BUSCH: RFR Richmond II, Chicagoland preview

Roush Fenway Racing Richmond International Raceway, Sept. 7 -- Sept. 8 Richmond, Va. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Saturday September 8 7:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Emerson Radio 250 Friday September 7 7:30...

Roush Fenway Racing
Richmond International Raceway, Sept. 7 -- Sept. 8
Richmond, Va.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Chevy Rock & Roll 400
Saturday September 8
7:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Emerson Radio 250
Friday September 7
7:30 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN

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Chicagoland Speedway, Sept. 8
Joliet, Ill.

ARCA Series: Chicagoland ARCA 200
Saturday September 8
2:00 PM Eastern -- SPEED Channel

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed at Richmond International Raceway in the spring of 2007 starting 29th and finishing 20th.

* Ragan has also competed in the Kroger 200 at Richmond, a Craftsman Truck Series race, back in September of 2004. He started 35th and finished 35th after being involved in a wreck.

* Ragan is currently ranked 22nd in the NEXTEL Cup Series Championship point standings. He is 2nd in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Race trailing Juan Pablo Montoya by 23 points.

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* In the spring race at Richmond International Raceway, Greg Biffle ran in the top 10 for the majority of the race until contact with Jeff Green on lap 355 sent him into the outside wall. He was able to complete the race on the lead lap for a 19th place finish.

* Biffle has five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 12 NASCAR Busch Series starts at Richmond International Raceway.

* Biffle finished 17th last week at California and currently sits 15th in the point standings, 335 points out of the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run the red and black Dish Network paint scheme.

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* Matt Kenseth has scored nine top-10 finishes at Richmond International Raceway in 15 races, which ranks second behind Tony Stewart among all drivers at Richmond since Kenseth's rookie season in the NEXTEL Cup Series (2000).

* Kenseth has scored 10 straight top-10 finishes in the Busch Series at Richmond and has 13 total top-10 finishes in 14 Busch Series starts at the .75-mile Virginia oval, including three straight top-three finishes.

* Richmond is the only track where Kenseth has scored 10 top-five finishes during his career in the Busch Series.

* With a seventh-place finish at California, Kenseth has now scored at least 16 top-10 finishes in the past six seasons; the most was 25 in the 2003 championship season.

* Richmond International Raceway is one of 10 NEXTEL Cup tracks (including North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham) that Kenseth has scored a Cup victory.

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

* McMurray will pilot the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion in this weekend's NEXTEL Cup race, and the No. 26 Aflac Ford Fusion in Friday night's Busch Series race.

* McMurray's average finish at RIR is a 24.8, which marks his second worst track on the NEXTEL Cup circuit next to Daytona, where McMurray scored his second career win in July.

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

* 2007 Season Recap: McMurray has recorded one NEXTEL Cup win, three top fives, seven top 10's and one Cup pole.

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* Carl Edwards enters Richmond fourth in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standing with 3330 points, 349 points behind the leader Jeff Gordon.

* Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are mathematically locked into the 'Chase'

* Edwards will make his seventh Cup start at Richmond this weekend. In his previous starts, Edwards has achieved two top-10 finishes

* The No. 99 Office Depot team will be unloading chassis No. RK-505, a brand new car

* Office Depot Store No. 2197 from Bonney Lake, Wash. is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 at Richmond this weekend

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK- 467 Previously ran at Richmond, finished 20th; Loudon, finished 15th
     Back-up: RK- 478 Brand new car, tested at Richmond

Ragan on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I am a pretty big fan of the short tracks so I really look forward to going to tracks like Richmond. We ran pretty decent there in the spring and now that I have some more seat time on other short tracks and just in general I think that we will be able to improve when we return this week. We have been working out some of the kinks that we have been running into on the No. 6 AAA team and I feel like we are making improvements and learning to work together better each week. We are a new team made up of veterans and rookies like myself and it takes time for the group to click and learn to work with each other. I think we are moving in the right direction and it hopefully it will be obvious this weekend at Richmond."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"The car we are taking to Richmond this weekend is the same car we ran there in the spring and the car that we raced at Loudon in June. We've had some of our better races in the COT and David is starting to really catch on to its handling and how to help us make the car better during the race. We're coming off of the weekend in California and we race at Richmond on Saturday night so it gives us a little less time to prepare for the weekend ahead, but all of the guys in the shop have been working hard to get the cars ready and we are looking forward to a good run this weekend for the No. 6 AAA team."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-404 Richmond '07 - 19th

Biffle on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is a track that a lot of drivers like because it allows for good racing. We're taking the same car we ran at Richmond in the spring. We had a good run going and I think we would have easily come out of there with at top-10 finish but we got into the wall late in the race after some contact with Jeff Green and that put us at the end of the lead lap till the finish. We're going to go into this race looking to get the top 10 finish we probably should have had in the spring and see what we can do."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We're taking back the same car the team ran at Richmond earlier this year. They didn't get the finish they wanted but ran in the top 10 most of the day. The car has a new body because the one they ran in the spring didn't fit the templates as well as it should. We're trying a few new things with the body and we'll see how it works out. It is an impound race, so we probably won't focus much on qualifying setup and we're primarily work on getting the car to turn through the center of the corners."

Matt Kenseth @Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-475 Brand new
     RK-458 Has served as backup in three races in '07, but has yet to see action

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've had some success at Richmond over the years and it's one of my favorite places to go. We've got one last shot at getting some bonus points before the Chase, so we'll go out and do the best we can and try to pick up a win. But, if we can't do that, then we'll do the best we can and get the best finish we can. Hopefully we can continue to learn some things with the COT that might help us during the Chase."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We're bringing a brand new car to the track this weekend. We've applied some things that we've learned with the COT to this car and we're thinking that we've made some pretty good improvements with this one.

"It's been a one-race-at-a-time approach for us this year and that won't change as we move into the Chase. We haven't always had a car capable of winning, and that's something we're always trying to improve on, but we've done a pretty good job of getting the best finish possible with what we bring to the track. That's our same approach each week and it's what we have to keep doing as we get into the Chase."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK -- 463 -- Last raced at Richmond -- May '07, Finished 41st
    Backup: RK -- 462 -- Last raced at Martinsville -- April '07, Finished ninth

McMurray on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is one of the tracks, along with Chicago that I just can't figure out how to get around. We tested at Richmond earlier this season and I felt alright about going back there in May. However, in the May race, we had a shock fail on us, which pretty much ruined our day. We finished the race, but didn't get the finish out of Richmond that we were hoping for. Richmond is one of the tougher tracks on the circuit for me, so I'm a little weary about going there this weekend. I have complete faith in Larry (Carter) and Derek (Stamets, team engineer) to give me the best car possible; it just comes down to me. I think racing in the Busch race on Friday night should help me prepare for Saturday night's race. This season we've had some success in the COT races, so hopefully we can continue that this weekend in Richmond. Last week in Fontana we finished the race, which was better than how our luck has gone since Daytona. Hopefully that was a good indication of where our luck is heading and we can have another good run this Saturday night."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We didn't have the ideal run last weekend in Fontana, but I was glad to see how all the guys worked together throughout the night to make the needed adjustments on our Ford Fusion. We finished the race and we were able to adjust throughout the night, so all said and done, I'm excited that finished where we did. Last week we tested this same car we are taking to Richmond at Iowa Speedway, which isn't set up like Richmond, but it gave us a bigger idea of things that worked on the car and what really doesn't work. I think it will give us a pretty good baseline for where we need to start this weekend in Richmond. Overall, I think we will have a pretty good car for Saturday night. Last time we were in Richmond, all of the teams were fighting the same handling issues with not being able to turn in the center of the corner. Hopefully, we have done enough homework back here at the shop to avoid that problem this weekend."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-505, a brand new car

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 as much pressure going into Richmond this weekend and my Office Depot team and I can go out there and just have fun. That's what we did last weekend at California and we ended up with a pretty strong finish. 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 since then we've made some gains in our Car of Tomorrow program, so I feel good about our chances for good things there. We need to stay focused and continue to do what we know how to do and with that, we'll be able to run up front and contend for the Championship. We've got a great driver and a great team and I'm really looking forward to the 'Chase'."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-374 Last ran at Gateway, Jul. '07, finished fifth. Ran at Atlanta, Mar. '07, finished 20th. Ran at Fontana, Feb. '07, finished 18th

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"We have had some great runs lately. The Discount Tire team has stepped up and performed admirably. The team has worked hard in the shop all week. Our Ford Fusion will be fast this weekend. We had a chance to win at Richmond earlier in the year, so I know we will be ready to take care of unfinished business. If we can maintain good track position and keep mistakes to a minimum, we should run in the front all night."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"The Friday night race at Richmond is one of the best races of the year. Our short track program has come along nicely this year and I can't say enough about the effort and dedication of our Discount Tire team. This is David's second time at Richmond this year, so he will be well prepared for whatever challenges come his way. The key to success for us is qualifying well and staying in the front. We must also get on and off of pit road cleanly and efficiently. If we stick to the game plan good things will happen for the Discount Tire team."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-460 -- finished sixth at Richmond in May, second at ORP in July

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is usually a pretty good track for me. Although I haven't won a Busch race there yet, I haven't finished outside the top 10 there since 2004. I really like the car we are taking since it ran well in the spring race at Richmond, and nearly won at ORP this summer. Eddie (Pardue) and the guys have given me some good cars this year, but for one reason or another we just haven't been able to make it to Victory Lane. Hopefully this will be our weekend."

Eddie Pardue on racing in Richmond International Raceway:
"Greg has a great record at Richmond and we plan to improve on it this weekend. We're taking the same car we raced in the spring there, which finished sixth in its first outing. Since then we raced it at ORP where we led the most laps and nearly won. I expect this car to be strong again Friday night."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 395 last ran Loudon -- finished third

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is one of my favorite tracks to race at and we've been pretty successful here in the past. We just haven't been able to pull off a win in the Busch car. We came so close in the spring, but a mishap on pit road cost us the win. That was at the beginning of the year so hopefully we can pull it together now and have both a strong car and good pit stops. If we can do that then I think we can be a strong contender for the win."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Short tracks are definitely a strong point for Matt (Kenseth) and he has the record to prove that at Richmond. He should have earned his first Busch win in the spring here, but a mistake on pit road there at the end cost us more track position than there was time left in the race for him to make up. Hopefully we can make up for that this time around and get a win for Matt and Arby's."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK- 350 Last ran Kentucky

McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"For some reason, I have a hard time getting around Richmond. I like it there, but I haven't quite figured out the best way to get around the track. Erik Darnell tested this car earlier this year at Richmond and it went pretty well, so hopefully we can transfer that into a good run for us on Friday night. This team has been great to work with and we have been really consistent so far. I think we have a good shot at earning a top-10 finish for Aflac."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We tested Richmond with Erik Darnell and gained some valuable information. Our team is really working well together. I think we have some momentum on our side and we should be able to carry that over to the race Friday night. Richmond isn't one of Jamie's best tracks, but I think we can earn a solid top-10 finish with the Aflac Ford Fusion."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK- 461 Ran last at ORP; finished 4th

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"I love racing at night at one of the most historic tracks on the circuit. It's very popular with the fans and drivers. I just think night racing at Richmond is awesome. Under the lights on a short track sets the tone for some great side-by-side racing. I always have a blast there. There will be a lot of banging and bumping and my Scotts Winterguard team plans to fight for the lead."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We look forward to taking the Scotts Winterguard Ford Fusion to Richmond International Raceway. Richmond is very unique and provides a lot of excitement, especially under the lights. We will go into Richmond and shake off some of the bad luck and concentrate on running up front and expanding our lead in the points."

ARCA Series:

Colin Braun
Team: No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jeff "Lumpy" Campey
Chassis: RK-302 -- has not raced but was tested at Nashville and Chicagoland

Braun on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"The Chicago test went really well. Unfortunately, it was rained out until about 1:00, so we only had about four hours to run. I really learned a lot and had a good time driving at that track. It's a big, fast, flowing place and I really enjoyed that. We should have a good car going back there for the race. Every lap I do I'm getting more and more comfortable in the car. For me, the racetrack itself is not too difficult as far as driving one quick lap but certainly in traffic it becomes more of an aero-dependant racetrack than a place like Gateway. When we go there to race it's certainly going to be a big learning curve for me to figure out how these cars work in traffic, what affects them and what you can and can't get away with in traffic. I have a good group of guys to help me figure all that out."

Crew Chief Jeff Campey on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"We're looking forward to the race this weekend. We tested well at Chicago a few weeks ago and Colin's coming off a good run at Gateway. I think Gateway is a little tougher than Chicago because of the ends being so different. I think it was probably a little difficult for Colin to give us feedback last weekend because of that, so I think with the ends being the same at Chicago, it should make it a little easier for him. Our goals are the same as before: to make every lap and learn. We are going to try and get him behind some people at the start of practice so he can have a better understanding of the aerodynamics at Chicago. Overall, we're looking forward to this weekend and I think we could have a good run again."

COLIN BRAUN FAST FACTS

* Braun tested an ARCA car at Chicago on September 8. He posted top-five lap times during the test.

* This will be Braun's second ARCA race and first race at Chicagoland.

* In his first ARCA RE/MAX Series start at Gateway, Braun qualified 13th and finished ninth last week.

* At this year's Le Mans race, Braun was the youngest driver ever to podium. At just 18-years of age, Braun took home a second place finish.

* A road course wiz: In 14 starts in '07, Braun has two poles, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series ARCA , NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing