BUSCH: Atlanta: Roush Racing preview

Roush Racing Fast Facts * Mark Martin has tallied 20 top 10's and 12 top fives at Atlanta, with top-five runs in the last three there. * Martin has won twice at Atlanta. Both wins came in the fall in ('91 & '94). * Martin has started in the...

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Mark Martin has tallied 20 top 10's and 12 top fives at Atlanta, with top-five runs in the last three there.

* Martin has won twice at Atlanta. Both wins came in the fall in ('91 & '94).

* Martin has started in the top 10 in 24 of his 40 races at Atlanta. He has started inside the top five 17 times. He has earned one pole (3/92) and has started on the front row six times.

* Martin scored his first top 10 at Atlanta in only this second start there, on November 7, 1982.

* Martin has led 924 laps at Atlanta, with 272 of them coming in the last three races.

* Martin has three wins and two poles in the Busch car at Atlanta.

* Greg Biffle is currently 25th in the point standings, a gain of 13 positions from the previous week.

* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 271 points out of the lead but are only 104 points out of a top-10 position.

* Biffle has never finished outside of the top 10 in a Busch Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and collected a win there in the fall of 2003.

* This weekend the No. 16 National Guard team will debut the 2006 Subway paint scheme. This paint scheme will run a total of 11 times this season.

* Biffle and Richert filmed their third Subway commercial this week in Mooresville, NC. It is expected to begin airing sometime in mid-April.

* Matt Kenseth has led the most laps in NEXTEL Cup this season with 214; 39 more than the second most of 175 by teammate Greg Biffle.

* Kenseth's average finish so far this season is 6.0. That's the second best start of his career, next to the 2004 season when Kenseth started the season with finishes of ninth, first, and first, for an average of 3.6.

* By finishing second last week, Las Vegas statistically became Kenseth's best track, tied with Michigan with an average finish of 8.1.

* Kenseth's average starting position in NEXTEL Cup at Atlanta is 25.4, better than only Homestead (26.0) at all non-plate tracks during his career.

* In Jaime McMurray's seven Cup starts at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, he has three top-ten finishes.

* McMurray will be running car number 65 this weekend in Atlanta. This is the same race car that won in Pocono in July, 2005.

* Atlanta will mark McMurray's first run in the IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion. The weekend will showcase a special IRWIN paint scheme featuring the IRWIN Vise-Grip.

* Carl Edwards has a 1.66 average finish at Atlanta, best among active drivers.

* Edwards' has never started OR finished outside of the top 10 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* Chassis RK-270 was run last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. RK-270 is also the winning chassis from Edwards' first wins at both Atlanta and Pocono.

* Edwards became the first driver in NASCAR history to win his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and NASCAR Busch Series events on the same weekend in Atlanta of March 2005.

* Edwards will try his hand at weather forecasting this Friday, March 17, when he visits the Atlanta-based Weather Channel. Edwards will be a guest on the "Morning Show," beginning at 7:00 a.m. (EST).

* This will be Danny O'Quinn Jr.'s first race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

* The No. 50 World Financial Group had a good test at Vegas in Early February, and they are bringing the same car they tested there to race in this weekend's Sam's Town 300.

* O'Quinn Jr. ran well on mile-and-a-half tracks during his time in the ARCA Series, posting a sixth place finish at Nashville and running up front throughout the day at Chicago and Kentucky.

* This will be Mark Martin's sixth career Craftsman Truck Series Race.

* Martin has finished in the top 10 in each of his Truck starts, including a wins at North Wilkesboro, Daytona and California. He has won 50 percent of the truck races he has taken part in.


Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-314 - First run of the season for RK-314. - Finished second at Texas in the fall '05, fifth at - Charlotte in its last two outings.

Martin on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"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've been really strong there over the years and we've had some good runs the last few times that we've went there. Maybe this week we'll finally break through and get ourselves back into victory lane there.

