BUSCH: Roush Racing Atlanta/Memphis preview

ROUSH RACING Atlanta Motor Speedway; Oct. 27 -- Oct. 29 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Bass Pro Shops 500, Oct. 29 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: EasyCare Vehicles Service Contract 200, Oct. 28 Memphis Motorsports Park; Oct.

ROUSH RACING

Atlanta Motor Speedway; Oct. 27 -- Oct. 29
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Bass Pro Shops 500, Oct. 29
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: EasyCare Vehicles Service Contract 200, Oct. 28

Memphis Motorsports Park; Oct. 28
NASCAR Busch Series: Sam's Town 250, Oct. 28

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Mark Martin has tallied 21 top 10's and 13 top fives at Atlanta, with top-five runs in the last four of five races there.

* Martin has won twice at Atlanta. Both wins came in the fall in ('91 & '94).

* Martin has started in the top 10 in 24 of his 41 races at Atlanta. He has started inside the top five 17 times. He has earned one pole (3/92) and has started on the front row six times.

* Martin scored his first top 10 at Atlanta in only this second start there, on November 7, 1982.

* Martin has led 924 laps at Atlanta, with 272 of them coming in the last four races.

* Martin has three wins and two poles in the Busch car at Atlanta.

***

* Greg Biffle is currently 13th in the point standings after his 32nd place finish in Martinsville.

* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 492 points behind Tony Stewart in the 11th position.

* In addition to his Cup record at Atlanta, Biffle has one win, five top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes in six NASCAR Busch Series attempts.

* This weekend the No. 16 National Guard team will run the red, white and blue National Guard paint scheme.

***

* Matt Kenseth's average finish of 17.5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway ranks seventh among the 10 tracks in the Chase.

* Kenseth is the only driver in the 2006 Chase that has scored at least five top-15 finishes in the first six races.

* Kenseth's average start at 1.5-mile tracks in 2006 is 10.7, better than his overall average of 14.4, which is vastly improved over his total career average of 20.9.

* Kenseth has led a total of 274 laps on 1.5-mile tracks in 2006 (second only to Kasey Kahne) and has led in five of the seven races on those tracks.

* Kenseth's average starting position in NEXTEL Cup at Atlanta is 25.5, better only than Homestead for his career.

* Kenseth will race Saturday in the IROC season finale. The 2004 IROC Champion, Kenseth is currently second in the point standings with 48 points; 15 behind leader Tony Stewart.

* In three IROC races this season, Kenseth has one win at Daytona's oval, finished fifth at Texas and 10th at Daytona's road course.

***

* On A Roll? In his last four starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jamie McMurray has posted four top-15 finishes.

* In eight starts at the 1.54-mile speedway, McMurray has finished outside the top 15 only twice.

* As part of the Coca-Cola Driving Family, McMurray will participate in their annual Ride-Along on Thursday afternoon at the 1.54-mile speedway.

* McMurray will be sporting the Crown Royal paint scheme this weekend at AMS.

* With his 19th-place finish in Martinsville, McMurray has scored 17 top-20 finishes this season.

***

* Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently 12th in the point standings and 246 points out of 11th place.

* Edwards is pulling double duty this weekend with a split location as the Busch Series will run at Memphis Motorsports Park in Tennessee on Saturday afternoon.

* Edwards became the first driver in NASCAR history to win his first NASCAR Nextel Cup and NASCAR Busch Series races on the same weekend in Atlanta in March 2005. Edwards has an average finish of 11.2 in four career Cup starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* In his most recent Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Edwards finished a disappointing 40th after an early pit road collision caused heavy damage to the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion.

* Office Depot Store #2352 of Fargo, N.D., will be on the side of Edwards' Ford Fusion for this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* Edwards will participate in the Coca-Cola Ride-Along fan event on Thursday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* Edwards will co-host "The Chase is On" on SPEED at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday.

NEXTEL CUP SERIES
Bass Pro Shops 500, Sunday, Oct. 29

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-392 New car, tested at Homestead last week.
     It will make its first official run this weekend.

Martin on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is a really cool race track. It's a big, fast race track. The pavement has gotten a little older and it has finally given up and made it a really fun place to race. From top-to-bottom, it's one of the best places that we go to race. It usually makes for a great show and a great race. We've been really strong there over the years and we've had some good runs the last few times that we've went there. We've been close to a couple of wins there in the past few races and we finished second in the spring, so hopefully we can break out of our string of bad luck and get a solid finish this weekend.

"We've had really good cars the last couple of weeks and pretty bad luck. My car last week was as good as any car I've had at Martinsville and we got ourselves caught up in someone else's wreck again and were lucky to stay on the lead lap and finish the race. This weekend we need to get the best finish we can, so we can stay within striking distance in the points. There is still a lot of racing left and we haven't given up yet."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta has been a great track for us over the past couple of years. Mark really likes racing there and we've been close to a couple of wins there. Hopefully this weekend we can avoid the wrecks and if we run the way we should I know that Mark can take this car to victory lane."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-201 (Atlanta, both Pocono races and both Charlotte races '06)

Biffle on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and there's always good racing there. We're taking the same car that we led the most laps of the race with at Atlanta in the spring before we ran out of fuel. I think we've learned a few things over the course of this season that should help us out in Atlanta. We need to try to finish this season strong. We've had some things go wrong the last couple of weeks but it would be great to end the season on a high note. I've had a lot of success in Atlanta in the Busch Series and we had two good runs there in the Cup car last season so maybe we can get things turned around this weekend."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We're taking back the same car that we led 128 laps with at Atlanta in the spring. We also had a good run going with it in Charlotte until we had engine trouble. We're really just looking to run well and get a solid finish this weekend as well as the final three races. We'd just like to end this season with finishes that reflect this team's ability."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-267 Last ran at Darlington in May; finished third
     Also ran at Atlanta in the spring; finished 13th
    RK-280 Last ran at Michigan June '05, finished fourth

Kenseth on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is a great track. It's fast and there's plenty of room to pass. The track has a lot of grip and you can run high or low, basically wherever your car is working best at the time. We've had some decent runs there in the past and we've had some bad ones there as well. Earlier this year, we had a pretty good car but got a little too aggressive with the setup and had some tire problems. But, we've learned from that and hopefully this time we'll be able to compete for a top-five finish. The championship is still wide open. Yes, we're leading and that's definitely better than the alternative, but we have to start running better or we'll see it slip away. Usually, the mile-and-a-half tracks are good to us, but we've struggled in the last two at Kansas and Lowe's. We'll need to turn that around if we're going to get the job done down the stretch."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We were pretty fast at Atlanta in the spring, but we went a little too far on our setup. But, we know what we did and we know how to fix it. It's business as usual this weekend. We can't pay any attention to the points. We just need to go to Atlanta, get the car the best we can, and on Sunday, have no mistakes on pit road and we'll see what we have. If we take care of business on our end and have a good solid weekend, then that's really all we can do. After Sunday, we'll see where we stand, but when we go to Atlanta, all we're going to do is try to win on Sunday. We need to pick up our performance as a whole if we're going to finish this deal, so all of our focus right now is on getting a good finish at Atlanta."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-273 (Last raced at Dover in Sept. 2006; McMurray finished 17th)

McMurray on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is a track that I look forward to visiting twice a year. It's probably one of the fastest tracks on the circuit. You carry such high speeds into the corners at Atlanta. This is one track where it's really important to have the right setup underneath you. With the speeds you carry around the track, if you are a little too loose or a little too tight, it makes Atlanta extremely hard to drive. Last week, the No. 26 guys did a great job of hanging in there--we had a lot of bad luck, but everyone held it together and we pulled out a 19th-place finish. Hopefully, with the same dedication and a great car, we'll have another good finish this weekend in Atlanta."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"After last weekend in Martinsville, I am looking forward to Atlanta. The guys showed in the last race that they are dedicated until the very end. Last week, we overcame running a lap down, being spun -- it was a tough day. The important part is, all the guys hung in there. We are taking the same car this weekend to Atlanta that we ran in Dover. We were very pleased with the car and hopefully, with the setup we have going into this weekend, we'll have another strong finish in Atlanta. It's a really special place to me, and I look forward to returning there."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Wally Brown
Chassis: RK-264 (Last raced at Martinsville in April '06; finished 16th)

Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I love racing at Atlanta. I feel like I am always fast there, and the track is a blast to get around. You can pretty much drive any line. I've got some great memories of racing there already in my career, especially my first wins. It's a special place for me. We had a really tough outing in Atlanta in March when a pit road crash pretty much ruined our day, and I've definitely wanted to race away that feeling. Hopefully we can do that on Sunday. I think this could be a really awesome weekend for our No. 99 Office Depot team."

Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Carl isn't the only one who loves racing at Atlanta--our entire No. 99 Office Depot team really gets pumped up to race there. We've been on a little bit of a roll lately, and I think that's going to help us this weekend. The car is fast, our driver is fast and everyone on the team has been working very hard. We're looking forward to an exciting weekend."

BUSCH SERIES
Sam's Town 250, Saturday, Oct. 28

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 06 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-349 Finished 13th at Dover in September

Kluever on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"I really hope the momentum we gained at Lowe's two weeks ago will carry over to Memphis. We had such a great run going at Lowe's and really had a shot to win until we burned a plug wire while running fourth.

"I like racing at Memphis. I got a top-10 finish in the truck last year in my first start there. We're taking a pretty good car that ran well for us at Dover last month. We learn more about that car every time we race it, so hopefully we can run well this weekend and get the finish we deserve."

Mike Kelley on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"I've never been to Memphis so this will be a learning experience for me. Todd had a good run there in the truck last year and he's done a great job with feedback so that will really help me give him what he needs to run well this weekend. This team has a lot of momentum from the race at Lowe's two weeks ago so I expect a strong finish on Saturday."

Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-350 (Most recently ran at Richmond & finished 6th at IRP)

O'Quinn, Jr. on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"Memphis will be the final Busch Series standalone event of the season so it is our last opportunity to really take advantage of a situation where there will be a limited number of Cup drivers racing against us. We had our best finish of the season at Charlotte a couple of weekends ago so hopefully we carry that momentum into this weekend at Memphis and gain the points we need to be leading in the contest for Rookie of the Year!"

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"We are taking the same car to Memphis that we ran at IRP back in August. It is a very good car and with our fifth-place finish at Charlotte the team and Danny both got a little boost of confidence that hopefully we can maintain through the rest of the season. Memphis is our last short track of the season and we are usually pretty good on short tracks so hopefully we can bring home another top five."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Ameriquest / FreeCreditReport.com Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK- 345 (last ran Richmond -- finished ninth)

Edwards on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"Memphis is pretty awesome and I have finished fifth in my last three starts there (including Trucks). It's my best short track. This will be my last double duty of the season. We will have Pete Shepard on standby at Memphis, if needed. The FreeCreditReport.com team is determined to finish the season strong."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Memphis Motorsports Park:
"The FreeCreditReport.com team can't wait to go to Memphis. This is our last week of double duty and Pete Shepard will practice and qualify the No. 60 Ford Fusion. Carl will come in and race the car Saturday just like last year. Last year's results were fifth. This year we look forward to racing from the back and finishing first. Carl really likes Memphis and we are really looking forward to a great finish there."

CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
EasyCare Vehicles Service Contracts 200, Saturday, Oct. 28

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: No. 43 Finished second earlier this year at Atlanta and Michigan and won at Fontana.

Martin on racing in the NCTS at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I love driving that No. 6 Scotts Ford F-150 for Mike Beam and those guys. It's just an awesome team and they give me great trucks each week. Driving that truck this season is some of the best fun I've ever had in racing and I really appreciate the opportunity to work with these guys and I really appreciate all the hard work that each of the guys on the team have put into this season. We have three more races this year and hopefully we'll be able to go out and compete for the win in each of those races."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"This will be our second race at Atlanta with Mark in the Scotts Ford F-150 this season. We were able to get a second place in the first one and hopefully we'll be able to go back and compete for the win this weekend. It's always great to work with Mark, especially in the Scotts truck and we are excited about the chance to go out and hopefully compete for another win."

David Ragan
Team: No. 50 Purpose Money Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: 47

Ragan on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"It's going to be a pretty cool deal to get to race in front of my friends and family down there. Atlanta is the fastest track we race at, and to me it's also one of the most fun. You can run any line there, so if your car is not handling just right you can seek a different groove and see if that helps get you where you need to be."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta should be a good track for us. The No. 50 team debuted here in the spring with David driving and despite being involved in an early incident we recovered well and were able to finish the race. Hopefully we can get all of the laps this time, keep our nose clean and come out of here with a top-10 finish."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: 35, last raced at Loudon where Darnell finished 9th

Darnell on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I'm really looking forward to getting back to Atlanta Motor Speedway. We qualified really well in the spring, but we're looking to improve on how we ran in the race. It's a fast track where you can run from the top to the bottom, so you're able to change your line if your truck isn't handling just the way you want it. It's one of my favorite places that we've gone to so far, and I feel like we've got a chance to go down there and contend for the win. Since we raced here in the spring, we've run at several more mile-and-a-half tracks, so I think that additional experience will come in to play here this weekend. This is one race that we've all circled on the schedule as one that we've really been looking forward to."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta has been a strong track for us. Erik ran well there in the spring, but we've really raced well there even before that. Atlanta is so fast, it's undoubtedly unique. We're bringing one of our favorite trucks and we're looking to improve on our race there in the spring. Coming off a third-place finish at Martinsville, we're coming here with a great feeling that we'll be able to back that finish up here. It should be a good night for the No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford."

-credit: roush racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Todd Kluever , Erik Darnell , Doug Richert , Danny O'Quinn , Mike Kelley , Mark Martin