Richmond II: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Richmond International Raceway Richmond, Va. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Saturday, September 6 David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion Greg Biffle No.163M Ford Fusion Matt Kenseth No.17 DEWALT Ford...

Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, Va.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Chevy Rock & Roll 400
Saturday, September 6

David Ragan        No.6 AAA Ford Fusion

Greg Biffle No.163M Ford Fusion
Matt Kenseth No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Jamie McMurray No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Emerson Radio 250
Friday, September 5

David Ragan No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Greg Biffle No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.60 Scott's Wild Bird Food Ford Fusion

FAST FACTS

David Ragan

* The 2007 Sprint Cup season was Ragan's first time competing full-time in the series. Ragan has a total of three starts at Richmond. His best finish was in the fall of 2007 where he qualified eighth and finished third.

* Ragan has competed three times in the Nationwide Series at Richmond. His best finish came in the spring of 2008 where he qualified ninth and finished fourth.

* Ragan also has one Craftsman Truck Series start at Richmond. In 2004 Ragan qualified and finish 35th.

* Ragan is currently 13th in the point standings, just 17 points out of 12th.

* Ragan has 16 top-10 finishes in Nationwide Series this year.

Greg Biffle

* Biffle finished second last week in California and currently sits sixth in the NSCS point standings.

* Biffle is 596 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and 187 points ahead of David Ragan in the 13th position.

* As long as Biffle starts the race in Richmond on Saturday night, he will lock his position in the Chase for the Championship.

* This weekend Biffle will run the 3M paint scheme.

* In addition to Biffle's Cup stats at Richmond, he also has five top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes in 13 Nationwide Series starts at the Virginia short track.

Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his 18th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Richmond International Raceway this weekend in the Rock `n Roll 400.

* For the record...In 17 starts at Richmond, Kenseth has achieved one win, three top-five, nine top- 10 and 12 top-15 finishes. He has completed 6563 of 6803 (96.5%) of all laps attempted. Kenseth has led 190 laps at RIR. Kenseth's average start at RIR is 21.0, his average finish is 15.6.

* On the track...The No.17 crew will be unloading car RK-574 this weekend at Richmond. Kenseth raced this car at Richmond in May. He started that race 24th and finished 38th after being involved in an accident on lap 230.

* Rewind...Kenseth and crew captured a solid fifth-place finish last weekend at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. After qualifying 37th and battling an ill-handling racecar, Kenseth and crew were able to capture a fifth-place finish with fine tuning and stellar pit stops.

* Standings...With Kenseth's impressive fifth-place finish last week at Fontana; he gained one spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. He is currently ranked ninth with 3081 points. He is 92 points ahead of 12th place.

Jamie McMurray

* Jamie McMurray has recorded 11 starts at Richmond International Raceway with two finishes in the top 10.

* Richmond is one of only four tracks where McMurray has yet to lead a lap the others are Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

* Richmond International Raceway is McMurray's most challenging track on the Sprint Cup circuit; his average finish at the .75-mile speedway is 26.9.

* Over the last six races, McMurray has posted three top 10's and has averaged a 12.8 finish.

Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters California second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 208 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In 25 starts, Edwards has accumulated one pole, six wins, 11 top- five and 19 top-10 finishes.

* Edwards will make his ninth Cup start at Richmond this weekend. In his previous eight starts, Edwards has three top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' average start at Richmond International Raceway is 10.9, his average finish is 18.9.

* Edwards leads all drivers in top-10 finishes thus far in 2008 with 19.

* Edwards comes to Richmond as the winner of three of the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races beginning with Pocono on August 3. With his win two weeks ago at Bristol, Edwards locked himself into the 2008 Chase.

* The No.99 team will be bringing chassis RK-587 to Richmond this weekend. This chassis last raced at Pocono Raceway in August, where Edwards scored the win. This chassis has been raced three times in 2008, and has top-10 finishes in each race (Richmond in May seventh, Pocono in June ninth, and Pocono in August first).

* Edwards will carry the red and black colors of Office Depot this Saturday night.

***

NSCS
David Ragan
Team: No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-573 Last ran Loudon, finished 40th
     RK-619 Brand new chassis

Ragan on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I'm excited for another Saturday night short track race under the lights. I really like Richmond and I think we have a shot of going there and having a solid run. California didn't go as well as we would have liked, but we still salvaged a decent finish. We are still a few points out of 12th in the Chase so we need to give it our best shot this weekend. I have total faith in Jimmy and I think we have a shot."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is a good track for David and we are very capable of leaving there with a good finish. He's done very well this year and as long as he drives smart and the team helps him out on pit road we should have a good night."

GREG BIFFLE
Team: No.163M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK 566 Last outing: Dover (Finished 3rd)

Biffle on racing at Richmond:
"Richmond is definitely a driver's track. I think that's one of the biggest reasons I have always liked it. It allows for really good racing and the night race this weekend will be exciting for the fans no matter what. There are a few guys, including a couple of my teammates, who are still looking for a good finish this weekend to lock in a spot in the Chase so if I'm in a position to help them out and not hurt the finish for the 3M team, I'd like to be able to do that. Otherwise, we're just going in to this race like every other race with a goal of winning and going into the Chase with some more momentum."

Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at Richmond:
"We're taking the same car that we finished third with at Dover in June. We had a little brake trouble during the first race this season at Richmond so we are taking every precaution to make sure that doesn't happen again. The company as a whole didn't have the best results at Richmond the last time so we have spent a lot of hours testing both at racetracks and with the simulators to try to come up with a better setup. There are usually a lot of cautions at Richmond so pit strategy and pit stops will both be major factors. This pit crew is on a roll right now though so I am completely confident in the effort they will put forth on Saturday night. Greg just needs to start the race to earn a spot in the Chase so we can go out there and try to get those bonus points with a win before the Chase starts."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-574 Last outing: Richmond; May '08 started 24th, finished 38th after being
     involved in an accident

Kenseth on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is a pretty cool racetrack. It's pretty wide for a short track and that usually allows for side-by- side racing. It used to be the only short track that we went to where we could do that, but now you can race side by side at Bristol too.

