Atlanta Motor Speedway, Mar. 16-18 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Kobalt Tools 500, Mar. 18 NASCAR Busch Series: Nicorette 300, Mar. 17 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200, Mar. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts * David...
Atlanta Motor Speedway, Mar. 16-18
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Kobalt Tools 500, Mar. 18
NASCAR Busch Series: Nicorette 300, Mar. 17
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200, Mar. 16
Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts
* David Ragan is currently 19th in the Nextel Cup Series Championship point standings.
* Ragan is presently 173 points behind the leader and 20 points out of the top-10.
* Ragan competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway twice in the Craftsman Truck Series during the 2006 season.
* Ragan still leads the Raybestos Rookie points race with 37 total points. Juan Pablo Montoya is currently trailing him by seven points.
* In addition to Greg Biffle's Cup stats at Atlanta, he also has one Busch Series win and has never finished outside of the top 10 in a Busch race at the 1.54-mile oval.
* Last year at the spring race in Atlanta, Biffle led 128 laps but ran out of fuel with only one lap remaining, leaving him with a 16th place finish.
* Biffle finished 16th last weekend at Las Vegas and currently sits 16th in the point standings, 169 points out of the lead and nine points out of the top 12.
* This weekend Biffle will run a black and red Jackson Hewitt paint scheme.
* Matt Kenseth enters this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway riding two consecutive top-five finishes.
* Sunday's race will mark the fourth for interim crew chief, Chip Bolin, calling the shots atop the No. 17 pit box. Bolin, who hails from South Carolina with a degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University, has been the engineer on the No. 17 team since its inception in 1999. Robbie Reiser is slated to return next week at Bristol.
* By finishing fourth last weekend, Las Vegas Motor Speedway statistically became Kenseth's best track, giving him a 7.6-average finish at Vegas in eight starts.
* By starting the 2007 season with finishes of 27th, first, and fourth, Kenseth's average finish is a 10.6, the fourth best start of his career.
* Kenseth has led at least one lap in each of the first three races of 2007.
* Since the end of 2002, Kenseth has not qualified better than 23rd in eight attempts at Atlanta. Kenseth did start from the pole last fall, but it was due to qualifying being rained out. Despite starting at the front last fall, Kenseth's average starting position at Atlanta is 23.8.
* In nine career Cup starts at the 1.54-mile speedway, Jamie McMurray has three top-10 and six top-15 finishes.
* McMurray will be piloting the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion for the first time this season. This is one of 11 races McMurray will be behind the wheel of the IRWIN blue and yellow Ford.
* This weekend marks the first weekend McMurray will drive a Roush Fenway Racing Busch Series Ford Fusion. McMurray will pilot the No. 26 Dish Network Ford Fusion.
* With his 10th-place run in Las Vegas last weekend, McMurray moved up 10 spots to 26th in the point standings.
* Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team captured their best finish of 2007 last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway - sixth place. The finish marked Edwards' 44th career top-10 finish.
* The No. 99 Office Depot team is currently 17th in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings.
* Office Depot's Official Small Business of NASCAR promotion runs February 18th through March 31st.
* Office Depot store #2333 from Hurst, TX will be on the No. 99 Office Depot Fusion for this weekend's race at Atlanta
* Edwards was the first driver to sweep Atlanta, winning both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series' events in the same weekend - he completed this feat in March 2005.
Kobalt Tools 500, Mar. 18
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary RK- 201 Previously ran Atlanta in the Fall, finished 5th
Backup RK- 405 Previously ran at Texas Motor Speedway, finished 35th after being involved in a wreck
Ragan on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I am pretty excited to go to Atlanta and race in front of, what I consider to be, my hometown crowd. We had a rough race in Las Vegas so we are looking forward to hopefully having a better finish this weekend. I have great resources at my disposal and high expectations for myself as do Jack [Roush] and Jimmy [Fennig] and a lot of other folks so my plan is to not let them or me down."
Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We are looking forward to Atlanta. I think it is going to be a good track for David. He got to race there twice last year in the truck series so it is a bonus that he has some seat time there and is familiar with the track. Even though we did not have a very good race in Las Vegas, David is making progress and is learning from his mistakes. The team has really started to come together and the guys in the shop are doing a great job at getting these cars ready to go to track. We are looking forward to a great weekend."
Team: No. 16 Jackson Hewitt Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: 440 Brand new
Biffle on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We've always run pretty well at Atlanta and in the last couple of years there were a couple of times when I really thought we had a car to win. It's one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and you'll see a lot of good racing there. We haven't been ecstatic about our performances so far this year but I think we could turn that around in Atlanta. These guys ran well there with Mark and I think we should be able to run up front this weekend. The points are so close right now and a top five might put us in a much more comfortable position."
Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We're taking another brand-new racecar to the track this weekend. We haven't tested it but we took it to the wind tunnel and we're pretty happy with the numbers there. We have struggled a little so far this season and I'd be lying if I said I was satisfied with our performances so far. Atlanta is the kind of track Greg runs well at and if we can stay on top of our game, this Ameriquest team is capable of accomplishing much more than we've shown."
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin (interim)
Chassis: RK-317: Last ran: Las Vegas, last weekend, finished fourth Also ran: Won at Fontana three weeks ago 2006: Pocono, Jul., finished 14th, All-Star race, finished 11th
RK-340: Tested Las Vegas in Jan. '07 Last ran: Pocono, Jun. '06, finished fifth
Kenseth on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta has always been one of my favorite tracks. It's really fast but has enough room to move around and try to find some different lines around the track. The pavement has aged enough to where your car will start to slide around over the course of a run, which makes tire wear important.
"We've come close at Atlanta several times before but we've never been able to seal the deal. We're bringing the same car we drove at Fontana and at Las Vegas. It was real good at Fontana and we managed to scrounge out a top-five finish at Vegas, so hopefully we can muster another top five this weekend."
Interim Crew Chief Chip Bolin on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We're bringing the same car to Atlanta that we raced in Vegas and Fontana. It's been good to us so far and there no reason to think that we can't be competitive with it again this weekend. This is actually the same car we used as our work horse in 2005 when we came back to make the Chase.
"The guys did another good job in the pits at Las Vegas, and we we're able to work on the car to get it the best we possibly could at the end of the race. Matt did a good job of taking care of the car so that we still had it in tact and in position to sneak out of there with a top five. My hope is that we don't have to 'sneak' out of Atlanta with anything, but rather get Matt towards the front early and have the kind of day that this team is capable of."
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK - 428 Previously ran in Las Vegas - Mar. 2007; finished 10th Backup - RK - 403
McMurray on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"After our run last weekend in Vegas, I'm really looking forward to Atlanta this weekend. We are taking the same car that we ran last weekend, however, with a different paint scheme. This is our first weekend with IRWIN Industrial Tools back on the car in 2007. Atlanta is a really fast racetrack, maybe the fastest racetrack we visit. I enjoy running at Atlanta and I'm certainly looking for another run like we had last weekend. It just seemed that everything came together for us - we ran well, had great pit stops and avoided the wrecks around us. If we can do the same thing in Atlanta, it'll be a good weekend for the No. 26 guys."
Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Well, we are taking the same car to Atlanta that we ran with in Las Vegas. We were pretty pleased with the new body style and suspension package, so we decided it will be a good car for Atlanta. Last week it took us all day to finally hit on the right setup, but we found it, which is the most important thing. Hopefully, we will have a better sense of the car and how it will handle when we first unload in Atlanta. Another strong finish is exactly what we need right now."
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-270; last ran at California in February
Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"There is a lot of history for me at Atlanta. I got my first (NASCAR) Busch and (Nextel) Cup wins there and for the most part I have always been successful there. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well at Atlanta, because I know I am capable of it. This weekend will be no different. I am expecting a great run and will be disappointed with anything less."
Crew Chief, Bob Osborne on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is great track for Carl and the Office Depot team. It (the track) really suits Carl's driving style and we've had a lot of success there in the past. We're bringing a car that Carl's had a lot of success with. The car he won Atlanta and Pocono in back in 2005, I feel confident in our team and driver and feel like we should have a good showing."
Nicorette 300, Mar. 17
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-374 Previously ran at Fontana
Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I am so excited to get to Atlanta. We had a rough weekend in Las Vegas but I am ready to put that behind us and focus on moving up in the points. This weekend is special for me because I am competing in front of a hometown crowd that has been supportive of me from the beginning of my career. I can assure you that the Discount Tire team has been working hard to bring the best car possible to Atlanta. The goal for the Discount Tire Ford Fusion is a win. Anything short of that will be disappointing".
Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We are looking to rebound from Las Vegas in a big way this weekend. We are taking the Ford Fusion that ran at Fontana this year with a few body updates on it. I think everyone on the Discount Tire team is excited about our chances on this track. David has some experience at Atlanta, so I am confident we can come out of this with a really good finish. It is time to get in the top-10 in the point standings and the only way we can do this is top-five and top-10 finishes. If we do what we are supposed to, good things will happen for the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion".
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-349 - last ran at Memphis in October '06
Kluever on racing in the Busch Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks and I've been looking forward to this race since the season started. I feel like this is my first real race of the year since I ran Daytona, which is all about drafting, and then I ran Mexico, which was only my third road course. Now I finally get the chance to really race and I feel confident about what we can do this weekend. Eddie Pardue and the guys have given me great cars so far this year, so I hope to give them a great finish at Atlanta."
Eddie Pardue on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We're taking one of Todd's cars from last year to Atlanta. We've worked on it over the winter and I think he'll be pleased with it. I think this weekend will be good for Todd since he'll finally have a chance to race the way he's used to on a track he really likes."
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 346 Last raced Charlotte - finished 4th
Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is a track that we have done well at in the past. I think if we can qualify up front and stay up front we should be in for a good finish. Although, that was also the plan last weekend in Vegas and it didn't quite work out as we planned. Arby's headquarters is located in Atlanta, so this track is basically in their backyard so we really want to get a good finish for them in their hometown. This is the same car that ran really well at Charlotte and tested well at Vegas so hopefully we can win some more free fries for America."
Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"It's always great to go to a place like Atlanta with a driver like Matt Kenseth. Matt tends to run really well at tracks like this and RK-360 is a car we have had success with in the past and that tested well at Vegas. Atlanta is the location of Arby's head quarters so the team really wants to get a good finish for them."
Team: No.26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK- 371 Last ran at Charlotte with Carl Edwards
McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend's Busch race in Atlanta. It's the first time I've been able to drive a Roush Fenway Racing Busch car since coming over to drive for Jack Roush. It's pretty cool because Chad Norris is the crew chief for the No. 26 Dish Network Ford Fusion. Chad was the car chief last year for my Cup team, so he and I already have the experience working together. I've always enjoyed racing at Atlanta and have won a Busch race there in the past; so hopefully, we can go out there and continue winning races for Dish Network."
Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"The whole Dish Network team is really excited to have Jaime on board this week for his first race with his BGN team. The whole team has been working hard in preparation for this race. We all have very high hopes to come out of the box strong. We have a practically brand new car this week for Atlanta and we hope to get Jamie back into victory lane where he belongs."
Team: No.60 Scotts Bonus S Max Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis Number: RK-427 Brand new chassis
Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I just can't wait to race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It's one of my favorite tracks for a lot of reasons. I had my first Busch Series win there combined with my first NEXTEL Cup win. It was just awesome. I struggled there last year, but I am heading there with very high expectations for my Scotts Bonus S Max team. We have posted a couple great points days, but it's time to step it up. I feel like Atlanta is the place."
Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Carl has a great record at Atlanta. Scotts has been a big part of that. It's great to have them back with us there. Hopefully, we will obtain the same type of success. We are leading the points and the Scotts Bonus S Max team is determined to keep digging and finish in the front."
American Commercial Lines 200, Mar. 16
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-319 Last raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Kvapil on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is a really fun racetrack. Next to Daytona, it's one of the most fun racetracks we go to. You can run anywhere, up to the wall or down around the bottom of the track. It's a rough track. It doesn't have a lot of grip so the trucks slide around a lot and handling is very important. Drafting will also play an important part in this race since it's another high-speed track. It really makes for an exciting race."
Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We had a very strong truck there last spring, we feel like we could have won the race had it not been for a late race situation with a lapped truck. We struggled some at California, so we went to Rockingham to test during our off weeks. We feel like we've got a good, fast setup under the truck. We've really been impressed with Travis so far, and we feel like we've got as good a shot as anyone for the win here this week."
T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-335 Previously ran at Fontana
Bell on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I'm really excited about getting to Atlanta. This is the best opportunity I've had in my career. The equipment at Roush Fenway racing is incredible, and they've got some great people working on these truck teams. Everyone says what a great track Atlanta is, so I'm looking forward to getting there and kicking this program off. My teammates have run well here in the past, so I will lean on them for advice. This race can't come soon enough for me."
Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"We're looking forward to Atlanta and getting things started with T.J. We tested at Rockingham last week, and we feel like that went well. Atlanta is one of the fastest tracks we race at, but it's also one of the most forgiving in the sense that you can run multiple lines around the place. We'll do our best to get T.J. as comfortable as possible as quick as we can, then we'll go after it."
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-303, last raced at Fontana where Darnell started 16th and finished 13th
Darnell on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I'm very excited about getting back to Atlanta. We had one of our best runs of 2006 there in the fall race. I'd really like to finish the deal this time around and pull off the win. The crew has been performing flawlessly on pit road, and I know we're bringing a good truck down there. I think we're going to be a strong contender for the win this weekend."
Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"Atlanta is one of those tracks that everyone on this team has circled on their schedules. We had two great runs here last year, and nearly pulled off the win in the fall race. Everything has to go right to get us to victory lane, but we feel like we've got the pieces in place. It would be a great way to recover from two tough finishes to start the season."