Charlotte/All-Star: Roush Racing preview

Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 20-21, 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, Saturday at 9 pm (EDT) NASCAR Busch Series: Off NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Charlotte Tailgate 200,...

Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 20-21, 2005

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, Saturday at 9 pm (EDT)

NASCAR Busch Series: Off

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Charlotte Tailgate 200, Friday at 8:45 pm (EDT)

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- Matt Kenseth is the defending NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge winner, having won the event on May 22, 2004.

- Matt Kenseth will be running car number 39 in the All-Star Challenge on Saturday night. This car ran at Dover International Speedway last September. Kenseth led 58 laps in the event before crashing into a tire barrier on his way into pit road. For that mishap, Kenseth and the crew affectionately refer to car 39 as "Grave Digger."

- With the solid sixth-place finish in Richmond last weekend, Greg Biffle moved to second in the point standings and decreased the margin between he and Jimmie Johnson to 41 points.

- Last year in his All-Star race debut, Biffle went to the garage for the night after an incident on lap 10.

- Carl Edwards qualified for the All-Star race on March 20, 2005, when he won his first NEXTEL Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway by a nose over Jimmie Johnson. Edwards also took home his first career Busch victory the day before his Cup win. He's the first driver to win both his first career Busch and Cup races in the same weekend.

- Edwards has chalked up one win, two top-five and four top-10 finishes in 11 starts in the NEXEL Cup Series. He currently sits 13th in the overall point standings.

- To date, Edwards' best start in the Cup series came at Atlanta when he qualified fourth. His best finish, first -- that same race weekend.

- The No. 99 Ford will carry the Scotts paint scheme this weekend at the All-Star race.

- Ricky Craven is currently third in the Craftsman Truck Series point standings after three top-five and five top-10 finishes in six starts. He is 73 points out of first place, and 28 points out of second.

- The No. 99 Superchips team will be taking chassis #41 to Lowe's. This is a brand new truck for the team.

- Craven has two top-five and three top-10 finishes in his Nextel Cup record at Lowe's.

- Todd Kluever will drive the No. 50 World Financial Group Ford F-150 at Lowe's. This will be the fifth of 15 races World Financial Group will be the primary sponsor on the truck.

- The No. 50 team will be taking chassis #36 to Lowe's. This is the same truck Kluever raced at Atlanta where a windshield tear-off stuck to the grille and overheated the engine.

- Kluever has made one previous start at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the ASA Series in 2004 when he finished 10th.

- Kluever currently leads the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year points by 24 points.

- Mark Martin will compete in his 16th straight All-Star event. Martin won the event in 1998 and has posted four top-five and five top 10's at the All-Star event. Martin finished 10th last year in the All-Star race.

- Martin's car will feature a Retro-93 paint scheme this weekend at the All-Star event. The scheme is the same as Martin ran during the 1993 season and is the second of the special throw-back schemes that Martin will run during his "Salute To You" Tour this season.

- Martin finished third during his first All-Star race, back in 1990.

- Saturday night's NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge marks Kurt Busch's fourth consecutive appearance in the All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Busch has two top-fives in his three previous All-Star starts, and won the second segment of the 2003 event.

- Busch's No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus sports a special paint scheme for IRWIN's unbreakable Blue Blade for the All-Star Challenge.

- The IRWIN Industrial Tools Racing team brings chassis #68 to Charlotte, a new chassis developed by Ford.

NNCS:

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-221 (Finished fourth at Atlanta earlier this season.)

Mark Martin on the All-Star Challenge: "We always enjoy the All-Star race. It's not a points race, so it takes a little bit of the pressure off, while at the same time you can really go out there and go for it. I love racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway so that's always something we look forward to. We won the All-Star back in 1998 and it was a great win. It would be nice to win that thing again. Hopefully we can have another strong run this weekend in the All-Star race and them come the next week and go after that 600 again.

"We had a bit of an off weekend at Richmond, where we normally run well, so I think we'll be ready to come back with a couple of strong runs over the next two weeks. Charlotte is probably my favorite race track and I always love racing there. This could be my last All-Star, so we'd love to go out with a trip to victory lane."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on the All-Star Challenge: "We tested at Lowe's a couple of weeks ago and were really happy with what we had there. We are looking forward to going back there this weekend for the All-Star race and then next week for the 600. The All-Star race is always a great event for the team. We get to go out and have a little fun and do some great racing. Hopefully we can cap it all off with a couple of trips to victory lane over the next couple of weeks."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-195 (Primary for Texas earlier this year.)

Greg Biffle on the All-Star Challenge: "I'm looking forward to the All-Star Challenge for several reasons. First of all, the National Guard team is incredible this season and I think we've got a decent chance to win this one. The car we're taking was the primary for Texas and it's faster than the backup we won with that weekend. It's another night race and the format makes it even more exciting for the fans. There's a lot of money on the line and that also makes for some pretty good racing."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on the All-Star Challenge: "We're taking the car we took as the primary to Texas. We've fixed it and believe it will be even faster than the backup we won with. Going into the All-Star race, you can take it a little more aggressively but you don't want to vary too much from what you would do in a points race because you can learn a lot to help your team out for the 600."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: #39 (Ran at Dover last September)

Matt Kenseth on the All-Star Challenge: "It was really cool to be able to win this race last year. I remember we had started the season off really strong but then went into kind of a slump. Winning the All-Star Challenge was a good boost for our team. It's a neat atmosphere -- the fans really enjoy the event and come out and support us. For me, it's a nice break from the point competition. It's an honor to be able to compete in a race with our sport's elite drivers -- all past winners."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on the All-Star Challenge: "This will be a fun race for our guys. The atmosphere will be a little lighter, without the pressure of the point standings in the backs of our minds. But don't get me wrong, these guys want to win, no matter what. Many of the guys will have their family and friends in attendance this weekend, and they will want to put on a good show."

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools/Sharpie Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #68 (Brand new race car)

Kurt Busch on the All-Star Challenge: "The NEXTEL All-Star Challenge is easily the most unique race on our schedule. With a million dollars on the line, the pressure and excitement for the 90 laps is intense. You have to be unbreakable for the duration of the three segments, so I can't think of a better race to have the IRWIN Blue Blade paint scheme for our Ford Taurus. It's going to look great out there under the lights, and it will look even better if we can get the job done and get it in Victory Lane."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on the All-Star Challenge: "The car we are taking to the All-Star race is a brand new chassis. It's the new Ford chassis that the No. 99 ran last year at Homestead, and we're trying it for the first time this weekend.

"This is really a driver's race with there being no points and all the money on the line. Kurt has had two solid runs here in this event, and I don't see any reason he shouldn't have another good run on Saturday night. We've had some bad luck here lately, but hopefully a good finish in this deal can get us back on track."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Scotts Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK- 270 ('04 - 2nd Atlanta & Darlington, '05 - 1st Atlanta & Texas)

Carl Edwards on the All-Star Challenge: "It's really neat to be racing in the All-Star race. One of our goals this year was to win a race and to achieve it so early in the year at Atlanta and become eligible for the All-Star race is just awesome. I'm really looking forward to the race itself. It will be a lot like Saturday night dirt track racing with the format the way it is. Everything is a sprint to the end and you go 100 percent every lap and that's going to be fun. To win $1 million would be pretty exciting for myself and the entire Scotts team."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on the All-Star Challenge: "It's pretty incredible when you think about it. We thought we could win a race but we never thought it would be that early in the season. Then to top that off, to be eligible for the All-Star race is just really cool. I think we have just as good a shot as anybody at winning the big prize. We are taking the same car that qualified us for the race so hopefully that will bring a little luck with it. I think Carl should do well in this format. We'll see what happens on Saturday night."

NCTS

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 50 Rotella T Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Monsam
Chassis: #36 (Same truck that raced at Atlanta)

Todd Kluever on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway: "I have been looking forward to this race all year. I loved racing at Lowe's when I was there for the ASA race last October. We had a great run going but got caught in a wreck on the last lap of the race. We still ended up 10th, but my car was destroyed by the time I crossed the finish line.

"I haven't been on the track since they worked on it a few weeks ago. We did not participate in the test there since we're trying to save our tests for tracks where I have never raced before. We're taking a great truck which I think would have been a contender at Atlanta if we hadn't of overheated from the windshield tear-off getting stuck on the grille. We've got a lot of momentum coming off our fourth-place finish in Mansfield and I think Lowe's is going to be a very good race for this team."

Crew Chief John Monsam on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway: "I think Todd is going to be really good at Lowe's this weekend. The truck we're taking could have won the race at Atlanta if we had not overheated. He has experience there from the ASA race last year and I know he's looking forward to it. The team is pretty excited coming off a good run at Mansfield."

Ricky Craven
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: #41 (Brand new truck)

Ricky Craven on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway: "I believe the Charlotte race will be a good one for the Superchips team. We've got a brand new truck for the race which should be outstanding. We didn't test at Charlotte like many of the other teams did since we didn't think that was a track we needed the extra time. I'd rather save them for some of the tracks where I have never raced in Cup or Busch.

"I'm anxious to see what the new surface is like. I've talked to some of the other drivers and it sounds like it's going to make for a great race. There should be a lot of grip and side-by-side racing. I'll be curious to see if it has changed so much that some of the bumps and things that are characteristic of Charlotte will be gone.

"We were disappointed with our eighth-place finish at Mansfield last weekend and we spent time at the shop this week working on pit stops. We're still in the hunt for the championship and now we need to win some races to stay in the hunt."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway: "I feel confident going into this race. We've got a new truck that should be very good and Lowe's is a good track for Ricky. I believe his experience will be very valuable there."

-rr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Ricky Craven , Carl Edwards , Todd Kluever , Doug Richert , Mark Martin