Roush Fenway Racing Loudon preview

New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sylvania 300 Sunday, September 14 David Ragan No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion Greg Biffle No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion Matt Kenseth No. 17 Carhartt Ford ...

New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, N.H.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sylvania 300
Sunday, September 14

David Ragan No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Greg Biffle No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Matt Kenseth No. 17 Carhartt Ford Fusion
Jamie McMurray No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Camping World RV Rental 200 Driven by Winnebago Industries
Saturday, September 13

Colin Braun     No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150

Travis Kvapil No. 09 Zaxby's Ford F-150
Erik Darnell No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150

FAST FACTS

David Ragan

* Ragan has visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway three times; his best finish was 15th in the spring race of 2007.

* Ragan has competed two times in the Nationwide Series at Loudon. His best finish came in the spring of 2008 where he qualified 22nd and finished sixth.

* Ragan has two Craftsman Truck Series starts at Loudon. His best finish came in 2006 where he qualified 25th and finished 11th.

***

Greg Biffle

* Biffle has an average finish of 13th at New Hampshire.

* Biffle finished 14th last week in Richmond and currently sits ninth in the point standings after the top 12 were seeded according to wins and points position.

* With the new Chase format, Biffle will begin the Chase 80 points behind leader Kyle Busch.

* This weekend Biffle will run a special Dish Turbo HD paint scheme.

* In addition to Biffle's Cup stats at New Hampshire, he has two top-10 finishes in the Nationwide Series.

***

Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his 18th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend in the Sylvania 300.

* For the record...In 17 starts at Loudon, Kenseth has achieved five top-five, 11 top-10 and 12 top-15 finishes. Kenseth's best finish at NHMS is second place, captured in September of 2004.

* Kenseth has completed 4,968 or 4,972 (99.9%) of all laps attempted at Loudon. He has led 88 laps at NHMS.

* On the track...The No.17 crew will be unloading car RK-606 this weekend at Loudon. Kenseth has raced this car three times this year both Pocono races and the June Loudon race. Though he has only captured one top-10 finish behind the wheel of RK-606, rain has either delayed or shortened two of the three races, thus altering what could have been better finishes.

* Carhartt on Board...The No.17 will sport the colors of Carhartt this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This will be the third of four times that the No.17 will carry this paint scheme in 2008. Kenseth also carried the Carhartt scheme at Fontana in February (started fourth, finished th fifth) and Michigan in June (started 16 , finished third). The October race at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be the final time of the season that Kenseth will race the Carhartt car.

* Rewind...Kenseth and crew struggled much of the race at Richmond International Raceway. After being involved in an accident on lap 121, Kenseth went two laps down and finished the race in 39th place. Despite the poor showing, Kenseth clinched his fifth consecutive berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

* The CHASE is on...Kenseth is currently ranked 12th in Chase standings with 5000 points. He trails point leader, Kyle Busch by only 80 points.

***

Jamie McMurray

* In 11 starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jamie McMurray has one top-five and three top- 10 finishes.

* In McMurray's first race at the "Magic Mile," he led 13 laps before a crash took him out of the race.

* Summer to Fall Improvement Each season McMurray has improved his position in the fall race over the summer race. McMurray averages a summer finish of 29.5 and a fall average finish of 13.4.

* This weekend, McMurray will pilot his No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion.

***

Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters New Hampshire second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 30 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In the 26 races leading to the start of The Chase, Edwards has accumulated one pole, six wins, 11 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes.

* Edwards will make his ninth Cup start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. In his previous eight starts, Edwards has one top-five and one top-10 finish.

* Edwards' best finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is second place, captured in July of 2006.

* Edwards' average start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is 18.9, his average finish is 14.1. The Columbia, Mo., native has completed all but one of the laps he has attempted at the one-mile speedway. Despite that fact, only once in his previous eight starts has Edwards finished inside the top 10.

* Edwards will carry the red and black colors of Office Depot this Sunday. Office Depot store #879 in Hollywood, Calif., is the weekly sales winner and will ride along with Edwards this weekend at New Hampshire.

* The Office Depot team will be bringing chassis RK-605 to New Hampshire. This chassis debuted th at New Hampshire in June, where Edwards started and finished 17. This chassis has not raced since.

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

NSCS

David Ragan
Team: No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-467 Last ran Martinsville, finished 11th
     RK-619 Brand new chassis

Ragan on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"After a rough weekend in Richmond we really need to rebound with a strong run and I can't think of a better track to do that at than New Hampshire. It's a great track and races there seem to go by fast. Plus it's the home of all the Fenway people and having them around always gives an extra incentive to run well, or win. We had a good run going in the spring, but were in the wrong place there towards the end and got caught up in something that wasn't our fault."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"New Hampshire is a good track for David and we are taking a car that has run well in the past. In the spring David was on his way to a top-10 finish, but got caught up in an incident on that track that wasn't his fault. We should be able to qualify to start with some good track position and go on from there to get a solid finish."

Biffle on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"New Hampshire is not statistically one of my best tracks but we did some testing at Milwaukee to try to work on getting a better setup for this weekend and I think we have a better starting spot for practice on Friday. It was great to solidify our spot in the Chase last weekend at Richmond but now we've got to show everyone why we belong here. This pit crew is the best it's ever been and if we can just get the car handling fine-tuned, I think we'll be a contender for the Chase."

Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the car we finished eighth with at Indy in July. We didn't have a very good run at New Hampshire in June so we've done some testing to try to prepare for this weekend. We focused on forward bite and getting the car to turn through the corners which is something we've had to work on most of this season with the new car. We didn't have a great race last weekend at Richmond which causes a little concern for New Hampshire because we struggled at both of these tracks early in the season. We've got a good team and a driver that will get 110 percent out of whatever we give him though, se we'll go at it with all we have."

Matt Kenseth NSCS Advance
Team: No.17 Carhartt/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-606 Raced Pocono in June of this year. Started 13th and finished seventh
     Raced Loudon in June of this year. Started ninth and finished 18th after
     the race was called for rain. Also raced second Pocono in August.
     Started fifth and finished 11th.

Kenseth on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"We usually have pretty good finishes at New Hampshire, but it seems like we're never that competitive. I don't really know why that is. It seems like every time we go there, we'll run around 12th to 15th all day, but we usually do a good job with pit strategy and have good stops, so we'll come away with a seventh or 10th- place finish. When we raced there earlier this year that was the case as well until it rained and the race was called. Our pit strategy didn't quite play out and we ended up finishing 18th. If we'd stayed out instead of pitting the last time we could've been top two or three. I was ahead of Kurt (Busch, race winner) when I pitted and he stayed out and ended up winning the race.

"After the race we had last weekend at Richmond I don't feel very good about our chances at Loudon. Our short track stuff hasn't run like it used to for some reason, so I don't feel very confident heading into the first race of the Chase. We're missing something with that combination, but our bigger track stuff seems to be running okay. So, hopefully we can pull off a top 10 in Loudon and start working our way up in the standings."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"We've raced this car a few times already this year. We built it especially for Pocono and had two fairly decent runs with it there. Then we brought this car to Loudon back in June and were pretty disappointed with it. We thought it would race better than it did, but it ended up being loose much of the race and not quite as competitive as we'd hoped. We've since gone back to the drawing board and I think we've made some improvements with our setups since then. I suppose we'll see when we unload on Friday.

"Despite making it into the Chase and pulling off top 10's several weeks in a row, our program is still struggling a bit with our setups and having competitive cars for Matt. We need to make a lot of improvements and work to build on our consistency in order to be contenders in the Chase. And, the Chase is really what it's all about. The reason that the guys on this team do what they do and work as hard as they do is to win a championship. There really isn't any other goal on this team, so now is the time for us to step up and perform, and really bring out the `A Game.' I feel like our team is as good as any out there and if we can get these cars better and better then we'll have a shot at this."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-572 Last outing: Loudon, June 2008; Finished 41st
     RK-507 Last outing: Phoenix, Nov.2007; Finished 23rd

McMurray on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"I've always enjoyed racing at New Hampshire, and now with the Roush Fenway relationship, it certainly makes it a little better seeing all the Red Sox fans and being a part of `Red Sox Nation.' I don't know if we'll make it to a game this weekend, but we'll certainly be watching to see how the guys finish up the regular season.

"We've always seemed to have fast cars in Loudon. We took the same car we are running this weekend to a test a couple weeks ago in Milwaukee. I think each of the Roush Fenway guys went up there at least once to try out different things. In the end we came out with a lot of things that helped us last weekend in Richmond and some things that should help us this weekend in New Hampshire.

We didn't have the best pit strategy last weekend in Richmond, but had a really fast Crown Royal Ford Fusion. Hopefully this weekend we can have another fast car and certainly a better finish."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"We spent a lot of time in Milwaukee a couple weeks ago working on our setups for Loudon, not just for the No.26 team, but for all the Roush Fenway teams. It's always seemed that Jamie is really fast at Loudon, but since we switched over to this new car, it seems like some of that has fallen off. We had a solid top-10 car in the spring race, but when Jamie and Jr. got together coming off of turn four, our day was done. Hopefully this weekend will be a better weekend for the No.26 Crown Royal team and for all the Roush Fenway cars."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-605 Last outing: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, June '08 Finished 17th

Carl Edwards on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"I like New Hampshire; it's one of my favorite tracks. It's flat and fast and it puts a lot of things in the drivers' hands. We've had really strong runs there in the past, so hopefully we'll be able to repeat that success. We'd like to start the 2008 Chase with a win, as would the other 11 drivers. But we'll work hard to put the Office Depot Ford into victory lane this weekend."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"We're bringing back the same car from the first Loudon race. Hopefully we'll be able to put it in victory lane this weekend. Now that we're in The Chase we are racing for wins and ultimately the championship. I am really looking forward to what's to come. Our Office Depot team has been very strong thus far in 2008, and we intend to continue that in these final 10 races."

NCTS

Colin Braun
Team: No.6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-45 Last outing: Kentucky in July finished 16th

Braun on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"I've never raced at New Hampshire, so that will be a new experience for me, but I'm sure it's similar to Milwaukee. Both are one-mile, flat tracks. I was able to run both the truck and Nationwide races at Milwaukee in June so hopefully that experience will help at Loudon. We spent a lot of time working on flat- track set-ups at the Richmond test last week that should help our program at Loudon. With a little luck we can keep the momentum going after our top-10 finish at Gateway last weekend."

Crew chief Mike Beam on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"We're taking a really good truck to Loudon this weekend. It's the same truck we raced at Kentucky, Michigan, Lowe's, Kansas, Atlanta and California. Colin has got three of his six top 10s in this truck so I expect a solid run. We just have to keep reminding him to be patient and stay out of trouble. Then the top fives and top 10s will keep coming."

Travis Kvapil
Team: No.09 Zaxby's Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK-42 Last outing: Dover finished fourth

Travis Kvapil on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"I'm excited to be back in the truck again this weekend. It's been a long time since my last race, and I always have fun racing in the truck series. I've had a lot of solid finishes at New Hampshire over the years, so I hope to get another one for the Zaxby's team this weekend. Chad Norris (crew chief) and the guys always give me great trucks to race so I hope to give them a good result on Saturday. I won at Loudon back in 2004, so I wouldn't mind a return trip to Victory Lane."

Crew chief Chad Norris on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"We're going to race the same truck Travis finished fourth with at Dover in May. He also ran it at Martinsville in the spring where he was seventh, so we've had pretty good results with this truck. I know everyone on this team is looking forward to having Travis back in our truck this weekend. He's got a great record at Loudon and we'd like to add to that."

Erik Darnell
Team: No.99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-50 Last outing: Bristol, August '08 finished 15th

Erik Darnell on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"I've had some really good runs here the past couple of years. This Northern Tool + Equipment team just missed out last year on a win and I'm hoping to put the No.99 Ford F-150 in victory lane this time around. Passing at this track is minimal, so we certainly need that track position if we want to contend for a win. A victory for this team would certainly put us back in the thick of things with just seven races to go."

Crew chief Matt Puccia on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
"Track position means so much at this track. We had a great truck last week at Gateway, but not having the best track position throughout the race hurt our chances at a top-five or even a top-three finish. Truck RK- 50 will be on the track this weekend, which has already given the team three top five's this season. This truck really runs well at a track like New Hampshire. If we get that track position and the No.99 crew keeps up its outstanding work on pit road, this could end up being a great weekend for the Northern Tool + Equipment team."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Colin Braun , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Erik Darnell , Greg Erwin , Kyle Busch , Travis Kvapil
Teams Roush Fenway Racing