BUSCH: Roush Racing Darlington preview

Roush Racing heads to Darlington for race nine of "the Chase" Darlington Raceway, November 12th-14th, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Mountain Dew Southern 500, 1:00PM, November 14th NASCAR Busch Series: 1:30PM, November 13th NASCAR Craftsman...

Roush Racing heads to Darlington for race nine of "the Chase"

Darlington Raceway, November 12th-14th, 2004
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Mountain Dew Southern 500, 1:00PM, November 14th
NASCAR Busch Series: 1:30PM, November 13th
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: 8:00PM, November 12th

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Mark Martin is currently in fifth place in the Nextel Cup point's race, with only two races remaining. Martin is currently 102 points outside of first place and 54 points behind fourth.

* Martin has one win at the remaining two tracks, with that win coming in 1993 in the fall race at Darlington. Martin has a combined 17 top-fives, 25 top 10's and two poles in 42 combined starts at Darlington and Homestead. Martin has finished in the top 10 in 60 percent of his combined starts at those two tracks.

* This will be Martin's 38th start at Darlington Raceway where the veteran driver has tallied 22 top-10 finishes and 14 top fives. Martin ran his first race at the track on April 4, 1982 where he finished seventh; Martin finished seventh at Darlington in the spring. While racing in the Busch Series, Martin won a record seven poles and tallied a record-seven victories at Darlington. For his efforts in the Busch Series at Darlington, Martin was named the Grand Marshal of the Busch race there in 2003.

* Matt Kenseth finished 36th at Phoenix International Raceway one week ago. He has 16 top-10 finishes in 34 starts in 2004. Kenseth has now been inside the NASCAR Top-10 for 69 straight weeks--the longest active streak.

* Kenseth has nine starts at Darlington with three top-ten finishes.

* Kenseth will also be running in the Busch Series race Saturday in the No. 9 Pennzoil Ford Taurus. It is his final of three events in the Pennzoil Ford in 2004. In the Busch Series, Matt has a remarkable 8 top-10's in nine starts, including one win.

* Kurt Busch continues to lead the NEXTEL Cup Series for the sixth consecutive week following his tenth place finish in Phoenix last Sunday. He now leads second-place Jeff Gordon by 41 points.

* Busch is the only driver to have finished in the top ten in seven of the eight races in "The Chase."

* Busch won his first NEXTEL Cup pole at Darlington on August 31, 2001 for the Southern 500.

* Busch struggled in his first three career starts at Darlington, finishing no better than 28th, but has rebounded with finishes of seventh or better in three of his last four starts.

* Busch's best finish at "the track too tough to tame" was last year's historic battle with Ricky Craven. Craven's .002-second win was the closest margin of victory in the sport since the advent of electronic timing and scoring.

* Atlanta based World Financial Group will appear as the primary sponsor for Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Ford for the second time in 2004 at Darlington.

* Car #270 is the same car Edwards raced to a series of NEXTEL Cup career firsts and bests at Atlanta two weeks ago. He qualified a career best fourth and finished a career best third. Additionally, he chalked up his first top-five in the Cup series and led his first laps as a Cup driver.

* Edwards will race both the No. 99 Superchips F-150 and the No. 99 World Financial Group Ford this weekend at Darlington.

* In 12 NEXTEL Cup starts Edwards has accrued one top-five and four top-10 finishes.

NNCS:

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra* Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-118 (finished second at Atlanta two weeks ago)

Mark Martin on racing at Darlington Raceway: "Darlington is a track that I love racing at, because it's a 'handling' race track where guys like myself excel because we can help out so much in the handling department. You have to be able to go really fast through the corners, and you have to be able to handle well in order to put the car where it needs to be. It's a great track for racing and I always look forward to going there.

"We had a lot better car than we had finish last week, so it's important that we come out and run well at Darlington. We are looking to be really strong at the last two tracks and I think that we should have a shot at winning at both Darlington and Homestead. We've been a lot better over the last 10 races than our finishes show. We've had good cars, but we've had trouble getting to where we need to be, so hopefully we can close the season out with a couple of really strong efforts."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Darlington Raceway: "This team is excited about going to Darlington. Mark loves to race there and his finishes usually show that. We are taking the same car that we used in Atlanta two weeks ago, and it was really fast there, so hopefully we can post a similar run. Only this time hopefully we'll end up in victory lane. We have two races left in the season and we will look to make a serious run at winning both of them."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-195 (finished sixth at Indy)

Greg Biffle on racing at Darlington Raceway: "I've really grown to like Darlington over the last couple of years and it's been one of our better tracks. We won there earlier in the spring with the Charter car and followed that up with a solid performance in the National Guard car. We had the field covered in the Southern 500 last season but broke a flywheel while leading late in the race that took us out of contention for the win. We were able to still bring home a 10th-place finish though. Both teams are running incredibly strong as the season draws to a close and we're hoping to keep the momentum going and carry it on into next season. One of my goals this season was to win both events at a track in a weekend and maybe this could be the one. I've got the cars and teams to do it."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Darlington Raceway: "We tested this car at Darlington a couple of weeks ago and feel very good about it's performance there and in the race at Indy. We had taken it as the back-up car to Indy and brought it out after the primary was damaged in practice. We ended up sixth with it even after we had to start at the back of the field, so that's why we decided to test it for Darlington. We were happy with the results of the test and feel pretty good about racing it this weekend."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush/Mark Martin
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: MMR-39 (raced at Dover in the fall)

Matt Kenseth on racing at Darlington Raceway: "Darlington is such a great track and I really like driving it--a win would be very special here because there is no place on the circuit where the track plays a bigger factor in the outcome of how you race. I think we've got a great car for Sunday--it's one of our newer ones, but I'm also going to be running the Pennzoil car and that will give me some additional laps to consider setup information. And this is a place you can use as much of that as possible."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Darlington Raceway: "I think as a team we went out and had a great day last week, even though we didn't get the finish. The guys performed great all day long on the stops and I was satisfied with how the car responded to our changes. I think this will be another opportunity for the guys to shine and maybe we can get us one this weekend."

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 Sharpie Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #41 (finished sixth and led the most laps at Darlington in the spring)

Kurt Busch on racing at Darlington Raceway: "Darlington has always been a good track for me to enjoy the racing surface, just the overall atmosphere at that racetrack. It's been a great track for me qualifying, but racing it just hasn't produced the types of finishes that we're capable of. This time around is a good indication that it's time for one of those finishes because of obviously the point situation and just the way we've been running as of late.

"This racetrack is definitely different from the other racetracks in the final 10 races. It's a chance to isolate yourself from all the outside circumstances and just to allow yourself to invite your setup to the racetrack and make sure that you race just the racetrack and not the other race cars."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Darlington Raceway: "Kurt is really excited about this racetrack, because this is one where you're more worried about the track than what the other 42 guys are doing out there. We had a really strong car there in the spring, and led the most laps with it, so we're bringing it back this weekend to go for the win."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 World Financial Group Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK-270 (finished third at Atlanta two weeks ago)

Carl Edwards on racing at Darlington Raceway: "I really like Darlington. There's a lot of history there. I just can't believe that I have the opportunity to race in the Southern 500. It would mean a lot to me to have a good run this weekend. We have World Financial Group returning as our primary sponsor which is really awesome. We had a great run with them at Atlanta in the same car we are bringing this weekend so I'm definitely looking to build on that."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Darlington Raceway: "We're taking RK-270 which is the same car we raced at Atlanta a couple weeks ago. We have the same car and the same sponsor so we're hoping to have another great weekend. We're excited to have World Financial Group back as our primary sponsor at Darlington and we will do everything we can to give them another good run up front."

NBS:

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 9 Pennzoil Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Tony Liberati
Chassis: JR-71 (Jeff Burton raced to a second place finish in Darlington in the spring)

Kenseth on racing at Darlington Raceway: "I'm really glad I'm getting an opportunity to run the Busch race here at Darlington for Pennzoil I think we've got a great car and we've run well enough to win a race for them both times this year, so maybe the third time will be a charm for us. I've had a lot of success running here on Saturdays and I hope to continue that this week--it'd be great to go out with a win for Pennzoil here."

Crew Chief Tony Liberati on racing at Darlington Raceway: "I like to say that we don't come to the race track to run second and I really mean that. With Matt behind the wheel, we can only stop ourselves. He's a hell of a driver and can get the job done and I think he's going to outlast a lot of the competition in this race before it's over. Our guys on pit wall are pumped up right now and we're ready to get in Victory Lane."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 60 Charter Communications Ford Taurus
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Brad Parrott
Chassis: JR-77 (won at Darlington in the spring, and at Pikes Peak)

Greg Biffle on racing at Darlington Raceway: "I've really grown to like Darlington over the last couple of years and it's been one of our better tracks. We won there earlier in the spring with the Charter car and followed that up with a solid performance in the National Guard car. We had the field covered in the Southern 500 last season but broke a flywheel while leading late in the race that took us out of contention for the win. We were able to still bring home a 10th-place finish though. Both teams are running incredibly strong as the season draws to a close and we're hoping to keep the momentum going and carry it on into next season. One of my goals this season was to win both events at a track in a weekend and maybe this could be the one. I've got the cars and teams to do it."

Crew Chief Brad Parrott on racing at Darlington Raceway: "We're taking Chassis 77, which is the same car we won with at Darlington in March. Our plan is to go there this weekend and tame the track 'too tough to tame' just like we did in the spring. The track will be a little different than we're used to seeing because the temperatures this weekend will probably be a bit cooler than we're accustomed to when we race at Darlington. The track will be tighter and faster as a result of the cool temperatures and we'll just have to adjust for that. The Charter team has come on really strong and we plan on keeping it going through these next two races."

NCTS:

Jon Wood
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Tony Price
Chassis: #30 (raced at Phoenix, Texas, Loudon, Bristol, Milwaukee and Atlanta)

Jon Wood on racing at Darlington Raceway: "Darlington is a tough track. No matter how many times a driver goes there I don't think it ever gets any easier. This will be my third race there and I had one of the best teachers around show me the line. I spent a day testing with David Pearson before my first race there in 2002. He won 10 races and 12 poles there so his advice was pretty informative. He took me around the track and showed me the proper groove to run, where to lift and how to accelerate out of the corners. You can never get too much information at a place like Darlington."

Crew Chief Tony Price on racing at Darlington Raceway: "We're taking the same truck we raced in Phoenix. It was a great truck and Jon was running well until he cut a tire and had to pit under green. We're going to try to take this truck to Homestead as well, if it survives 'The Lady in Black.'"

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Owner: Jack Roush
Crew Chief: Kevin Starland
Chassis: #27 (won Bristol, finished fourth at Loudon)

Carl Edwards on racing at Darlington Raceway: "I would have to say that Darlington is probably my favorite track on the circuit. I had so much fun racing there last year. Unfortunately we overheated, which ended our day early, but it was fun while it lasted. That track is tough. I'm glad I had the opportunity to test there last month in the Cup car just to get more laps around that place."

Crew Chief Kevin "Cowboy" Starland on racing at Darlington Raceway: "Darlington is a tough, old track. I'm glad Carl had the chance to test his Cup car there a few weeks ago because that is a place where you can't get enough practice. Just when you think you have the hang of it, it will come back to bite you. I think we should have a good run and with only two races to go, our goal is to win both of them."

-rr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ricky Craven , Jon Wood , Carl Edwards , Jack Roush , Doug Richert , Mark Martin , David Pearson