Atlanta II: Roush Racing preview

Roush Racing Fast Facts - After one of the toughest weekends of the season at Martinsville, Mark Martin and the No. 6 team will look to regroup at Atlanta where Martin has posted back-to-back top-five finishes in his last two starts. Martin...

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- After one of the toughest weekends of the season at Martinsville, Mark Martin and the No. 6 team will look to regroup at Atlanta where Martin has posted back-to-back top-five finishes in his last two starts. Martin dominated the Atlanta race last fall, leading 227 of the 325 laps.

- Martin dropped to seventh in the points' race, four points behind sixth place and 21 points outside of fifth. With four races remaining in the "Chase" for the Nextel Cup, Martin trails first by 170 points.

- Martin has started a total of 72 races at the remaining five tracks that will make up the Chase for the Nextel Cup. He has posted 4 wins, 25 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes at those tracks. Martin has a 13.5 average finish at Chase tracks and he has led a total of 1,496 laps, including 881 at Martinsville.

- This will be Martin's 40th-career Cup start at Atlanta, where the veteran has posted 19 top-10 finishes, 11 top fives and two wins.

- With his 20th place finish at Martinsville, Greg Biffle fell to the fourth position in the point standings. He currently trails leader Tony Stewart by 83 points and has a 66-point advantage over fifth place.

- Biffle's most recent finishes at the final four: Atlanta (3rd); Texas (1st); Phoenix (running second when contact with another car on pit road sent a bumper bar through the radiator and Biffle to the garage for a 41st place finish); Homestead (1st).

- In addition to his Cup Series record at Atlanta, Biffle has one win, three top-fives and five top-10's in five NASCAR Busch Series attempts at the 1.54-mile oval.

- This weekend the National Guard Ford will feature the red, white and blue Charter paint scheme.

- In his eleven starts at Atlanta in the Cup series, Matt Kenseth has two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

- Kenseth will be driving the red and blue No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DEWALT Ford Taurus on Sunday.

- Kenseth will be running car number 39 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This car has seen a lot of action this season with memorable finishes of second and third at Chicagoland and Michigan II, respectively.

- In addition to the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, Kenseth will also be competing in the fourth and final IROC race of the 2005 season on Saturday.

- With his sixth-place finish in Martinsville, Kurt Busch and the No. 97 Roush Racing team jumped two spots to eighth in the "Chase" standings with four races remaining (Busch has won at three of those four tracks). Busch is now 172 points behind leader Tony Stewart, and sits 26 points out of fifth place.

- The No. 97 brings the blue and yellow of IRWIN Industrial Tools to Atlanta on chassis 62, the same car that finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson at Lowe's Motor Speedway two weeks ago. Busch and the No. 97 team tested this chassis at Atlanta on October 18.

- Busch's third career NEXTEL Cup Series victory came at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27, 2002. Busch started eighth in the rain-shortened event, and led 84 laps en route to his third victory of the season. The win at the 1.54 mile quad-oval was his first Cup victory on a superspeedway.

- Busch will compete in the fourth and final IROC race of the season at Atlanta on Saturday afternoon.

- After a disappointing run at Martinsville, Carl Edwards moved up one position in the point standings to fifth. He trails leader Tony Stewart by 149 but continues to gain on those contenders behind him.

- Atlanta Motor Speedway is the site of Edwards first career NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series victories. Edwards made history by winning both races in the same weekend earlier this year in March. It was the first time a driver had swept both races at Atlanta and the first time a driver had won for the first time in each series in the same weekend. Edwards won the Cup Series race in the No. 99 Scotts Ford coincidentally enough, on the first day of spring.

- In just four career starts at the track (one Truck, one Busch, two Cup) Edwards has two wins, three top five and four top 10 finishes. He's also completed 100% of his career laps run at the 1.54-mile quad-oval.

- Edwards will concentrate on the Office Depot Ford this week as the Busch Series takes the week off.


Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-315 (won at Kansas)

Martin on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "After the weekend we had at Martinsville, it's going to be nice to get back to Atlanta. Atlanta is a really cool race track. It's a big, fast race track. The pavement has gotten a little older and it has finally given up and made it a really fun place to race. From top-to-bottom, it's one of the best places that we go to race. It usually makes for a great show and a great race. We had a good run there in the spring and we probably had the best car in last fall's race, so we are excited about get back down there and doing some good racing.

"Martinsville was just a bad weekend all around for this team, but the one thing I will say is that these guys on this Viagra Team never gave up. They hung in there and kept fighting and I'm honored to drive there race car. We are just going to have to go out and really go after the next four and see what happens."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "We had a good test at Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and the team we'll be happy to put Martinsville behind us and move on. We are taking the same car that we used to win the Kansas race two weeks ago, so hopefully we'll go in there and find similar results."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Charter Communications/National Guard Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-275 (won at Fontana at finished third at Charlotte two weeks ago)

Biffle on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "I like racing at Atlanta, it's wide and fast and it's just good racing. We've had some success there in both the Busch and Cup Series. We finished third there in the spring and went back for a test last week. Unfortunately, we weren't really happy with either of the cars we took for the test, so we've decided to take the car we finished third with at Charlotte. I'm just happy to have Martinsville behind us and I'm really looking forward to these next four races."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "We tested at Atlanta last week and just didn't feel like we were up to par with the other teams who were down there testing that day. We've decided to take the Charlotte car because we feel that it is one of our best cars for that type of track right now. We won with it in California and had a solid third place finish in Charlotte two weeks ago. We should still be able to go back and use some of our race notes from the spring but the cars that we tested were a lot looser than they should be, so we'll need to make some set-up adjustments. Atlanta fits Greg's driving style and I look for us to have a good run this weekend."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DEWALT Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-39 (finished second at Chicago and third at the second Michigan)

Kenseth on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Atlanta is definitely one of the tracks I particularly look forward to coming to. It is wide and fast and there are multiple grooves that you can run. We had a great car here in the spring but got caught up in an early wreck that ruined our day. I think we'll be competitive this weekend and we'll be looking to regain some points that we've lost over the past couple of weeks."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "I think that our finishes at Atlanta don't reflect how good we've been able to run there. We had a really strong car in the fall race last year when a mechanical failure ended our day early, and back in the spring of this year we were caught up in an early crash. In both races, though, the car was fast. This weekend we'll be looking to bring home a finish that hopefully reflects how strong we'll be able to run."

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #62 (finished second at Charlotte two weeks ago)

Busch on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Atlanta is a high-speed racetrack, and I like these high-banked tracks. We've won here before, but had issues with tires last time, so I'm looking forward to going back and doing some three-wide racing. We tested here last week and were happy with the results, so we're excited about getting out there and having another strong run in the IRWIN Ford. Our primary sponsor Newell-Rubbermaid is also headquartered in Atlanta, so we'd love to have a strong run in their backyard."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Atlanta is the fastest race track we go to, but its one of those tracks where Kurt has won before, so we feel good about our driver this week. We took two cars to the test and he liked #62, so that will be our primary. It's the same car that we had a good run with at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago, so we'll be looking for another top five."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK-320 (raced at Kansas and Charlotte two weeks ago)

Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "I like Atlanta a lot. It's a really fast track that enables a driver to try different lines and pass relatively easily. I still can't believe I got my first win there earlier this year. I remember coming off turn four just determined to do what I had to do to get by Jimmie. It was tough but somehow I got it done. The entire weekend was really surreal for me. It's finally sunk in and it was awesome to go out and do it again at Pocono. I think that really solidified us as a team to watch which meant a lot. I'm really looking forward to going there this weekend. We are taking the same car we raced at Kansas and Charlotte which is a really fast race car. We didn't get to contend for the win like we should have at Charlotte but I think we should be able to run up front this weekend at Atlanta."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Obviously Atlanta is a fun track for us. We've run there the last two times we've gone and to get our first win there as a team was just un-imaginable. I think we have a good race car and we should be able to rebound from this past weekend at Martinsville. Even though we moved up a position in the points we fell behind the leader so it's really important that we run up front and lead some laps. I think we have a driver, team and race cars that are capable of that. The last four tracks are ones that we've had success at so we'll see what happens."


Todd Kluever
Team: No. 50 Rotella T Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: #44 (new chassis)

Todd Kluever on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "I am really looking forward to the race in Atlanta this weekend. We're taking a brand new truck that I think is going to be very competitive. We spent two days working on it at the Chicago test a few weeks ago and I think we've figured out some stuff that will really help us.

"We were going to have a good run at Atlanta in the spring race if that windshield tear-off hadn't have gotten stuck on the grille. Since it was clear we couldn't really see it on the track and by the time we pitted and pulled it off the motor was already cooked. That was a huge disappointment after qualifying ninth and being near the top of the speed charts in practice all day. Having a good run this weekend would help make up for the spring race. Besides, after three second-place finishes this season I think the No. 50 team is due for a victory pretty soon."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "I think our new truck will be really good at Atlanta. Todd likes running there and has quite a few laps there between testing in the trucks and his ASA car last year. Hopefully we can make up for the poor finish we had in the spring with a win this weekend."

Ricky Craven
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: #41 (raced last at Las Vegas last month)

Ricky Craven on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "The win in Martinsville last week has given this Superchips team the momentum we need to go to Atlanta. It was just what we needed to build our confidence and establish momentum going into the final four races of the season.

"We struggled at Atlanta in the spring race. The truck never handled right and we had a flat tire on top of that so we might have been lucky to come out of there 18th in the spring. I believe we can do much better this weekend. We're taking chassis 41 which is a good truck. We had some problems with it in Vegas the last time we raced it, but we've identified those problems and corrected them. I think we should have another strong run this weekend to back up our win at Martinsville."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "I think we should have a good run at Atlanta. We're back in the top 10 in points after the win at Martinsville, so we need to remain consistent throughout the last four races to make sure we stay in the top 10."


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