Roush Racing heads to Bristol for a triple-threat weekend Bristol Motor Speedway, August 25th -- 28th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharpie 500, 7:30PM, August 28 NASCAR Busch Series: Food City 250, 8:00PM, August 27 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:...
Roush Racing heads to Bristol for a triple-threat weekend
Bristol Motor Speedway, August 25th -- 28th
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Sharpie 500, 7:30PM, August 28
NASCAR Busch Series: Food City 250, 8:00PM, August 27
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: O'Reilly 200, 9:00PM, August 25
Roush Racing Fast Facts
* Mark Martin and the Viagra Racing team move into Bristol fresh off of a second-place run at Michigan. Martin has scored top-three finishes in three of the last four races and has climbed from 123 points out of 10th place to only 33 points out in the last two races.
* Martin's seven poles tie for the most ever at Bristol, and he has started in the top five in 16 of 34 races.
* Martin's trek at Bristol is a tale of streaks. In 35 races at Bristol, Martin has finished top 10 on 20 occasions and inside the top five 15 times. From 1995-2000 Martin had a total of 10 straight top-10 finishes at Bristol. He won four straight poles in 1995 and 1996. However, Martin has not finished inside the top 10 at Bristol in the past eight races, five of which he was involved in accidents that put an end to his chance of a strong run. Martin finished 23rd this spring at Bristol, after dropping down to seven cylinders late in the race.
* Martin's seven poles at Bristol ties for the most of any driver (Rusty Wallace). Martin just narrowly missed his record eighth pole there last year at the Sharpie 500. All-in-all Martin has started inside the top five in 16 of 35 races at Bristol and inside the top 10 25 times.
* Martin will once again run the special 'reverse' white paint scheme this weekend at Bristol. Martin has run the night race scheme in five races this year (counting the All-Star), recording top-10 finishes on four of the five occasions, including a victory at Dover. In addition to Bristol, the scheme will run three more times this season at Fontana, Richmond and Charlotte.
* Greg Biffle holds the Busch Series track qualifying record at Bristol with a lap time of 15.093 seconds (127.132 mph) set on Mar. 26, 2004.
* Biffle captured his second career NEXTEL Cup win by taking the checkered flag in last weekend's event at Michigan International Speedway.
* Matt Kenseth finished eighth at Michigan one week ago. It was his 14th top-ten finish in 23 starts so far this year. Kenseth is one of four drivers who have remained the top-10 all year long.
* Kenseth remains in fifth place in the point standings, now 236 points out of first place. Kenseth has spent 58 straight weeks inside the "NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10"--the longest active streak.
* In nine starts at Bristol, Matt Kenseth has four top-fives, five top-tens (including five straight of sixth place or better) and seven top-15 finishes.
* Kurt Busch posted his third consecutive top-10 finish and fourth in the last five races with a sixth-place effort at Michigan last week. The performance improved him to sixth in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings after spending the past three race weeks in seventh. He moved 45 points ahead of current seventh-place Elliott Sadler and trails fifth-place Matt Kenseth by 109 points.
* Busch has been dominant at Bristol, where he has won the last three races at the .533-mile oval and four of the last five. The only miss during that span, which began with his first career series triumph in the spring event of 2002, was a sixth in the fall race that season.
* Busch has led at least 45 laps in each of his last five visits, including 100 or more in his last three. However, the earliest Busch has led in each of the races that he has won at Bristol was after half-way. The earliest lap he led was lap 359 in March 2003.
* Earlier this season, Busch started 13th and led 119 laps en route to the victory. He has qualified among the top 10 in three of his last four starts, including a best of fifth in this event last season.
* Busch will run a special paint scheme for the Sharpie 500 featuring the new Sharpie Retractable marker, a pen that will "single-handedly change the way I sign autographs" notes Busch.
* Bristol marks the sixth race Roundup has appeared on the No. 99 Ford in 2004.
* Carl Edwards is one of five active NEXTEL Cup drivers to finish in the top-10 in their first career Cup start.
Team: No. 6 Viagra* Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-215 (ran earlier at Bristol and finished 10th in the All-Star Challenge)
Mark Martin on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "Well, Bristol is an intense race track to say the least. Forty-three cars is a lot for a track that size, and driving around that place is like trying to fly a jet fighter airplane around the inside of a basketball arena, so it's get really wild when you have 42 other guys trying to do the same thing. You just have to hope that you have a good car and that you can stay out of all the trouble and sometimes that's hoping for a lot. We haven't been able to stay out of trouble very well there the last several times we've been there and we've wrecked a bunch of cars. We were really strong there last year in the night race and we ended up getting wrecked, so maybe we'll have a little better luck this time. I know Pat (Tryson) and Wally (Brown) and the guys will all give me a great race car, so hopefully we can take it to the front and stay there."
Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "One of the keys to Bristol is to qualify well, or it's really easy to lose a lap early. You also want to be as close to the front as possible to try and stay out of a lot of the trouble that goes on back there. Hopefully we can give Mark another good car and we can have a solid day and stay out of trouble. If we do that I think we can have a good run. We tested there a couple of weeks ago, and we liked what we saw. We just can't wait to get back out there and hopefully make a run for the victory."
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-201 (new chassis)
Greg Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "I always look forward to the Bristol races but I'm especially looking forward to this weekend's. We're coming off a huge win in the No. 16 National Guard car and we had the car to beat in the spring Busch race but got snookered on pit strategy. It was one of those deals where the other teams had to do something other than us because that was the only way they were going to beat us.
"We haven't raced our Cup car yet this season, but based on how our cars have been lately I'm sure it will be fast as well. We've got momentum on our side on both accounts and we'd like to keep it going with good runs this weekend. Anything can happen at Bristol though because it's a high-banked, high-speed short track and everyone is on top of each other. Half the battle is staying out of trouble and avoiding the accidents. If you can do that you've pretty much had a successful day."
Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: " We qualified third at Bristol earlier this year and had a really good run. Towards the end of the race, we lost track position during a pit cycle and just couldn't regain the positions. We had a car capable of winning the race. This time we'll go off of those notes and hopefully we'll pick up two wins in a row.
Last weekend's win at Michigan shows the team that we are a winning team when it all comes together. We've had that competitive of a car in several different races this season but just haven't gotten that end result for various reasons."
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush/Mark Martin
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: MMR-10 (finished 10th at Bristol in the spring)
Matt Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "Bristol has been the scene of some great runs for us lately, but I don't want to jinx us. We've been lucky not to get caught up in any trouble in the last few races--even though we've come pretty close on occasion. Bristol is a place where you have to keep your focus as sharp as possible and there are a lot of factors going against you. It's hot, it's loud, it's crowded and it's tough mentally to stay on your toes for 500 laps. I think in my personal opinion that it's probably the most demanding race overall in the season. I feel good about where we are in the points, so that's at least one pressure we won't have to deal with--we just want to go out there and get the best finish we possibly can."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "We've got a great chassis this week. We need to qualify up front if we can. I know we don't always get that checked off of our list during the weekend, but it would help things at a place like Bristol. I'm pretty proud of the crew right now. With the exception of the jack breaking on pit road last week, all of their stops were in the 13-second range and that's where we need them to be."
Team: No. 97 Sharpie RT Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #46 (won both races in 2003 and the Food City 500 earlier this year)
Kurt Busch on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "Things are going well in the Sharpie camp. Every time we get a chance to look forward to Bristol, obviously the team gets pumped up about the event and of course our sponsor Sharpie always gets excited because they get to do extra things around that event. It's that season where kids get to go back to school and the products are flowing off the shelves. It's timely for advertising and it's timely for us to try to pick up a win in the Sharpie 500. We're one of those teams that can't afford a bad day. We've got some cushion in case we miss the setup that we'll still run competitively enough to gain points. But Bristol is by no means a track that we're going to miss the setup on as well as California Speedway, the race after it, and then of course with preparations for Richmond, that's the final race where we get locked in for this Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."
Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "I've been coming here for a long time, but nothing gets you more excited than going to Bristol. As a crew chief, you're plenty busy and you don't have the luxury of a lot of time before you have to make a call sometimes. Everything happens faster here. Bristol has been good to us the past couple of years, and we've had a nice run of top-10's, and we'd love for it to continue this weekend at the Sharpie 500."
Team: No.99 Round-Up Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush Crew Chief: Bob Osborne Chassis Number: RK-220 (ran at Dover earlier this year)
Edwards in the Craftsman Truck Series at Bristol Motor Speedway: Year Event Start Finish Laps Lead Status 2003 O'Reilly 200 8 11 199/200 Running
Carl Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "I'm looking forward to racing this week at Bristol. The No. 99 team had a good weekend at Michigan last weekend and we are certainly hoping to build on that this coming Saturday night. I'll be racing the No. 99 Superchips F-150 Wednesday night so hopefully those extra laps will help me on Saturday. I think everyone looks forward to the Saturday night race at Bristol and I'm no different. We have Roundup on the car this week, the same paint scheme from earlier in the year, which will look great under the lights. It's going to be exciting and I hope to give the No. 99 team another good run."
Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "Bristol is a big challenge for any team. It's intense racing and there are a lot of factors that you can't control, so you have to do a really good job on the things that you can control. Carl did a great job last weekend at Michigan and we want to continue that momentum into this week's race at Bristol. The entire No. 99 team has been working tremendously hard and it's paying off. We'll go out there and do the best we can to have another good run with the No. 99 Roundup Ford."
Team: No. 60 Charter Communications Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Brad Parrott
Chassis: JR-69 (won pole and finished fourth at Bristol earlier, also won at Dover)
Greg Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "I always look forward to the Bristol races but I'm especially looking forward to this weekend's. We're coming off a huge win in the No. 16 National Guard car and we had the car to beat in the spring Busch race but got snookered on pit strategy. It was one of those deals where the other teams had to do something other than us because that was the only way they were going to beat us. We're taking the same Charter car we ran in the spring (Chassis 69) and we won with this car at Dover. It's been a good car for us so far this year and I expect it to be fast when we unload on Thursday morning. Anything can happen at Bristol though because it's a high-banked, high-speed short track and everyone is on top of each other. Half the battle is staying out of trouble and avoiding the accidents. If you can do that you've pretty much had a successful day."
Crew Chief Brad Parrott on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "We're using the same car we sat on the pole and set the track record with in March. We had one of the fastest cars during the race and had a good shot at winning but varying pit strategies took us out of contention. Greg is excited coming off of his NEXTEL Cup win at Michigan and everyone on the Charter team is looking forward to Bristol because we all feel we're capable of winning this week and every week. The Bristol night races are some of the best and there are always plenty of fireworks."
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Tony Price
Jon Wood on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "It's tough to hold your breath for 200 laps, but that is pretty much what you do at Bristol. We made it out of there with an eighth-place finish last year and I'd sure take that again this year. This race is kind of a toss-up since anything can happen. There is a lot of racing going on in a very small space. We've raced at IRP and Martinsville already this year, but they are different because they are flat. Bristol has so much more banking that it really makes it a lot faster. There isn't much time or space to react when something happens in front of you. We're taking a good truck to Bristol. Hopefully we'll have a better run than we've had the last few weeks. Bristol is a place where aerodynamics doesn't matter much so maybe that will help us. We really need to get back in the top 10 in points and this race has the potential to help us do that if we have a little luck on our side."
Crew Chief Tony Price on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "I think Jon will have a good run this week at Bristol. He drove a smart race there last year and that is what it takes to run well at a place like that. We need to qualify well so we can start ahead of the certain wrecks in the middle of the pack. Staying out of trouble is the key to running well at Bristol."
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Kevin Starland
Carl Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "I could almost taste victory last year. We had such a good truck through the first half of the race, and then it got really loose after the last pit stop. We never imagined there wouldn't be another caution so we never got the chance to make any adjustments to tighten it up. I had a great time racing at Bristol last year and look forward to doing it again. In fact I'll get to run 950 laps throughout the week there if everything goes well. I decided to run a Busch car on Friday night just to get some extra laps in before the Cup race on Saturday. We really need a good run in the truck at Bristol to move us back up in the points. We certainly haven't given up on the championship. We're still focused on winning it."
Crew Chief Kevin "Cowboy" Starland on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "We really need a strong finish at Bristol this week to move us back up in the points. We're taking a good truck, so hopefully we can start up front to keep it out of harms way. A lot can happen in a short amount of time and space so it's important to stay up front and to have the pit crew ready to repair anything."