"We ran horrible at Richmond when we were there in the spring. We couldn't get our car setup right and were running in the back and got caught up in a wreck and wound up finishing 38th. With the way the points are now and how close eighth through 12th are, we can't afford a race like that. If we're going to be in the Chase, we have to have a solid run this weekend. So, hopefully we'll be able to find a good setup and not have to struggle with that. If we can get the car handling good, I know my guys in the pits will do their part to keep me up front."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is one of those long-run, finesse, momentum tracks that Matt likes. The toughest part of getting around Richmond is the apex of turn one and two. You have to have the front tires working together through this part of the track so you don't lose time waiting on the car to turn. If the car is too tight, it will snap loose on exit here and hurt even more than just being too free to go fast. Turns three and four are typically freer than one and two, so it's important to keep good forward drive in the car up off of turn four so that guys can't get by you coming down front stretch into turn one. We're bringing RK-574 back to Richmond and hope that this time we'll have a little better luck than last time."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-567 Last outing: Phoenix, April `08; Finished 17th
     RK-507 Last outing: Phoenix, Nov. `07; Finished 23rd

McMurray on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is not a track that has been kind to me in the past. I don't know what it is about Richmond, but I can't seem to finish a race there on the lead lap. In the spring race, we were in the top 10 and I think there were only like 30 laps left when we were wrecked in turn one. I enjoy racing at Richmond and have had some success there in the past, but it just seems like the last few races we've had great cars, just not the results to go with them.

"Last weekend, we certainly had a better car than our finish. After we cut down a tire on the second lap of the race, we just couldn't seem to get a handle on the car. The No.26 Crown Royal team did a great job adjusting on the car, just couldn't seem to find the right handle.

"If we can just stay out of trouble this weekend, I think we'll be able to get out of there with a pretty good finish."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"It seems like more than ever track position can make or break your day. If you look at most of the races this season, the guys that start up front are typically the guys that finish well. This weekend at Richmond won't be much different. If you can get your car dialed in, and qualifying goes well for you, typically you will have a pretty good weekend. This weekend, with it being an impound race, it's important to get to the track, unload well, and work on your race setup. We've had some good runs over the last few weeks, hopefully that can continue this weekend for the No.26 Crown Royal team. We need to just be there at the end of this one and we'll come out with a pretty good finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-587 Last outing: Pocono Raceway, August '08 Finished first
     Also: Debuted at Richmond in May, where Edwards finished seventh

Carl Edwards on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I'm looking forward to going to Richmond, especially since we are locked into The Chase. There isn't much pressure going into Richmond this weekend so my Office Depot team and I can go out there and just have fun. Richmond is a challenging track to drive but fun at the same time. The Office Depot team had a good run there in the spring and since then my team has made tons of improvements, so I am really confident going into Richmond."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond should be pretty good for the Office Depot team. We had a decent run there in the spring and I feel good about our chances to run well there. With how we ran before the part failure in the fall race last year at Richmond, I am counting on having a good run. We know that anything can happen, but if we can keep mistakes to a minimum we should have a good run."

NNS

David Ragan
Team: No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-479 Last ran at ORP, Jul. '08, finished ninth

Ragan on racing in the Nationwide Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"I am looking forward to running under the lights again at Richmond. It is short track racing at its finest. Our Discount Tire team had a solid run last week in Fontana and we are looking to carry that momentum into Richmond. Our short track program at Richmond has been good in the past, so I don't see any reason why we can't run up front all night and contend for a win."

Crew chief Mike Kelley on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"David has some really good experience at the short track. I think he is very comfortable in his ability to run up front this weekend. We need a solid qualifying effort to make life a little easier on us. Track position from the outset of the race can give you more options during early pit stops and can take a lot of pressure off a pit crew. The key for us is to ensure the Ford Fusion handles properly throughout the race. We are going to do everything we can to secure a good finish for the Discount Tire family."

Greg Biffle
Team: No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-460 (finished 19th at Loudon)

Biffle on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I like racing under the lights at Richmond. I've still never won a race there so I'd love to break that streak Friday night. Eddie and all of these guys have worked so hard this year and we're getting better and better each week. We haven't won a race yet this year but I feel like we're coming closer every race. I only have a few more races in the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion this year and I really want to win one before we're done."

Crew chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is a race that's impossible to predict. It's kind of like Bristol, so many things can happen you just have to hope you're not in the wrong place at the wrong time. Track position is really important so we're lucky Greg is such a strong qualifier. Hopefully we'll start up front and stay there the whole night."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Wild Bird Food Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-577 Last Ran at Loudon, Jun.08, finished fifth

Edwards on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I can't wait to return to Richmond. It's always one of the most exciting races. It will be a blast racing under the lights on Friday night. The whole Scotts team is pumped. Richmond is a short track, but races like a big track and it's fast and fun. We had a good point day in California and this team is focused and determined to gain points on Clint (Bowyer) this weekend."

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We are taking our Scotts Wild Bird Food Ford Fusion to Richmond looking for another win. We had a great run last weekend but fell a little short at the end. We are determined to shrink Clint Bowyer's point lead. We have no margin for error this weekend at Richmond. Our short track program is excellent and Carl is arguably the best short track wheel man in the series. I am looking forward to putting our Ford Fusion in victory lane this weekend."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , David Ragan , Greg Erwin , Mike Kelley , Kyle Busch
Teams Roush Fenway Racing