BUSCH: Bristol: Roush Fenway Racing preview

ROUSH FENWAY RACING Bristol Motor Speedway, Mar. 23-25 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Food City 500, Mar. 25 NASCAR Busch Series: Sharpie Mini 300, Mar. 24 Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts * David Ragan has competed in the Craftsman Trucks at...

Bristol Motor Speedway, Mar. 23-25

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Food City 500, Mar. 25
NASCAR Busch Series: Sharpie Mini 300, Mar. 24

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan has competed in the Craftsman Trucks at Bristol twice before.

* Ragan made his first start at the half-mile track in August of 2004, starting 34th and finishing 30th after being involved in a crash.

* Ragan also competed in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 in August of 2006, starting 33rd and finishing 15th.

* Ragan is currently 23rd in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series point standings and 2nd in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, trailing Juan Pablo Montoya by only one point.


* In addition to Greg Biffle's Cup stats at Bristol, he also has three top fives, four top 10's and one pole in the Busch Series at the Tennessee short track.

* Biffle has completed all but two of 4,000 laps in the eight Bristol Nextel Cup races he has run.

* Biffle finished 41st last weekend at Atlanta and currently sits 27th in the point standings, 263 points out of the lead and 96 points out of the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run a black and red Jackson Hewitt paint scheme.


* Matt Kenseth has led at least one lap in each NEXTEL Cup race this season.

* Kenseth comes to Bristol Motor Speedway riding a streak of three consecutive top-five finishes.

* Robbie Reiser will return to the track this weekend, after serving a four-race suspension. The past four races were the first Reiser had missed atop the pit box as Kenseth's crew chief since 1999, a steak of 255 races.

* Kenseth has completed all but four laps in the past 10 races at Bristol (4,996 of 5,000); second most during that span (Earnhardt Jr. 4,998).

* Kenseth has an average finish of 5.2 during that span, tops among all drivers.

* Kenseth has nine top-10 finishes in the past 10 races at Bristol.

* Kenseth has seven top-five finishes during that span, which leads all drivers.

* Kenseth has led 656 of a possible 1,500 laps in the past three races at Bristol (43.7%).

* For his career, Kenseth has led 742 laps at Bristol, which is the highest number of laps led at any track during his career. Second on the list is Rockingham with 413 laps.

* Kenseth's career average finish for Bristol is 10.7, the fourth highest among the 23 tracks he has competed on throughout his career.

* Kenseth will run the Arby's paint scheme this weekend for the first and only time in the NEXTEL Cup Series in 2007.


* In eight Nextel Cup career starts at the .533-mile speedway, Jamie McMurray has one top five and three top-10 finishes. McMurray's best finish came in August 2003, where he finished third.

* McMurray has a career average starting position of 18.5 and an average finishing position of 17.9 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* The No. 26 Crown Royal team will unload their first Car of Tomorrow Ford Fusion (RK - 456) for this weekend's Food City 500.

* McMurray moved up two spots to 24th in the Nextel Cup point standings with his 15th-place run at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend.


* After four races, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently 10th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) point standings.

* In five NNCS starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Edwards has two top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' best start (third-place) and finish (fourth-place) at Bristol were captured in March of 2006.

* Office Depot's Official Small Business of NASCAR promotion is running through March 31st. For more information, please visit www.officedepotracing.com


David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary RK-449 Brand new car
     Backup RK- 455 Brand new car

Ragan on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I am looking forward to Bristol, it is a fun track. This weekend is the first Car of Tomorrow race so it is going to be a learning experience for everyone with the new car. The No. 6 AAA team is looking forward to the challenge and I think we have just as good a chance as anyone out there since Bristol is such a wild place to begin with and we will all be in the new cars. My main goal is to finish every lap and bring our car home in one piece."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Our Bristol test session went as expected. We've definitely got a lot of work ahead of us, but David is doing a good job and learning quickly. The Car of Tomorrow is going to be something that all the drivers are fairly unfamiliar with so with a rookie driver that will most likely play in our favor. However, we also have to prepare ourselves to stay out of the crashes since there are bound to be plenty of those at Bristol let alone at Bristol in a new type of race car."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Jackson Hewitt Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-446 Brand new

Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Well, I don't know if I'm necessarily looking forward to this first COT race but I am interested to see how it goes. We had a great test at Bristol a couple of weeks ago and I feel a lot more confident about the car and the race now. I've always run pretty decent at Bristol and as a driver, it's a fun track. I don't know if you'll see a whole different kind of race but I would bet that there won't be a car that leaves there on Sunday without a scratch."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We're taking one of the cars that we tested at Bristol a couple of weeks ago. Both of the cars we took to the test were pretty fast but the one we're taking this weekend is obviously the better of the two. There are a lot of unknowns going into this race but we learned a lot at the test and I think we're as ready as we can be. The good thing is that everyone else is in the same boat and we're all going to the track this weekend on equal ground."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-451 Brand new; tested Bristol in early March
     RK-454 Brand new; tested Bristol in early March

Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of kind and it's one of my favorite places to go. Part of that is because of the success we've enjoyed there over the years. I'm looking forward to this weekend for a lot of reasons, but I'm a little disappointed we had to retire our old Bristol car. We had brought that car to Bristol every race since 2001 and it was always competitive. It was our most reliable car in the stable and we only raced it at Bristol. It was pretty cool to win with it our last time out in August.

"With the C.O.T. this weekend, there's sure to be a lot of unknown variables, but the bottom line is, everyone is starting from scratch and we'll all have to deal with a lot of the same issues. Whoever can figure it out quicker than the rest will have a big advantage, so hopefully that will be us.

"Robbie's back this week after a four-race vacation, so we're glad to get him back. But, Chip (Bolin, team engineer/interim crew chief) did a great job leading this team at the track for the past month and it's a testament to how good this team is from top to bottom, that we were able to continue to perform at such a high level in Robbie's absence."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Well, I think everybody went to the Bristol test expecting to see something different with the Car of Tomorrow and when it was all said and done, it was basically the same racecar that we had in the past. I mean, you still have to get it to go around the corner and you still got to make it fast, you still got to do all the same things. It looks a little bit different, but other than that, it's the same stuff.

"Obviously, we got the same challenges as everyone else does with this Car of Tomorrow. We've got to work at it to get it to handle like that other (old) car did and having Matt behind the wheel makes a big difference at Bristol. So, I'm sure with our team and Matt, we can get that thing to work."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK - 456 Tested at Bristol; March 2007
     RK - 415 Tested at Bristol; March 2007

McMurray on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of the tracks that I really look forward to visiting. The racing is always exciting and something that sets Bristol apart from other tracks is the pre-race show. Bristol always goes above and beyond when it comes to the pre-race activities. This weekend is going to be really interesting to see how everything comes together with the new Car of Tomorrow debut. I know our team has been putting in a lot of work and overtime to get our program to where we think we will be really competitive at the 'COT tracks.' Things at the shop and at the track have gotten off to a great start this season. We had some bad luck in the first couple of races, but the last two races we have proved that this team is very competitive. The whole team has done a great job and it's finally showing on the track for us. Hopefully, this weekend in Bristol we will continue the streak of good runs."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"This weekend is going to be really interesting with the first run of the Car of Tomorrow. We have worked a lot of late nights to get everything ready for this weekend's race. We are taking the same car that we tested with at Bristol a few weeks ago. During the test session, I was pleased with how we ran, but knew we still had some work to do when we got back to the shop. We've made a few changes and hopefully, with the new changes, we will be competitive this weekend. After the last couple of runs, I know the guys are really geared up for running this weekend at Bristol."

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

Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I am really excited about the debut of the Car of Tomorrow. I think the racing is going to be awesome and a lot of fun. We were pretty okay when we tested there earlier this month. I know Bob (Osborne, crew chief) and the guys were able to gather a lot of information, so I feel confident we'll be pretty competitive. I'm just really excited and think it's awesome to be part of a new era in NASCAR."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"The Car of Tomorrow is going to be quite challenging, especially at a place like Bristol. With the cars we have today, if you wreck, you come in the pits and beat and bang and patch up your car and you're back on the track. It's not going to be that simple with the COT. If you lose your wing, you'll have to pretty much replace your deck lid, which will not be a quick fix, especially at a short track like Bristol. Hopefully the Office Depot team won't face that dilemma this weekend."


David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-356 has not run in 2007

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We had a little bit better weekend in Atlanta and we moved up in the points. This weekend will be a challenge for the Discount Tire Ford Fusion team, but we are looking forward to racing hard on the short track at Bristol. As long as we keep working hard as a team and maintain the high level of preparation that crew chief Mike Kelley instills, we will be fine. The goal for the Discount Tire Ford Fusion is a win. This crew will continue to compete no matter what happens on the track".

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I think everyone on the Discount Tire team is excited about our chances on this track. David has some experience at Bristol in the trucks. Any experience on this short track helps. I am confident we can come out of this with a really good finish. We got back in the top-20 in the point standings after Atlanta so we have a little momentum going in to Bristol. The Discount Tire Ford Fusion team must stay focused this weekend, but most importantly take care of our race car".

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-361 - driven by Greg Biffle last year

Kluever on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a pretty cool track, but I've not had much luck there. It reminds me a lot of Slinger back home in Wisconsin. It's fast and there is no room for error. I got wrecked out of both Busch races at Bristol last year, but we actually had a decent run in the truck there in '05. After two DNF's in a row between me and Greg (Biffle) at Atlanta and Vegas, we really need a good run this weekend to put us back up in the owner points. We also can't afford to lose any more good racecars. You know you won't come out of Bristol with a perfect race car, but if you can load it up with a front and rear end still on it then you've accomplished something."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a tough track mentally and physically on the drivers. Running 300 laps around that place takes a toll on you, especially with 42 other cars you have to worry about at all times. Todd had some bad luck at both races there last year, so we hope to help him turn that around this weekend. We're taking one of Greg's cars from last year and with a little luck we'll get it back to the shop in one piece."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 295 last ran Bristol, August '06 - finished first

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of my favorite tracks to race at. I've had success there in the past and we are bringing the same car we won in the fall with. Hopefully it runs just as well as last time, I know Drew (Blickensderfer), Richie (Davis) and all the guys at the shop have been working hard and it has been showing up at the track. We haven't quite earned the finishes we had hoped for the past two weeks, but hopefully we can turn that around this weekend and get the No. 17 team back to victory lane."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a really good track for Matt. He has won there in both the Busch and the Cup cars the past two years. We have had some really fast cars so far this year and we are hoping to continue that this weekend at Bristol."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Moisture Control Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK- 377 Ran last at Fontana; finished 4th

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"It should be a blast running at Bristol. It's our first short track race of the year and it's always exciting for the fans. We are running a special paint scheme for Scotts this weekend. We need to stay out of trouble and stay focused on the 'Big Picture' there. We need to finish in the top-10."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We will be bringing the Scotts Moisture Control Ford Fusion to Bristol. We had two good top-10 finishes there last year. We're looking forward to going back to Bristol and keeping our top-five, top-10 streak going."

-credit: rfr

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing