 is eighth best among active drivers. His driver rating of 104 is fourth-best

* Edwards captured his first NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series wins at Atlanta in March of 2005

* This weekend BSD sales contest winners Grimmett's Gang and Riley's Racers will have special decals on the No. 99 at Atlanta

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-394 Previously ran at Charlotte; finished 40th, Indy; finished 16th, Fontana; finished 12th
     Back-up: RK-201 Previously ran at Michigan; finished 21st

Ragan on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks for the simple fact that it is home to me. I grew just outside of Atlanta and I still have a lot of family and friends in the area. Not to mention I started racing in the Legends Series and ran many races at AMS. We've had some tough luck on the mile and a half tracks this year, but we've had some great cars and we're taking one of our best to Atlanta this weekend. We're still hanging in there in points and we have four more races to break into the top 20, and that is our plan. We have had a lot of great supports this year, from my family, Roush Fenway Racing, AAA and my team I would really love to bring home a good finish for everyone and help us out in the points here at the end of the year."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We are taking the car that we wrecked in Charlotte to Atlanta. It is one of out better cars and we have yet to really get a great finish out of it on a mile and a half track. The year is really winding down now. We have four races left and still a lot to accomplish. We are just outside of the top 20 in points and David is still in contention for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title. We are due for a good finish after the past few weeks and I have my fingers crossed for this weekend. David has learned a lot this year and has made huge improvements from the first time he visited some of these tracks to when we returned again. Hopefully this time next year we will be involved in the Chase and racing for a championship."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Lumber Liquidators Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-315 Last ran: Kansas Sep. '07 -- finished first
    Also: Indy '07 --15th, Michigan '07 --19th

Biffle on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We've always run pretty well at Atlanta and in the last couple of years there were a couple of times when I really thought we had a car to win. In the spring we were running well there when one of the lapped cars got into us and sent us into the wall. The guys worked on the car and got us back out there but we were several laps down. Tire management is important at Atlanta, so we'll keep that in mind. We're taking back the car we won with at Kansas, so I feel pretty confident about this weekend. Atlanta is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and you'll see a lot of good racing there."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the car that we won with at Kansas to Atlanta this weekend. We decided to save it for Atlanta rather than run it at Charlotte because Greg has a pretty good record at Atlanta and we think there a good chance to get a second win there. If the car performs well this weekend and we get it back to Concord in one piece, I think we'll try to get it turned around for Texas. Other than that, tire wear is something we'll be aware of this weekend and also keeping the car turning through the corners on the long runs. We had a good run last weekend in Martinsville and we just need to keep the momentum going."

Matt Kenseth
Team: 17 DEWALT NANO Technology Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-323 Last outing: Kansas, Sep. '07 -- finished 35th after wreck on lap 156
     Also: Won Michigan, Aug. '06; Won Fontana, Feb. '06
     RK-340 Last outing: Pocono, August '07 -- finished 14th
     Also: Served as backup in nine races in 2007

Kenseth on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is just a lot of fun mainly because the pavement has kind of worn out and it's real high banked. You start off real fast and the track gets real slick, but you're always looking for a different groove and looking for more grip. It gets slick so you've got to have some throttle control and you've got to change your points a lot where you're letting off the gas and how you're entering the corner and things like that. Any track that drives like that makes it, I think, more challenging and more fun as a driver.

"At some tracks, you're out there for three-and-a-half or four hours sometimes and you're all running around the same line all the time and hope to get up under somebody and get them out of line and pass them and that's not always that much fun. But at Atlanta, as much as you're racing your competitors, you're also racing the racetrack all the time for speed and trying to find grip. You're always looking for something. All the tracks like that - Michigan and like Rockingham used to be - are always a lot of fun and they're a challenge."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Martinsville was definitely the kind of finish we needed. If you would've told me going into the Chase that six races into it, our best finish would be at Martinsville, I would've laughed at you. But, our guys did a good job; Matt did a great job all day and we were able to hang on for a real good finish.

"We're bringing our most consistent piece to Atlanta this weekend. We've used this car more than any other the past two years and it's done real well. The last time out it was wrecked at Kansas, but not too bad. It was probably a top-five to top-10 car before the wreck.

"We've still got four more chances to get a win this season and that's what we'll be trying to do. Nothing's changed as far as our weekly routine. We're still trying to get the best finish we can each week at the track, but the fact that we're out of the championship hunt and we really don't have anything to lose, that does allow you to gamble a little bit with pit strategy and fuel mileage and some things, that maybe you wouldn't have done before."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK-428 Last raced at Charlotte -- Oct. 2007 -- Finished 24th
     Backup: RK-403 Tested at Las Vegas -- March 2007

McMurray on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I'm really excited about returning to Atlanta this weekend. For starters, we are taking the same car that ran really well for us in Charlotte. Although we didn't get the finish out of it that we were expecting in Charlotte, the car ran really, really well for us. It's a car that we have run a few times this season, but when we took it back to the wind tunnel a few weeks ago, it blew better than it ever has in the past. And when we unloaded in Charlotte, it was good from the start. Hopefully we will have the same results with this car in Atlanta.

"This weekend, I'm also running the Memphis Busch race, which should be a fun race. I'm leaving Atlanta right after Happy Hour practice and flying up there for the race. I haven't done a split weekend in a long time, so it should be a lot of fun, at least this one time.

"Last weekend was tough for the No. 26 Crown Royal team. I really hope we can get rid of this bad luck and finish out the season on a strong note."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I think the entire No. 26 Crown Royal team is excited about Atlanta this weekend because of the good car we are taking to the track. This car is quickly becoming a team favorite and one that Jamie feels really comfortable driving. That's very important when it comes to setting up the car and adjusting on it throughout the race. If we don't get caught by caution flag or have brake troubles this weekend, it should be a pretty good race for us. This team has had a lot of luck this season, just not good luck. Hopefully we can shake that from our backs and have a good run for everyone this weekend."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-270 Raced the first California in February of this year;
     Raced to victory lane at Atlanta in 2005.

Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks to race. It's a really fun track and I get excited just driving through the tunnel to get inside -- I can't wait to get there and race. The biggest day of my racing career came at Atlanta Motor Speedway, when I got my first Cup win. It's a moment I know I'll never forget. This weekend is going to be a lot fun for the Office Depot team."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is a great track for Carl and the Office Depot team. It really suits Carl's driving style and we've done very well there in the past. The Office Depot Ford we are bringing to Atlanta is the same one that Carl drove to Victory Lane at Atlanta and Pocono in back in 2005. I am confident in our team and driver and we should have a good showing this weekend."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-374 Last ran at Gateway, Jul. '07, finished fifth
     Ran at Atlanta, Mar. '07, finished 20th
     Ran at Fontana, Feb. '07, finished 18th

Ragan on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"I am ready to get to work at Memphis. I feel our short track program is very solid and I am very optimistic about our chances this year. I have run at Memphis once before in the truck series and we came away with a top-10 finish. The Discount Tire team is well prepared for a good run this weekend. I have a lot of confidence in our guys and I know Auggie Vidovich is going to do a great job practicing the car while I am in Atlanta. It is all about teamwork and trusting one another. We are ready to be in Victory Lane and Memphis is a great place to get that first win of the season."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"We are extremely focused for this weekend. Auggie Vidovich will be practicing the car for David, so I am confident it will be business as usual when David gets behind the wheel at race time. We have to start in the back but I know David will be primed to get to the front as fast as he can. I feel David is primed to win this race because of his experience at the track in the truck series. When a driver is comfortable with a track they can do special things in a racecar. I expect us to run in the front all night. This team has worked hard this week and I think they should be rewarded. A win sounds like a nice prize."

Colin Braun
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-190 Last ran at New Hampshire and Gateway

Braun on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"I am really excited about my first Busch Series race this weekend. I've never raced at Memphis before, but after spending a day at Caraway with Eddie (Pardue) and the guys last week, I feel a lot more comfortable and prepared going into Memphis. We tested with the same car I will be racing this weekend, so just having the seat time is important to get the feel of these cars. I ran my first Craftsman Truck race at Martinsville last weekend, so this month has been quite a learning curve for me. Don't get me wrong though, I've loved every minute of it."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"Everyone on the 3M team is looking forward to working with Colin this weekend at Memphis. We spent a day testing with him last week at Caraway and it went really well. He gave us great feedback and worked well with the team. We got about 23 runs in and worked through a lot of the usual stuff. We did some simulated race run adjustments and helped him get acclimated to this car."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK-350 Last ran Richmond -- finished 12th

McMurray on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"This weekend is going to be busy; it's been awhile since I've done double duty like this. Luckily I have Kenny Wallace in Memphis to practice and qualify my Busch car. Plus Chad and my whole team have given me great cars so far this season that I really think they will get this one handling well for me. Especially since I have to jump in it without any practice from the tail end of the field and try to work my way forward. But, like I said, they have given me great cars so far so I think this will be the same. I've come from the back before at Memphis so I think we can do it again and get a good finish for Dish Network."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"The No. 26 Dish Network team is looking forward to having Kenny Wallace in the car this weekend for practice and qualifying. Kenny is a lot of fun and a really great guy, and on top of that is a really talented race car driver. We are very excited to get back to the track after our strong run we had at Charlotte with Jamie. We are bringing the same car that we ran at Richmond to Memphis. The car seems to be pretty fast so we can't wait to see what Jamie can do on race day."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Winterguard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis Number: RK-357 Last Ran at Gateway; finished 6th

Edwards on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"Memphis is our last split weekend. We had a great race there last year starting from the rear. I won't get to practice or qualifying the car, but we'll have Matt (McCall) back with us and he did a real good job setting up the car earlier this year. My Scotts team has done a fantastic job this year and we have a great shot to lock in the championship there. That would be a major milestone in my career."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"Well, the team is coming off a down weekend, which was great. We only have four races left and this Scotts Winterguard team is determined to make the most of them. We have a good shot to lock in the driver's championship in Memphis. We have Matt McCall back practicing and qualifying the car for us. Carl will show up right before the race and start from the rear. It should make for a very exciting race for everybody."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-319-43 Last raced Vegas where Kvapil started from the pole and won

Kvapil on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is a really fun racetrack. Next to Daytona, it's one of the most fun racetracks we go to. You can run anywhere, up to the wall or down around the bottom of the track. It's a rough track, it doesn't have a lot of grip so the trucks slide around a lot and handling is very important. Drafting will also play an important part in this race since it's another high-speed track. It really makes for an exciting race."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We didn't have the run we thought we would in the spring, we struggled with the setup a little bit. But this team has come a long way since then, and we feel like we'll be a contender on Saturday afternoon. We've had a couple of tough finishes here in the last two races, but we're looking to end the season on a high note with some more wins for this K&N Filters team."

T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-308-42 Last raced at Gateway International Raceway where Bell started 12th and finished 24th

Bell on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I made my first start for Roush Fenway Racing at Atlanta in the spring. We had really high hopes for the race, but we got involved in a mix-up at the start of the race that forced us to ride around the rest of the night. We ran well at Texas earlier in the year, and with the similarities in the tracks I don't think there's any reason we can't be competitive on Saturday."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I think everyone really looks forward to racing at Atlanta. It's a fast, multi-groove racetrack that makes for some great racing. T.J. has run well on the mile-and-a-half's before, although his finishes do not show it. We'll see if we can't put the package together here this week."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-386-53 Last raced at Las Vegas where Darnell started and finished fifth

Darnell on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is definitely one of my favorite racetracks. We ran really well there last year, we had a shot to win the race in the fall. We have not had the finishes we've deserved here in the last few races, but I can't think of a place I'd rather turn things around than Atlanta. Hopefully things go our way here this weekend, and we'll have a chance to bring home the trophy."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Erik has a great record at Atlanta although he has only made a few starts there. He got caught up in the lap one wreck in the spring, so he never had a chance to show what he had. He's so confident when it comes to Atlanta, he really loves going there. Hopefully we can give him the truck he needs to run up front this weekend, and maybe we'll be able to put Northern Tool + Equipment in victory lane."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing