BUSCH: Roush Fenway Racing Charlotte/Manfield preview

Roush Fenway Racing Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 24-27 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Coca-Cola 600 Sunday May 27 5:00 PM Eastern on Fox/PRN NASCAR Busch Series: Carquest Auto Parts 300 Saturday May 26 7:30 PM Eastern -- ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 24-27

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Coca-Cola 600
Sunday May 27
5:00 PM Eastern on Fox/PRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Carquest Auto Parts 300
Saturday May 26
7:30 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/PRN

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Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, May 25-26

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Ohio 250
Saturday May 26
1:00 PM Eastern -- FOX/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan has competed at Lowe's Motor Speedway previously in the Busch Series Dollar General 300 in October 2006. He started 10th and finished 36th.

* Ragan also competed in the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 in a Craftsman Truck on May 19th 2006. He qualified 12th and finished the race in 25th place.

* Ragan most recently competed in the Nextel Open on May 19th, 2007. He qualified second for the event and finished 22nd.

* Ragan is currently 26th in the Nextel Cup Championship point standings.

* Ragan is also second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race. Juan Pablo Montoya leads with fours points over Ragan.

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* In last year's Coca-Cola 600 Greg Biffle rarely raced outside of the top-10 and finished seventh, his third top-10 finish in a string of seven.

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

* Biffle finished 15th two weeks ago at Darlington and currently sits 16th in the point standings, 105 points out of the top 12.

* This weekend Biffle will run a red and black Dish Network paint scheme. He is scheduled to run the Dish Network paint scheme 12 more times this season.

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* 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 win in the 2000 Coca-Cola 600 was the first of his Cup Series career and the first and only time a rookie has won the event.

* Chassis number RK-323, that Kenseth will pilot in Sunday's event, ran last weekend in the All-Star race (leading 36 laps and finishing seventh) was the workhorse for the No. 17 team in 2006, racing in 10 events and scoring two wins, five top fives, and seven top 10s.

* Kenseth's average finish in the NEXTEL Cup Series this season is 8.5, second only to Jeff Gordon.

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

* Kenseth and the No. 17 team will be flying the R+L Carriers colors this weekend for the first of four races in 2007; Daytona, Fontana, and Martinsville being the other three.

* Kenseth has five top-five finishes in seven starts in the Coca-Cola 600 including the win in 2000.

* Kenseth made his first career NASCAR Busch Series start at LMS in May of 1996, driving a Chevrolet for Wegner Racing; he finished 31st.

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

* McMurray is currently scored 12th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings.

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

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

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* The Office Depot 2007 Small Business of NASCAR has been selected, look for the special decal to run on the No. 99 this weekend at Lowe's.

* Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently 10th in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings, with 1291 points. 590 points behind leader, Jeff Gordon.

* In four NNCS starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway Edwards has two top-five and four top-10 finishes

* Edwards has completed 100% of the possible laps at LMS in each of his starts.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Coca-Cola 600

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-318 Previously ran at Fontana, finished 16th, and Las Vegas, finished 37th
     RK-405 Previously ran at Texas, finished 35th after being involved in a wreck.

Ragan on racing in the at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Last weekend definitely had its ups and downs. On the high side we qualified second for the race and ran well throughout the first segment of the Open. On the low side we spun out in the second segment and didn't finish the race. So from all of that I would say that I think we will be pretty good at Charlotte once we get a chance to adjust our racecar a little bit. My car was way too loose on Saturday once the temperature dropped a little and we never got the opportunity to adjust for that with such a short race. I like the track and I think I became a little bit more familiar with it after Saturday night so we are looking forward to getting a good finish in and putting on a good show for the Charlotte fans."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We are taking the car that we ran at California and then wrecked at Las Vegas. We got it all fixed up and ready to go again and it should be a pretty good car for the [Coca Cola] 600. We just have to make sure that we stay out of trouble. 600 miles is a long race and there is going to be a lot of wrecking going on between lap 1 and lap 600. We will have to keep our spotter on his toes and keep David out of the messes. We need to get another top-10 or 15 to get David back up there in the rookie race. He learned a little bit about the track this weekend and he is running the Busch car this Saturday before the cup race so that should be a big help."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-439 Last ran at Texas '07, finished sixth

Biffle on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Well, we can only improve on our All-Star performance. We're taking a different car and I think we learned a lot the other night. I've run decent in Charlotte and had some success in the Busch car here but I can't explain how focused I am on this race this weekend. We have great equipment and a great group of guys. We should be running better. I think we just need a race or two to turn things around. There is no reason why we shouldn't make the Chase this season."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing in Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the car that we finished sixth with at Texas earlier this year. We tested this car at Charlotte and we were pretty happy with it. I'm looking forward to a good performance out of these guys this weekend. They've been working really hard both on the cars and in pit stop practice. This is a long race, so a lot of things will come into play as far as pit strategy and the handling of the car from day to night. We'll have to be on our toes but we're expecting a lot out of ourselves this Sunday."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-323 Ran at the All-Star race last weekend; led 36 laps, finished seventh. Also in '06: ran 10 times with two wins, five top fives, and seven top 10s
     RK-340 Tested Las Vegas, Jan. '07 Last ran: Pocono, Jun. '06, finished fifth

Kenseth on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"You know, I've always enjoyed the track at Charlotte. It's a little quirky, but it used to be one of those tracks where tire wear was a factor, it was all about handling and if you could get your car to handle a little better, then you could really pass some guys and race your way up through the field. But, the tire we race there right now is so hard, it's the same tire we had last spring and we couldn't really race then and I don't think it's going to be better now. You just get incredibly tight whenever you get behind someone.

"Charlotte will always be a special place for me. It's where I got my first Cup win, we won the All-Star race there in '04 and we've picked up a couple of Busch wins too. We were pretty close to picking up a win last Saturday, but I got a little too aggressive on pit road. I'm not saying we could've won, but we were one of the better cars when in clean air.

"The promising thing for us was that the car was pretty competitive, at least the most competitive it's been in a while on Saturday and we're taking it back there this weekend. If we can get it to turn a little bit better we might have something for them on Sunday."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"The All-Star race weekend was a pretty good motivator for these guys. They kicked off things on Friday evening by helping Matt win the pole with an excellent pit stop. To me, that's the real pit-stop competition; when you've got to click off a good four-tire stop on a live car, with your driver, with everyone watching and your time depending on it, that's the real deal and our guys did real good.

"The race itself was promising for a lot of reasons. The team was good, but more promising was how well the car ran. It wasn't nearly as good in traffic, but out in front it looked like it could run with anybody. We were so pleased with that car that we decided to turn it around for this weekend.

"The 600 is a tough race. It's long and takes a great amount of concentration from the driver and the crew. We've had some pretty good success in this race and hopefully that will continue this weekend. We feel like the car will be decent and we feel confident that we have one of the best drivers and pit crew, so if we take care of business on Sunday, we should be around with a shot at the end."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK--428 Last raced at Texas -- April 2007 -- Finished fifth
     RK--403 Tested at Las Vegas -- March 2007

McMurray on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"There is no denying the fact that I really like racing at Charlotte. Obviously, I scored my first win at Charlotte, so it will always be special to me. Last weekend in the NEXTEL Open we learned a few things about our car for this weekend's race. We ran a few different setups that I think in the long run at Charlotte this weekend, will play into our favor. We tested the car we are taking to the Coca-Cola 600 a few weeks ago and felt pretty good with the test overall, but in the end, we continued to fight the same problem - tight in the center. We made a few body changes to the car back at the shop and now, I feel we should be pretty good for this coming weekend. It's a long race and a lot can happen, but if we take our time and adjust wisely on the car, we will be there at the end in our No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"After last weekend's race at Charlotte, I feel that we have a better handle on the car we are taking for the 600 this weekend. The test session out at Lowe's a couple weeks ago was good, but it's always better to see how the car reacts during the race, which we were able to see this past weekend in the Open race. At the end of the race we were still battling the same issue that we found in testing, that the car won't turn in the center of the corner. We still need to figure out how to free it up just a bit. "This No. 26 crew has done such a great job over the last few weeks; their pit stops continue to get faster and faster each week. I'm proud of the work they have put in and their effort has really paid off. This weekend should be no different for the guys."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-272 previously raced at Las Vegas, started 13th and finished sixth