"Our car at Las Vegas was really awesome and it was probably the best car that I've had in a long time. I'm very pleased with the way that we have run in all of the races this year and if we can keep up that level of performance we are going to be in really good shape this season. I think that we've had top-five cars in all three of the races this year, it's just our job now to make sure that we do what we need to get the finishes that we are capable of."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"As always, we are excited about Atlanta. Mark always runs well there and there is no reason that we shouldn't be in the hunt for the win. We've had really good cars this year and Mark's done a great job, now we just have to start finishing strong and hopefully we'll put that AAA Fusion in victory lane soon."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-201 (Bristol, '05)

Biffle on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Atlanta is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and there's always good racing there. We're taking a car that is very similar to what we raced in Las Vegas and California. I think we've learned a few things these last couple of weeks that should help us out in Atlanta. I've had a lot of success in Atlanta in the Busch series and we had two good runs there in the Cup car last season. We're looking for some solid top-five finishes and to make up some ground in the points during the next few weeks and I think we can definitely get it done."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Atlanta Speedway:

"We're taking a car that we raced last year at the spring race in Bristol. It is very similar to the car we've race the last two weeks at California and Vegas, so we feel pretty confident about taking it to Atlanta. We've run well at Atlanta in the past, so we'll just take those setups and tweak on them a little. We're going to try a different shock package based on what we learned in Las Vegas last weekend and I think this one will be a little better for us."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-267 -Last ran at Atlanta in the fall of '05, finished fifth. -Led most laps at Chicago before finishing second. RK-280 -Last ran at Atlanta in the spring of '05, finished 31st.

Kenseth on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I feel good about going to Atlanta. I love going there. Probably, for what we have left on the circuit, with Rockingham being lost, Atlanta is probably the most fun track to race on as a driver. You can run all over -- the bottom, the top, anywhere. The surface is real wore-out and the car changes a lot from the beginning of the run to the end of the run. I'm looking forward to going there. Of course, I'm looking forward to going anywhere with the way our stuff's running right now."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"We're bringing one of our favorite cars to the track. The primary last ran at Atlanta and we finished fifth. Before that, it ran at Dover where we ran up towards the front for most of the day before we had a tire go down. Probably the best this car ran was at Chicago last year where we led the most laps and finished second. Right now, this team has a lot of confidence. It's a night-and-day difference between the start of last year and the start of this year. We'll be looking to keep it going in Atlanta this weekend."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Car Number: 65, won Pocono in July of '05.

Jamie McMurray on racing at Las Vegas:

"We're coming off a disappointing finish in Las Vegas, so we'll definitely be looking to spring back this weekend in Atlanta. I've had some decent finishes there over the past few races, so I'm looking forward to getting back there with my new team. We'll be sporting the blue and yellow colors of IRWIN this weekend for the first time this season, and I hope we can come out with a good finish for those guys."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Las Vegas:

"We're bringing our Pocono winner from last season to Atlanta. Of course, it's pretty much a new car with the changes we've made to it since then, but I think it will be alright. We just couldn't hit the right combination of adjustments in Vegas, so we'll be examining that this week as we prepare for Atlanta."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK-270

Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Atlanta is a fun racetrack, and I hope we are as fast as we were last couple of times we were there. The Office Depot team tested there earlier this year and you know, I just love going to Atlanta. I am really excited about this weekend. We have had a lot of success in Atlanta over the last year and we are hoping we can continue the same success this weekend."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"The No. 99 Ford Fusion is looking forward to getting back to Atlanta. Winning both races last year was really exciting for us. We'd like to go back and try to repeat that same feat. But we know it will be tough. If we have a good run next Sunday I will be happy, if we win, I will be ecstatic. We are really looking forward to getting back to Atlanta this weekend, Carl loves it a lot and I am have started to take a favor to it as well."


Todd Kluever
Team: No. 06 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-217 -- same car the team raced at California two weeks ago

Todd Kluever on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I'm excited about going back to Atlanta in a Busch car. We actually have a brand new car that we're taking, which is very similar to the one that Greg Biffle won with at California. I'm excited to take a new car that's one of the latest and greatest Roush cars that we can build. That's what Greg and those guys have been running so far this year, not to say that we're going to go out and run as good as they are right now but if there is any little bit of help there, that'd be great. "I enjoyed racing at Atlanta in the truck last year. We had some good runs, but bad luck. We had a great truck in the first race but a windshield tear-off got stuck on the grille early in the race and overheated the engine. The second race we finished sixth, but crashed coming across the finish line. That was a pretty hard hit and the truck was destroyed. Hopefully this weekend we can have another strong run with a good finish, and the car intact at the end of the race."

Mike Kelley on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"We're taking a new car to Atlanta that I think will be very good. We struggled with the handling quite a bit at California and Vegas so I hope we can avoid some of those problems with this new car. It was the next car built after the car Greg Biffle won with in California so hopefully the fab shop used some of the same magic."

Team: No.16 AmeriQuest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis Number: RK- 354 (New car)

Biffle on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Atlanta's a great track, and we've had a lot of success there, especially in the Busch Series. We're bringing a brand new car to the track, but feel like it has as much potential as the one we've run the past few weeks. Our expectations are always high when we unload at Atlanta, and this week won't be any different. It's going to be a strong field, as always, but we feel like we should able to get this car up front."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I'm really looking forward to Atlanta. We've got some really good cars built up. We're carrying a brand new car, a sister car to the one we ran the last two speedway races with and won one. We're pretty happy with it. Greg's excited with the way our team's building and growing. We're looking for a good finish."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 AmeriQuest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK-346

Matt Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Atlanta is always a fun track to come to. Especially for me in the Busch Series, it's kind of special considering this was the last Busch race we won with Reiser Enterprises. John and Robbie (Reiser) put so much time into making that race team work back in the early '90s and for over a decade. We had a lot of success through the years, but Atlanta will always be special because that was the last track we won at together."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"We are taking the same car to Atlanta that we ran at Vegas we felt like all the hard work that everybody at Roush Racing has done is well worth it to run it again. We came up just a little short at Vegas, but all in all we had a very good race. We don't expect anything less than that in Atlanta."

Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Team: No. 50 Stonebridge Life Insurance Company Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: Rk-350

O'Quinn Jr. on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I'm definitely looking forward to running the Stonebridge Life Insurance Company Ford Fusion in Atlanta this weekend. It's one of the fastest racetracks we'll go to all year. I'm a big fan of the high-banked fast race tracks so I think I'm really going to enjoy Atlanta. It's going to be a lot different than a lot of racetracks that I've run before so those two hours of practice are going to be really crucial considering that they've limited our testing this year and we haven't had a chance to test there. The biggest thing for me will be to get out there, get seat time and make laps. "

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Atlanta is one of the best tracks we go to. It has multiple grooves and is really fast. Like it has been all season, qualifying is important to us, as well as getting Danny used to running these types of tracks. Our goal for the weekend is to qualify in the top-20 and finish the race in the top-20."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 Dial for Men Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuttel
Chassis Number: RK-353 - New car

Edwards on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "The whole Dial for Men Team is pumped about going back to Atlanta Motor Speedway. I only have one Busch race there under my belt, but it was my first NASCAR Busch Series pole and win. My confidence is very high on returning to the 1.5-mile track, especially after sweeping Atlanta last year. I just love Atlanta. It's a blast!"

Crew Chief Pierre Kuttel on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway: "Atlanta will be our first race together with our new sponsor Dial for Men. We are very excited about heading to Atlanta, because of Carl's record there. Edwards loves the 1.5-mile ovals and we all want to produce at a very high level."


Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Scott's Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam

Chassis: 43 -- Last ran at California; finished first

Mark Martin on racing the truck at the Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I can't wait to get back in the Scotts F-150. It has been a lot of fun of fun this year to drive the truck. Mike Beam and the guys on the team have just done an incredible job with the trucks and we've been able to go out and win two races against some really good competition. Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks and it should be a lot of fun to go out and go against those guys again and see if we can't make it three in a row. However, I know that won't be an easy task at all."

David Ragan
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Crew Chief: TBD
Chassis: 36

David Ragan on racing at the Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to get in the driver's seat this weekend in Atlanta. Being from Unadilla, I consider this to be my home track. I've never raced here, but I've been in the garage and up in the stands watching plenty of them. We're looking to have a good run, we want to start the year out right on this No. 50 truck. Hopefully we can give the hometown crowd something to cheer about!"

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Woolrich Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: 41

Erik Darnell on racing at the Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"We'll head down to Atlanta with the same goals we've had so far in 2006, to be the highest finishing rookie and run all the laps. We've had an awesome start to the year, and we expect to continue riding the momentum. Atlanta is one of the fastest tracks we race at, and you can run nearly any line you want there. Guys have been really successful running the top, middle and low groove. On the surface, Atlanta looks just like Charlotte and Texas, but each track is very different, but I think the experience I gain here will help at those tracks later in the season."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at the Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Each track we go to presents us a challenge with a rookie driver trying to gain experience. Atlanta is so fast, it's undoubtedly unique. With the potential and talent that Erik has shown, I believe that we'll be up to the task. He's excited to get down there, and we're looking forward to having another great run with the Woolrich F-150."


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Todd Kluever , Erik Darnell , Doug Richert , Danny O'Quinn , Mike Kelley , Mark Martin