BUSCH: Richmond: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Roush Fenway Racing Richmond International Raceway, May 4-5 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400 Saturday May 5 7:00 PM Eastern on FOX/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Circuit City 250 Friday May 4 7:30 PM Eastern on ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Richmond International Raceway, May 4-5

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400
Saturday May 5
7:00 PM Eastern on FOX/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Circuit City 250
Friday May 4
7:30 PM Eastern on ESPN2/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed in the Kroger 200, a Craftsman Truck Series race, back in September of 2004. He started 35th and finished 35th after being involved in a wreck.

* Ragan is currently 26th in the Nextel Cup Championship point standings and 2nd in the Nextel Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year race.

* This will be Ragan's first career Busch Series Race at Richmond International Raceway

***

* In last year's spring race at Richmond, Greg Biffle led 54 laps before getting caught a lap down during a green flag stop. He was able to get back on the lead lap on lap 287 and drive to a fourth place finish.

* Biffle's fourth place finish in Richmond last season started a streak of seven top-10 finishes in a row.

* Biffle has five top-five and seven top-10 NASCAR Busch Series finishes as well as one win and three top-five's in the Craftsman Truck Series at Richmond International Raceway.

* Biffle finished 29th last week at Talladega and currently sits 16th in the point standings, 590 points out of the lead and 73 points out of the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run the multi-colored 3M paint scheme.

***

* Matt Kenseth has scored eight top-10 finishes at Richmond in 14 races, which ranks second behind Tony Stewart among all drivers at Richmond since Kenseth's rookie season in the NEXTEL Cup Series (2000).

* Kenseth has scored nine straight top-10 finishes in the Busch Series at Richmond and has 12 total top-10 finishes in 13 Busch Series starts at the .75-mile Virginia oval, including three straight third-place finishes.

* Kenseth has completed every lap so far in 2007, one of only two drivers to do so (Jeff Gordon).

* Kenseth's average finish in NEXTEL Cup this season is 8.6, second only to Gordon.

* Richmond International Raceway is one of 10 NEXTEL Cup tracks (including North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham) that Kenseth has scored a Cup victory.

***

* The Up and Up -- With his second top-five finish of the season, Jamie McMurray moved up five spots in the NEXTEL Cup point standings to seventh. The biggest gain of all drivers over the Talladega weekend.

* A Crown Royal Weekend -- McMurray will pilot the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion in this weekend's "Crown Royal presents the Jim Stewart 400"

* McMurray has only recorded two top-10 finishes at the .75-mile speedway. His best finish came in Sept. 2004 when he finished ninth.

* McMurray's average finish in nine races this season is 16.0 -- sixth best among all active drivers with nine starts.

* McMurray has recorded two top five and five top-10 finishes this 2007 season.

***

* After experiencing a bit of bad luck in Talladega, Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team have fallen to 12th place in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings with 1004 points, 517 points behind leader, Jeff Gordon

* In five NNCS starts at Richmond Edwards has two top-10 finishes

* Edwards' best finish at Richmond came in September of 2004 when he finished sixth

* The No. 99 Office Depot team will be unloading car RK-453. Edwards previously raced this car to a 12th-place finish at Bristol in March of this year

* This weekend Office Depot store #2352 from Fargo, N.D. will ride along with Edwards at Richmond

NNCS:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-467 Brand new car
     Back-up: RK-449 Previously ran at Bristol, finished 26th

Ragan on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond will be our fourth Car of Tomorrow race this season and so far we have had some pretty good races in the new cars. The guys in the shop have been working real hard to get the setups for these cars figured out and they are getting better each race. We had a good weekend in Talladega so hopefully we will be able to carry that momentum over into this weekend. We are hanging in there in the series points and in the Raybestos Rookie race so we look forward to gaining some more ground this weekend."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"David did a good job last weekend in Talladega. I think he learned some valuable lessons about camaraderie on the race track and that the role of being a rookie can be frustrating at times. All in all the team did a great job preparing the race car for the weekend and David did well on track. This weekend is another COT race so we have to sort of switch gears to get our car running well. David doesn't have a ton of experience at Richmond but he has had some fairly good finishes on the short tracks so far this year so I think he will be okay."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-404 Last ran at Phoenix, Apr. 21, finished 17th

Biffle on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I've always liked Richmond. It is definitely one of the top five tracks on the circuit in my opinion. We've run well there in recent years and I look for the same this weekend. Last year the spring race at Richmond started a string of seven top 10s in a row for me and it would be great to do that again. We had a great run in Talladega last weekend and stayed out of trouble until the final two laps. We'll have to rebound from that and a string of top 10s would certainly do it."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We're taking the same car we raced at Phoenix a couple of weeks ago. We had a little bit of a handling problem with it there but I think we've figured out where we went wrong. I feel confident that we're making the right decision in taking chassis 404 to Richmond. Greg runs well there and we're going to get the car where it needs to be for him. We've learned a lot so far this season and I think every week we're better for it. We lost a little ground in the points in Talladega but as a team you almost have to factor that in not knowing what will happen there. We've got some tracks coming up that Greg has historically race well at and I would be disappointed if we're not in the top 12 in the next couple of weeks."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-451 Last ran: Phoenix, Apr. 21, finished fifth. Also ran: Bristol, Mar. 25, finished 11th
     RK-458 Backup at Martinsville, never ran

Kenseth on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I always enjoy racing at Richmond. It's the ideal short track. It's wide, fast and smooth; pretty much all of the qualities that you usually don't associate with short-track racing. The thing I enjoy most of racing there is that you don't have to 'move' someone out of the way in order to pass them. You really don't have to move someone anywhere, you shouldn't, but at Bristol and Martinsville, it's a lot harder to avoid that situation than at Richmond, where there's plenty of room to set up the pass.

"We ran a lot better than I thought we would at Phoenix in the COT a couple of weeks ago. That's somewhat promising because the car we used at Phoenix was the car we tested at Richmond just a couple of weeks before that. The Richmond test was good for us and I think we learned some things that are going to help in our performance. Phoenix was definitely a step in the right direction and I hope we can continue that this weekend."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We're bringing the same car that we took to Phoenix and did a pretty good job with out there. We had a top-five car but we were just a little off on the final run there which put us fifth for the race. I feel a lot better now about our COT program than I did a month ago, but I'm sure we aren't the only ones singing that tune. Plus, we still have a little ways to go in order to compete against some of the guys who seem to have this thing figured out. We're not there yet but we're getting closer."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-463 -- Tested at Richmond -- April '07
    RK-415 -- Tested at Richmond -- April '07

McMurray on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Well, when the No. 26 tested at Richmond a few weeks ago, we didn't have the best test session -- actually, none of the Roush Fenway Racing cars did. However, I think we did learn a lot at the test and have had a few meetings back at the shop since then. I think with all the data we collected we have a pretty good idea of what we need to change to make our cars run better. Larry (Carter) and I have sat down and talked a lot about our plan for Richmond and I think we have a good setup heading into the weekend.

"In the past COT races we were a little wary going into the race, but came out pretty well at the end and hopefully this weekend won't be any different. This is a huge weekend for Crown Royal and I'm excited to be a part of it. To have a race named after a consumer is a pretty big deal. Jim (Stewart) and I hung out a little bit in Daytona and I know he is excited about the coming race. Hopefully, we can go out there and run well for Crown Royal and maybe even put our No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion in the top five again, or better yet, a win."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"The Crown Royal team is taking a brand new car to Richmond this weekend. It's a new car that has only been tested. We tested this car for two days at Richmond and it served as our backup in Phoenix. We tested two cars during the Richmond test and this one was clearly better than the other. We brought it back to the shop and worked on the body as much as we could and made some additional changes hoping to make it turn a little easier for Jamie. The problem was the car wouldn't turn in the center of the corners. I think we have that problem solved. Hopefully the car will run like it has at the other COT races this season. Another top-five finish for this No. 26 Crown Royal team would be huge, not only for us, but for Jamie and Crown Royal as well."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-453, previously raced Bristol, finished 12th

Edwards on racing at the Richmond International Raceway:
"I'm looking forward to going to Richmond -- especially after the disappointment of Talladega .We tested there (Richmond)a few weeks ago and I think we were able to learn some things that will help me in both the Busch and Cup races this weekend. Richmond is a challenging track to drive but fun at the same time. It's another car of tomorrow race, which will be another challenge in and of itself, but I think it will be great. My Office Depot team has been improving every week and I am looking forward to having a solid run and a good points day."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at the Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is a great track for a race. Carl has had some solid runs there in the past, so I know we are capable of good things there. We need to stay focused and continue to do what we know how to do and with that, we'll be able to run up front and get back into the top-10 in points. We have to keep our eye on the ball and learn from our mistakes while moving ahead to the next race. We've got a great driver and a great team and I believe that if we continue improving and stay focused there is no reason we shouldn't be in contention for the championship."

NBS:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-479 New car

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"We had an awesome run at Talladega last weekend. If we can build on that positive experience I am sure we can come out of Richmond with a great finish. Richmond is a fast short track that sets up nicely for our Ford Fusion. I think everybody on the Discount Tire team knows what we need to do this weekend. It is all about being patient and taking what the track gives us. It may sound simple but you can get caught up it some bad situations if you don't stay focused out there. I will do everything in my power to continue to be in the top-10 every week with a chance to win at the end of every race. A win is not far from the Discount Tire family".

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"I am happy where we are at this point in the race season. We are starting to come together as a team and overcome some of the early season adversity. Our short track program is developing as we speak, so I am very optimistic about our chances in Richmond. It doesn't hurt that we are bringing a brand new car to the party. The key to success for us at Richmond is staying in the front and taking good care of our equipment. We will need maximum effort from the entire Discount Tire team to pull off a great finish this weekend".

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-460 New car

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"I've always had fun racing at Richmond. It's such a cool track and racing under the lights really makes it a great race for the fans too. I'm still looking for my first Busch win there, although I've come close a few times. I've finished second twice, and got top fives in both races there last year. Eddie (Pardue) and the guys have been doing a great job this year, but we haven't had much luck. We've had a few bad races that have dropped us back in the points, so hopefully we can make up some ground at Richmond this weekend."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We've got a new car we are taking to Richmond this weekend that I think Greg will really like. It's not the car we ran at the test last month, but I believe this one will be better. I'm hoping the month of May will be more successful for us than April was. We've had some tough races the last three weeks so I'm hoping we can change that momentum at Richmond."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 395 Last ran Phoenix -- finished second

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"Richmond is a track where we've had some success at in the Busch car, but have never quite been able to pull off a win. Drew (Blickensderfer) and the guys keep giving me good equipment and we are able to go out there and be competitive each week. Actually the car we are taking this weekend is the same car we tested with a few weeks ago at Richmond and the same car that finished second at Phoenix. The car was fast during testing and hopefully we can carry that speed over into Friday night's race and pull off a good finish."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"Matt is really good a short tracks and has the record to prove that. We are taking the same car to Richmond that we tested there with. It was fast during testing and will hopefully be fast Friday night under the lights. Matt (Kenseth) has a great record at Richmond, but doesn't have a Busch Series victory there. Hopefully we can help him out and get a win at Richmond for Matt and Dish Network."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 Scotts Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK- 461 Ran last at Phoenix; finished 5th

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Richmond International Raceway:
"I love racing at night. It's great for the fans and I just think night racing at Richmond is awesome. Racing under the lights sets for a great atmosphere that makes every spark electrifying. I always have a blast there. One of my most memorable and exciting wins was at Richmond rubbing and bumping Elliott Sadler throughout the final lap of our 2005 win!"

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Richmond International Raceway:
"We look forward to taking the Scotts Ford Fusion to Richmond International Raceway. We had a real decent run at Phoenix with this chassis and hope to improve on that. We are taking a lot of things that we learned from that weekend and will apply them to the Richmond race. Carl runs really well at Richmond on Friday nights. Our Scotts team is focused on expanding our lead in the points."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Elliott Sadler , David Ragan , Mike Kelley
Teams Roush Fenway Racing