Roush teams ready for Daytona

Roush teams ready for Daytona

Roush Racing certainly made their point in 2005 with all five NASCAR Nextel Cup Series teams grabbing spots in the Chase for the Championship. Although, they missed garnering their third Cup title in as many years that is something they wish to ...

Roush Racing certainly made their point in 2005 with all five NASCAR Nextel Cup Series teams grabbing spots in the Chase for the Championship. Although, they missed garnering their third Cup title in as many years that is something they wish to rectify in 2006.

Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards.
Photo by John Dunagan - Fastlines.
The Roush Racing Ford teams have all the elements. From veteran Mark Martin to fresh faced Carl Edwards; their stable runs the gamut of talent. With the addition of Jamie McMurray taking over the seat of Kurt Busch (with the number changing to 26 from 97) rounded out by former Cup champ Matt Kenseth and former Busch and Truck champion Greg Biffle they have a solid framework for another dominant year.

Veteran Martin, who was due to retire at the end of 2005, but Busch's move to Penske forced him to commit to another year behind the wheel of the No. 6 Ford is anxious to have this be his last full season in Cup racing, although it won't be the last NASCAR will hear from him.

"It's not my final lap," said Martin on the end of the 2006 season. "I couldn't quit racing. Racing is my life. It's been my life since I was 15 years old and I'm certainly not ready to give up racing, so, for me, it's not that difficult to walk away from Nextel Cup because I realize where I am in my career. If I was 26, I wouldn't walk away. It's time for me for a lot of reasons. I went over those reasons last year and all, but I'm gonna continue to race. It's my whole life.

"Climbing in that race car today and going out there, I'm just wishing that we could be drafting because that's the real deal. That's what I live for. I'll continue to race. It's my expectation to be in the 6 truck full- time, and then do some other appearances and what have. If something were to work out that I wasn't in that truck, you'd catch me at the Saturday night short tracks across the country. I am not done racing by any means."

Mark Martin.
Photo by John Dunagan - Fastlines.
Martin may not be done racing but when asked if this would be his last start in a Daytona 500, his intentions were clear, "I certainly hope it is." Still, he plans to take full advantage of his testing sessions at Daytona and compete for a win in the season opener.

"It's Daytona," said Martin. "The first time I came down here was 1981. It's just a lot different as far as the preparation goes and we only do it four times a year. It's just different. I can help these guys make a car that will fly at the next place, but for here there are a lot of other forces out there that I don't have control of, and so it is what it is. It's Daytona. It's the biggest race of the year and I need to win it. This is my last chance. I'm just gonna try to get in the front on the last lap and hog the track or something."

Like Martin, teammate Edwards is also on track at Daytona testing the new Ford Fusion and preparing to add more wins to an already impressive resume in 2006. Edwards' hopes his sophomore year in the Cup series can be as fruitful as his first; making the Chase and garnering four wins.

"I was thinking about that last night," commented Edwards when asked how he was gearing up for the start of the season. "Just how to mentally prepare for the season - and I'm trying to not think of it as a new season, I'm just trying to think of it as a break from Homestead to Daytona and we're just continuing with what we were doing last year.

"I feel really good. Our car is not the fastest one out here yet, but we have a car that we think is gonna race pretty well. It should be a lot of fun. I'm pretty excited to say the least."

Kenseth was the only Roush driver to test in the first round last week averaging the fifth fastest time overall. McMurray, Biffle, Martin and Edwards are all testing this week at Daytona International Speedway in anticipation of a Roush dynasty in 2006 kick starting at DIS in just a few weeks.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Mark Martin