Martinsville: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Roush Fenway Racing Martinsville Speedway, Mar. 30 -- Apr. 1 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Goody's Cool Orange 500, Apr. 1 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Kroger 250, Mar. 31 Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts * David Ragan started the Subway...

Roush Fenway Racing
Martinsville Speedway, Mar. 30 -- Apr. 1

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Goody's Cool Orange 500, Apr. 1
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Kroger 250, Mar. 31

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan started the Subway 500, in October of 2006 at the Martinsville Speedway, in 41st position and crossed the finish line in 25th place and on the lead lap, in his second career NEXTEL Cup start.

* Ragan also competed in the spring and fall 2006 Craftsman Truck Series races at Martinsville Speedway, finishing 34th and 20th respectively..

* Ragan is currently tied with Juan Pablo Montoya for the lead in the Nextel Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year race.

* Ragan is ranked 22nd in the Nextel Cup Series Championship point standings.

***

* In last year's spring race at Martinsville, Greg Biffle held a top-10 position until lap 109 when an incident with Jeff Burton sent him to the garage for repairs.

* Biffle has one pole, one top five and two top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Martinsville Speedway.

* Biffle finished fifth last weekend at Bristol and currently sits 16th in the point standings, 270 points out of the lead and 54 points out of the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run a black and red Jackson Hewitt paint scheme.

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* Matt Kenseth has completed the third most laps of any Cup driver at Martinsville in the past ten Cup races (4,991 of 5,000).

* Kenseth will run the USG Sheetrock paint scheme this weekend for the first of three races this season (Chicago in July and Texas in November).

* Kenseth's average finish on short tracks (under one mile in length) in 2006 was 14.1. His average finish on all tracks last season was 9.8.

* Kenseth has completed every lap so far in 2007, one of only three drivers to do so (Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton).

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

* Kenseth's only DNF (Did Not Finish) of 2006 was in April at Martinsville, when brake failure led to a turn-one crash with only seven laps remaining.

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* In his last three starts at the Martinsville Speedway, Jamie McMurray has posted two top-10 finishes.

* In eight career Cup starts at Martinsville Speedway, McMurray has one top-five finish and five top-10 finishes.

* Big Gain! McMurray moved up seven spots to 17th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings with his ninth-place run at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend.

* On A Roll? McMurray has posted two top 10's and three top-15 finishes in the last three races.

* Martinsville Speedway is McMurray's fourth best oval track on the NASCAR circuit. McMurray averages a 14.5 finish at the "paperclip-shaped" track.

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* After five races, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team remain in 10th position in the overall point standings with 598 points.

* In five NNCS starts at Martinsville Speedway, Edwards has two top-20 finishes

* Edwards captured his best NNCS finish (12th place) at Martinsville in October of last year

* Edwards' best finish at Martinsville came back in 2003, when he finished second in the Craftsman Truck Series race. He started that race from the pole position

* The last day to sign up for the Office Depot Small Business of NASCAR promotion is March 31. Small business owners and employees can sign up for a chance to see their company's logo on the No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion. All the details are available in-store or at officedepotracing.com

* Office Depot store #323 from Springfield, IL is the weekly sales winner and will ride along with Edwards this weekend at Martinsville

#@NEXTEL CUP

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-455 Brand new car
     RK-449 Ran at Bristol last week, Finished 26th

Ragan on racing in the Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway: "Martinsville will be our second COT race so far this year now that we have Bristol out of the way so we should have a little bit better grasp on how the car will handle over the course of a 500 lap race. The COT is slightly larger than the cars that we have been running so when you put 43 of them on a half-mile track going over a hundred miles per hour it is pretty intense. I think I learned a lot last week at Bristol and that will help me better prepare for this weekend's race. I was amazed at how physically draining last weeks race was so that is something that I will definitely prepare for this week."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "David did a good job last week at Bristol. He got spun around quite a few times and he managed to keep it out of the wall. I think overall the first COT race went relatively well. David did a good job of transitioning from racing the Busch car on Saturday to racing the COT on Sunday and brought the car home in one piece. That being said we still have to be on our toes in Martinsville. The racing that goes on at these short tracks can get really wild so it is important to keep your head and be smart. The one benefit we have going to Martinsville that we did not have heading to Bristol is that David has raced a Cup car at Martinsville before so that little bit of experience there will help out."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Jackson Hewitt Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-446 Bristol last weekend, finished fifth

Biffle on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "Martinsville has not historically been a good track for me. We did have a decent run going there last year in the spring. I think we probably would have had a top-10 finish but I got into Jeff Burton early in the race and we had to go to the garage for repairs. We're taking the same car that we finished fifth with at Bristol last week. Obviously it was a good car for us and I feel confident in taking it to Martinsville this weekend."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "We're taking the same car we raced at Bristol last weekend. It ran well there so there's no reason not to take it to Martinsville this weekend. I think everyone learned a lot last weekend as far as how these COT's are going to handle and we'll just take what we learned and try to apply it to Martinsville. I know it's not one of Greg's favorite tracks but hopefully this weekend we can turn his performance record there around. We have a realistic goal to finish in the top 10 but obviously we show up every week looking to run for the win."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-457 Brand new, never tested
     RK-458 Brand new, never tested

Kenseth on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "Martinsville has never been too kind to us. It's not that we've run terrible there we've just never been able to compete on a regular basis. I'm not a big fan of the track. To me, it's just too narrow and too slow. It's like racing around two light poles in the middle of a parking lot. There's very little room to race and the turns are so tight and so flat that you have to go so slow through the turns, and try your best not to move out of the bottom groove. Now, imagine doing that 1,000 times in one afternoon. "I'm not sure how the COT will be there. Obviously, when we get on the track on Friday it will be the first time all of us have been there with that car, so it will be a learning experience for all of us. At Bristol, the car stayed pretty tight through the center of the turn, which is something you definitely don't want at Martinsville. If you come off the bottom of the track, you'll find yourself moving backwards in a hurry. It's going to be a learning experience all weekend, but hopefully we're up to the challenge."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "It was good to get back to the track last week although we struggled a little bit. We had some problems about midway through the race that affected the handling of the car, but up to that point I thought we were getting the car pretty close to where it needed to be to compete. "We're bringing a brand new car to Martinsville and we'll be learning a lot on the fly this weekend. It was interesting getting the Bristol car back to the shop on Monday and tearing it down to see how everything looked after the race. Now, we know a little more about what to expect this weekend, but the track is obviously different. We have to handle better this week and we all know that going into it. Martinsville, for us, has always been about survival, so that's what we'll be looking to do this week. We'll find out where we stand when we get on the track on Friday and then work like crazy to get the car better throughout the weekend."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK--462 Brand New
     RK--415 Backup

McMurray on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "After our run last weekend at Bristol in the 'Car of Tomorrow,' I'm looking forward to Martinsville this coming weekend. We had a few issues with the new car last weekend that the team was going to take a look at this week at the shop. Halfway through the Bristol race, we lost our brakes, which is not something that you want to happen in Martinsville. We took the same car we are running this weekend to Carraway Speedway on Monday to shake down the car, as well as test a new brake package. The test went well, which gives us a bit of relief going into Martinsville. I'm really proud of this whole team; they have worked really hard over the last couple of months and it's finally paying off. It feels great to be running so well. Hopefully, this weekend in Martinsville we can bring home another strong finish."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "Before I mention Martinsville, I need to say how hard this No. 26 team worked going into Bristol last week. The setup challenges that were presented with the 'Car of Tomorrow' were quickly overcome by this team. On top of that, the team worked really hard in the pits all day long, knocking off some of their fastest pit stops of the season. Hopefully, we can replicate the same effort and results this weekend in Martinsville. We tested our Martinsville car on Monday at Carraway Speedway to test a new brake package we are running on the car this weekend. After last week's problems with the brakes, we knew we couldn't go to Martinsville with bad brakes. I think we have it all worked out and are looking forward to another good run this weekend by Jamie."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-466 Brand new car

Edwards on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "It's a lot of fun to race there. It's probably one of the toughest tracks for me in the Cup car, but I'm still really looking forward to the race. If we can have a decent qualifying run in the Office Depot Ford I think we can race well there. A lot can happen in 500 laps and at Martinsville things like pit strategy and tire management can make or break you. Hopefully things will fall into place and our Office Depot team will continue to make strides in the point standings."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "Martinsville is a difficult track. I would say it's one of the tracks we've struggled the most with. We need to qualify well so we don't go a lap down early in the race. This will be a tough track for us but I think we will only get better and hopefully we can continue our momentum from the last several weeks."

#@CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Engineering Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK 359-46, last raced at Phoenix where Mark Martin started ninth and finished second

Kvapil on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "I've come close to winning at Martinsville a couple of times in the truck series. I grew up, like we all did, short track racing on the half miles back home in late models. I always feel comfortable going to Martinsville, it's a demanding race and it's very hard on equipment, but I feel it's a race we have a chance to win."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "We're looking forward to going to Martinsville. We've had a rough couple of weeks, but we think we can rebound this week. Travis has always run well there, and we had two decent runs there last year as well. Outside of Daytona, our finishes this year have not been what we were looking for. But everyone is optimistic that we'll get things back on track at Martinsville."

T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK 240-34, previously raced at Martinsville last October

Bell on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "I'm optimistic heading to Martinsville because I'll be heading to a track where I've got previous experience. It's been several years since I raced there last, but it gives you some confidence when you're heading to a track the second or third time around. Our goal is to finish all the laps and bring the truck home in one piece. This is one of the most demanding races of the year, and we want to be running at the end of it."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "We tested at Caraway last week to get prepared for this race, and everyone was really happy with the results. We ran a bunch of laps and left the track feeling like we have something to go off for Martinsville. It's going to be a tough race. It's hard to stay out of trouble there the way things happen so quickly. T.J. has raced there before, so he's looking forward to getting back to a track where he has experience."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK245-35, previously raced at Phoenix last November

Darnell on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "I never thought I'd say I'm looking forward to racing at Martinsville, but I can't wait to get there and see what we can do. It's been a rough start to the season, and we need to get things turned around. Our short-track program was great last year, and we feel like we can continue with that trend. We rebuilt our short-track truck over the off season, and we feel like we've made some improvements to it. Hopefully we can repeat our performance from the fall and get another top-five finish."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Martinsville Speedway: "Martinsville is one of those tracks that can really test a driver and team. Things happen so fast, they can completely change your day and it's often times something out of your control. We feel like we're bringing a really good truck to the track, and that we're better than we were last year. Things need to go your way to have a good race here, and we feel like what we can control is going to be pretty good. We'll see how things shake out this weekend."

-credit: rfr

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