BUSCH: Darlington: Roush Racing preview

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Dodge Charger 500 NASCAR Busch Series: Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Roush Racing Fast Facts * Mark Martin's 24 top 10 and 17 top-five finishes are the most of any active driver at Darlington. * Martin won the famed ...

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Dodge Charger 500
NASCAR Busch Series: Diamond Hill Plywood 200

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Mark Martin's 24 top 10 and 17 top-five finishes are the most of any active driver at Darlington.

* Martin won the famed Southern 500 at Darlington in Sept. of 1993.

* Martin has finished inside the top-seven in four of the last five at Darlington.

* Martin has finished inside the top-five in three of the last five at Darlington and he has posted three consecutive top 10's there.

* Martin's eight Busch wins at Darlington are a track record.

* This will be Martin's 26th Busch race at Darlington.

* Martin's eight Busch wins at Darlington are a track record, as are his eight poles.

* Martin's 47 wins in the Busch Series are the series record.

* Martin's 28 career Busch poles tie for the most ever in the series.

* Greg Biffle is currently 21st in the point standings, picking up three positions after a 4th place finish in Richmond.

* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 522 points out of the lead and are 169 points out of a top-10 position.

* In addition to his Cup record at Darlington, Biffle has one win and four top-five finishes in eight NASCAR Busch Series attempts.

* This weekend the No. 16 National Guard team will run the signature red, white and blue paint scheme.

* Matt Kenseth has an average starting position of 13.4 this season. That's by far the best of his NEXTEL Cup career since he began racing full time in the series in 2000, beating his next best average starting position of 17.02 in 2005.

* Kenseth is one of only two drivers (Jimmie Johnson) that has remained inside the top four in the NEXTEL Cup point standings since Fontana, the second race of the season.

* Kenseth's 38th place finish at Richmond last weekend was his worst finish since finishing 42nd at Phoenix, Apr. '05.

* Kenseth's Busch Series record at Darlington is brilliant. In 11 starts he has recorded two victories, seven top fives, ten top 10s, never finished worse than 12th, and has completed every lap in all 11 races (1617 of 1617).

* Jamie McMurray, in his five Cup starts at the Darlington Raceway, has two top-five's and three top-ten finishes.

* McMurray will be racing chassis number RK-227 this weekend, which was tested in Las Vegas earlier this year.

* McMurray has led laps in three out of his five Cup starts at the Darlington Raceway.

* Carl Edwards enters Darlington with an average finish of eighth; third among active drivers.

* After posting a third top-10 finish in-a-row at Richmond, Edwards moved up two more spots in the point standings to 13th. The team is currently only 53 points out of 10th place.

* Over the last three races, crew chief Wally Brown has led the Office Depot team to one top-five finish and two top-10 finishes.

* The Office Depot team will take chassis RK -- 270 to Darlington this weekend. RK- 270 is the favorite chassis among Edwards and the team, as it posted two wins for them in 2005.

* Fifty percent of Edwards' finishes this year have been top-10 * finishes. In Edwards' last three Nextel Cup races, he has neither * started nor finished a race outside the top 10.

NNCS

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusio
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-315 Finished ninth this year at California and sixth at Las Vegas Martin used the car last season in a victory at Kansas and a second place run at the season finale at Homestead.

Martin on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington is a cool track that I've always liked. I ran second there to Dale Earnhardt twice in '89 and '90 and finally won in '93. Sometimes I think that people seem to forget that I won a Southern 500. I've had a lot of success at Darlington and an enormous amount of Busch wins. The place brings back some great memories of some great battles. Actually the win in '93 was four in a row and that was a big deal.
"It's a jagged oval. It's not a smooth radius turn. The wall goes in and out and in and out. Your line is as smooth as anywhere else, but the track's all over the place. You go from touching the apron to touching the wall and you've never even changed directions. It's really narrow and banked a lot. The cars go really fast and the track goes everywhere so it's always a challenge."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"We really like the car that we are taking to Darlington this weekend and we know it's the type of track where Mark's talents can really stand out. We had a really good run there a year ago and we were really good there two years ago as well, so it's been a place where we've had success lately and it will just be up to us to put all the pieces in place and go out there and hopefully compete for the win."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-268 (Same car the team won with at Darlington in 2005)

Biffle on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington is one of the toughest tracks on the circuit. I've gotten several of the black stripes over the years but I'd still put it up there as one of my favorite tracks. Winning this race there last year was one of the highlights of my career. There's so much history at Darlington that winning there puts you on a list with the legends of the sport. I got my official parking spot on pit road next to Buddy Baker and David Pearson and I plan to use it as long as they let me keep it. We're going to go there with the car we won with last year and plan on doing everything we can to defend the title."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"We're taking the car that we won with there last year, so we feel pretty confident with that choice. We'll start with last year's notes and see how the car feels with the new tires. Darlington is one of the harder places to set a car up for because the tires wear out so fast that by the time you get a good run in, when you come in to make changes, you have to change the tires too. Qualifying well will be important as always for track position and pit selection."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-267 Last ran in Atlanta, Mar. '06; finished 13 RK-280 Tested at Charlotte, last ran Michigan, Jun. '06; finished 4 th

Kenseth on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington is kind of like our Lambeau field. There's a lot of history there and it's one of the places everyone wants to win at before they retire. Personally, I think the track is pretty cool. It's definitely unique. The track is so abrasive that your tires give up really fast. Darlington definitely rewards those drivers who can take care of their equipment. Fresh tires make a huge difference there. You saw that at the end of the Cup race last year when Newman was out front with worn tires on a green-white-checkered finish and the guys with fresh tires just blew right past him."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing Darlington Raceway:

"We're bringing a car to Darlington that ran real good in Atlanta earlier this year. We had some tire issues there but nothing that isn't correctable. Tire strategy isn't that big of a factor at Darlington because tires mean so much you have to take four or you're a sitting duck. There's not much of a decision on whether to take two tires or no tires, you need to take four every time. We'll be looking to turn our Darlington luck around this weekend. The past few races there haven't gone as planned to say the least, but we've been running pretty good lately and this team has a lot of confidence going in."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Car Number: RK-175 Tested in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Jamie McMurray on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Racing at Darlington is always fun and intense. You always run close to the wall and hope you don't take that extra inch and run too close to it. I've had some good finishes there so I always look forward to going back. The track is abrasive and fast -- you'll need good pit stops, speed and a good-handling race car to prevail at Darlington."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"The No. 26 team tested this car in Las Vegas earlier this year and had good results. It traveled to Fontana as a back-up car but hasn't seen any racing action yet this year. I think it will be a good one for us. We had a tough weekend in Richmond and didn't finish where we wanted, or even where we probably could have, had we not gotten caught on pit road when that caution came out. Jamie has a pretty good record at Darlington so hopefully we can leave with a top-ten finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Wally Brown
Chassis Number: RK-270 Last ran at Texas Motor Speedway April 2006; Finished 36th

Edwards on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"I can't wait to run Darlington this weekend. It is hands down -- my favorite track on the circuit. The track has a million different characteristics that makes it a very cool track to run. The shape of the track is unique -- one end is different than the other, so you have to set the car up for almost two different types of corners. And tire management, you have to set yourself up for the last run of the night. I really can't say enough about racing at Darlington. The Office Depot team is coming off of a great run over the last three weeks; I just hope we can carry the success into this weekend at Darlington. We are so close to cracking the top 10; and hopefully, with a good finish this weekend we will move up a few more spots."

Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington this weekend is going to be a lot of fun. I know it is track that Carl really enjoys running, so that helps us out a lot. Darlington is a tough track and not only for the driver. You have to be really careful with the set up of the race car. It is such a unique track that getting the handling just right is a tough balance. I am really proud of the guys over the last three weeks. We have made a lot of headway in the points and just hope we can come out of Darlington with another top-10 finish. Right now our goal is to get this Office Depot team into the top 10."

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 06 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: #1104 -- Primary at Bristol but damaged in practice

Todd Kluever on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington is such a cool track. I am so excited that I finally get the chance to race there. I was so disappointed that the trucks did not run there last year, but now I finally have the opportunity to race there.
"My first time there was in 2004 when I was competing in Roush's 'Race for the Ride,' or as most people know it -- the gong show. I won my ride with Roush at Darlington so it's always been one of my favorite tracks although I've never actually raced there. It's a very demanding track because it is so fast, so hard on your tires, and there is such a fine line between running the best line up against the wall and actually hitting the wall. I haven't earned my first official 'Darlington stripe' yet, but if that is what it takes to get a good finish for the 3M team, then I'm all for it."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"I think Todd will have a lot of fun racing at Darlington. We should have a pretty good Ford Fusion for him to drive so I don't think it will take long for him to figure out the fastest way around that place. We just need to get the right set-up under him to make sure he can get through both ends of the track since they are so different. It's a tough place to find the right balance to make the car good in both turns."

NBS

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-356 Texas earlier this season

Mark Martin on racing in the Busch Series at Darlington Raceway:
"We've had a lot of fun over the years with the Busch race at Darlington. We've been able to have some great battles and get a lot of wins there. It's a great track for racing and this will be our first Busch race there in five or six years, so I am excited about getting back out there for the Busch race."

GREG BIFFLE
Team: No. 16 iLevel Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-347

Greg Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Darlington Raceway:
"I can't wait to race at Darlington. It's one of my favorite tracks and I have my debut with the iLevel and Weyerhaeuser sponsor. Wait until you see my bright green Ford Fusion. It should be an exciting night race!"

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Our iLevel team is looking forward to night racing in Darlington. This is our first race with iLevel by Weyerhaeuser as our primary sponsor and I believe they have picked a great one. We are taking our best car. Greg loves Darlington, has a great record there and knows his way to Victory Lane."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-295 Last ran at Bristol in March '06; finished third RK-355 Yet to run in '06

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Darlington Raceway:
"We've had a lot of success at Darlington in the Busch Series. I've always enjoyed racing there. It's just a fun place to drive. Maybe some of my success there will rub off on my Cup car. Robbie and I won here in John's (Reiser) car back in 1999 and that was definitely a special day for all of us. This is one of those tracks that has always been good to me in the Busch Series and one of the reason I love going to Darlington."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington is a great track and presents a lot of challenges for a race team. The tire wear is so great that lap times fall off pretty drastically over the course of a run. With NASCAR limiting the sets of tires that Busch Series' teams can use over the course of a race weekend, it may very well come down to whoever has saved that last set of tires for the end of the race on Friday night."

Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Team: No. 50 World Financial Group Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-350

O'Quinn Jr. on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"I am really excited about going back to Darlington. I got a chance to get a little time on the track during the Driver X show, but I am really looking forward to my first race there in the Busch Series. This is a big weekend for Roush with all six Busch teams running and we are real proud to have World Financial Group on the car. I am also real proud of my team for all their hard work. Hopefully we will get a good finish here and bring it all home in one piece."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington should be a good weekend for us. Danny has got a little bit of familiarity with the track so that is one plus we have had over some of the other tracks we have been to so far. We have had a busy week getting the cars ready and testing in Charlotte, but the guys have done a great job and I think we have a chance at a good finish."

Carl Edwards
Chassis Number: No.60 Henkel Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis Number: RK- 357

Edwards on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Darlington is my favorite track. It's awesome! The "Lady in Black" has a lot of NASCAR history and always provides an exciting race. It's our second consecutive night race. Our Henkel Team has been on a roll and we keep creeping closer to a victory."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Darlington Raceway:
"Carl really loves Darlington. This track always provides its share of challenges and excitement. Friday night will be no exception. The Henkel Team can't wait to race again under the lights at the historic egg shaped oval. We've been on a roll and it's time to place the Henkel Ford Fusion in Victory Lane."

-rr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Todd Kluever , Doug Richert , Danny O'Quinn , Buddy Baker , Mike Kelley , Mark Martin , David Pearson