NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharp Aquos 500 Sunday September 2 7:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Camping World 300 Saturday September 1 9:30 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN Gateway International Raceway, Aug. 31 -- Sept. 1 Madison, ...
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharp Aquos 500
Sunday September 2
7:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN
NASCAR Busch Series: Camping World 300
Saturday September 1
9:30 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN
Gateway International Raceway, Aug. 31 -- Sept. 1 Madison, Ill.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Dodge Ram Tough 200
Saturday September 1
5:00 PM Eastern -- SPEED Channel/MRN
ARCA Series: Gateway ARCA 150
Friday August 31
9:00 PM Eastern -- SPEED Channel
Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts
* David Ragan competed at California Speedway in February 2007. He started 39th and finished 16th. * Ragan's 16th place finish at California Speedway in February is his best finish on a two-mile track this season. * Ragan trails Juan Pablo Montoya by 25 points in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race. * A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-five in all three September races at California Speedway.
* In the February race at California Speedway, Greg Biffle struggled with a loose racecar for most of the race but hung on for a 15th place finish. * Biffle has three wins, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in nine NASCAR Busch Series starts at California Speedway. * Biffle finished 10th last week at Bristol and currently sits 15th in the point standings, 335 points out of the top 12. * This weekend Biffle will run a black, blue and white Aflac paint scheme with the Aflac duck on the hood.
* By starting at Bristol, Matt Kenseth clinched a spot in the 2007 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, becoming the first driver to make all four Chases. * Kenseth is the all-time leader in NASCAR wins at California speedway, posting six wins total; four in the Busch Series and two in the Cup Series. * Kenseth swept the February race weekend at the California Speedway by winning the Busch and Cup race. Kenseth has now won the past two February Cup races at the Fontana, Calif. two-mile oval. * In his career, Kenseth has led eight of his 11 Cup races at Fontana for a total of 379 laps, second most all time. * Kenseth's average finish at the two, two-mile tracks, (California and Michigan) is 10.3; tops among all drivers that have competed in all 28 races at those tracks during that span. * Kenseth will run the R+L Carriers paint scheme for the third time this season in Sunday's Sharp Aquos 500. In his previous two he has scored finishes of 12th at Charlotte in May and eighth at Daytona in July. The R+L Carriers scheme will run once more at Martinsville in October.
* Statistically speaking, California Speedway is Jamie McMurray's best track on the NEXTEL Cup circuit. * In eight career NEXTEL Cup starts at the two-mile speedway, McMurray has five top-10 finishes, including three top-five finishes. * McMurray has a career starting position average of 25.8 and an average finishing position of 12.4 at California Speedway. * McMurray will run the No. 26 Sharp AQUOS/3M Vikuiti paint scheme for the second time this season. His first start in the Sharp AQUOS / 3M Vikuiti Ford Fusion yielded a top-five finish at Talladega Superspeedway. * This weekend, McMurray will be making his 175th career start in the NEXTEL Cup Series.
* Carl Edwards is heading to California Speedway coming off of last week's win at Bristol. The win at Bristol was Edwards' second of 2007 (also won at Michigan in June) and sixth career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory. * With the win at Bristol, Edwards secured a spot in the 2007 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. * Edwards will make his seventh Cup Series start at the California Speedway. In his previous starts, Edwards boasts one pole, four top-five and five top-10 finishes. * The No. 99 Office Depot team will be unloading chassis No. RK-320. Edwards raced this car in the fall race at Atlanta last year. He started that race 12th and finished seventh. * Edwards will participate in his second Office Depot Foundation backpack donation event of 2007. He will be at the Office Depot store at 8160 Day Creek Boulevard in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. on Thursday, August 30 from 5:00-7:00 PM. An autograph session will immediately follow the backpack donation. Fans wishing to participate may pick up a wristband starting at 7:00 AM at the store. Only the first 200 people will receive wristbands. * The No. 99 Office Depot Ford will sport a special look this weekend at California to help promote the newly enhanced Office Depot Work Life Rewards Program. * Office Depot Store No. 2530 from Peachtree City, Ga. is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 at California this weekend
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series:
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK- 394 (Previously ran at Indy; finished 16th)
Back-up: RK- 201 (Previously ran at Michigan; finished 21st)
Ragan on racing at California Speedway:
"Last weekend in Bristol was pretty tough for the AAA team so I'm really hoping that we can make a comeback in California this weekend and bring home a good finish for AAA. We raced at California back in February and finished 16th so hopefully we can beat that and come home with a top-five. We are taking the same car that we ran at Michigan and finished 18th in a couple of weeks ago so I think we have a car that we could definitely be a good contender with and work on during practice to get it running pretty close to just right."
Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at California Speedway:
"We've been making steady progress in the points until we took that blow in Bristol last weekend so we desperately need to pull it together and have a good weekend in California. We've had a few hiccups in the pits the past couple of weeks so the guys have been working hard to get those few issues worked out and David and I have been going over notes and figuring out where we are missing things. Our second trip to these tracks, we should be leaving with top-five finishes and that's what we need to do if we plan on being in the top-15 or top-20 in points by the end of the season, which is not that far off."
Team: No. 16 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-314 All-Star '07 -- 15th; Pocono 2 '07 -- 23rd
Biffle on racing at California Speedway:
"California and Michigan are probably two of my favorite tracks on the circuit. They're both fast, wide tracks and that makes passing a lot easier. At California, the racing gets strung out a little more and there don't tend to be a lot of cautions, so it's important to qualify well and have good green flag pit stops. We're taking the car that we raced at Pocono and I think we will be okay with it at California. We missed the setup a little at Pocono but it's a good downforce car, so we'll see what we can do. I'd like to see us finish in the top five this weekend in the Aflac Ford Fusion."
Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at California Speedway:
"We're taking the same car we raced at Pocono a few weeks ago. We didn't have the best finish with it at Pocono but that was due to the setup. We still feel it is one of our best down-force cars and that is why we're taking it to California this weekend. Greg runs well at tracks like California and Michigan so hopefully this weekend we can get the setup where it needs to be early in practice."
Team: No. 17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-317 Last outing: Pocono, June '07 -- finished ninth Also: Scored four top fives in '07 including a win in Fontana, Feb. '07
RK-340 Last outing: Pocono, August '07 -- finished 14th Also: Served as backup in six races in 2007
Kenseth on racing at California Speedway:
"I'm looking forward to going back to California. We've usually been pretty strong on that type of track and we've had some success there before, so coming off of a disappointing weekend at Bristol, it's definitely good to be going to a track you feel you can run well at.
"We're locked into the Chase now and that feels good and all, but we've got to start running better and build some momentum. Of course, last year, we had all the momentum in the world heading into the Chase and couldn't get it done once in the Chase, so momentum isn't everything. But, we still want to score some good finishes in these next two races and get our cars running the best we can for those final 10 races.
"They fact we've now made the Chase for four straight years is a credit to Robbie (Reiser), Chip (Bolin, Engineer), and all of the guys on the team. I feel like year in and year out, we've got one of the best teams in the garage, our pit crew always does an awesome job, now it's up to us to figure out how to make our cars a little bit better so that we can compete for the championship."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at California Speedway:
"We're taking the same car that we won with at California earlier this year and hopefully we'll have it good enough to compete for the win this time around.
"It's good to be locked into the Chase, now we just need to go out and win one of these next two and pick up some bonus points before the Chase starts. I think this weekend is a great opportunity, but have to do everything right because there are a lot of cars running really good right now.
"I'm proud of this team and the job this group does every week. The fact that we've made the Chase now for every season is a testament to them. It's a very close-knit group and they work hard to make sure this team is always a contender."
Team: No. 26 Sharp AQUOS/3M Vikuiti Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK -- 393 Last run at Indy -- July '07; finished 33rd
Backup: RK -- 403 -- Tested at Vegas -- Jan. '07
McMurray on racing at California Speedway:
"I really hope this weekend in Fontana goes better than the last few weeks have gone for the No. 26 team. We have either fought the car or been caught up in wrecks. It just seems like we can't catch a break. It's really tough because I know that we have good cars, we just haven't had the finishes to back up our cars. This weekend, we are taking the same car that we ran well with in Indy; up until we were caught in that wreck. California Speedway is statistically my best track on the circuit and I don't really know why. I enjoy the track, and the racing there has gotten better each time we visit the speedway
"You know, I'd like to think we will have a good run this weekend based on statistics, but you can't go off of those alone. I thought we had a really good car in the spring; it didn't qualify really well, but when we put it in race trim, it was fast. Early into the race, we were moving through the field, but were caught up in an early wreck. We returned to the track, but it didn't really help salvage the day.
"Hopefully this weekend, we can turn our luck around and put up another good finish for the Sharp and 3M guys. The last time we ran this car, I finished in the top five, so we'll see."
Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at California Speedway:
"This weekend we are returning to Fontana with the same car that we ran in Indy. We hung a brand new body on it before Indy and were really impressed with the way it ran. It was built as a flat track car, but we think it will run pretty well this weekend in Fontana. California Speedway is a track similar to Michigan, where Roush Fenway has seen a lot of success in the past. With Kenseth's win in Fontana earlier this season, we should be able to use a lot of the same notes and setup as those guys. I know all the guys on the No. 26 team are hungry for a strong run and hopefully this will be the weekend we can turn it around."
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-320, last raced Atlanta in the fall of 2006. Started 12th, finished seventh
Edwards on racing at California Speedway:
"I'm excited to go to California this weekend. It's a fun track to drive especially this weekend since we start during the day and finish at night. We really didn't have the best run there when we raced California in February, but my Office Depot team and Bob Osborne have made tremendous improvements over the year and I have no doubt we'll be super competitive this weekend. I think we have a great car for this weekend and I feel pretty good about our chances of running up front. After our win last weekend in Bristol, the Office Depot team is extremely pumped and I am expecting another strong run this weekend. Since we clinched a spot in the 'Chase' last weekend, some of that pressure is off and now we can go out and race for bonus points."
Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at California Speedway:
"I think we are all relieved to make it out of Bristol, and to make it out with a win is even better. Clinching a spot in the 'Chase' takes a lot of pressure off of the Office Depot team. We've been good at California in the past and I feel like we have a pretty good chance to run up front this weekend. My guys are improving week in and week out and I wouldn't be surprised if we grabbed another 10 bonus points this weekend, as well. We have two races until the 'Chase' so we need to do our very best to win races and get those bonus points. We have a driver and team that are fully capable of that."
NASCAR Busch Series:
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-356 Last ran at Dover, Jun. '07, finished 32nd Ran at Darlington, May '07, finished 13th Ran at Bristol, Mar. '07, finished 13th
Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at California Speedway:
"I am very comfortable going to Fontana this time around. We improved on our finish last time we were here but I felt like we could have done a lot better. At this point in the season we have to focus on securing top 10 finishes every week. The Discount Tire team can't afford to have any bad weeks. I believe we can improve in the standings if we continue to run well but everybody has to be on the same page. I can't stress that enough. Also, our over the wall guys have to be consistent and I have to take care of our equipment. If we put it all together, special things can happen for this team."
Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at California Speedway:
"We are really excited to get back to Fontana for the second time with David. It is a big plus when he can see a track for the second time in a year. We are taking a new body build for the Roush Busch cars. The Discount Tire team has done a lot in preparation for this weekend. The Ford Fusion looks really good in the tunnel and David has gotten two top 15 finishes in the car. I am confident we can run in the front and secure another good finish Saturday night. We have our sights set on getting David Rookie-of-the Year honors and picking up a win for the Discount Tire family."
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-372 -- This car finished fifth at Michigan two weeks ago
Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at California Speedway:
"I'm excited for the Busch race at California this weekend. We're taking the same car that won the pole and got a top five at Michigan two weeks ago. Since Michigan and California are so similar we figured that car would be the best choice. We're still looking for that first win of the season. We finished fifth in the spring race at California so hopefully we can improve on that.
"We've also got Petco on the hood of our car for a 3M promotion which is very cool because of my charitable work with animals. My dogs are big Petco fans and love to go there for toys and treats."
Eddie Pardue on racing at California Speedway:
"I anticipate a good run with Greg at California this weekend. This car won the pole and ran in the top five the entire race at Michigan a few weeks ago, so I expect to be a contender for the win. California is a great track and Greg always runs well there. We'd like to add to Greg's three Busch wins there this weekend."
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 346 last ran Michigan -- finished second
Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at California Speedway:
"California is definitely one of my favorite tracks. It's a track we have been successful at in the past and most recently this year. It was pretty cool to be able to sweep the first California weekend and earn the first Busch and Cup wins for Roush Fenway Racing. Bristol didn't go quite how we planned, but coming back to a track like California is a real confidence booster and I think we are in for a good weekend."
Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at California Speedway:
"The team did a good job last weekend getting the Arby's Ford Fusion turned around during the race and handling well for Matt (Kenseth). California is a good track for Matt and they team is definitely excited to get back there and defend their win. If everything goes right on the track and on pit road we should hopefully have a similar result."
Team: No.26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK- 502 last ran Michigan -- finished 11th
McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at California Speedway:
"Racing in the Busch Series is a lot of fun and my team is really coming together. We have had two strong runs in a row and I think we can improve even more and pull off a top-five finish. You never know, we might even get a win before the season is over. California is a track I've done well at in both the Busch and Cup series and we are taking the same car that ran well at Michigan so I think we should be in for a good run."
Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at California Speedway:
"We are really excited to get back to a two-mile track. We felt like we had a better car at Michigan than where we finished. We are just looking for a solid top-five finish and a chance to win one of these races soon. Also, the team is happy to have Home Zone on the car this week. It's always fun to go to the track with a new look."
Team: No.60 Sharp Aquos/3M Vikuiti Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK- 427 Last ran Chicago; finished 20th
Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at California Speedway:
"I can't wait to run at California Speedway. It's a very fast track; very similar to Michigan with a lot of room to race. Our team has had a lot of success there and we are very determined to make a good run for Sharp Aquos/3M Vikuiti."
Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at California Speedway:
"California is another great track for Carl. Our team had a good run at Bristol last week and look to get our Sharp Aquos/3M Vikuiti Ford in the top-five at Fontana this week. It's a very fast 2-mile track that provides racing all over and that works to Carl's advantage. We have had several good finishes there and we plan on running in the front. We should be fighting for the lead by the end of the night."
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:
Saturday September 1
5:00 PM Eastern -- SPEED Channel/MRN
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-269-39, last raced at O'Reilly Raceway Park where Kvapil started fourth and finished third
Kvapil on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"Gateway is a very unique racetrack. It's probably the track that we go to that I've got the most laps on. I've been racing there since '97 in late models. I like the layout of the track; it's flat and sweeping at one end, tight and banked at the other. You've got to find a compromise with the setup to get around the place."
Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"Gateway is a challenging racetrack. It's different at both ends of the speedway. It takes a well-balanced truck to get around there. Travis has run really well there in the past, he's had three top-10 finishes in four starts. It's a tough track to get a hold of, but we feel like we're up to the challenge."
T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-308-42, last raced at Memphis where Peter Shepherd started 15th and finished 15th
Bell on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"I am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150. The team has had some really good runs over the past few weeks with Danny and Peter behind the wheel. I've been at the track every week working with Matt and the guys, and I feel that will really help our communication. Gateway is a challenging racetrack, but I feel like we've got a realistic shot at a top-10 finish."
Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"We're looking forward to having T.J. back behind the wheel of the No. 50 truck this weekend at Gateway. He's been at the track with us every weekend, helping with Peter Shepherd and Danny O'Quinn's runs in the truck. T.J. has raced here before, so he knows what to expect. Gateway is a unique challenge, but we feel like we've got a good shot at coming out of there with a solid finish."
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-384-50, last raced at Nashville where Darnell started eighth and finished ninth
Darnell on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"I've got a little bit of experience at Gateway, having raced there in ARCA and Truck Series competition. It's a unique challenge, because turns 1 and 2 are completely different than 3 and 4. You've got to find a balance to get around there. It's close to home, so I'll have a bunch of friends and family at the race. Hopefully we can get a solid finish for the Northern Tool + Equipment team."
Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"Gateway is a challenging place because the corners are very different. We'll try to get a setup under the truck that will be well balanced. We're not going to try to kill 'em at one end of the track and be out to lunch at the other. Erik knows how to get around there, and we feel like we're bringing a truck that's pretty well suited for the racetrack. It should be a good race for us."
Team: No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jeff "Lumpy" Campey
Braun on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"I had a great time testing at Gateway. We ran about 100 laps during the test so I think I'm pretty comfortable with the track. Erik Darnell was there helping me out and giving me some good tips and pointers so we should be good for the race. I'm really excited about it. I can't wait to finally get out there and race with some of these guys. We've done a lot of testing but we haven't really run in traffic or nose-to-tail in any sort of race atmosphere. I'm really looking forward to getting out there in an actual race situation and seeing what these cars are like in traffic."
Crew Chief Jeff Campey on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"We tested well at Gateway a few weeks ago. Gateway is one of the tougher tracks. Colin's road racing background should help him there since everyone shifts. On the other hand that's one more thing to contend with at your first race. Overall our goals are to complete every lap and stay on the lead lap. We are going into the race a bit conservative because right now the most important thing is for Colin to get seat time. He's very talented and I think he'll be great. I'm looking forward to the race this weekend."
COLIN BRAUN FAST FACTS
* This will be Braun's first ARCA race and first race at Gateway.
* Braun tested an ARCA car at Gateway on August 14 with teammate Erik Darnell. He posted top-five lap times during the test.
* Braun is currently racing full-time in the Grand-Am Series with Krohn Racing. He has two poles, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes and sits fourth in points.
* At this year's Le Mans race, Braun was the youngest driver every to podium. At just 18-years of age, Braun took home a second place finish in the GT2 class. (He finished 19th overall.)