BUSCH: Roush Fenway Racing Phoenix preview

Roush Fenway Racing Phoenix International Raceway, Nov. 9-11 Avondale, Ariz. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Checker Auto Parts 500 Sunday November 11 3:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/MRN NASCAR Busch Series: Arizona.Travel 200 Challenge Saturday November ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Phoenix International Raceway, Nov. 9-11
Avondale, Ariz.

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Checker Auto Parts 500
Sunday November 11
3:00 PM Eastern -- ABC/MRN

NASCAR Busch Series: Arizona.Travel 200 Challenge
Saturday November 10
4:00 PM Eastern -- ESPN2/MRN

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Casino Arizona 150
Friday November 9
7:30 PM Eastern -- SPEED Channel/MRN

Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts

* David Ragan competed in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in April 2007. He started 32nd and finished 41st after being involved in an accident, leaving him several laps down.

* Ragan also competed in the NASCAR Busch Series race in April 2007. He started 24th and finished 35th after being involved in an incident.

* In 2006 the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Raceway was Ragan's final race of the season in a Roush Racing Craftsman Truck. He started 20th and finished 17th.

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

* With two races to go, Juan Pablo Montoya currently leads Ragan by 20 points in the 2007 Raybestos Rookie of the Year race.


* In the spring race at Phoenix, Greg Biffle and the team fought an ill-handling racecar all day before finishing 17th.

* Biffle has two wins, five top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes in nine NASCAR Busch Series starts at Phoenix.

* Biffle clenched the NASCAR Busch Series Championship at PIR in 2002. He entered the racing needing to finish at least one position ahead of Jason Keller to capture the title. Biffle finished third and Keller finished fourth.

* With the 33rd place finish last week in Texas Biffle and the team are currently 16th in the point standings, 143 points out of the 13th position.

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


* Matt Kenseth's second-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday marked the fourth time in five consecutive Cup races at Texas, where he has finished in the top three.

* Kenseth's second-place finish marked the 140th top-10 finish of his career in 290 starts (48%). It's the 20th top 10 for Kenseth in the 2007 Cup Series, making it the second consecutive year Kenseth has reach 20 top 10s in Cup.

* With the second-place finish at Texas, Kenseth has now strung together three straight top-five finishes; the second time he has done so this season. The first time being: Fontana (1st), Las Vegas (4th), and Atlanta (3rd) during Feb. and Mar.

* Kenseth's average finish during the Chase at PIR is 27.0; ranking ninth among all Chase tracks.

* For the third time in 2007, Kenseth's No. 17 Ford Fusion will be painted black with the DEWALT NANO Technology paint scheme. Kenseth will also run the scheme at Homestead in the season finale.


* Elusive Finish? Phoenix International Raceway is the only track where Jamie McMurray has yet to post a top-10 finish. His best finish came in November of 2003 when he finished 12th at the one-mile speedway.

* McMurray posted his ninth top-10 finish of the 2007 season last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. McMurray has currently posted nine top-10 finishes, three top fives, and one NEXTEL Cup win in 2007.

* McMurray will pilot the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion in Sunday's race. This will mark McMurray's last weekend in the IRWIN blue and yellow colors for 2007.


* Carl Edwards is currently fifth in the 'Chase' for the NEXTEL Cup with 6025 points, 357 points behind the leader, Jimmie Johnson.

* Edwards will make his sixth Cup start at Phoenix this weekend. In his previous starts, Edwards has achieved two top-five and four top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' average start at Phoenix is 14.7, while his average finish is 11.7.

* Edwards made his first pavement start at Phoenix in 2001, racing in the USAC Silver Crown Series -- prior to that start, Edwards had only raced on dirt track.

* Office Depot Store No. 973 from Carson City, Nev. is this week's sales winner and will ride along on the No. 99 this weekend at Phoenix.


David Ragan
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-459 Previously ran at Phoenix; finished 41st Dover; finished 14th; Loudon; finished 19th
    Back-up: RK-478 Brand new car, tested at Richmond

Ragan on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"You know, earlier this year we went from Texas to Phoenix and we had a bit of bad luck at both tracks. The main goal at this point in the season is to learn from our mistakes and not make them again. We had a bit of a rough race in Texas. We had a good car, but we just got caught up in a big mess, which happens sometimes. We plan to have a good run in Phoenix this weekend and get pumped up for the final race of the year in Homestead. I have had a pretty decent rookie season and I would love to go out with a bang here at the end."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix will be the final COT race of the 2007 season and then we will go to the new car design full time in the 2008 season, and from that point forward as long as NASCAR mandates it. We have tried to take advantage of every COT race this year to help us gain as much information about them as possible before next season. We have definitely improved our COT program from the first time we visited Phoenix this year and I know we are capable of bringing home a good finish. We have had too many weeks now that have ended on a disappointing note. It is time to redeem ourselves and gain back some of the points that we have lost."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK-472 Last ran Dover; finished 6th Loudon; finished 31st

Biffle on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I always look forward to racing at Phoenix for a number of reasons. The track is very technical and it's almost like an oval road course because of the different corners and dogleg on the backstretch. Phoenix really challenges the driver, and those are the tracks that are the most fun. We've run well there in the Busch car and had some decent finishes in the Cup car. I think we're making progress as a team on the COT program, and hopefully we can add to that information this weekend. We didn't have a great run last weekend at all, so it would be good for the team if we could rebound with a solid finish in Phoenix."

Crew Chief Greg Erwin on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We're taking the car we finished sixth with at Dover earlier this year and I think it should be pretty good for us at Phoenix this weekend. The COT cars are all pretty similar, so I don't think the likelihood of a driver having a "favorite car" is as high with these cars as with the old ones. We're working a lot off of what the engineering staff is learning from the COT models as well as the notes we get at each race and test, and that's really what's most important at this point: gaining information for the 2008 season. We'll focus on getting the car to turn well through the center of the corners on the long runs at Phoenix and brake management will also be a key. Greg did a great job with that at Martinsville and it paid off. A good finish this weekend would definitely be a great boost heading into Homestead."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT NANO Technology Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-475 Only previous outing: Richmond, Sept. '07 -- finished 14th
    RK-458 Has served as a backup in six races, yet to see action

Kenseth on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I've always enjoyed racing at Phoenix and we've had some success there in the past. We weren't too bad there in the spring and I think we should be able to compete this weekend. Hopefully we'll continue to make up some ground with the COT and continue the momentum we've gained the past three weeks. We've only got two more chances to get a win and with the way our cars have performed down the stretch, it would be a shame not to pick up a win here at the end.

"Texas was a tough one to take, but, looking back on it, it was a pretty good finish for us. We never really had a top-five car until the end of the race. Robbie and the guys did a great job working on the car all day. We weren't too good with the sun out, but once it went down our car was pretty fast. We were probably a third-place car but got the track position we needed there at the end. I don't think I could've done anything different that would've helped us win the race besides wrecking, and that's never a good option."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We're taking the same car we took to Richmond and we've done a good bit of work to it since then. With the way we've ran the last two times out with the COT, we'll be hoping for the same sort of performance this weekend. We were probably good enough to win at Dover but had engine troubles then we ran fifth at Martinsville, which is practically like a win for us at that place. We finished fifth out in Phoenix in the spring so I'd say, with the way we're running, expectations are pretty high heading out there.

"I can't say enough about how this team has performed of late. We had a string of terrible luck and got pretty far down in the points and we were really out of the Chase before it got started. But, they didn't hang their head and feel sorry for themselves, they've fought back and we've put together a nice little streak in the past three races. We've had cars capable of wining the last two weeks and came up a little bit short, but as long as we keep getting ourselves in position to win, then we'll get one of these before too long."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: Primary: RK-507 Brand New Chassis
    Backup: RK-462 Last raced at Martinsville; April 2007; Finished ninth

McMurray on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Over the years, I have had some bad luck at Phoenix -- I don't know what it is about the track. It's not that I haven't learned how to get around there; it just always seems that something stops us from having a good run there. In the spring, we had a great car, sat on the outside pole, and then we had a windshield tear off get caught on the nose, which forced us to pit and go a lap down. Hopefully, this can be the weekend that we break the curse and have a better run at Phoenix.

"This is a big weekend for IRWIN Industrial Tools and their 'Ultimate Tradesman Challenge.' We have participated in the challenge all season long and this Sunday we'll crown a champion.

"Over the last month and a half, the No. 26 has had some pretty good cars, just not the best luck. Last weekend we finished in the top 10, which was great for us. If everything goes our way this weekend, we should have a pretty good run in our No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion."

Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is a challenging track to set up for; especially with the car of tomorrow. We had some trouble with our brakes at Martinsville, and with Phoenix being a race that you depend on your brakes a lot, we can't have that same problem happen again. We took a look at everything back at the shop and are bringing a new brake package this weekend. In the spring race at Phoenix, we had some weird things happen to us. We had an air gun fail during a pit stop, and then we had someone's tear off end up on the nose of the No. 26 car. It was a long day. Hopefully, with all the engineering work we have done both in testing and back at the shop, we will have a pretty good handle on the car for this weekend's race. It would be great to post a strong finish for IRWIN Industrial Tools during their championship weekend."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK- 513 Brand new chassis

Edwards on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I am excited to go to Phoenix; I like Phoenix a lot. It is the first place that I raced on pavement back in 2001, when I went and raced in the USAC Silver Crown race. I loaded up everything I owned in a pickup truck that I borrowed from one of my buddies and headed out to Phoenix. It was pretty cool -- a very monumental experience and a turning point in my career."

"Since then I've been back to Phoenix a number of times and enjoyed racing there every time. My (NASCAR) Busch Series win there was a great win for me and we've run really well there in the Cup car. My Office Depot team has a great Car of Tomorrow program, especially on the short tracks and I am looking forward to a great race this weekend."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I'm looking forward to Phoenix. Carl has had a lot of success there -- in everything he's raced and I don't see why this weekend will be any exception. Our Office Depot team has made tremendous gains in our Car of Tomorrow program since the first Phoenix race this year and I'm really excited to go back. Last week at Texas we had some bad luck with a sway bar malfunction, but hopefully all of that is behind us and we can get a solid top five this weekend."

NASCAR Busch Series:

David Ragan
Team: No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-479 Last ran at IRP, Jul. '07, finished 18th. Ran at Milwaukee, Jun. '07, finished 12th. Ran at Richmond, May '07, finished 14th

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I would like to close out this Rookie-of-the-Year deal this weekend. The only way I can do that is to get a win. I owe this race track one. It got me pretty good the last time around, but rest assured it will be different this weekend. Phoenix is a tough track that can be tricky the first time you see it. Luckily, I have had some experience here, so I feel prepared for anything. I know we can come away with a great finish if we work hard as a team and get on and off of pit road cleanly. Our race car is a rocket, so I don't think we will have any problems staying in the front of the field. We only have two races left to get a win, and this Discount Tire team wants it in the worst way."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"The Discount Tire team must regroup and focus on the task at hand this weekend. I think everybody felt we could have done better last week, but that is in the past now. All I am concerned with is conquering Phoenix. It will be a challenge because of the nuances of the track, but I am fully confident David can handle any track on the NASCAR schedule the second and third time around. We have been so close to a win a handful of times this year. It is time to seal the deal on a win. That is the only option for us right now."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 3M/Scotch Blue Tape Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-347 Last ran at Lowe's two weeks ago, where it sat on the pole and finished 30th

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I've won twice at Phoenix in the Busch Series, and this would be a great weekend to score my third win there. I feel terrible about our race at Texas last weekend. I was sure we had a win in the bag until I thought I had a flat right-front tire with about 35 laps to go. I know the whole team was disappointed we didn't get that win, and I was too. We've come so close to winning on several occasions this year and we've only got two more chances this season. We've got a really cool special paint scheme with Scotch Blue Tape that would look great in Victory Lane."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"This team is beyond ready to get a win this weekend in Phoenix. Greg has a great record there with two wins already. We've got a good car for him -- it's the same car he ran at both Richmond races, and he nearly won with it at ORP this summer. It's frustrating because we've been so close to winning so many races this year, but we're not giving up. This 3M team is as determined as ever to win."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Arby's Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-395 Last ran Richmond; finished 4th

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is a great track to race at. Each corner drives differently and you really have to have your car set-up well in order to be competitive. If it's not set-up right then you are in for a long day, but you'll have that at any track. We've had a lot of good runs so far this season, but just haven't pulled off as many wins as we should have. Phoenix is a track we generally run pretty well at so hopefully we can continue that tradition and get a good run for Arby's."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"The season is winding down quickly. We only have two races left so the whole team is really anxious to get another win. I think we've had some of the cars to get the job done, but have come up a little short. This is our last race with Arby's this season so we are really excited to get out there and get a good run for them."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Dish Network Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK-350 Last ran at Memphis -- finished 7th

McMurray on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is a track I tend to struggle at for some reason, I guess we kind of have bad luck there, but we do have one win there in the Busch Series. At least the win is a positive for Phoenix. My Busch team has given me some great cars. This car is the same one I jumped in at Memphis, never having practiced it at the track, and got a top 10. I have a lot of faith in Chad and the team so I really think we can get a good finish for Dish this weekend."

Crew Chief Chad Norris on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"The Dish Network Ford was pretty good at Memphis a couple of weeks ago and we are bringing that same car to Phoenix. We hope to have a stronger run this weekend with Jamie actually being able to practice the car and not have to jump in and race with someone else setting it up. The whole Dish team is excited to finish off the last short-track race of the season on a good note."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 World Financial Group Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel (P.K.)
Chassis: RK-357 Last ran at Memphis; finished 25th

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"It will be great to have World Financial Group on our Ford Fusion again in Phoenix. It was really cool last weekend to clinch the championship and now it's time to focus on winning the last two races. I feel great about our chances at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. I really enjoy racing on that track and I am going out there to have fun and win the race."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We're excited about taking the World Financial Group Ford Fusion to Phoenix. We are bringing chassis 357 and this is a car we have run really strong with every time we've had it at different short tracks this year. We are looking forward to putting an end cap on this season with a couple of wins. It would be great to win in Phoenix. It's my hometown and should be a whole lot of fun. Then look to finish the season off with a win in Homestead."

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series:

Travis Kvapil
Team: No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-511-55 Brand new chassis

Kvapil on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is such a unique racetrack with tight corners at one end, sweeping corners at the other, and a dogleg on the backstretch. It's not a straightforward track; you've got to drive hard to find a line that works for you. I always love going to Phoenix; the surroundings are beautiful. It's great to head out to the desert and change your environment up a little."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Travis has a great record at Phoenix in the truck series. He's only finished out of the top 10 once there, so he knows how to get around the place. The No. 6 team had a great race there last year with Mark Martin, so with ours' and Travis' successes, we should be able to put together a good finish in the K&N Filters Ford."

T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-362-49 Last raced at Phoenix; started 12th and finished 10th

Bell on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I've raced at Phoenix once before in a Busch car, but this will be my first time running there in a truck. Phoenix is one of the more different places we race at, it's got a layout unlike any other track we race at all year. Any time we race out west, I'm happy. It's close to home, so we'll have some family and friends at the track. It gives me a little more of a push, I'd like to be able to have a good finish out there."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix should be a good track for T.J. and the No. 50 team. Historically, the Roush Fenway trucks have run well on the flat tracks, and I think we'll be able to continue that trend here this weekend. This will be T.J.'s first truck start at Phoenix, but he does have some experience here, which should help us tremendously. We'll see if we can't get a good finish for the Heathcliff's Cat Litter team."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-384-50 Last raced at Loudon; started 11th and finished second

Darnell on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I've raced at Phoenix a bunch in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, but I've only made one start in the truck series there. It's a unique one-mile track that provides some very good racing action. We're bringing the same truck we finished second with at Loudon earlier in the year, so we've got some confidence heading into the weekend."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is very unique: it's got a very different shape and characteristics unlike any other track. We ran well at Loudon earlier in the year, and we should be able to apply some of what we did there to this weekend's race. We need a couple of strong finishes to finish out the year, and I think we can do that here at Phoenix."

-credit: rfr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Roush Fenway Racing