BUSCH: Charlotte II: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Roush Fenway Racing Lowe's Motor Speedway, Oct. 12-13 Charlotte, N.C. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Bank of America 500 Saturday October 13 7:00 PM Eastern - ABC/PRN NASCAR Busch Series: Dollar General 300 Friday October 12 3:30 PM Eastern -- ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Lowe's Motor Speedway, Oct. 12-13 Charlotte, N.C.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Bank of America 500
Saturday October 13
7:00 PM Eastern - ABC/PRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Dollar General 300
Friday October 12
3:30 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/PRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May 2007. He started 13th and finished 37th after being involved in an accident.

* Ragan is currently second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points race. He trails Juan Pablo Montoya by 15 points.

* Since 1975, only two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions for the fall race at Charlotte: Jeff Gordon (1993) and Ward Burton (1994).


* In the Coca-Cola 600 this spring, Greg Biffle cut a tire on lap 45, causing irreparable damage to the No. 16 Ford Fusion.

* Biffle has two wins, five top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes in 13 NASCAR Busch Series starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

* With the 23rd place finish last week at Talladega, Biffle and the team are currently 16th in the point standings, 118 points out of the 13th position. He is only two points behind Casey Mears in the 15th position and three points behind Ryan Newman in the 14th position.

* This weekend Biffle will run the 3M Ford Fusion.


* Matt Kenseth has scored four career victories at Lowe's Motor Speedway; 2000 Coca-Cola 600, 2004 All-Star Race, and two Busch Series wins.

* Kenseth's No. 17 Ford will don a special paint scheme this weekend; the Carhartt for Women scheme will help kick off Carhartt's first ever line of women's apparel this fall.

* Kenseth has an average start of 21.6 during the Chase at LMS; ranking eighth among all Chase tracks.

* Kenseth's average finish during the Chase at LMS is 17.0; ranking seventh among all Chase tracks.

* "Hard times, hard times, come again no more" -- Kenseth and the No. 17 team are experiencing an uncanny string of bad luck in the past three weeks, suffering a mechanical failure at Dover while leading three weeks ago, then getting caught up in wrecks the past two weeks at Kansas and Talladega, resulting in finishes of 35th, 35th, and 26th respectively. The last time Kenseth finished three consecutive Cup races 26th or worse was September of 2001, Richmond, Dover, and Kansas.


* Jamie McMurray returns to the track where he scored his first NEXTEL Cup Series win. McMurray's win came in only his second start at the NEXTEL Cup level while filling in for the injured Sterling Marlin.

* In 10 NEXTEL Cup Series starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway, McMurray has one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

* McMurray, with 112 laps, has led more laps at the 1.5-mile speedway than any other track in his NEXTEL Cup career.

* Lowe's Motor Speedway ranks as the eighth-best track for McMurray. Currently, he boasts a 15.4-average finish.


* Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently sixth in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup with 5485 points, 205 points behind the leader, Jeff Gordon

* Edwards will make his fifth Cup start at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend. In his previous starts, he has achieved two top fives and four top-10 finishes. His average finish at Charlotte is 7.8

* Edwards best finish at Lowe's is third place, captured twice -- once in May of 2005 and again in May of 2006

* The No. 99 Office Depot team will be unloading chassis No. RK-320. Edwards raced this car to a second-place finish at Fontana in September of this year

* Office Depot Store No. 699 from Muskogee, OK is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 at Charlotte this weekend


David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK- 394 Previously ran at Indy; finished 16th, Fontana; finished 12th
     Back-up: RK- 201 Previously ran at Michigan; finished 21st

Ragan on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I'm definitely looking forward to going to Charlotte for the second time this year. We had a great run going there in the spring and just ended up getting caught up in somebody else's mess. We have really improved a great deal on the mile and a half tracks since the beginning of the year so I am looking forward to bringing home a good finish at home and for all of the 50 million AAA members out there who are watching the race this weekend."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We are taking the same car to Charlotte that we took to Indy and California. It is a great racecar that we plan on running quite a bit more this year. I think Charlotte is one of the tracks that we have left on the schedule this year where David could really bring home a good finish. He was doing a great job back in May when we raced there and just got caught in a back situation ending our day early. We are still just outside of the top 20 in points and it is still our goal to make our way into it before the end of the season."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-431 California '07 -- finished 15th, Michigan '07 -- finished 38th, Chicago '07 -- finished 11th

Biffle on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Racing at home is fun and a little stressful at the same time. We're taking a car that is very similar to the one we won with at Kansas, so hopefully we'll have some luck with it this weekend. We cut a tire early in the Coca-Cola 600 and hit the wall hard enough to take us out of the race at that point. We'll need to work on overall grip. That seems to be a problem for us every time we go there and especially with the new tire compound. We lost a couple of positions in the points at Talladega and our goal these last few weeks is to get those back and maybe even pick up 13th if we can."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the car that we most recently finished 11th with at Chicago. It's been re-bodied with a newer style body that is very similar to the body on the car we won with at Kansas. The things that you focus on at Charlotte are getting the car to turn through the center and working on an overall lack of grip. We'll have the same tires we had in the spring, so we just have to adjust the handling and pit strategy to work for us with the tire wear we expect."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Carhartt for Women/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-323 Last outing: Michigan, Aug. '07 -- finished fourth. Also: Won Michigan, Aug. '06; Won Fontana, Feb. '06
     RK-340 Last outing: Pocono, August '07 -- finished 14th. Also: Served as backup in seven races in 2007

Kenseth on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I've always enjoyed racing at Charlotte. It's a fast racetrack that's pretty unique and demands a good handling racecar. Sometimes we've haven't had the best of luck there, but other times we have. We've been able to run pretty good there from time to time and the fact we won our first Cup race there will always make that place special to me.

"Speaking of luck, we haven't had much lately. This Chase has been pretty frustrating for sure, because our cars have been the best they've been all year, but we have little to show for it. It's the complete opposite of last year's Chase when our cars weren't that good, but we stayed out of trouble and would finish about 12th or 15th. A lot of other people had problems last year and if we would've been just a little better on car performance we could have won it all. But, this year, we can't seem to finish a race.

"Talladega was typical Talladega. Every time we go there, no matter what package we're running, we always have a big wreck that takes out a bunch of cars. We had been fortunate for the past couple of years not to be in one of those, but last Sunday we weren't as fortunate. But, there's nothing we can do about that. All we can do is worry about Saturday night and try to get this really cool paint scheme up front and hopefully a finish that's representative of how we've been running."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the same car we ran early in the year a lot and it actually started off with a win and four top fives, three of which came at intermediate tracks like Charlotte. Hopefully, it will be as good on Saturday and we can stay up front and compete for a win.

"This team has worked extremely hard this season to improve on these cars and get them to the point where we can compete. We've gotten to that point the last few weeks, but we don't have anything but a couple of torn-up racecars to show for it. But, we can't focus on the past. We have to be prepared for Saturday night and I know we will be. This team has too much pride to let the last few weeks get them down, and I'm pretty sure we'll bounce back strong on Saturday."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK--428 Last raced at Pocono -- August 2007 -- Finished 40th
     Backup: RK--403 Tested at Las Vegas -- March 2007

McMurray on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I'm really looking forward to returning to Lowe's this weekend. It's a track that will always be special to me and a track that I really do enjoy racing at each time we visit. In the spring I thought we had a pretty good race car, but we were caught up in a wreck early into the race. We pulled out a top-20 finish, but I know we were capable of running better than that. This weekend, we are taking a really good race car to Lowe's. We have run this car a few races this year and each race it seems to run really well and post pretty good finishes. I don't want to go as far to say that it's my favorite car, but certainly a car that I feel comfortable driving.

"Being caught up in that wreck last week was certainly not what our team needed. For the last few weeks we have continued to unload good racecars, and last weekend was no different. We had a strong car, but just couldn't make it to the end to show what we really had. I'm feeling really good about this weekend and the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion we are taking."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We are taking RK-428 to Charlotte this weekend, which is a team favorite car. This is a car that we have run at Charlotte, Pocono and a few other tracks this season. It's a car that Jamie feels good in and feels comfortable driving it. That always makes it easier on the crew chief side, because Jamie knows exactly what we need to do to this car to make it turn better and find the extra speed in the car. This is a car that has been pretty good to us this season, and hopefully this weekend in front of our hometown crowd, it will perform for us again.

I know all the guys on the No. 26 are looking forward to the race and having their family and friends at the track. So, hopefully we'll put on a good show for them and have a good run on Saturday night."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-320 previously raced California Speedway -- started 19th and finished second

Edwards on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Charlotte is going to be a tough track, but a lot of fun. I'm really excited to get back to a track that I feel comfortable at, in an Office Depot Ford that I know will be fast. We're bringing our California car this weekend -- the car we finished second in, so I'm confident we'll be good. We need a strong finish this weekend to make gains in the 'Chase' and try to move up in the points."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're looking forward to Charlotte, we're bringing what we think will be a competitive car and hopefully we'll get a strong finish. We have a strong Office Depot team and a driver capable of winning races, so hopefully we'll be able to continue our momentum this week and make gains towards the Championship. We've lost some ground over the past couple of weeks, but we're still in the race and we're not going to give up."

NASCAR Busch Series:

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway:

"Charlotte race weekend is one of the most exciting events of the race season. It is truly a special race. I am always excited when we can race at night. The veteran drivers get pretty aggressive on the tough pavement at Charlotte. The best approach for me is to go all out every lap. I can assure you I will be up on the wheel from the start of the race. The Discount Tire crew has worked extremely hard preparing a fast racecar that can run in the front all night. We have had a few set backs lately, but that won't deter us from trying to win this race. The bottom line is we are looking for a win and I believe we have the resources to get it done."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We are bringing our best car to Charlotte. We had three top-10 finishes with this Ford Fusion. I am confident in our setup for this weekend. I feel like we have a shot at winning this race. It doesn't get any better than racing under the lights at Charlotte. We have five races left in the season and a lot of guys are getting anxious for a win. I can tell you that our Discount Tire crew is as hungry as ever to get to Victory Lane. Our mile-and-a-half program has been extremely consistent this year and it will be no different at Charlotte."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-347 Last ran at Dover -- won the pole, finished ninth

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I love racing at Charlotte, but it's been a while since I've won a Busch race there. We're taking the same car we raced there in the spring that led a bunch of laps until we got a flat tire that ended our shot at a win. This car also won the pole at Dover last month, so it has run really well everywhere we've taken it. We've had so many strong runs this season and been a contender so many times, but we just can't quite get the win. I'm hoping after winning the Cup race at Kansas it will help our momentum on both teams."

Eddie Pardue on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"This whole 3M team is really looking forward to racing at Lowe's this weekend. No matter where you are from originally, this is a home race for everyone. A lot of the guys bring their families and friends to the race so we have extra fans pulling for us. We're taking the same car we raced at Lowe's in May which has turned out to be our workhorse car this year. We've run it at Charlotte, Texas, Dover and Chicago, and it's been a strong car everywhere we've taken it."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 iLevel by Weyerhaeuser Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 346 Last ran Kansas -- finished second

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"It's always fun to race at Charlotte. Not only is it pretty much in our backyard, but I've also had some success here. This is the race last year where you saw what happens when someone tries to go faster than the car is capable of going. I was going for the win coming off of four and the car just got away from me. Hopefully, we'll be in position to win again, like last year, except this time, we'll get a little better results. We've had a bunch of good runs lately; we just haven't been able to pull off a win. Racing in our hometown in front of family and friends is a great motivator, if we can get some good pit stops we should be able to contend for the win."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We had a little break and are ready to get back racing after our off weekend. The time off gave us a chance to turn around our Kansas car and get it ready for Charlotte. This car ran really well at Kansas and almost pulled off the win. Hopefully we can get the No. 17 iLevel Ford Fusion back up front this weekend and get the win we missed out on in Kansas."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK- 502 Last ran Kansas -- finished fifth

McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Charlotte is a very special track to me; it's where I got my very first Cup win. That alone is a good reason for me to love this place, but on top of that it's located right here at home. We travel so much that anytime you can race at home is fun. There are always tons of family and friends that show up to support you and you can sleep in your own bed. I haven't been able to win in the Busch car at Charlotte, but this is the same car we had at Kansas and it was really good there. Chad and my team have done a great job preparing cars for me and I'm sure this weekend we will be just as good, if not better, than we were in Kansas."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"The whole Dish Network team is looking forward to running with Jamie this weekend at Charlotte. We are bringing the same car Jamie drove to a top-five finish two weeks ago at Kansas. It was a great run and we feel pretty confident about the car going into Friday night's race. Everyone is excited to get to the track and contend for another top five and possibly even a win."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Winterguard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK- 427 Ran last at California; finished 26th

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I have been waiting to get back to Lowe's Motor Speedway. I love it. It's one of the fastest mile and a half tracks and it's very challenging. We've had our ups and downs there with the Busch car. We had a great win there last year, but had a couple promising Busch runs later with disappointing endings. Our Scotts Winterguard Ford Fusion will be very fast. We had a great test session earlier this season. Racing at Lowe's, especially under the lights, is very exciting. It's especially fun racing in front of the team's families and friends. We do have the big picture in mind, owner's points, and this is a race we can win."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Lowe's is always a great track to run and our Scotts Winterguard team is totally focused on getting back in the lead in the overall owner's points. We are bringing a great car. It's the one we tested earlier this year and stayed on top of the leader board for every session. This No. 60 team goes into Lowe's with high expectations and plans to put the Scotts Ford Fusion back in the top-five or even better."

-credit: rfr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing