BUSCH: Roush Fenway Racing Talladega, Kansas preview

Roush Fenway Racing Talladega Superspeedway, Apr. 28-29 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Aaron's 499 Sunday Apr. 29 1:30 PM Eastern on FOX/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Aaron's 312 Saturday Apr. 28 2:30 PM Eastern on ABC/MRN *** Kansas Speedway, Apr.

Roush Fenway Racing
Talladega Superspeedway, Apr. 28-29

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Aaron's 499
Sunday Apr. 29
1:30 PM Eastern on FOX/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Aaron's 312
Saturday Apr. 28
2:30 PM Eastern on ABC/MRN


Kansas Speedway, Apr. 27-28

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: O'Reilly Auto Parts 250
Saturday Apr. 28
5:30 PM Eastern on SPEED Channel/MRN

ARCA Re/Max Series: Kansas Lottery $150 Grand
Friday Apr. 27
5:00 PM Eastern on SPEED Channel

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed at Talladega Superspeedway in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2006. He started 2nd and finished 7th.

* Ragan's finish at Talladega was one of 7 top-10 finishes in the 2006 season.

* Ragan has also competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Talladega Superspeedway.

* David will compete in the Busch Series race on Saturday as well as the Aaron's 499 on Sunday.


* In last year's spring race at Talladega, Greg Biffle qualified seventh and missed a multi-car collision on lap nine before a part failure in the engine took him out of the race on lap 45.

* Biffle has two top-10 Busch Series finishes at Talladega Superspeedway.

* Biffle finished 17th last week at Phoenix and currently sits 14th in the point standings, 476 points out of the lead and 49 points out of the top 12.

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


* Matt Kenseth has spent 650 of the past 752 laps (2005 & 2006) at Talladega running in the top 15, which is best among all Cup drivers.

* Kenseth has an average running position during that span of 7.698, tops among all Cup drivers.

* Kenseth's Driver Rating of 105.8 at Talladega is also tops among all Cup drivers since 2005. Driver Rating is a formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.

* In the past seven races, Kenseth has picked up a total of 140 positions from where he started to where he finished, or an average of 20 spots per race.

* Kenseth has completed every lap so far in 2007, one of only three drivers to do so (Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton).

* Kenseth ranks fourth in laps completed (2,472) at Talladega since the beginning of 2000; Kenseth's rookie season in NEXTEL Cup.


* In nine visits to the 2.66-mile speedway, Jamie McMurray has posted three top-10 finishes, with two of those finishes in the top five.

* McMurray boasts an average starting position of 13.4 -- sixth best among active drivers with four or more starts at Talladega Superspeedway. McMurray averages a 17.1 finishing position.

* Still Chasing -- McMurray is currently listed in 12th place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.

* McMurray has led a total of 102 laps at Talladega; second to Lowe's Motor Speedway in his career.

* McMurray will run the No. 26 Sharp AQUOS/3M Vikuiti paint scheme for the first time this season. This is one of two races (Fontana -- Sept.) in which McMurray will pilot this special paint scheme.


* After the season's first eight races, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team managed to maintain eighth-place in the overall point standings with 967 points, 359 points behind leader, Jeff Gordon.

* This weekend Office Depot store #616 from Sherman, Texas will ride along with Edwards at Talladega.

* In five NNCS starts at Talladega, Edwards has earned one top five and three top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' best finish at Talladega is fifth place, achieved in October 2005.

* The No. 99 Office Depot team will be unloading car RK-232 which previously raced Talladega in October 2006.

* Carl Edwards is currently leading the overall Busch Series point standings by 424 points over second place driver Dave Blaney.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Aaron's 499

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-433 Last ran in the Gatorade 150s in Daytona 2007, finished 28th
     Back up: RK-367 Last ran at Talladega fall 2006, finished 41st

Ragan on racing in the Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Patience is probably the biggest word for my season this year. Patience goes to leaps and bounds of highs at Talladega and Daytona. We've got great racecars that we're taking to Talladega next week. The whole Ford Fusion group is going to be pretty fast. We know that we'll have to race hard the whole 500 miles but at the same time we've just got to be there at the end, like we proved at Daytona. We rode back there from 20th to 30th the whole race and then at the end we still had a good car where we could go hard."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Well to make our restrictor plate program better, we've got David a better car. Our good car, we got wrecked in the 150s back in February so hopefully we've got him a better car. We've been to the wind tunnel with it. We built two cars, rebuilt the one that we wrecked and another car and went to the wind tunnel with them. We worked on it a little bit more and hopefully we got the drag knocked out of it for Talladega. At Talladega you want a low drag car."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-337 New car

Biffle on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I'd hate to say that I don't like racing at Talladega because I do but the superspeedway races are always a gamble. When you're running in a pack like that at the speeds we run, it really doesn't matter if you have the best car out there or the most talented driver in it. You just have to be able to keep up and stay out of the wrecks when they happen. We haven't had the best year so far but I think we've got something we can build on, so a good finish this weekend would just add to that confidence and keep us going in the right direction.'

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"We're taking a brand new car to Talladega this weekend. We tested it at Daytona in February and it was actually our fastest superspeedway car. We decided to save it for Talladega and get it tuned in for that track since it's a Chase race later in the year. We're close to cracking the top 12 in the point standings and if we can stay out of trouble this weekend that would definitely help our cause."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-271 Last ran: Talladega, Oct. '06, led 23 laps, finished fourth. Also ran: Talladega, Apr. '06, led 21 laps, finished sixth
    RK-283 Last ran: Daytona, Jul. '05, finished ninth. Also ran: Daytona, Feb. '05, finished 42nd

Kenseth on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"We've had a great car at Talladega the past couple of years and we're taking it back this weekend. Of course, I guess like a lot of other cars, it will go into retirement after Sunday since this is the last time we'll run the current speedway cars at Talladega.

"The past few times at Talladega, we've been in position to win in last 10 laps or so, but I just haven't had much luck when it comes to picking partners at the end of the race. Last fall, everyone stayed tucked in line too long and we were too far back to make a move; in the spring I jumped out of line but had trouble getting help, and in the fall of 2005 I was leading at the white flag and got teamed up on the last lap. So go figure.

"The good thing is, our car has been as good as anyone for the most part over the past four races there and I think we'll be as competitive this weekend. I can't say enough about how good this team has performed this year. We might be a little off when it comes to the setup, especially with the COT, but I find it hard to believe anyone's been better on pit road this year than our guys."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Every time we go to a restrictor-plate track we take the same approach -- understand that there are a lot of things that are out of our control, but we need to take care of everything that we can control. That means pit stops, getting on and off of pit road and making the proper adjustments throughout the day.

"You don't really think track position when you think of Talladega, but we want to keep our track position throughout the day and keep Matt as close to the front as possible. We don't want him to have to work his way back through the middle of the pack because we mess up on pit road. You never want to be in the middle of the pack, but especially at Talladega, when one cut tire can wipe out half of the field.

"Matt's done a heck of a job this year of getting really good finishes out of decent cars. The top five at Phoenix proved that, the second at Texas and hanging on to a top 10 at Martinsville, just goes to show you that if we can get these cars a little bit better, he'll be able to drive it to the front."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Sharp AQUOS/3M Vikuiti Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-192 -- Last run at Daytona Feb '07; finished 31st.
    Backup: RK-328 -- Tested at Daytona Jan. '07

McMurray on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Talladega has always been a pretty good track for me and our speedway car has always been fast since I've been at Roush Fenway Racing -- it's one of the oldest cars that we have. It always runs well and seems to qualify really well, so I always look forward to going there. Talladega is one of those tracks where I know that we'll run well and if we can stay out of one of the wrecks that I know will happen, we'll have a good finish.

"Restrictor-plate racing is a lot of fun, if your car is fast. If you don't have a fast car, restrictor-plate racing can be pretty frustrating. Fortunately for me, our speedway car has been really fast every time that I've run it.

"Last week was frustrating for me and the No. 26 team. We had a good car, but had a lot of bad luck happen to us. Everything that happened was out of our control. Hopefully, we can run well this weekend at Talladega and make up the ground that we lost last weekend."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Talladega is a track that Jamie runs really well at and we have a really good car under him for this weekend's race. We are taking the same car that we took to Daytona earlier this season which was caught in a wreck, late in the race. The guys at the body shop put a lot of work into restoring the chassis and hanging another good body on the car. Along with the great chassis, we also have a really strong engine from Roush-Yates engine shop. Those guys put a lot of work and time into the superspeedway engines, which pays off well at the track. After the few mishaps last weekend, the whole No. 26 team is ready to get back out there and gain back the points we lost. This weekend should be good for us."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-232, previously raced Talladega in October 2006

Edwards on racing at the Talladega Superspeedway:
"We've had some great runs at Talladega over the past few races there. Believe it or not, I love racing there because it's a really fast track that definitely keeps you on your toes. Hopefully we can stay out of the wrecks or the 'big one' as some call it and we should be fine. I know we have a great Office Depot Fusion for this weekend. If we can just go out there and do our job and have a little bit of good luck, it could be a place we can gain some points."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at the Talladega Superspeedway:
"Talladega is a tough track. It's one of those places that you could win or you could wreck out, it's that extreme. I think we should have a pretty good Office Depot racecar. RK-232 is a car that we've taken to Talladega a few times and we've had some pretty good runs with it. I think Carl has is an awesome driver that has what it takes to run up front and win races and that will definitely work to our advantage. We just need to be patient and avoid the 'big one' and we should be fine."

NASCAR Busch Series: Aaron's 312

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-236 ran at Daytona in July last year with Todd Kleuver

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I am very excited to have an opportunity to rebound from last week. I have been anxious to get down to Talladega. The Discount Tire team has a lot of ground to make up and it all starts Saturday afternoon. We need to put ourselves in position to finish races and ultimately win races. We should be in contention for at least top-10 finishes every week, no excuses. I have had a little success here in the truck series in the past, so hopefully that experience will carry over to the Busch race."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"This is an extremely important weekend for the Discount Tire team. I truly believe this could be a turning point in our race season. We can right the ship now or make it harder on ourselves to climb back in the hunt for a championship. I understand we have a young team and we are going to make mistakes but that does not mean we can't be a little bit more consistent. I am looking forward to competing at Talladega and possibly bringing home a top-five or top-10 finish. We have good equipment and a darn good racecar driver. Success is not to far away from the Discount Tire team."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-368 -- Todd Kluever raced this car at Daytona in February

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I like racing at Talladega, but it's always a crap shoot. I don't have a great record there, but I've actually had more success in the Busch car than I've had in Cup. I have two top-10 finishes in the Busch Series at Talladega, but I don't even have one in Cup. It's a tough race because you have to be patient, but also know when to get aggressive. You're just waiting for the big wreck and hoping you don't get caught up in it. The key to finishing well at Talladega is to be there at the end."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Talladega can be a tough race for the crew since you feel sort of helpless. There is only so much we can do to help Greg in the race. We need good pit stops to help him keep, or gain track position, and help him with handling. Probably the most important crew member at a place like Talladega is the spotter. He is the one Greg will rely on more than anyone else to get through

Danny O'Quinn Jr.
Team: No.17 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 414 last ran Daytona with Matt Kenseth, finished 12th

O'Quinn Jr. on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I am really happy to be getting back in a Roush Fenway Racing car at Talladega this weekend. This No. 17 team has been on it this year. Drew Blickensderfer was my crew chief last year, so we are familiar with each other and I think that will help us considerably. We ran well at the superspeedway races last year, and I think we can pick up where we left off when we get on track this weekend."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Last year was my first year as a crew chief and Danny's first year running in the Busch Series. It was a successful year; we were able to earn Rookie of the Year honors for Danny. It will be fun to be paired back up with him this weekend at Talladega. We had a great qualifying effort a year ago there, but didn't quite get the finish we were looking for. We are bringing the same car that Matt (Kenseth) ran really well with at Daytona so hopefully we can get a similar result this weekend with Danny."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 SHARP AQUOS Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) Chassis Number: RK- 338 last run at Daytona; finished third.

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I can't wait to tackle Talladega with our new sponsor Sharp Aquos. I've had my ups and downs there, but our restrictor plate program has been improving. We finished third with this Ford Fusion in Daytona earlier this season. Talladega is a track that is very fast, but more importantly you have to draft well with several partners. The key is to stay out of the dreaded "Big One" and finish in the top-five to have a good points day."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"This will be one of our most exciting races. Our Superspeedway car just keeps getting better and better. Our Sharp Aquos team hopes to improve on the third place finish we got at Daytona. We know that we have to stay focused and stay out of trouble. It would be so awesome to win our first Superspeedway race this weekend."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: O'Reilly Auto Parts 250

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Engineering Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-319-43, last raced at Atlanta in March where Kvapil started 16th and finished 15th

Kvapil on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"Kansas is a great racetrack. I feel like I've got a good idea of what it takes to make a truck go fast there. It's a fun place to race; you've got multiple grooves and can race three-wide. You can search around for a line that works best for how your truck is handling."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"Kansas has been a good track for Roush over the years. It's a great facility that we really enjoy heading out to. We're looking forward to getting back to the track and getting a good finish."

T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-335-47, last raced at Atlanta in March where Bell started 21st and finished 26th

Bell on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"I'm excited to be going back racing again after a long three weeks off. I've been to Kansas before, so I'm looking forward to going back to a place where I've got some experience and I've ran well at in the past."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"We're bringing the truck we raced at Atlanta, the one that was taken out on the start. We feel like this is one of our best trucks, but we didn't get to show that last time out. Hopefully this time around we'll get the chance to show what we've got."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-303-41, last raced at Atlanta in March where Darnell started 26th and finished 24th

Darnell on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"We ran poorly at Kansas last year, so we're looking to improve on that. We qualified well, but we just didn't race well. We'll have a better race setup this time around. We're bringing my favorite truck out there, and we think we can have a decent finish come Saturday."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"We've been fairly successful on the mile and a half tracks, but this place threw us a curve last year. We really struggled, but we feel like we'll be better this time around. Our season has not been what we expected it would be, so it would be great to get a solid finish here and get it going again."

ARCA Re/Max Series: Kansas Lottery $150 Grand

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jeff Campey
Chassis: RK-237, last raced at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last August where Jamie McMurray started 18th and finished 26th

Darnell on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"I am looking forward to returning to the ARCA RE/MAX Series this weekend. It's a great series to race in, you've got a great mix of veterans and up-and-comers. These races are a lot of fun, it's great to come over here and have no pressure. We're here to race for the win, there are no points on the line as far as we are concerned. Hopefully we can be up there in the mix of things on Saturday, and maybe we can put this Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion in Victory Lane."

Crew Chief Jeff Campey on racing at Kansas Speedway:
"Everyone on this team is really looking forward to working with Erik and getting our season underway. I've worked with Erik in the Craftsman Truck Series a little, and I know that he's a very talented driver capable of putting us in contention for the win. Kansas is a great facility with multiple grooves. We came out and tested here and we think we've got a pretty good car. Hopefully we can make the right adjustments and be in position to win at the end."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Todd Kluever , Dave Blaney , Erik Darnell , Danny O'Quinn , Mike Kelley , Travis Kvapil
Teams Roush Fenway Racing