BUSCH: Roush Racing Bristol preview

ROUSH RACING Bristol Motor Speedway, Aug. 23-26 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharpie 500, Aug. 26 NASCAR Busch Series: Food City 250, Aug. 25 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: O'Reilly 200, Aug. 23 Roush Racing Fast...

ROUSH RACING
Bristol Motor Speedway, Aug. 23-26

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharpie 500, Aug. 26
NASCAR Busch Series: Food City 250, Aug. 25
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: O'Reilly 200, Aug. 23

Roush Racing Fast Facts

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* Mark Martin has two victories at Bristol (8/98 and 9/93), both coming in the fall race.

* Martin's seven poles at Bristol tie for the most ever.

* Martin won four consecutive poles at Bristol in 1995-96.

* Martin has posted 21 top-10 and 15 top-five finishes in 39 races at Bristol.

* From '95-'00 Martin scored 10 straight top 10's at Bristol.

* Crew chief Pat Tryson scored his first career Cup win at Bristol in 2001. His pit strategy was vital in the victory by the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford.

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* Greg Biffle is currently 12th in the point standings after his seventh place finish at Michigan.

* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 189 points out of the top 10.

* In addition to his Cup record at Bristol, Biffle has four top-five Busch Series finishes.

* Biffle has completed all but one lap out of 3,500 in seven Nextel Cup races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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

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* Matt Kenseth's win in Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400 marks his third win of 2006, making this season his second highest single-season win total of his career, trailing only 2002 (five wins).

* Kenseth has completed all but four laps in the past nine races at Bristol (4,496 of 4,500); second most during that span (Earnhardt Jr. 4,498).

* Kenseth has an average finish of 5.6 during that span, tops among all drivers.

* Kenseth has eight top 10s in the past nine races at Bristol.

* Kenseth has six top-five finishes during that span, which leads all drivers.

* Kenseth has led 539 of a possible 1,000 laps in the past two races at Bristol (53.9%).

* For his career, Kenseth has led 625 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 11.5, the fourth highest among the 23 tracks he has competed on throughout his career.

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* For the second time in the 2006 season, Jamie McMurray will be piloting the No. 26 Sharpie Ford Fusion.

* McMurray has seven starts at the famed .533-mile short track. His best finish came in August 2003, where he finished third.

* Good Luck? The Sharpie Ford Fusion has won four of the last five Sharpie 500s at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* Jamie McMurray moved up one spot to 16th in the Nextel Cup standings with his 17th-place run at Michigan International Speedway last weekend.

* In seven starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, McMurray averages a 15.9 start and a 16.3 finish.

***

* Carl Edwards currently sits 244 points out of 10th place in the NASCAR Nextel Cup points standings.

* Edwards' last win at Bristol came in August 2004 while racing in the Craftsman Truck Series.

* Office Depot Store #2316 of Murfreesboro, Tenn., will be on the side of Edwards' Ford Fusion for this weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* Edwards and "Carl's Thrill Ride" will be featured during the pre-race show on TNT leading into the race on Saturday night at Bristol. The story will profile "Carl's Thrill Ride" sweepstakes. Brian Wright of Charlotte, N.C., won the Ford Racing sponsored contest. His prize? A day spent dogfighting in an L-39 jet at 550 miles per hour against Edwards in early August.

NEXTEL CUP SERIES
Sharpie 500, Saturday, Aug. 26

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-274 Last ran at Bristol in March; finished sixth
     Best finish is a third place at Martinsville in the spring of 2005.

Martin on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I've had some of the most memorable races I can remember there and some pretty tough times there as well. We've had a lot of trouble staying out of the wrecks lately there, but we were able to avoid them to finish top-10 there in the spring, and we are really optimistic going back this weekend. Bristol can be crazy. I've always said it is like flying a jet fighter around the inside of a basketball arena, and try that with 42 other jets doing it at the same time. It can get really intense and it takes a great deal of patience by everyone. You just have to hope that you run well and that you can stay out of all the trouble, which isn't always easy to do. Over the years Bristol has been the source of some real highs and lows for me.

"We needed a good finish at Michigan and we were able to do that, so if we can just keep our nose clean this weekend and then post another strong run at Fontana, hopefully we can get close to sealing the deal on making the Chase and then we can shift our focus to going after that championship."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol can really be a tough place to go. We've had some really good cars, but we've also had some really awful breaks. We were able to get a top 10 there in the spring, and we are taking the same car back this weekend, so we like our chances. Bristol is wild and crazy and as a team you have to be ready for just about anything. Hopefully we can get a good qualifying run on Friday and that always helps, as you don't want to start the race a half a lap down at the green flag."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-268 In 2006: Bristol, Darlington and Dover

Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol under the lights is incredible. It's a great race for the fans and it's a fun race as a driver. We can come out of there with a good finish if we don't get caught up in any accidents. If we can stay out of the mess, I think we can get a top-five finish and be a contender for the win. In these next three races we just need to get the best finishes we can and see what happens with the guys in front of us."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the same car we won with at Darlington earlier this year. We'll start by going back to our notes from the first race. We cut a tire early in the race and were three laps down at one point but the car was good enough for Greg to race back up to a top-10 finish even with some damage. As far as the points go, Michigan was not exactly what we needed. We didn't make up as much ground as we had hoped but I'm not going to say that we're completely out of it. Any one of the guys ahead of us could fall back just as easily as we could move up. We just need to be in a position to capitalize on it if any of those guys have problems."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK--089 Last ran at Bristol in March; led 124 laps, finish third
     Won last fall at Bristol leading 415 laps.
     Oldest car in the No. 17 team's stable.
     RK--280 Last ran at Atlanta in March of '05.

Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"All along we've looked at this stretch, starting at Michigan, as having the potential to gain a lot of momentum entering the Chase. Michigan was obviously a great win for this team and now we're going back to another one of our stronger tracks. It's a one-race-at-a-time approach that we have right now. We're not focusing on where we're at in the standings we're focusing on going out and trying to win races. Every time I look, they pay more points to the winner than anyone else. Bristol is a great track, a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to getting back there and hopefully having a chance of picking up one I let slip away earlier this year."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We're bring 'old reliable' back to Bristol. Chassis 89 is the oldest car we have in our stable. It doesn't run anywhere except Bristol. It's the car we won with last fall... in fact it's been our Bristol car since the start of 2001. Last week was a great win for the team and they should be proud of what they accomplished. But, this is a different week and last week has been forgotten. We've got another good opportunity at Bristol and we're going to stay focused on the task at hand, which is trying to win Saturday night. It's important to carry as much momentum into the Chase as possible and we have an opportunity to build on that momentum this weekend."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Sharpie Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK- 282 Last raced at Dover in June 2006; finished 2nd

McMurray on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I definitely enjoy racing at Bristol, especially the fall night race. It's one of those races that all the fans and the drivers certainly look forward to. This weekend will be really cool for the 26 team with us running the Sharpie paint scheme. I know in the past, the Sharpie paint scheme has brought some good luck to drivers at this track. Hopefully, for our Sharpie team this weekend, the same will hold true. We had a decent run last weekend at Michigan, although I wish we had run better. Hopefully this weekend, we will be able to prove how strong this team really is and how ready we are for our first win of the season."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of the race tracks where anything can happen. It is very easy to get caught in someone else's wreck. I enjoy setting up for Bristol -- it is your classic short track. In the past, I know Jamie has some success at Bristol, so hopefully that will be a building block for this weekend. In the last two weeks, this 26 team has moved up three spots in the 'points', which is great for our team and our success moving forward. I hope we will continue to have these good runs and continue to move up in the point standings."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Wally Brown
Chassis: RK--320 Last raced at Bristol Motor Speedway in March '06; finished 4th

Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I haven't run that well at Bristol during my career, but we were fourth here this spring and it would be awesome to build on that finish. Luck plays a big part at Bristol -- it's easy to get caught up in a wreck. If we can stay out of trouble, I think the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion will be a blast to drive this weekend."

Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a tough place to race, but Carl and the entire team are focused on getting a good finish. We're taking it one weekend at a time. We'll be racing RK-320, which is the same car that we finished in the Top-Five with here in March, and I think we have a good shot of running well with it again."

BUSCH SERIES
Food City 250, Friday, Aug. 25

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 06 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-349 This car last raced at ORP earlier this month

Kluever on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I'm hoping we have a better run at Bristol this weekend than we had in the spring. I got loose and wrecked our primary car during practice on Saturday morning, but we had a pretty decent back-up. We had some damage early in the race and got a few laps down, but the guys made a bunch of adjustments and got the car better. We gained some spots as cars fell out of the race, but with about 50 laps to go we got wrecked and our day was done. At least there is no snow predicted this weekend so that is an improvement right off the bat.

"Bristol is a fun place to race, but a tough place. It's a lot of fun if your car is handling well and you can avoid all the accidents that will happen around you. It reminds me a lot of Slinger back in Wisconsin with the speed you carry around such a small track."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"This is the same car we raced recently at ORP and New Hampshire which is a pretty good car. The biggest thing at Bristol is staying out of trouble. Everything happens so fast there and there isn't much room to escape if there is a wreck in front of you. Qualifying well is important to start up front and stay ahead of the inevitable wrecks in the middle and back of the field."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 iLevel by Weyerhaeuser Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK- 296 Last ran Dover, finished 8th

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I just love Bristol. The iLevel team is very excited about racing on the ..5-mile oval. Bristol is always exciting for the driver and fans. We have had a real strong run there for the spring race, but had last lap lug nut issues. We are going back with the same car and are planning on having a great run this weekend."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"It is great to have Weyerhaeuser back on board this weekend in Bristol. We are taking chassis RK-296; it is the same car we were leading with late in the spring race so I feel like it will be a great weekend for us. It is Bristol and things happen quick so we will have to be ready for anything. One thing for sure is it will be action packed."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-295 Last ran Dover in June; finished 26th

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol has been good to us in the past and we were fast there in March. It's one of my favorite tracks to race at. The track is so fast and there's such a fine line between in control and out of control. If you cross it, you'll find yourself in the wall in a hurry. I thoroughly enjoy racing there. Is it a one groove racetrack? For the most part, yes. Is it impossible to pass without running into somebody? Absolutely not. You just have to be patient and get your car to turn a little better than the guy in front of you. Last year we averaged a 2.5 finish at Bristol by finishing fourth in the Busch race, then going on to win the Cup race. I will be perfectly satisfied if we leave this weekend with the same average finish. Jimmy (Fennig) and the guys deserve a victory and I can't think of a better place to give them one."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I am really looking forward to Friday night under the lights at Bristol. Matt has a great record there and the team is carrying momentum off their fourth place finish last weekend in Michigan. Hopefully we can get Matt into victory lane with Ameriquest."

Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Team: No. 50 Stonebridge Life Insurance Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-356 Previously ran in Charlotte, Finished 22nd
     It was driven by Mark Martin in Texas where he finished 24th

O'Quinn, Jr. on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I think I have been looking forward to this Bristol race ever since I left there in the spring. This is probably my favorite track not just because it is my home track, but also because it is so much fun to drive on. There is never a dull moment on a track like this and I think we have a good shot at a top-five so I am pretty pumped up."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol was one of our best finishes this year, so we are looking forward to going back. We have a better car than in the spring and Danny has more experience. With those two things, we are looking for a strong run towards the front."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK- 345 Last ran O'Reilly Raceway Park; finished 10th

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I love the night Bristol race. It's probably the most exciting race of the year. I can't wait to get there. It's always awesome. We are coming off a very tough weekend in Michigan, but that's all behind us and it's time to concentrate on the race at hand. Our goal is to stay out of trouble and win the race for Ameriquest."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We had a strong run at Michigan and we are taking all our momentum into Bristol and build on our top-five we had there during the spring race. Our Ameriquest team is very motivated. We need to stay out of trouble. We also need to have the right strategy, because that's what it will take to come out on top at the end of the day."

CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
O'Reilly 200, Wednesday, Aug. 23

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: No. 39 Last ran with Ragan at the helm in Kentucky; finished fifth

Martin's Fast Facts in the Truck Series:
* This will be Martin's 11th career Craftsman Truck Series race.

* This will be Martin's first truck race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* Martin has led 1,396 laps and tallied four wins, 20 top fives, 30 top 10's and nine poles in NASCAR races at Bristol.

* Martin has finished in the top 10 in nine of his 10 truck starts, including wins at North Wilkesboro, Daytona, California and Dover.

* Martin is scheduled to move into the Truck Series full-time in 2007.

* Martin is scheduled to take part in 14 Truck Series races in 2006, one of 63 total races that he plans to run during his 'encore' Salute To You Tour.

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I know that the team is really excited about racing with Mark again this weekend at Bristol. We were able to get a top-five last weekend in Michigan in the Busch race, so hopefully we as a team can expand on that. We are taking the truck that we finished fifth with David (Ragan) at Kentucky, so we are excited about our chances this weekend at Bristol."

David Ragan
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: 33

Ragan on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is probably the toughest track on the circuit for a young driver. I've got some laps here, but the intensity of a Craftsman Truck Series race here will be pretty high. There's always a ton of fans in the stands, and it's a great atmosphere. It's a great race to watch, so hopefully it will be the same to compete in. We're a one-day show, which means we're going to turn a bunch of laps up there before we even take the green. This is one of the tracks where you've really got to be extremely careful every lap, because you never know when something is going to happen around you. I really enjoy racing here, and whoever is fortunate enough to take the checkered flag at the end of the night, well they've definitely earned it. It's hard to luck into success here. You've got to keep your stuff in one piece until the end of the night, you've got to work all night long to make sure you're going to be there at the end."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We're really looking forward to Bristol and having David Ragan back in the seat of the No. 50 truck. Knowing that David has experience here should help us considerably. We're bringing our best short-track truck, it's had some really good runs as of late. We're pretty optimistic about our chances for a good finish. This team is really coming together, everyone is working together well and I think the excitement that comes with David getting back in this truck will produce a good result."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: 49

Darnell on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I've only raced here once before in an AutoZone Elite Division race (2001), but I really like the place. It's a really fast little half-mile. Things happen here in a hurry, so you've got to stay on your toes. Avoiding the wrecks and staying up front are the keys to getting a good finish here. We had some bad luck last week, so we'll be looking to rebound from that. It will be the second week in a row that we've competed at a concrete track; I think we're the only series that does that. We'll just go in Wednesday with the intention of staying out of trouble and we'll see what we can get out of it. We'll do what we can to stay out of trouble the first half of the race and see if we can't race our way to the front at the end. Mark Martin returns to the No. 6 truck this weekend, and I am sure that having him here to offer David and I some guidance will be really beneficial to both of us."

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: rr

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