BUSCH: Roush Fenway Racing Michigan preview

Roush Fenway Racing Michigan International Speedway, Aug. 17-19 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: 3M Performance 400 Sunday August 19 1:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Carfax 250 Saturday August 18 3:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN 2/MRN Roush...

Roush Fenway Racing
Michigan International Speedway, Aug. 17-19

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: 3M Performance 400
Sunday August 19
1:00 PM Eastern - ESPN/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Carfax 250
Saturday August 18
3:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN 2/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed in the Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway in June 2007. He started in the 34th spot and finished the race in 21st place.

* David Ragan competed at Michigan International Speedway in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004 and 2006, finishing 31st and 19th respectively.

* Ragan also competed in several ARCA RE/MAX Series races at MIS. His best finish of 4th came in the fall of 2005.

* Juan Pablo Montoya leads David Ragan by 25 points (212-187) in the Raybestos* Rookie standings entering the August 19 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

* The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the August race at Michigan (since 1975) is a third place effort by Tony Stewart in 1999.


* In nine Nextel Cup starts at Michigan, Greg Biffle has six top-10 finishes.

* Biffle has two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins at Michigan International Speedway, his first two starts at the two-mile oval.

* Biffle finished 10th at Watkins Glen last week and currently sits 15th in the point standings, 212 points out of the top 12 with four races remaining until the Chase.

* This weekend Biffle will drive the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion in the 3M Performance 400.


* Since the beginning of 2000, Matt Kenseth has collected more top-five finishes and top-10 finishes on the two, two-mile ovals (Fontana and Michigan) than any other Cup driver during that span. Kenseth has scored 10 top fives and 17 top 10s in a combined 27 starts a two-mile ovals.

* Matt Kenseth's 11.4-average finish this season ranks third among Cup drivers who have competed in all 22 events.

* Matt Kenseth's average finish of 10.1 at Michigan is tied for second best among the 23 tracks that he has raced at in his NEXTEL Cup career, trailing only Las Vegas (7.6) and tied with Chicago.

* Kenseth's average finish at Michigan, 10.1, is third best all-time among drivers with two or more starts at Michigan.

* Until Kenseth's uncharacteristic DNF in June's race at Michigan, he had never finished worse than 17th in 15 starts at the two-mile oval. The DNF also broke a streak of 44 races where Kenseth was running at the finish.

* Also, until Kenseth's wreck on lap 75 at Michigan in June, he was the last driver standing in terms of completing every lap in the NEXTEL Cup Series in 2007, completing the first 4,634 laps of the season.


* In nine starts at Michigan International Speedway, Jamie McMurray has recorded one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

* In McMurray's last run at MIS, he started the race from the 35th position and improved 27 positions to finish in the top 10.

* This weekend, McMurray will be piloting the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion. His last start in this paint scheme yielded his second career Cup victory at Daytona International Speedway in July.

* McMurray will be making his second career start in a Roush Fenway Racing Busch Series Ford Fusion, as he will pilot the No. 26 Dish Network Ford Fusion in Saturday's race.

* While success at Michigan hasn't come easily for McMurray, Michigan's "sister track," California Speedway, is statistically his best track. McMurray averages a 12.4 finish and has five top-10 finishes in eight starts.


* Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team return to the site of their last victory this weekend heading to Michigan International Speedway.

* Edwards has six NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts at Michigan, including his first career start. In six starts, Edwards boasts one win, four top-five and five top-10 finishes.

* Edwards has competed 100% of the laps he's raced at Michigan.

* Edwards is currently fifth in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings with 2824 points, 560 points behind leader, Jeff Gordon.

* Happy Birthday--Edwards will celebrate his 28th birthday on August 15

* Office Depot Store No. 2381 from Suwanee, GA, is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 at Michigan this weekend.


David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK- 394 (Previously ran at Indy; finished 16th)
    Back-up: RK- 201 (Previously ran at Michigan; finished 21st)

Ragan on racing in the Cup Series at Michigan:
"I'm looking forward to going back to Michigan, as I am all of the tracks, for a second time. I feel like I was trying to get my bearings a little bit when we were here in June and now that I have actually raced on the track I feel like I have a better shot at a good solid finish. Michigan is always a good time for the Roush drivers with Roush Industries and Ford in the area. We get a lot of support from both organizations and a lot of fans come out for the race, which makes it more worthwhile. We are getting into the last little stretch of the season and as a team we would really like to be in the top-20 in points if not the top-15. With that said we still have a little work to do, but I have a great team, a great crew chief a great organization and a great sponsor behind me so I think those goals are definitely achievable."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Michigan:
We are taking the car to Michigan that we took to Indy at the end of July. This weekend will be the third track that we are returning to for the second time this season, (others being Daytona and Pocono) so David should have a better handle on how to race on the track and how his car will handle out there. It's a big weekend for Roush Industries and for Ford in the area so this would be a great time to go out there and really be able to race up front. We are solid in the points at this point, but we need to move up into the top-20 or so before the end of the season. This team has worked hard and David still has a lot to learn, but he has also done a good job so far this year and my job is to help him continue to improve and grow into a competitive driver."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK - 315 (Indy '07 15th)

Biffle on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan is definitely one of my favorite racetracks. There's a lot of room for passing and good racing. We've had a lot of success there in both the Cup and Busch series, so barring anything out of the ordinary, I feel confident about this weekend. We're obviously not happy as a team about our performance the last time we were at Michigan. The team is working well together and we're gaining positions on pit road every week, so if we can just get the setup where it needs to be this weekend, it should be a good one for us."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"We're taking the car we ran earlier this year at Indy and we think we should be able to run well with it this weekend at Michigan. We missed the setup a little the last time we were at Michigan, so we've been working really hard to make changes in the right direction before we get to the track. This car is one of the best in the fleet and I think that if we can get started on the right foot this weekend, Greg can see the kind of success at Michigan that he has in the past."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-323 Last outing: Chicago, Jul. '07, finished second. Also: Michigan, Jun. '07, finished 42nd after a lap-75 wreck. Won Michigan, Aug. '06; Won Fontana, Feb. '06
    RK-317 Last outing: Pocono, Jun. '07, finished ninth. Also: Scored four top fives in '07 including a win in Fontana, Feb. '07

Kenseth on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"I look forward to going to Michigan. That's for sure one of my favorite tracks. It's up in the Midwest and we've had good cars there in the past. That's one that I definitely always look forward to.

"Like any track, success at Michigan is about having good cars. Michigan is not a super difficult track to drive if you have a car handling the way it needs to handle, so we've just been able to get the cars to drive like I need them to drive to be able to run good at that track. We've always had good engines, good aerodynamics and good handling cars there and that is what you need. You kind of need it all there. It's just a big ole sweeping track and if you can get your car to handle the right way it's a lot of fun.

"The last time we went there in June, we kind of ran into some bad luck. We had a good car and had raced up to about the eighth position when we got caught up in a wreck. You hate wrecking anytime, but especially when you feel like you've got a car that can compete at a place where you've enjoyed success. Hopefully we can avoid something like that this weekend and build some momentum with a good finish".

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"We're bringing the same car that we raced there in the June race. It got wrecked pretty good in that race, but we've raced it since at Chicago and it finished second there. It's probably our most dependable piece and we've ran it a good bit over the past two years. It's been really good on two-mile tracks, winning at Michigan and Fontana last year, and it raced really good in June up until the point we were wrecked.

"These next four races are extremely important for us to build momentum heading into the Chase. We need to improve our car's performance in order to give us a shot in the final 10 races. The guys at the shop have done a great job building these cars and out pit crew is probably the 'glue' that holds it all together on race day; so I'm happy with the job our guys are doing. But, we've got to get the car to perform better, and that falls on me, our engineer and our driver. We've got to figure it out and get it back to where we're competing for top fives and wins."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK--450 -- Last raced at Chicago, July 2007; Finished 38th
    Backup -- RK--403 -- Tested at Las Vegas -- March 2007

McMurray on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan is one of the tracks, like Fontana, that it just seems that Roush Fenway Racing always seems to run well at and a track where there is always a Roush car in contention to win the race. In the spring race, I was really under the weather and I didn't think we had the strongest car, but the guys worked on it the entire race and in the end, the car was great and we were able to finish with a top 10. Michigan is a huge race track that is unique because if the bottom line isn't working for you, you can try the middle line, and even the high line, to find more speed and grip. It's always exciting going to Michigan because it means so much to Jack Roush and Ford Racing. Hopefully, we can capitalize on the run we posted in the spring and make an even stronger run this weekend in our No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion.

"The last four races have been pretty tough on all the guys. I'm keeping my head up and not getting down because I know that in each of the last four races we've had really fast race cars, but have been caught in wrecks. All we can do is focus on what we have coming forward - a good run in Michigan, where we ran in the top 10 earlier this season, and the same in Bristol, where we ran great in both the race and in qualifying. I keep saying it, but I hope all the bad luck is behind and we can focus on the upcoming races."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"In the Michigan race earlier this year we had a horrible qualifying run, but when we put the car in race trim, it was pretty fast. Even though Jamie was under the weather, we were still able to pull out a top-10 finish. As a company, I know that we all learned a lot from that race, which gives me a really good feeling going back to Michigan. I know this is a big race for Jack (Roush) and all of the Ford Racing guys over in Detroit. It would mean a lot to bring home a good finish for them. If we could have just avoided a few of these wrecks the last couple of weeks, we would be in a lot better position, but the bad luck has followed us. Hopefully we can shake that monkey from our backs this weekend and have a good run."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-320, a brand new car

Edwards on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"I always say Darlington is my favorite race track, but Michigan is becoming a close second. Michigan has a lot of personal history for me and I'm always glad to go there -- it's where I made my first Cup start, where I made my 100th start and where I broke a 52-race winless streak with a win for Office Depot in June. I'm really excited to go back and hopefully make some more great history there."

"Michigan is a great track with some really awesome racing. You can pass and I think the fans always see a good show there. I'm just really looking forward to going to Michigan and doing everything I can to get another win for the Office Depot team. Bob and the team have worked so hard this year and I can't thank them enough. I know we'll be great this weekend."

Crew Chief, Bob Osborne on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"The entire Office Depot team is looking forward to going back to Michigan this weekend. Michigan has always been a great track for the Office Depot team and we're excited to return to a place where we've had so much success. Michigan is a really special track for us. It's the site of Carl's first Cup start and his most recent win. He's had a lot of nice solid runs there and I think we are definitely capable of doing that once again. Our team has what it takes to win there and I'm looking forward to building on that and continuing to make gains towards the Chase."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-374 Last ran at Gateway, July 07, finished fifth Ran at Atlanta, Mar. '07, finished 20th Ran at Fontana, Feb. '07, finished 18th Ran at Michigan, Aug. '06, finished 37th w/ Todd Kluever

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Michigan:
"I am going to be ready to drive the wheels off our Discount Tire Ford Fusion this weekend. We have been struggling lately. The Discount Tire team needs a big weekend to get back on track. I don't think it has been a lack of focus or effort, I just feel like our luck has been horrible lately. I can assure you I will be up on the wheel all day in Michigan. The track is fast and if you get good grip you can do a lot of things out there. I have plenty of experience on the track so I know how to get around in traffic. I haven't had great success at Michigan but I feel this weekend will be different. When you see a track enough you get comfortable with your ability to make some things happen. Maybe take a few more risks than usual. But at the end of the day we will make sure we take care of our race car and get a good finish."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Michigan:
"The Discount Tire team has an opportunity to make a move in the point standings with a good finish. We have had some struggles lately, but we are only concerned about the races in the present not the past. Michigan will be a test for us, but David has plenty of experience at Michigan and he is quite comfortable with the intricacies of the Speedway. Our Ford Fusion is really fast and it is setup nice for the long tracks. David will have an opportunity to pass a lot of cars. I think the key to a good finish will be our pit strategy and fuel conservation. A great finish will be in reach for the Discount Tire team if we stay disciplined and each person does their job. I am really excited about our chances. The Roush Ford Fusions have traditionally done well at Michigan, so I don't think this weekend will be any different."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M Car Care Ford Fusion
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-372 -- This car has not raced in 2007, but was used in 2006

Biffle on racing at Michigan:
"Michigan is a lot of fun to race at in any series. The track is so wide and smooth that there are several grooves, which makes for great racing. I've won two Nextel Cup and two Craftsman Truck Series races there, but I've never won a Busch race. I finished second a few years ago, and since this team is overdue for a win I think Michigan would be a great place to finally get my first Busch win of the season. We came really close at ORP a few weeks ago, so maybe this will be our weekend. Winning close to home for Jack (Roush) and Ford wouldn't hurt either."

Eddie Pardue on racing at Michigan:
"Greg usually runs well in pretty much anything he drives at Michigan. It's a good track for all the Roush Fenway cars so I expect all five of our Busch teams to have a good showing there. Since 3M is sponsoring Sunday's race it would be a good weekend for us to get their car in Victory Lane."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK- 346 Last ran Darlington and finished 37th

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan is one of my favorite tracks to race at. It's nice to go to a track that has multiple grooves to pass on and where if you have your car handling well you can contend for the win. We haven't been very successful there in the Busch car, but have gotten a couple of wins in the Cup car. We managed to finish fourth a year ago so hopefully we can improve on that."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"Michigan should be a good track for us. We are bringing the same car that we took to Darlington, which didn't fare so well in Darlington, but this time around it has a new body and I think we can get it handling well. The team is really coming together and I think we can get a good finish for the No. 17 Arby's Ford Fusion."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK- 502 Brand new chassis

Jamie McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at Michigan International Speedway:
"I can't believe I haven't been in a Roush Fenway Busch car since Atlanta. It will be great to be back with Chad Norris and the Dish Network team this weekend in Michigan. From here on out we have a pretty full schedule together. Michigan is a great track to come to. You can't beat the racing and there are multiple grooves around the track so there is plenty of room to pass, plus its home to Roush Industries and Ford so we will have a lot of supporters there. Michigan is where I earned my first pole in 2000 when I was racing in the truck series, but haven't had the success so far I would have liked in the Busch car. The team built me a brand new car, so who knows; maybe we can earn another pole and have a good run."

Crew Chief Drew Chad Norris on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"The whole Dish Network team is really excited to have Jamie back in the car this weekend at Michigan. We have a brand new car this week and have very high hopes for a strong finish at Michigan. We have been working all summer long to get some really fast cars ready for Jamie to run the rest of the season. Michigan is a big track for Roush Industries and Ford Racing so hopefully we can get a good run."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 Sharp Aquos/3M Vikuiti Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis Number: RK- 501 (new chassis)

Edwards on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"I can't wait to get back to Michigan International Speedway for lots of reasons. I just had a great Cup win there in June and our Busch car has always been fast there. This is by far one of my favorite tracks. It's two miles of pure adrenaline. You can race and pass all over the track. We ran up front the whole race last year and came up a lap short of the win. We are very proud to have Sharp Aquos/3m Vikuiti back with us this weekend. It should be an awesome weekend for our team."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Michigan International Speedway:
"We are excited about taking the Sharp Aquos/3M Vikuiti Ford Fusion to Michigan. It's a very fast two mile track and Carl always runs very well there. His confidence is sky high from his Cup victory there in June. We ran super there last year and led several laps, but were wrecked on the last lap. We can't wait to get back there and fight for the lead again."

-credit: rfr

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Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing