BUSCH: RFR Watkins Glen, Nashville preview

Roush Fenway Racing Watkins Glen International, Aug. 10-12 Watkins Glen, N.Y. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Centurion Boats at the Glen Sunday August 12 1:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Zippo 200 at the Glen Saturday August 11 3:00...

Roush Fenway Racing

Watkins Glen International, Aug. 10-12
Watkins Glen, N.Y.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Centurion Boats at the Glen
Sunday August 12
1:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Zippo 200 at the Glen
Saturday August 11
3:00 PM Eastern - ESPN 2/MRN

Nashville Superspeedway, Aug. 10-11
Lebanon, Tenn.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Toyota Tundra 200
Saturday August 11
6:00 PM Eastern - SPEED Channel/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan has never competed in a NASCAR event at Watkins Glen.

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* Montoya leads David Ragan by 26 points (211-185) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the August 12 Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

* The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie at Watkins Glen is second by Ryan Newman in 2002. Only one other Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-five finish at The Glen: Robby Gordon, who placed fourth in 1997.

* The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie at Watkins Glen is second by Greg Biffle in 2003.

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* Last year at Watkins Glen, Greg Biffle was running a top-five time in qualifying when he got loose and struck the wall. He started in the back with the backup car but contact with Kyle Petty early in the race sent him to the garage for several laps of repair.

* Biffle has one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Watkins Glen and two top-five finishes in the Busch Series at the 2.45-mile road course.

* Biffle finished 23rd at Pocono last week and currently sits 15th in the point standings, 216 points out of the top 12 with five races remaining until the Chase.

* This weekend Biffle will debut the Wii paint scheme which he will also run later this season at Dover.

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* Matt Kenseth's 11.4-average finish this season ranks second among Cup drivers who have competed in all 21 events.

* Watkins Glen International is one of only two tracks that Kenseth has yet to record a top-five finish; the other is Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

* While Kenseth has yet to record a top-10 finish in eight starts at Sonoma (his only track without a top 10), he has managed to score three top 10s in seven starts at The Glen.

* Kenseth's average start at Watkins Glen is 16.4; career best among 23 Cup tracks (including North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham) and 4.5 spots better than his career average for all tracks of 20.9.

* Kenseth has led only one lap in six races at Watkins Glen; third worst among tracks ahead of only Homestead and Sonoma.

* When the series stopped at Watkins Glen in 2005, Kenseth, who ended up in the Chase, was in 15th in the standings, 168 points out of 10th, (the cutoff at the time for the Chase).

* Kenseth will be driving the No. 17 Aflac Ford Fusion in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen. It will be the first time since 1999 that Kenseth has competed in the NBS at The Glen.

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* In four starts at the 2.45-mile road course, Jamie McMurray has never finished off the lead lap. McMurray has one top-five finish at Watkins Glen.

* McMurray's average finish at Watkins Glen International is a 12.8, which is his second best track on the NEXTEL Cup circuit. (Behind Fontana)

* McMurray's best finish at The Glen came in August 2006, when he finished third.

* McMurray had led one lap at Watkins Glen, which came in his first start at the road course in 2003.

* McMurray is currently 17th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings and only 252 points out of the "Chase."

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* Carl Edwards will make his third NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start at Watkins Glen International. In his two previous starts, Edwards has one top-five and one top-10 finish

* After 21 races, Edwards remains sixth in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings, with 2682 points, 554 points behind the leader

* Office Depot is launching its "Great Tunes to Start School Concert Sweepstakes" featuring Gavin DeGraw. A national promotion where one randomly chosen school will win a private concert by Gavin. Students, parents and teachers can enter the "Great Tunes to Start School Concert Sweepstakes" through August 31, 2007. Check out www.school.com for details. The promotion is tied directly to Office Depot's 5% Back to Schools Program that turns customer purchases into credits schools can use for classroom supplies.

* Office Depot store No. 2527 from Clovis, Cali. is the weekly sales winner and will ride along with Carl on the No. 99 this Sunday at Watkins Glen

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Centurion Boats at the Glen

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-490 Previously ran at Sonoma; finished 29th Back-up: RK-495 Brand new car

Ragan on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I have never raced at the Glen before and this will only be my second road race in a NEXTEL Cup car so I made sure to make it up to the track last week and make some laps around the place. I was in a small, almost street car so there is still going to be a lot of learning to be done when we get out on the track this weekend, but at least I got a better idea of what I am getting into. We had a little bit of a rough weekend in Pocono so we are hoping to redeem ourselves this weekend and build up some momentum going back into Michigan."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"This will be David's first trip to the Glen and with little experience on the road courses there are going to be some things that he is going to have to pick up pretty quickly about this track compared to others. He had done fairly well on the road courses that he has run on this year and he has made the effort to get to these tracks and at least check them out so he doesn't come up on race weekend and lay eyes on the place for the first time. We are taking the COT that we ran at Sonoma and finished 29th in so hopefully we will be able to get a better finish this weekend in New York."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Wii Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-491 Last outing: Infineon '07 - finished fifth

Biffle on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I enjoy racing at Watkins Glen and we've run well there in the past. Our finishes obviously don't reflect that but we've had some mechanical issues there late in the race a couple of times. I had a win there in the truck series and a couple of good finishes there in the Busch Series, so I don't think a good Cup finish is out of the question. We're taking the car we finished fifth with at Infineon in June and I feel pretty confident in taking it to Watkins Glen this weekend."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"We're taking the same car we raced at Infineon earlier this year. We had a good run with it there and I think that Watkins Glen is an even better track for Greg. He hasn't really had the finishes there to show it but he's run well there. This is what we believe to be our best road course car in the fleet. We also tested it earlier this year at Road Atlanta and felt confident with the laps Greg ran there as well. Barring anything crazy happening, I think we can realistically go to Watkins Glen with weekend with a top-five finish as our goal."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-492 Last and only outing: Sonoma, June '07 - finished 34th RK-481 Never raced, served as backup in Sonoma

Kenseth on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"Road courses really aren't my specialty by any stretch of the imagination, but of the two we race on, I like Watkins Glen a lot better than Sonoma. The Glen is a lot faster and there's more room to pass. There are two or three good passing zones at The Glen where at Sonoma there's really only one. You also don't have the big elevation changes at Watkins Glen like you do at Sonoma which make it a little bit easier.

"We weren't near as bad as where we finished at Sonoma. We had several problems that got us terrible track position and then we ended up running out of gas coming to the white flag. So, I think the car is capable of a good finish. Obviously Jamie (McMurray) and Greg (Biffle) had good runs in Sonoma, and hopefully we can join them this weekend and run inside the top 10.

"I think running the Busch car on Saturday will help me on Sunday. It's the first time I've raced the Busch car at Watkins Glen in a long time so I'm hoping it will help me prepare for Sunday's Cup race. Any time you can get more seat time at a track you struggle at, it can only make you better."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"We're taking the same car we took to Sonoma and I think the car was pretty good out there. We just had some terrible luck that day, getting caught up in a couple of wrecks and then running out of gas killed us at the end. I don't believe Watkins Glen will turn into a fuel mileage race like Sonoma, which is good for everybody. I don't think anyone wants to plan to win a race on fuel mileage, but it is what it is, and sometimes that's the way you have to play it.

"Our number one concern right now is getting our cars to run better heading into the Chase. Watkins Glen hasn't been one of our best tracks over the years, but hopefully we can go there, take care of business and get a top 10 out of it. Really, it's all about the four races after this weekend, gaining some momentum at some tracks coming up that we've been pretty successful at over the years. We'd like to use those as a springboard into the Chase, but for this weekend, it's all about survival for us."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK-485 - Last raced at Sonoma, June '07; Finished 37th; Led 30 lap Backup: RK-496 - Brand New Chassis

McMurray on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"The No. 26 Crown Royal team just hasn't been able to put it together over the last couple of weeks. Last weekend in Pocono was tough on me and all the guys. We thought we had a good car going into the weekend, but on Sunday that just wasn't the case. I'm glad we are heading to Watkins Glen this weekend. After the run we had in Sonoma, I'm expecting another good run this weekend. I hate that Sonoma had to come down to a fuel mileage deal; I wish we could have raced it out to the end. This weekend we are going to do everything that we can to avoid having to count on two laps of fuel in making the difference if we win or have a bad day.

"We are taking the same car we ran in Sonoma which I felt really good about; it was one of the best cars the guys have given me all season. I've said this for a couple weeks now, but I certainly hope all the bad luck is out of us and we can move on. The last three races have been a struggle. If we are going to make the 'Chase,' we certainly need to run a lot better than we have recently."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I know personally I'm excited about going to Watkins Glen this weekend. In the last road course race, I know we had the car to beat and it came down to not having enough fuel to make it two more laps. I know I was disappointed and so was the whole team. This weekend we are returning to another road course race with the same car we took out to Sonoma. We haven't really adjusted much on the car, which is a good thing. I think it should be a better weekend all around for the No. 26 guys. Not only do we have a great car, but we know how much Jamie enjoys running at the road courses. It should be pretty good."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-482 led 11 laps in Sonoma in June, before Edwards ran out of fuel and finished 18th

Edwards on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I am excited about racing Watkins Glen. It's a really fun track to drive and I feel really good about the car we're bringing. It's the same car that we raced at Sonoma and I know it's a fast piece that is capable of leading laps. I think it's a good car that's capable of winning. Hopefully our pit strategies will work out this weekend and we'll be able to make some gains in the point standings."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I'm looking forward to racing Watkins Glen. We are bringing our Sonoma car there this weekend. It's a really good car that could've won at Sonoma but our pit strategy didn't play out they way we'd hoped. We struggled a lot last weekend and I'm very disappointed in our performance. I am really looking forward to having a better weekend in Watkins Glen."

NASCAR Busch Series: Zippo 200 at the Glen

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-424 Brand new car

Ragan on racing in the NBS at Watkins Glen International:
"I am looking forward to putting last week behind us and getting on the course this weekend. I feel comfortable with the setup at Watkins Glen. The high speeds make up one of the great characteristics of the course. The Discount Tire team has been a little inconsistent lately but I feel this weekend can be a turning point in the season. As long as we maintain our composure and stay out of trouble early in the race, we should be fine. We also have to be solid on and off of pit road because good track position can help win races down the stretch."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I am excited about our chances this weekend. We are bringing a brand new car to the tough road course. It is also to our advantage that David ran at an extremely tough road course at Montreal last weekend. The ability to stay in rhythm on a road course is almost as important as having a fast racecar. David tested well at Watkins Glen early last week, so familiarity with the course will not be a problem. Track position is important, but there are many passing zones on the course. We slipped a little in the point standings, so a good finish is a must this weekend. A top-10 finish would put the Discount Tire team back on track."

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-488 - This is a new car

Kluever on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"It seems to take me a little while to get used to these road courses, so hopefully this week I'll still be in road course rhythm and we can start off a lot better than we did in Montreal. I thought we'd be able to do better at Montreal. It seems like it takes me one time at these tracks to really get a handle on it. Last year in Mexico City we were bad and came back and finished 11th there this year, so I believe we'll have a better finish at Watkins Glen. The Glen is a little more forgiving course than Montreal so that will be a big help too. There is more room and it's not nearly as hard on the brakes. Last week our car was better than the driver so I hope to improve on that this weekend."

Eddie Pardue on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"We're taking a new car to Watkins Glen this weekend. The Glen will be a bit easier for us since we know what to expect there. We have notes from the past races there unlike running at Montreal last weekend. Todd did a lot better on his second trip to Mexico City this year and I expect he'll have a better run at Watkins Glen compared to last year, and even last weekend."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 510 Brand new chassis

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Watkins Glen International:
"Watkins Glen is a track I have struggled at in the past, plus it has been a long time since we have run a Busch car there. This race wasn't even on my schedule at the beginning of the year, but I'm glad it was added. A little practice at a road course can't hurt. My team built a brand new car so we'll see how it does and hopefully get a good finish."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"Watkins Glen was added to our schedule last minute and the team worked really hard building and getting this new chassis ready for this weekend. Matt (Kenseth) may not have the best record at Watkins Glen, but it has also been awhile since he has been in a Busch car there. If all our hard work pays off we should have a strong run in the No. 17 Aflac Ford Fusion."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK-489 Brand new chassis

Edwards on racing in the NBS at Watkins Glen International:
"We had a very strong road course car at Montreal last weekend, but we didn't get the finish we wanted. I can't wait to get back into my Busch car this weekend and tackle Watkins Glen and its eleven turns and banking. It's always challenging, but I really like it a lot. I'm looking forward to it and I plan on coming out of there with a very solid finish."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"The whole team is excited about bringing the Dish Network Ford Fusion to Watkins Glen this weekend. We learned a lot last week in Montreal and can't wait to get back to racing. It will be good to be back at the same track as the Cup guys. It's a big road course and it's going to be a long race. Carl's really determined to finish well and gain some points. Hopefully, we will come out of the Glen with a top-three finish."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Toyota Tundra 200

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-319-43, last raced at Kentucky where Kvapil started seventh and finished second

Kvapil on racing at Nashville Superspeedway:
"Nashville is one of the concrete racetracks that the Craftsman Truck Series races at. That adds some challenges as it reacts differently than pavement does to temperature changes and whatnot. It's a speedway, but it has characteristics of a short track. The corners are very tight and you need a good handling racecar to get around there."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Nashville Superspeedway:
"We've run well here in years past, and we're looking to continue that trend. Travis runs really well on the concrete tracks, so we feel like we'll have a shot at the win. We feel like we had the truck to beat last time out at O'Reilly Raceway Park but we didn't get the win, so we're coming to Nashville looking to make up for that."

Danny O'Quinn
Team: No. 50 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-363-48, Last raced at Texas, Nov. '06 - Michel Jourdain, Jr. started 30th, finished 24th

O'Quinn on racing at Nashville Superspeedway:
"I'm really looking forward to making my first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at Nashville this weekend. We're heading to a racetrack where I've made some starts in the Busch Series, so I've got some experience on my side heading into the weekend. Matt Puccia and all the guys on this No. 50 team have been doing a great job this year, and I'm looking forward to making the most of this opportunity with them."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Nashville Superspeedway:
"We're looking forward to working with Danny this weekend in Nashville. He's shown that he knows how to get around this place in a Busch car, he's had some good runs there. I'm sure it will take him a few laps to get familiar with how the trucks handle, but we tested at Bristol with him a few weeks back and everything went very well. It should be a good weekend for the Northern Tool + Equipment team."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-384-50, last raced at Milwaukee where Darnell started seventh and finished sixth

Darnell on racing at Nashville Superspeedway:
"I've had a lot of experience at Nashville, racing in the AutoZone Elite division over the past few years. I really enjoy racing there, it's a very unique racetrack. We won the pole for this event last year but got taken out in the early going. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble this year and get a good finish"

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Nashville Superspeedway:
"Our weekend started out very well here last year when we won the pole, but it went downhill shortly after that when we got taken out from behind. Erik has raced here before and knows what it takes to get the job done. We've struggled with consistency this year, but we feel like we're gaining on it and getting back to what's expected of this team. We feel like we're capable of having a strong run this weekend, so we'll head to Nashville with the expectation that we'll do just that."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kyle Petty , Greg Biffle , Robby Gordon , Ryan Newman , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Todd Kluever , Erik Darnell , Danny O'Quinn , Greg Erwin , Mike Kelley , Travis Kvapil , Michel Jourdain
Teams Roush Fenway Racing