Edwards on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend. After the disappointment of last weekend, I am eager to get a good finish in the Office Depot Ford. We learned some things in the (NEXTEL) Open and I think once we get the Office Depot Ford dialed in we'll be really good. Sunday night is a long race and I think that will be good for me. I think as the night goes on people will get tired and make mistakes and hopefully I'll be able to take advantage of that."

Crew Chief, Bob Osborne on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're taking the same car we raced last week at the All-Star race. We had a great car last week, but weren't able to get the set up just right for the 40-lap run. The Office Depot Ford just got too tight there at the end and unfortunately it cost us the All-Star race. We've done some work on the car and made some significant adjustments so I think we should be good to go for the 600. We used last week as a bit of a test session and I think we learned a few things that will help make us better for this weekend. We're just looking for another solid run this weekend to maintain our top-10 point standing."

NASCAR Busch Series: Carquest Auto Parts 300

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-378 ran at Texas this year, won pole & finished fifth

Ragan on racing in the NBS at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I am extremely focused this week. I have raced at Charlotte on a few occasions, and I can tell you that you need every bit of concentration and patience to run well at this track. The Discount Tire team has been working hard the last few weeks preparing for this race. We had a great test early last week and we are confident our Ford Fusion can compete with any car on the track. It is going to be a wild night under the lights. The atmosphere and pageantry of the Charlotte night race makes it a great event. I would love to tame 'The Beast' and get that first win for Discount Tire."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We are sitting in a nice position in the points coming into this weekend. I believe this track can be conquered and David is the driver to do it. I watched David race on this track last week and he was very impressive. He showed no fear of the track's tough pavement and the aggressive driving going on. That is the kind of attitude you must have at Charlotte. The Discount Tire team has been in position for wins the last few weekends and we have come up just a little short. The time has come for us to get over the hump and start winning races. We have a top-five driver and a hard-working crew behind him. The Discount Tire team will try to make it a memorable Memorial Day weekend."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Coast Guard/3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-347 -- Biffle last raced this car at Texas in April, finished 36th

Biffle on racing in the NBS at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I love racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway. I've won there twice and have always had pretty good finishes in the Busch car. We've got a great car for this weekend. It was the same car we ran at Texas last month, which ran in the top five until a part broke in the engine just past halfway. I ran it a little at the test last week and feel confident it will be a contender this weekend. We've also got the Coast Guard on our car this weekend to celebrate Memorial Day, so a win would be a nice tribute to them."

Eddie Pardue on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Greg has a great Busch record at Charlotte and I hope we can add to that this weekend. I believe our car will be very competitive. He was second fastest in the test for the short amount of time he ran, and this car could have won Texas if not for some bad luck with a broken part. Hopefully we can put everything together this weekend for a win."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-360 Won Texas in last outing

Kenseth on racing in the NBS at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Charlotte has always been one of my better tracks. I've won twice there in the Busch car and should have earned a third win in the fall, but I spun out on the last lap and still managed a fourth-place finish. Our test there went really well last week and Arby's is back on our car this weekend. Hopefully everything will go well and we'll win some more curly fries for America."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"It's great to have Arby's back with us this weekend in Charlotte. Last time they were on our car we were able to pull off a win. Actually we are taking the same car that we won with in Texas with the Arby's paint scheme. Plus Matt (Kenseth) tested with us last week here and the car was handling really well. If all goes well we will have a solid run and be in contention for the win."

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK-365 -- Kluever raced this car at Nashville, finished 13th

Kluever on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I have been looking forward to racing at Charlotte all year. That is one of my favorite tracks because we always seem to run well there. I got a top-10 finish with this same car there last spring, and we were running in the top five last fall until we burned a spark plug wire that cost us a shot at a really great finish, maybe even a win. We took this car to the test last week and it was pretty fast. I'm excited for my first race with Chad (Norris) and the Dish Network team. I'll race with them again in Chicago in a few months. Hopefully we'll have a good run this weekend and build on that."

Chad Norris on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"The whole Dish Network team is looking forward to having Todd (Kluever) in the car this weekend at Charlotte. We tested there last week with Todd and had pretty good test. We are looking to have a good race and earn a solid top-five finish for Todd and the team."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Scotts Ortho Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel P.K.
Chassis: Number: RK- 427 Ran last at Texas; finished 3rd

Edwards on racing in the NBS at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I just can't wait to get back on the track at Charlotte. We had a great run with a disappointing ending at the All-Star race last weekend. We had two great Busch races there last year with a win and a dominating run in the fall race. Our Scotts Ortho Ford Fusion was just awesome in every test session a couple weeks ago. Racing at Charlotte, especially under the lights, is very exciting. It's especially fun racing in front of the team's families and friends. We have the big picture in mind, but this is a race we can win."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Charlotte was just awesome for us last year. We had a win and a potential second win, but didn't capitalize on it in the fall. We will be running a special Scotts Ortho Weed be Gone paint scheme in Charlotte. We are bringing a great car. We had a great test a couple of weeks ago and ran on top of the leader board for every session. This No. 60 team goes into Charlotte with high expectations and plans on putting the Ortho Ford Fusion back into the top-five or better."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Ohio 250

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-384-50, last raced at Fontana where Kvapil started 17th and finished 16th

Kvapil on racing at Mansfield Motorsports Park
"Mansfield is a really tough little track. It's hard to pass there and, like a lot of the short tracks we go to, track position is really important. It's great to see the fans turn out like they do for this race. I've raced there once before and I can remember the place being close to sold out. The series has a very strong fan base up there, and we really enjoy putting on a good show for them."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Mansfield Motorsports Park:
"Mansfield is a tough track to get around, there's no doubt about that. We know qualifying will be very important, it's just so hard to pass. The pit crew plays such an important role in this race, they can win you the race if they can perform well on pit road. Mansfield is a tough race, but we're ready to give it what we've got."

T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-240-34, last raced at Martinsville where Bell started 21st and finished 23rd

Bell on racing at Mansfield Motorsports Park:
"I'm excited to get to Mansfield, I've never been there before. We had a great race at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week and brought home our first top-10 finish of the season. This team is coming together nicely and hopefully we can keep our momentum going and have another good finish."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Mansfield Motorsports Park:
"We're coming off our first top-10 finish with T.J., and all the guys are really excited about it. It's a whole different ballgame here, this is going to be a very physical race. It's hard to pass, so you get knocked around quite a bit going for position. Qualifying is very important, so we'll put a little more stress on starting towards the front this week."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK245-35, last raced at Martinsville where Darnell started 12th and finished 18th

Darnell on racing at Mansfield Motorsports Park:
"We were good there last year, but didn't have the track position we needed to put the truck up front. Good pit stops and having track position will be critical to getting a good finish at Mansfield. It's tough to pass there, so you've got to put an emphasis on qualifying."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Mansfield Motorsports Park:
"Mansfield is one of those beat-and-bang kind of places, things tend to get pretty wild up there. In a lot of ways it will be similar to Martinsville, it's just your typical short track. Qualifying here is important, you really need to start towards the front to keep out of the mess that's going to happen behind you. Hopefully we'll be able to get a good starting spot and maintain track position throughout the race, and be there at the end."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing