Roush Fenway Racing Michigan preview

Roush Fenway Racing Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Mich. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo Sunday, August 17 David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion Greg Biffle No.163M Ford...

Roush Fenway Racing
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, Mich.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo
Sunday, August 17

David Ragan        No.6 AAA Ford Fusion

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

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Carfax 250
Saturday, August 16

David Ragan No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Greg Biffle No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.60 Planters Ford Fusion

FAST FACTS

David Ragan

* The 2007 Sprint Cup season was Ragan's first time competing full-time in the series. Ragan visited Michigan International Speedway twice in 2007. His best finish was 18th in the fall race. He bettered that during his third race there when he earned a top-10 finish in June.

* Ragan is currently 14th in the point standings, 89 points out of 12th.

* Ragan has competed one time in the Nationwide Series at Michigan. He qualified third and finished 21st.

* Ragan has two Craftsman Truck Series starts at Michigan. His best finish came in 2006 where he qualified 22nd and finished 19th.

***

Greg Biffle

* In addition to Biffle's two wins and four top-five's in the Sprint Cup Series at Michigan, he also has two top-fives in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

* In addition to driving the 3M Ford Fusion in the Sprint Cup race this weekend, Biffle will be piloting the No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion in the Nationwide race.

* Biffle finished 21st last week in Watkins Glen and currently sits 10th in the point standings.

* Biffle is currently 565 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch, and 83 points ahead of Clint Bowyer in the 13th position.

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

***

Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his 19th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Michigan International Speedway in this weekend's 3M Performance 400.

* In his 18 previous starts, Kenseth as accrued two wins, eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. He has led a total of 222 laps at MIS and completed 3,368 of 3,491 (96.5%) of laps attempted.

* Kenseth's driver rating of 107.2 at Michigan ranks him third among Chase contenders at the two-mile track. He was narrowly beaten by Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.

* Chase for the Sprint Cup...In and out of the top 12 over the past seven weeks, Kenseth looks to stay in over the next four races. According to NASCAR's statistics, he has a series-best Driver Rating of 103.5 at the four remaining tracks before the Chase, as well as a win at all four.

* Kenseth is currently 12th in point standings with 2,628 points. He is 61 points out of 10th place and 22 points ahead of 13th place.

* The No.17 DEWALT team will be unloading chassis RK-473 this weekend. Kenseth has raced this car five times thus far in 2008 and has accumulated five top-10 and three top-five finishes.

***

Jamie McMurray

* In 11 starts at Michigan International Speedway, Jamie McMurray has recorded one top-five and three top-10 finishes.

* McMurray's first career NASCAR pole award came at MIS in July 2000 when McMurray scored his first Craftsman Truck Series pole.

* In his last race at MIS in June 2008, McMurray scored his third top-10 finish at the two-mile speedway.

* While success at Michigan hasn't come easily for McMurray, Michigan's "sister track," California Speedway, is statistically his best track. McMurray averages a 13.7 finish and has five top-10 finishes in 10 starts.

***

Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters Michigan second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 242 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In 22 starts, Edwards has accumulated four wins, nine top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.

* Carl Edwards scored his 16th top-10 finish in 2008 last week at Watkins Glen. Edwards has scored more top-10 finishes in 2008 than any other driver.

* Edwards will make his ninth Cup start at Michigan this weekend. In his previous eight starts, Edwards has one win, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' average start at Michigan is 17.2, his average finish is 7.2. The Columbia, Mo., native has completed 100 percent of the laps he has attempted at the two-mile track. Only once in his previous eight starts has Edwards finished outside the top 10.

* The Office Depot team will be bringing chassis RK-575 to Michigan. This chassis last raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, where Edwards finished ninth.

* Edwards made his Cup Series debut at Michigan in August 2004. He started that race from the 23rd position and finished 10th.

***

NSCS

David Ragan: No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-602 Last ran Chicago, finished eighth
     RK-561 Last ran June Pocono, finished 24th

Ragan on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan is a really good track for us and it's a lot of fun to race there. It's wide, fast and easy to pass, plus it's the home of Ford and Roush Industries so there are always plenty of people on hand to support us. We are taking a proven car that should perform well, so overall it should be a good weekend for us."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"I think we are all glad to have the road courses behind us for the season. We dug ourselves a hole at Watkins Glen, but we've got some good tracks coming up so hopefully we can make up some ground. David did well last time we were at Michigan so there's no reason we shouldn't be able to go back there and do it again."

GREG BIFFLE: No.163M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK 610 Last outing: Brand New Car

Biffle on racing at Michigan:
"Michigan has always been one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. It's fast and it allows for a lot of passing because it is so wide. We won back-to-back races there in 2004 and 2005, and I think that a win this weekend is a reasonable goal. It's always great to win in Michigan because it's kind of the home track for Ford and Roush Industries. I also lived in Michigan for a couple of years when I first started racing the trucks for Roush in 1998 and 1999.3M is sponsoring the race this weekend, so that's even more incentive. We usually have a lot of support in the stands up there, so if we could win the 3M Performance 400 in the 3M Ford Fusion, there would be a lot to celebrate."

Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at Michigan:
"We're taking a new car because we had an opportunity to take a new car this weekend, and as these cars are all pretty similar, we feel confident with it. I think we have a good chance to win this weekend. Michigan is one of Greg's favorite tracks and he is very strong there. We have to work on giving the car more rear grip as the race goes on. We struggled with that a little there in June. We had a really good qualifying run there in June but it got rained out. So I think we've got a good shot at our third pole of the year."

Matt Kenseth: No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-473 Last outing: Michigan, June '08, finished third
     Also: Bristol, All-Star, Coke 600 and Dover; has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in five starts this year

Kenseth on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan is a track that we've been pretty strong at in the past. We usually have good cars there and this weekend we're bringing what I think is a good car. RK-473 is a car that I've raced several times this year and it just seems to get the job done. I don't think I've finished outside the top 10 in it all year. Hopefully we'll hit on the right setup and get the car handling good if we can do that, we should have a good weekend.

"Michigan and the next several races are some of my favorites for sure. Michigan, Bristol, Fontana and Richmond are some of my favorite tracks and I always look forward to this stretch of races. Everyone is going Chase-crazy these days and are really focusing on points and standings. For me, I just go out every week and try to get the best finish I can. If I do that the rest takes care of itself. And really, it doesn't matter where you are in points until after Richmond."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"We're bringing the same car that we raced there in the June race. There's something about that car that really compliments Matt's driving style and as the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. These next four races are extremely important for us to build momentum heading into the Chase. We need to just be consistent over the next several weeks so that we'll have a shot in the final 10 races.

"The guys at the shop have done a great job building these cars and our pit crew has been second to none; so I'm happy with the job our guys are doing. We just have to get our cars to perform better, and that falls on me, our engineer and our driver. We've got to figure it out and get it back to where we're competing for top fives and wins."

Jamie McMurray: No.26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-551 Last outing: Michigan, June 2008; Finished 10th
     RK-463 Last outing: Martinsville, Oct.2007; Finished 32nd

McMurray on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"In our last visit to Michigan International Speedway, our Ford Fusion was one of the fastest cars in the race. At the end of the race, had the caution flag not come out, I thought we had something for Junior. This weekend we are taking the same car back up there, and hopefully, we can have the same good run. It's a good feeling going to Michigan, because you know right away, that is a place that Roush Fenway and Ford Racing have had so much success in the past.

"Prior to the race this weekend in Michigan, we are giving Bruce Quigley, who was last year's IRWIN Industrial Tools' `Ultimate Tradesman,' and a few of his friends a tour of Jack's museum in Livonia, and then we head to the track for a cookout with me and the No.26 crew on Thursday evening. It should be a great weekend for everyone on the No.26 IRWIN Industrial Tools team."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"I'm really looking forward to our return to Michigan this weekend. Going into Michigan in June we told people that our cars were really fast, but we just couldn't get the finish out of them. That weekend, we not only showed how fast our cars were, but left with the finish to prove it. This weekend we are taking the same car that we ran at Michigan earlier this season, which will hopefully return just as fast. It should be a good weekend for this No.26 team."

Carl Edwards: No.99 Office Depot Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-575 Last outing: Lowe's Motor Speedway, May '08 Finished ninth
     Also: Debuted at Bristol in March, where Edwards finished 16th

Carl Edwards on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"I always say Darlington is my favorite race track, but Michigan is becoming a close second. Michigan has a lot of personal history for me and I'm always glad to go there it's where I made my first Cup start, where I made my 100th start and where I broke a 52-race winless streak with a win for Office Depot in June of last year. It's a great track with some really awesome racing. You can pass and I think the fans always see a good show there. Michigan is a kind of bragging rights track. It's in Roush's back yard, Ford's back yard so another win there would be huge."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan has always been a great track for the Office Depot team and we're excited to return to a place where we've had so much success. Michigan is a really special track for us. It's the site of Carl's first Cup start and we picked up the win in this race last year. He's had a lot of nice solid runs there and I think we are definitely capable of doing that once again. The Office Depot team has what it takes to win there."

NNS

David Ragan: No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-277 - new car

Ragan on racing in the Nationwide Series at Michigan International Speedway:
"We are riding high right now after a monster effort in Watkins Glen last weekend. Our Discount Tire team is looking forward to running up front at Michigan. Everything is coming together nicely for this team. Although we finished a disappointing 21st at Michigan last year, we qualified third and ran in the top 10 the majority of the day. The Roush cars have always been stout at MIS and this weekend will be no different."

Crew chief Mike Kelley on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"We have been very consistent this year. The Discount Tire team is ready to step up and win a race and Michigan would be a great place to do it. Our Ford Fusion is really fast and is setup nicely for the long tracks. David will have an opportunity to pass a lot of cars. I think the key to a good finish will be our pit strategy and fuel conservation. If we do our homework we should be able to run up front all day."

Greg Biffle: No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-372 (finished 10th at Nashville in June)

Biffle, NNS at Michigan International Speedway:

Biffle on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan is a big race for all of the Roush Fenway teams. Between being in Ford's backyard and Michigan being Jack's home track, this is a race that we look forward to every year. I've never won a Nationwide Series race at Michigan but I've been close a few times. This team has been getting better every week and I think this could finally be our turn to get to victory lane."

Crew chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan is a special place for everyone at Roush Fenway Racing. I'd love to win a race there and I think we have a really good shot at it this weekend. It's one of Greg's strongest tracks, especially in the Nationwide car. We only have a few races left this year and the team really wants to give CitiFinancial a win before the season is over."

Carl Edwards: No.60 Planters Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-419 Last ran at Kentucky, Jun.08, finished 20th

Edwards on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"I can't wait to get back to Michigan for a variety of reasons. I had a great Cup win there and have had a few close calls in the Nationwide Series. Our Ford Fusions have always been fast there. This is by far one of my favorite tracks because it's two miles of pure adrenaline. You can race and pass all over the track. We are very proud to have Planters on our Ford Fusion this weekend. It should be an awesome weekend for our team."

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"We need a good run this weekend at Michigan. Our confidence has taken a hit in recent weeks but I am confident we can bounce back in a big way. Traditionally, the Roush cars have always been stout at Michigan. I hope we can continue the trend and challenge for a win on Saturday afternoon."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR 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