Martinsville II: Roush Racing preview

Martinsville Speedway; Oct. 20 -- Oct. 22 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:Subway 500, Oct. 22 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:Kroger 200, Oct. 21 Roush Racing Fast Facts *Mark Martin has two victories at Martinsville (spring '92 and spring ...

Martinsville Speedway; Oct. 20 -- Oct. 22
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:Subway 500, Oct. 22
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:Kroger 200, Oct. 21

Roush Racing Fast Facts

*Mark Martin has two victories at Martinsville (spring '92 and spring '00).

*Martin has 20 top-10 and 11 top-five finishes in 39 starts at Martinsville.

*Martin posted both of his wins and 10 of his 19 top-10 finishes at Martinsville in the spring.

*Martin has three poles at Martinsville.

*Martin finished third in his first ever attempt at Martinsville on 9/29/81. He started the race fifth.

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*Greg Biffle is currently 13th in the point standings after his 37th-place finish in Charlotte.

*Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 399 points behind Tony Stewart in the 11th position.

*In addition to his Cup record at Martinsville, Biffle has one pole, one top-five and two top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the Virginia short track.

*This weekend the No. 16 National Guard team will run the yellow Subway/National Guard paint scheme.

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*Matt Kenseth's average finish of 17.2 at Martinsville ranks sixth among the 10 tracks in the Chase.

*Kenseth and the No. 17 team will be flying the R+L Carriers colors this weekend for the third and final time in 2006.

*Kenseth's average finish on short tracks this season is 14.8; his overall average is 9.9. Take out two finishes at Bristol (third and first), and Kenseth's average finish on short tracks in 2006 is 23.3.

*Kenseth has completed the third most laps of any Cup driver at Martinsville in the past nine Cup races (4,491 of 4,500).

*Kenseth has scored only three top 10s at Martinsville, the lowest count of top 10s at any track where Kenseth has totaled at least 10 starts.

*In seven starts at the famed .526-mile speedway, Jamie McMurray has recorded five top-10 finishes.

*In his last visit to Martinsville Speedway, McMurray started on the outside pole position and led six laps en route to a ninth-place finish.

*Martinsville Speedway is McMurray's fifth best track on the NASCAR circuit. McMurray enters this weekend with an average finish of 13.9 at the track.

*McMurray also boast an impressive average starting position of 14.1 at Martinsville.

*McMurray will be running the IRWIN Industrial Tools paint scheme this weekend.

*Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently 12th in the point standings and 213 points out of 11th place.

*Edwards has an average finish of 26 in four career Cup starts at Martinsville Speedway.

*Office Depot Store #2349 of Columbia, S.C., will be on the side of Edwards' Ford Fusion for this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway.

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

NEXTEL CUP SERIES
Subway 500, Sunday, Oct. 22

David Ragan
Team:No. 06 Roush Racing Ford Fusion
Crew Chief:Frank Stoddard
Chassis:229

Kluever on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Getting to do double duty this weekend at Martinsville is going to be a great opportunity for me. Martinsville is one of my favorite racetracks, and I couldn't be happier to be entered in both the Craftsman Truck Series and NEXTEL Cup races here this weekend. I really like racing at short tracks, and Martinsville has some of the best racing you'll see. We'll go there with the intention of completing all the laps and staying out of trouble. As a rookie you want to earn the respect of all these guys and you'll do that by racing them clean and not pushing issues unnecessarily. It's going to be a trying day, that's for sure, but if we can keep our cool we should be able to bring the car home in one piece and gain some good experience"

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief:Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-221Last ran at Loudon in September; finished 11th. Finished fifth at Richmond, fourth at Loudon in July and posted a dominating performance earlier this year at Phoenix. It is the car Martin used to win the All-Star Challenge in 2005.

Martin on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"It's pretty much no secret that I don't care much for racing at Martinsville, but that seems to have little to do with success, as they keep reminding me that I have a pretty good record there. I love Pocono and have never won there, so I guess it doesn't matter that much if you love a track or not. Martinsville can be physically demanding and a lot of times you leave there feeling really worn down. Martinsville has always been a real challenge for me, because in the end, it just doesn't fit with my driving style. But, we ran okay there in the spring and we like the car we are taking back this time.

"We had a good run going at Charlotte last week and it's just unfortunate that our night had to end that way. Still, that kind of stuff happens and all we can do is come back as strong as we can and go into this week looking to win the race. We'll keep on keeping on and keep fighting and just see how this thing turns out. No matter what happens, nothing can take away from the effort of this AAA race team."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville really isn't our best track, but we've had some pretty good runs there. We are taking the same car that we used at Loudon and Phoenix this year, and it has some pretty good runs, so hopefully we'll be able to get it hooked up and give Mark a piece that he can go out and compete with. We all know what he is capable of here if we can give him the car he needs to get the job done."

Greg Biffle
Team:No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford Fusion
Crew Chief:Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-297 (Martinsville and both New Hampshire races '06)

Biffle on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville has historically not been a great track for me but we had a really good car there in the spring and it is the same car we're taking back this weekend. We had a top-10 run going there in the spring when I made contact with Burton pretty early in the race. We got back out but we were several laps down. I've never really looked forward to Martinsville but I think we're ready for this weekend."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"We're taking the same car back that we qualified 10th with in the spring. I think we could have come out of there with a top-10 finish if we hadn't gotten caught up in that accident. This is the best car we've ever had at Martinsville and I feel confident taking it back this weekend. We've just got to go out there and focus on getting the best finishes we can in the last five races and then we can start getting ready for 2007."

Matt Kenseth
Team:No. 17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief:Robbie Reiser
Chassis:RK-164 Last ran Martinsville in April; finished 24th Ran both Martinsville races in '05; finished 12th and 11th RK-150Tested earlier in '06 at Vegas

Kenseth on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is one of our tougher tracks and it hasn't been too kind to us for sure. I'm just not a big fan, mostly because it's so slow and there's no room to pass. Racing at Martinsville is kind of like racing around two cones out in a parking lot somewhere. That being said, we have to stay focused on the job at hand and that is trying to score a top-10 finish this weekend. This is the race that I knew would be the toughest for us going into the Chase. Some people point to Talladega, but I've always pointed to Martinsville as the real wild card for us. If we can get a good finish this weekend I think we'll be in good position to make a run at the title, because we've had success at the remaining tracks."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"This is a big weekend for us. We didn't do too good as a team last Saturday night and this is probably our toughest track coming up at Martinsville. We've got our work cut out for us but the good thing is, after all that happened last weekend, we're only 45 points back. We were very fortunate to finish 14th last week. We've had some brake issues at flat tracks this year. We wrecked with less than 10 to go in the spring at Martinsville when our brakes went out. But, we've done a good amount of brake testing over the past month and we're hoping we've got the issue fixed. If not, it's going to be another long day where we have to kick and fight our way to a decent finish. We can't have many more of those races. We need to stay up front, do a great job in the pits this week and try to come out of there with a top 10."

Jamie McMurray
Team:No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief:Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK -- 157 (Last raced at Loudon in Sept. 2006; McMurray finished 33rd)

McMurray on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"I love going to Martinsville, it's one of my favorite tracks. It's a challenging track which is why I enjoy it so much. I like the tracks that most others don't like--Talladega, the road courses and of course, Martinsville. It's a fun track to run at if you have good equipment under you. This weekend should be really good for the IRWIN team. In our last visit to Martinsville earlier this year we started second and were able to bring home a second-place finish. My crew guys have really stepped up in the last few weeks; they have clicked off some great times, but we haven't had the best luck out there on the track. Hopefully we can turn that around in Martinsville this weekend."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"This should be a good weekend for the IRWIN team in Martinsville. It's a track that I enjoy setting up for. Qualifying at Martinsville is very important--starting from the rear isn't the best way to start your day. The leaders will catch you very quickly. We are running the same setup we ran earlier this year when Jamie recorded a great finish. We are looking for the same results this weekend, if not a few positions better."

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 Martinsville Speedway:
"It's not much of a secret that Martinsville is a tough track for me, and I haven't had much success here in the past. But I'd love to change that -- I'm definitely a fan of short tracks. They can be a blast to drive. It's really important to qualify well at a place like Martinsville or you'll be in trouble pretty quick once the race starts. It's not too hard to go a lap down if you're in the back. If we can get a good starting spot for the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion, I think we'll have a good shot at getting our best finish there."

Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is a good challenge. Qualifying is key, and we're really going to focus on getting a good starting spot there. We've had good finishes over the past four weeks, and I know the entire No. 99 Office Depot team wants to build on that positive momentum. This track is never easy, but our short track car is strong and we feel good about it. It should be an exciting weekend."

CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES
Kroger 200, Saturday, Oct. 21

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief:Mike Beam
Chassis: No. 46The team will run No. 46 this weekend at Martinsville. No. 46 finished 10th in its first and only run at Loudon in September.

Martin on racing in the NCTS at Martinsville 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 four 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 Martinsville Speedway:
"This will be our second race at Martinsville with Mark in the Scotts Ford F-150 this season. We were able to get a top-five 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."

Martin NCTS Fast Facts

*This will be Martin's 14th career Craftsman Truck Series race.

*This will be Martin's second truck race at Martinsville Speedway.

*Martin has two wins and three poles at Martinsville in the Cup series. He has led 318 laps there.

*Martin has finished in the top 10 in 12 of his 13 truck starts.

*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. Martin has truck races remaining at Atlanta, Phoenix and Homestead.

David Ragan
Team:No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Crew Chief:Matt Puccia
Chassis:34, last raced at Loudon where Ragan finished 11th

Ragan on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"We had a pretty good run here in the spring with the No. 50 team. We'll go back with the same truck, and I fully expect to be a contender for the win. Matt Puccia and all the guys on the No. 50 crew, we feel like this is one of the tracks that owes us one after our run here in the spring. Being as how I grew up racing on the tight little tracks with the Legends cars, I think this place falls into my experience perfectly. The place is pretty cool, the fans are great, and I can't wait to have a famous Martinsville hot dog!"

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"We had a great run here with David here in the spring but got caught up in a wreck that knocked the oil pump belt off and ended our day early. Our short track program has been pretty good all year, and any time you head to one of these tight little tracks like this and you've got David at the wheel, you know you've got a chance to get a good finish out of it. We'll do what we can to keep him up front since track position is so critical, and we'll see at the end of the day what we're able to get out of it."

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 Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is one of those tracks that when I think about it, I just can't get excited. I didn't like this place in the spring, and I've got a feeling I'm not going to like it when we get back. We really did not run well when we were here in the spring, but we managed to get a good finish out of it. All we can do is improve on what we accomplished last time out. I've got a bunch of laps here, but I've never been a fan of this place, so we'll see how it all works out. This is the team that won this race last year, so I'm going to be relying on them to help me get around this place. This is a unique race because of the short distance, so you'll see varying pit strategies in play to help keep track position since it's so hard to pass here."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"We were able to win this race last year with Ricky Craven on a pit strategy deal, and we'll look to repeat it here this time out in the Northern Tool + Equipment Ford. Erik has never been a fan of this place but we had a great run in the spring. If we can make the right call to get the track position we'll need to be up front, I know we can get a good finish, if not contend for the win. This is the first track we'll come to for a second time around in 2006, and that gives us an advantage knowing that we've raced here before."

-credit: rr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Ricky Craven , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Erik Darnell , Doug Richert , Mark Martin