Roush Racing Loudon preview

New Hampshire International Speedway, Sept. 15th-18th, 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sylvania 300, Sunday, 1:10PM NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Sylvania 200, Saturday, 3:15PM Roush Racing Fast Facts - Mark Martin has...

New Hampshire International Speedway, Sept. 15th-18th, 2005

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sylvania 300, Sunday, 1:10PM

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Sylvania 200, Saturday, 3:15PM

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- Mark Martin has started a total of 254 races at the remaining 10 tracks that will make up the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He has posted 16 wins, 86 top-five and 135 top 10 finishes at those tracks. Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 53.1 percent of his starts at the 'Chase' tracks. He has an average finish of 14.02 and he has led a total of 5,295 laps, including 364 at Loudon.

- New Hampshire is one of only seven tracks currently on the Nextel Cup schedule where Martin has yet to win, and one of only three where he has 10 or more starts and has not visited winners circle. Martin has finished second at Loudon on three occasions, including his first race there on July 11, 1993. In addition, he has two poles, 11 top-10 and seven top-five finishes in 20 starts at the track.

- Martin finished inside the top 10 in 10 of his first 12 starts at Loudon, but he hasn't posted a top -10 finish there in eight of his last nine, including a streak of seven races. In fact, Martin has not finished inside the top 13 at Loudon since the season finale there in 2001.

- Martin's dramatic win over Kurt Busch in last Thursday's IROC race was not only Martin's record extending 13th of the series, but it all but locked up what will be his record setting fifth championship in the International Race of Champions.

- Mark Martin won the first Cup pole at New Hampshire in July of 1993.

- With the 2nd place finish at California, Greg Biffle remains second in the point standings heading into The Chase. He currently trails leader Tony Stewart by five points.

- Last year, with 10 races remaining in the season, Biffle was 20th in the point standings and trailed the 11th place contender by 426 points.

- Biffle has three top-five finishes in three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts at NHIS.

- This weekend the signature National Guard red, white and blue paint scheme returns to the No. 16 Ford.

- The National Guard is committed to the relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. They currently have over 45,000 soldiers from across the country in the affected areas but have committed to send as many as are needed.

- In his eleven Cup Series starts at Loudon, Matt Kenseth has finished in the top-five four times, and in the top-ten seven times. He also has one pole position.

- Kenseth has finished in the top-10 in his last six races at Loudon.

- Kenseth is tied for eighth place in the Chase for the Championship going into the final ten races of the season. He is currently 35 points behind the leader.

- Kurt Busch clinched the opportunity to defend his championship in the 2005 "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" Saturday night at Richmond. Busch led the most laps on the way to his first career victory at the track. The finished moved the No. 97 up one spot to fifth in the point standings. With the field now reset for the 10-race "Chase", Busch sits 20 points behind point leader Tony Stewart.

- Busch has five top-10 finishes in nine races at New Hampshire. He won both 2004 races there, and his path to the series title began with his win in this race one year ago, the first race of the inaugural "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." Busch led 155 laps in that race on his way to victory.

- Busch's 2004 sweep is one of only two at New Hampshire, a track that debuted on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule in 1993 (Jimmie Johnson swept the 2003 races).

- The No. 97 team brings the black and red of Sharpie to Loudon this weekend on chassis #52, the car that swept both Loudon events last year. Busch took this car to victory lane four times in nine races since 2002, most recently at Phoenix this year. This same car finished second at Loudon earlier this year.

- He's in. With his 21st place finish in last week's race at Richmond, Carl Edwards became the first driver to qualify for the "Chase" in their first full season as a NEXTEL Cup driver. Edwards tied for eighth place with teammate Matt Kenseth but per NASCAR tie-breaker rules, Edwards finished eighth and Kenseth ninth. Edwards is one of five Roush teams eligible for the championship.

- Edwards continues to improve at New Hampshire. In two Cup starts he has an average starting position of 20.5 and an average finishing position of 16th.

- In 26 starts this season, Edwards has accrued two wins (1st Atlanta and 1st Pocono), one pole (2nd California), eight top five and 10 top 10 finishes. He is eligible for both the 2006 Budweiser Shootout in Daytona and the 2006 NEXTEL All Star Challenge in Charlotte.

NNCS

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-48 (same chassis No. 97 won Richmond with last week)

Martin on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "Loudon can be a really tough race track. It can be really hard to pass there and if you don't handle well, then you are in for a long day. We ran really well there when we first started going, but haven't ran well there the last few years. We haven't been very good there in a while, but we tested there a few weeks ago and we are taking a different car, so we really hope to see a lot of improvement and get off to a good start in the Chase.

"I can't say enough about the effort of this team. Up to this point we've accomplished our goal of making the Chase. Now it's time to shift our focus to the last 10 races and going after that Championship."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "The guys are pretty excited about getting started with the Chase next week at Loudon. We were not very good there in the spring - or last year there for that matter - but we tested there a couple of weeks ago. We are taking a different car - the one Kurt Busch won with last week at Richmond - and hopefully we can have the same kind of results. Mark has a pretty solid history at New Hampshire, so we think if we can give him the right car we'll be able to get a strong finish and get started on a good note for the last 10 races."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-229 (finished third at Richmond last week)

Biffle on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I can't wait to get to New Hampshire this weekend. I think our team has a great shot at the championship and I'm ready to get started. New Hampshire hasn't been the best track for us but I think we're getting it figured out. We had a fifth place finish there in July and we're taking the same car this weekend that we ran in Richmond last weekend. It was a brand new car last weekend and it was the best car I've ever had at Richmond. We think it will be even better than the car we finish fifth here with and I feel pretty confident taking it to New Hampshire this weekend."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We had a fifth place finish in New Hampshire in July and felt pretty good about that run. We've decided to take a different car this time though based on its performance last weekend in Richmond. It was a band new car last weekend and we took it there hoping to have a good run and be able to bring it to New Hampshire. Greg was really happy with it and we think it will be a good car for this weekend. Hopefully, it will bring some of the Richmond momentum with it."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-23 (Phoenix, Loudon and Richmond)

Kenseth on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "This team really has a tremendous amount of momentum right now. We reached our goal of making it into the Chase and now our focus will be working towards another championship. I feel like the way our cars are running right now and the way this team is working together, we have a legitimate shot at the championship."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I'm really proud of Matt and the entire team for staying focused when things weren't going well, and working ourselves back into this thing. Loudon is a good track for us -- we've consistently finished in the top-ten the last several years -- and that is what this team will be looking for -- consistency."

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 Sharpie Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #52 (swept Loudon last year, won at Phoenix in the spring)

Busch on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We've found a set-up for our Sharpie Ford that works well in all the grooves here at Loudon. The set-up that we've had here will definitely help us run well, but you always have to be adapting and changing to keep up with the current track conditions. Last year Loudon was instrumental in our 10-race stretch to the championship, and that's exactly what we're looking to do again."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "The key to this track is getting through the middle and off of the corners. We've had three good runs at Loudon lately, and the same car was a good one at Phoenix, so we feel good about the Sharpie Ford this weekend. We saved this car that we're running this weekend for this race instead of running it in Richmond, and we feel like it's a better car than the one we won with last weekend."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK-249 (raced at Phoenix in the spring)

Edwards on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I've learned a lot about New Hampshire over the last couple of races. It's flat and fast and I think I'm improving with every lap that I run there. The Office Depot team should run better there this time around. We were 12th back in July and that was a big improvement on last fall's race so I'm looking to continue in that direction. We accomplished making the 'Chase' but now it's time to focus on going after the championship. We have a great team and great race cars so if we can run consistently up front I don't think there's any reason why we couldn't be in contention for the big prize."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We've improved quite a bit at New Hampshire but we still have a long way to go. The Office Depot Ford was definitely better this spring than it was last fall so if we can keep that momentum going I think we'll be ok this weekend. I'm just really proud of this team and the driver for making the 'Chase'. I know a lot of people probably counted us out but it's great to be one of five Roush teams eligible for the championship."

NCTS

   Todd Kluever

Team: No. 50 Rotella T Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: #39 (last raced at Michigan)

Todd Kluever on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: ""I'm looking forward to racing up at New Hampshire this weekend. I've never been up there so this will be another track where practice will be very important. I'm sure I'll rely on my Roush teammate, Ricky Craven, for some pointers since he has so much experience there and it's his home track. We've got some ground to make up after Richmond so hopefully we can gain some points back this weekend."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "Todd should have a good run at New Hampshire on Saturday. He's never been there, but he usually adapts to new tracks very quickly. That is a place where I can help him too since I've been there several times with the Cup cars. Between the two of us we should get it figured out."

Ricky Craven
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: #33 (No. 50 raced at Bristol last)

Ricky Craven on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "If there were a track on the circuit where I wished we raced more it would be New Hampshire. When I go home and race there that is a treat. The cool nights, being around my family and friends and cracking lobsters are some to the things I enjoy about it. The fact that I have always liked the track as a competitor does not hurt either. I always felt I had a slight home court advantage over the other drivers because I have run so many laps there, and I use that to my advantage."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I expect a good run at New Hampshire this weekend. It's Ricky's home track and he has a ton of experience there. The whole team would love to get Ricky's first truck win at New Hampshire in front of all his family, friends and fans."

-rr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Ricky Craven , Carl Edwards , Todd Kluever , Doug Richert , Mark Martin