BUSCH: Homestead: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Roush Fenway Racing Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 16-18 Homestead, Fla. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Ford 400 Sunday November 18 3:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Ford 300 Saturday November 17 4:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN NASCAR...

Roush Fenway Racing
Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 16-18
Homestead, Fla.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Ford 400
Sunday November 18
3:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Ford 300
Saturday November 17
4:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Ford 200
Friday November 16
7:30 PM Eastern -- SPEED Channel/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed in the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2004. He started 36th and finished 31st.

* Ragan is currently 23rd in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings.

* Ragan is currently second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race. He trails Juan Pablo Montoya by 21 points.


* In Greg Biffle's three wins at Homestead, his largest margin of victory was .389 seconds over Martin Truex, Jr. in 2006 and the smallest was .017 seconds over Mark Martin in 2006.

* If Biffle were to win at Homestead this weekend, he would be the fourth driver to win four races in a row at the same racetrack in the modern era. Others who have accomplished this record are Jimmie Johnson at Charlotte, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Talladega and Bill Elliott at Michigan.

* Richard Petty (Richmond '70 -- '73) and Darrell Waltrip (Bristol '81 -- '84) are tied for the all-time record with seven races won in a row at the same track.

* Biffle has three top-five finishes and four top-10 finishes in seven NASCAR Busch Series starts at Homestead.

* With the second place finish last week in Phoenix Biffle and the team are currently 15th in the point standings, 65 points out of the 13th position with one race remaining.

* This weekend, Biffle will run the red and black Dish Network paint scheme.


* Matt Kenseth's third-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway last Sunday marked his fourth straight top-five finish. The last time that happened was in the spring of 2006 from a third-place at Darlington in May, followed by a fifth at Charlotte, a win at Dover, and a fifth-place at Pocono in June.

* Saying goodbye to the "old-style car" -- The final race before NASCAR switches completely to the COT in 2008, and fittingly running that final race at Homestead this Sunday is the No. 17 team's favorite chassis, RK-323. Built in late 2005, RK-323 has recorded two wins (Fontana, Feb. '06; Michigan, Aug. '06), eight top fives and 10 top-10 finishes in 16 starts; the first coming at Fontana in February of 2006.

* Kenseth's average finish during the Chase at Homestead is 9.3; ranking third among all Chase tracks.

* For the fourth and final time in 2007, Kenseth's No. 17 Ford Fusion will be painted black with the DEWALT NANO Technology paint scheme.

* Kenseth's average finish of 22.7 at Homestead-Miami Speedway ranks 22nd out of 23 tracks (including Rockingham) that he's raced on during his Cup career and last among all ovals tracks, thanks largely to two consecutive mechanical failures in 2002 and 2003.

* Kenseth will be racing the No. 17 Dish Network Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Busch Series on Saturday. Kenseth has recorded a win a six top-10 finishes in nine starts in the Busch Series at HMS, and is the defending winner of the Ford 300.


* Jamie McMurray scored one of his three career Cup poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Nov. 2003 -- the others coming at Pocono Raceway and Infineon Raceway.

* In five visits to the 1.5-mile speedway, McMurray has two top-10 finishes.

* In this weekend's Ford 400, the No. 26 Ford Fusion will don the 2008 Crown Royal paint scheme.

* Entering the final race of the 2007 season, McMurray is currently 17th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings, with one win, three top fives and nine top-10 finishes.


* After a disappointing finish at Phoenix, Carl Edwards is currently ninth in the "Chase" for the NEXTEL Cup with 6067 points, 505 points behind the leader, Jimmie Johnson

* Edwards will make his fourth Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. In his previous starts Edwards has achieved one pole, one top five and two top 10 finishes

* Edwards' average start at Homestead is 18; his average finish is 8.7. Edwards had led a total of 94 laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway

* Office Depot Store No. 2578 from Ithaca, N.Y. is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 this weekend at Homestead


David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Show Your Card & Save Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-394 Previously ran at Charlotte; finished 40th Indy; finished 16th Fontana; finished 12th
    Back-up: RK-201 - Previously ran at Michigan; finished 21st

Ragan on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"I don't have a whole lot of experience at Homestead. I raced in the Busch Series there a few years ago and I attempted to make the Cup race last year, so I have a little bit of time on the track, but nothing compared to the guys I will be competing against this weekend. We've had some disappointing races over the past few weekends. We really thought we were going to turn that around last weekend in Phoenix, but it just didn't work out for us the way we planned. This weekend is the grand finale for the 2007 season and we really want to finish off the year strong. We are taking one of our best cars, and we plan to have a good finish for AAA, Ford, and all the other great sponsors that we have with us."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"This weekend in Homestead we will be running the car that we took to Charlotte and Atlanta. It is one of our best cars and it is time that we show what it can do. We are also running the AAA Show Your Card & Save paint scheme, which is one of the guys favorite designs, so hopefully it will bring us some good luck. It is the final race of the season and as soon as we leave Miami we are heading home to start working on getting ready to go test. Daytona is right around the corner and we plan to come out of the box strong next year. It will be our goal to make the Chase for the Championship in 2008."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-315 Indy '07; finished 15th;Michigan '07; finished 19th Kansas '07; finished 1st Atlanta '07; finished 22nd

Biffle on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"Obviously, Homestead is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. I don't know how many drivers have won four in a row at a track, but I know it's going to be fun to try to get it done. We're taking the car we won with at Kansas, and if we could get one more win for the season, that would be a great way to head into Daytona. Winning at Homestead is pretty cool because you're the most recent race winner from the end of November until the beginning of February. It's just a great way to end a season; even a less than successful one like we've had this year. I feel like we're coming together as a team, and the second place finish at Phoenix last weekend was a big boost."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"We're taking the car that we won with at Phoenix and sat on the pole with at Atlanta. We're working hard with the engineering department to see what more we can learn about our performances at these mile and a half racetracks. We've got the notes from Greg's 2006 Homestead setup that we're going to look at, and likely use, but we've also learned a lot from what worked at Kansas and what didn't work at Atlanta. We'll have the same tire compound at Homestead as we did at Atlanta, and we struggled a little there, so we have to take what we learned from that and not go in the same direction at Homestead. The car is likely to be tight, so we'll need to work on making sure it turns through the corners as the track temperature changes throughout the race. Biffle has three in a row at Homestead, and believe me when I tell you that we are going to do everything we can to make it four in a row."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT NANO Technology Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-323 Last outing: Atlanta, Oct. '07; finished 4th
    Also: Won Michigan, Aug. '06; Won Fontana, Feb. '06
    Finished sixth at Homestead one year ago
    RK-340 Last outing: Pocono, August '07; finished 14th
    Also: Served as backup in 11 races in 2007

Kenseth on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"The racing at Homestead, ever since they reconfigured the track, has been great. It has multiple grooves and you can really search around for the best line that suits the way your car is handling. It's a very smooth racetrack and we've had some decent cars there the past couple of years.

"It's the last race of the season, and overall, I'd say ours has been pretty good. Of course, we would like to have won more races, but here lately we've been running really well. I've said this a lot but I believe the more times you can put yourself in position to win then eventually some things will start falling your way and you'll win one. We've done that the past three weeks. We've been in position to where we were able to compete for the win, so hopefully we can do the same this weekend and end the year on a really good hot streak.

"Last year everything went right for us in the Chase and we just ran terribly. This year we ran competitively, not as good as the 48, but pretty darn competitively where we could be in the hunt, but we had a lot of problems along the way. All in all, I'm proud of this team and looking forward to this weekend. We're trying to close the year out with a win."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"This is the last race with the old car and we're taking our best one down to Homestead. This chassis has been our workhorse for the past two seasons and has been a really good car for us. It's won a couple of races and come very close to winning a few more.

"We've been really close for the past three weeks now to getting a win. It seems like something happens at the end of each race to where we can't quite get over the hump. We take four tires at Atlanta and then never run another green-flag lap. We take two tires at Texas and four tires came along and got us right there at the end. Then, at Phoenix, we had a big lead and we get a debris caution, got caught in traffic, and it just didn't work out for us at the end.

"However, these guys have done one heck of a job the past four weeks, really throughout the whole Chase. Our performance has been the best it's been all year during the Chase, we were just unfortunate to have some things go bad for us early on in the Chase, or else we'd be pretty close to contending for the championship. I'm proud of how this team stayed the course when so much went wrong, and we've been able to bounce back nicely because of their hard work and great attitude."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK-393 Last raced at Texas, Nov. 2007; finished ninth
Backup: RK-403 Tested at Las Vegas, March 2007

McMurray on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"It's really tough to believe we are already going to Miami this weekend. It seems like this season has flown by. I'm really proud of how far this team has come this season. From the moment Larry (Carter) joined the team, you could sense a difference with all the guys. They all believe in him and this program. I have to say, our "Car of Tomorrow" program has come a long way and I know we are making strides with it. I think it will be a lot better for everyone once we are all in the same car all season long.

"This weekend we are taking the same car that we ran well with in Texas. We finished in the top-10, and it's a car that I really think will perform well for us this weekend in Miami. We are also running our 2008 paint scheme on the car. It's a new decal package, along with a slightly new color. It would be great to end the season on a high note in our No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"This weekend we are taking RK-393 down to Miami with us. It's the same car that we ran at Texas a few weeks ago and has been a pretty good car for us at the 1.5-mile tracks. It's weird that it will be the last time we run the current style car, before switching everything over to the 'Car of Tomorrow' next season. For the last couple of months, this No. 26 team has done a great job with unloading really fast race cars. Hopefully, that will hold true for us this weekend in Miami. I'd really like for our No. 26 team to end the season with a really strong run."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-320 Last ran Fontana in Sept. '07; started 19th, finished 2nd
    Ran Texas in Nov. '07; started 21st, finished 26th

Edwards on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"The last two weeks we've had great race cars, but we've had some mechanical troubles that have kept us from realizing our potential. This week, we're not going to have those issues and we're bringing a really great Office Depot car that we raced at California and Texas. Hopefully, we'll have a top five run that will clinch us inside the top 10 in the 'Chase'. I really like Homestead -- I ran eighth there last year and my teammates have won there the past couple of years -- as a whole, Roush Fenway Racing runs really well there, and hopefully my Office Depot team will be able to cap off the 2007 season with a win.

"Homestead-Miami is pretty much the home track for Office Depot, since they are headquartered just up the road in Delray Beach. I'm really looking forward to spending time with the associates at their campus this week and having a great showing for them in the Ford 400 this weekend."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"We really needed to have a better day last week at Phoenix. Our Office Depot Ford was extremely fast and well on its way to victory lane, but a parts failure ended our day early and really hurt us in the point standing. All we can do is the best we can this weekend at Homestead and hopefully end our season with a strong finish. The Office Depot team really stepped it up in the pits the last few weeks, so if they continue their good work and we can give Carl another a fast car, which I think we can, we should be able to run up front. We'll just have to see what happens."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-375 Last ran at Chicago, Jul. '07; finished 19th
     Ran at Las Vegas, Mar. '07; finished 24th

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"I have one race at Homestead under my belt and I look forward to the challenge it poses this weekend. It is a tough mile and a half race track with gradual banking. I am a little disappointed is our finishes the last couple of weeks, so I think we are due for a strong finish. I would like to cap off this season with a win and the Rookie-of-the-Year title. I know they are both within reach, I just have to do my part in making that dream a reality."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"We want to finish the season strong. I think everybody on this team feels good about our chances this weekend. A top-five would be nice, but a win is the ultimate goal. We have been so close a few times this year, but haven't gotten all the breaks needed to get to victory lane. I think our biggest achievement this year will be finishing in the top-five in points. There are a lot of quality race teams competing every week and to be among the elite is truly an honor. Everyone knows that we need a strong finish to validate that achievement."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-347 Last ran at Texas earlier this month; finished 16th

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"I love racing at Homestead. Although I've never won a Busch race there, I have won the last three Cup races in a row, so hopefully that will carry over to the Busch car this weekend. I still can't believe this team has not won a Busch race this year. We've been so close so many times and we always seem to have something go wrong. Last week at Phoenix we had a strong car, but got caught in a wreck on a restart. This is our last chance to get a win for 3M and the guys on this team before the season ends. We've got the same car that should have won at Texas two weeks ago, so hopefully it will be just as strong at Homestead."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"Greg has won a Busch race every year for the past six years, so our goal this weekend is to keep that streak going for him. There have been at least three, or four races that we thought we had in the bag this year until bad luck came our way. Hopefully this will be our weekend. We've got the car, driver and pit crew, now we just need the good luck."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
    Chassis: RK-360 Last ran Texas; finished fifth

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"It's been another good year in the Busch Series for us. Drew and the guys on the No. 17 team have given me great cars all season and have been a lot of fun to work with. We've been up front competing for the win multiple times this year, but seem to walk away with second place a little too much. Hopefully we can repeat what we did last year and pull off a win at Homestead."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"This whole team has worked really hard this season putting together competitive cars for Matt. The season started off well, but now we seem to be coming in second a lot. We are all tired of settling for second and really want to go out there and win the final race of the season. Matt won this race a year ago and we are bringing a strong car, so lets hope for the best and see what happens."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 World Financial Group Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK-371 Last ran Dover; finished 40th

McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"Wow, I can't believe this is the last race of the season already. It has really blown by, but I guess it always seems to do that. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Chad and the entire No. 26 Busch Series team this season. They have given me some great cars and we've had some strong runs. I haven't run a Busch race at Homestead in a few years, so I'm excited to get out there and see how we can do."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"The No. 26 team is glad to welcome World Financial Group onto the car this week. We are bringing chassis 371, which is a car we've had some really good runs with in the past. We put a brand new body on it from Dover and are excited to run this car this weekend and see how Jamie does in it. We look to end out the season on a high note with a really good finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 Scotts Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK-427 Last ran at Lowe's, October '07; finished 33rd

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"Wow, I can't believe the season will be over this weekend. Homestead is an awesome 1.5-mile track with lots of grooves, just like I like. I had a great Busch race there last year finishing second. Since the championship is locked up, I plan on pressing it to the hilt and going for the win. It would be great to cap off the season with a victory for Scotts."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"This will be the last hoorah for the Scotts Ford Fusion this season. We're going to go down there with some pretty high expectations and we should run pretty well. We have been doing okay on our big track program and we'll go for the win. It's been an up and down season and our Scotts team would love to end on a high note."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-253-36 Last raced at Texas in June; started 3rd, finished 6th

Kvapil on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"Homestead is a really great track, especially since they reconfigured it a few years back. It's a special place to me; it's where I clinched the truck series championship back in 2003. You can run three and four wide there, there's so much room to move around. It's probably one of the best tracks as far as putting on a show for the fans."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"We've really had a tough end of the season. It seems like things just aren't going our way at all. This is our last race with Travis, and we'd like to end our relationship on a positive note. We had a strong race at Homestead last year with Mark Martin, and it would be great to have the same success this time around."

T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-225-33 Last raced at Texas two weeks ago; started 29th, finished 17th

Bell, NCTS at Homestead-Miami Speedway: -No previous starts

Bell on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"I've never raced at Homestead, but I couldn't be looking forward to this weekend any more. No matter what series it is, the racing is always awesome from there. It gets great reviews from drivers, crews and fans alike. I hope we can have a good finish there this weekend to finish out the season on a strong note"

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"We finished third here last year with Erik Darnell, and that was his first time at the track. Hopefully we can have the same result with T.J. here this weekend. He really gets around the mile-and-a-half tracks well, they seem to suit his driving style."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-386-53 Last raced at Atlanta; started 9th, finished 26th

Darnell on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"I really enjoy racing at Homestead. We ran well there last year, and we'd like to be able to back that finish up. Ending the season with a good finish is really important to us. It seems that all three of the Roush Fenway truck teams have had terrible luck of late, so we'd like to turn that around at Homestead."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
"We're expecting to have a strong race this weekend in Homestead. Erik ran well there last year, and we've got a truck that we feel is capable of bringing home a strong finish. Staying out of trouble is key. We've had some terrible luck with getting caught up in other people's wrecks lately. If we can run our race and stay out of the messes, we should be able to bring home a good finish."

-credit: rfr

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing