BUSCH: Roush Racing Dover/Vegas preview

BUSCH: Roush Racing Dover/Vegas preview
Dec 10, 2006, 12:40 AM

ROUSH RACING Dover International Speedway, Sep. 22-24 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Dover 400, Sep. 24 NASCAR Busch Series: Dover 200, Sep. 23 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sep. 23 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Smith's ...


 Dover International Speedway, Sep. 22-24 
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Dover 400, Sep. 24
NASCAR Busch Series: Dover 200, Sep. 23

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sep. 23
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Smith's Las Vegas 350

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Mark Martin has four wins at Dover, with the last coming in the spring of 2004.

* Martin holds the track record at Dover, winning on 9/21/97 in 3:00:50 (132.717 mph avg).

* Martin's 19 top-five finishes are the most of any active driver at Dover.

* Martin has 25 top-10 finishes at Dover, including four top fours in the last five races.

* Martin finished fifth in his first Cup race at Dover on 5/16/82.

* Martin has finished in the top 10 in almost 60 percent of his races at Dover.

* Martin finished one-two in both Dover races in 2004, three-four there in 2005 and ninth in the spring.

* Martin earned the first of his record 47 Busch Series wins, at Dover in 1987.


* Greg Biffle is currently 12th in the point standings after his 14th place finish in New Hampshire.

* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 313 points behind the 11th position.

* In addition to his Cup record at Dover, Biffle has two wins, four top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Busch Series.

* On Thursday, September 21st, Biffle will be visiting the soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center with several other NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series drivers.

* This weekend the No. 16 National Guard team will run the red, white and blue National Guard paint scheme.


* Matt Kenseth made his Cup debut at Dover International Speedway in September of 1998 at the age of 26. He substituted for Bill Elliott that day and drove to a sixth place finish.

* Kenseth scored the first pole of his Cup career at Dover in June of 2002.

* Dover International Speedway is one of four "Chase" tracks where Kenseth has recorded a Cup victory.


* By leading a lap last week in the Sylvania 300, Kenseth has led at least one lap in 18 of the series' 27 races in 2006; tops among drivers in the 2006 NEXTEL Cup series.

* Kenseth was in the Guinness Book of World Records for approximately 24 hours last week, as he pelted talk-show host Kelly Ripa (of Regis & Kelly) with 17 custard pies in less than one minute; breaking the old mark of 15 pies. Ripa fired back on Friday breaking Kenseth's mark by scoring 24 hits in one minute on another celebrity guest.


* In qualifying, Dover is Jamie McMurray's third best track currently on the NASCAR circuit -- Homestead being his best.

* In seven starts at the "Monster Mile," McMurray averages a 13.3 start and a 14.1 finish. His average finish marks eighth best among all active drivers.

* McMurray's 2006 season-best finish came at Dover International Speedway in June where he finished second.

* McMurray has completed all but 12 laps at Dover International Speedway and has led 95 laps in his seven starts.


* Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently 13th in the point standings and 353 points out of 11th place.

* Office Depot Store #452 of West Chester, Pa., will be on the side of Edwards' Ford Fusion for this weekend's race at Dover International Speedway.

* This weekend at Dover, Edwards will talk with ABC World News about his involvement in Harlequin's new NASCAR-branded series of novels. Edwards makes a cameo appearance in the series' first novel, "Speed Dating" by Nancy Warren.

DOVER 400 Dover, Del., Sunday, Sep. 24

David Ragan
Team: No. 06 Sharp Aquos Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Frank Stoddard
Chassis: RK-276 Previously raced in Chicago

Ragan, on racing in the Nextel Cup Series at Dover International Speedway:
"I've looked forward to this day for a long time. I never thought that the day would come this soon. It just goes to show that hard work and determination really can pay off. I have gotten a lot of racing experience in the Craftsman Truck Series that will help me race with the guys in the Nextel Cup Series. I'm looking forward to working with Frank Stoddard and the No. 06 Ford team."

Crew Chief, Frank Stoddard, on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"We are really looking forward to Dover. I think David Ragan has a lot of potential to do well in this sport and I am pleased to be apart of his debut into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. All the guys in the shop have been working hard to prepare for the remainder of the '06 season so hopefully we will be able to go out there and get a good run for David and the team."

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-315 Finished ninth earlier this year at Dover. Also posted top-10 runs at Darlington, Fontana and Las Vegas this season. It is the car that Martin used to win at Kansas in the Chase last season.

Martin on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"I can't wait to get to Dover. I love racing at Dover and it's definitely one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. We had a good car at Loudon and we really didn't finish as well as we could have, but we had a solid finish and we didn't lose that many points. Now the Chase moves on to Dover and Kansas and we are pretty excited about those two coming up.

"We've had great success there over the years, including the last few years when we've been up front and a serious contender. The very first time I went to Dover, I loved it from the start. It is definitely on my list of top tracks and there probably is no cooler track to go and race on. I'm looking really forward to getting back up there this weekend and hopefully putting together another strong run."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Dover is a great track for Mark and a special track for this team as well. We got our first win together there in 2004 and we've had some really strong runs there in the past couple of years. We've been able to run up front there and we were strong there in spring, although we didn't get as good of a finish as we were capable of having. We know the kind of results we are capable of having this weekend, we just have to go there and get the car right and Mark will take care of the rest."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-228 Bristol, Darlington, Dover '06

Biffle on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Well, I'm definitely looking forward to racing at Dover this weekend. We're taking the car that we won with there last year and we won with it this year in Darlington. Dover is a unique track and as a driver, you have to be on your toes. You want your car to be a little loose but at the same time, it can't be too loose. I think we'll have a good run in the National Guard Fusion this weekend."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"We're taking the same car we ran at Dover in June. It is also the same car we won with there in 2005 and took to victory lane in Darlington earlier this year. It's been a good car for us and I feel very confident taking it back. We finished eighth with it in Dover the last time and this time we're working on a better spring and shock combination to run just a little better."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-267 Last ran at Dover where it led 83 laps en route to victory Also in 2006: finished third at Darlington and 13th at Atlanta
    RK-280 Has not run in 2006; new car, tested Charlotte

Kenseth on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Dover is a tough racetrack and one of the most physically demanding tracks we race at. It will always be special to me and winning there this past June made it even more special. It was the site of my first Cup start back in '98 when I replaced Bill Elliott, whose Dad had passed away. No one knew who I was and we got a sixth-place finish that day. It seems we've been real hit or miss at Dover. Sometimes we're real good and finish in the top 10, other times something freak will happen and ruin our day. Hopefully, we can hit on the setup again this weekend, with the same car we won with in June, and maybe pull out another top-five finish. Maybe, with a little luck, even challenge for the win."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"We're bringing the same car we won with there in the spring. Chassis 267 has been pretty good every time we brought it to the track this year. We finished third with it at Darlington and of course won with it at Dover. Actually, it was a top-five car at Atlanta earlier this year but we got a little too aggressive with the setup and had some tire issues. New Hampshire wasn't good to us, but we managed a top-10 finish anyway. That shows the kind of determination this team has. We probably didn't have a top-10 car, but we kept at it, had good pit stops to maintain track position and then Matt drove one heck of a race down the stretch. We have to maintain that focus this weekend and hopefully come out of Dover with a top five."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-273 Last raced at Fontana in Sept. 2006; McMurray finished 20th

McMurray on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Dover is a track that I am looking forward to running again. In our last visit to the speedway, we finished second, which was huge for our team. We need that same type of run this weekend. Dover is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit. It doesn't seem that way, but the banking at Dover is unlike anywhere else. I really enjoy running there and am looking forward to hopefully, a good finish this weekend. The last few weeks have been really tough for this 26 team. We haven't been able to find the right handling of our car. Right now, we are focusing on the final nine races of the season and being as prepared as we can for 2007."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Dover is a really unique track, maybe one of the most unique on the circuit. The corners at Dover are what make it different -- it's a steep climb into the corner and a drop off coming out. It's an awesome track to setup for and one that requires a really good handling car. This 26 team is hungry for solid run and hopefully, this weekend we can get it. We have been working hard on our setup and our pit stops. With a bit of luck this weekend, we can leave Dover with a solid top-five finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Wally Brown
Chassis: RK--272 Last raced at Dover International Speedway in June '06; finished 15th

Edwards on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Dover is one of my favorite tracks because of the banking and the way it drives. It reminds me a lot of a *-mile dirt track. We struggled a little bit with our set-up here in June, but I think we learned from that race and hopefully we'll get the car a little more freed-up this time around. Last weekend at Loudon was pretty frustrating for everyone on the No. 99 Office Depot team, and it would be awesome to run up front at Dover and come away with a finish that matches all of our hard work."

Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Dover is a demanding track, but I think Carl and the No. 99 Office Depot team are up to the challenge. We've had a rough couple of weeks, and everyone is ready to get back on track. The entire team is working really hard to get our Ford Fusion where it needs to be. Handling was a problem here for us earlier in the summer, but we'll take what we learned and use it to get a better result this weekend."

Dover 200 Dover, Del., Saturday, Sep. 23

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 06 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-349 Previously raced at Bristol

Kluever on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Dover is a really exciting track. You drive really hard into turn one and the track drops away from you. It almost feels like you are driving off a cliff and you land down at the bottom and the car has a tendency to be really tight in the center of the corner. You have to let the car rotate and get it pointed straight off the corner because the walls at Dover seem to jump out and grab you. The cars want to get real loose there and slap the outside wall. The acceleration down the straightaways isn't very big at Dover since you carry so much speed off the corner. Getting off the corner is important and then getting into turn three is kind of the same as turn one, but not as dramatic. There are some bumps in turn three that make the car chatter and upset it a bit when it bottoms out. The center of turns three and four is a lot like one and two.

"It's a really fast place and you carry a lot of speed through the corners. It's generally a place that a lot of drivers like."

Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"We had a decent run at Dover in the spring, so we hope to improve on that this time around. Dover is a challenging track for a driver and a crew chief. It will be the team's job to make sure we give Todd a car that handles well through the turns. If you don't get through the corners well there it will really hurt you."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 Ameriquest/FreeCreditReport.com Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-373 Last ran Chicago, finished 24th

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Dover International Speedway:
"Can't wait to get back to Dover. We had a very fast car last time, but we hit the apron hard causing some damage. The crew did an awesome job fixing it and we finished in 8th place. I have a great record there, but the mile of concrete can create some very challenging situations. If we stay out of trouble we should be in the mix fighting for the lead in our Ameriquest Ford Fusion."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"Going to Dover is always fun. We had a great run there for the spring race. We've got a great car we're taking up there. It ran in Chicago and we've had it at the wind tunnel. We had an off weekend to get it prepped. Our Ameriquest team is looking forward to bringing home a victory."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK- 295 Last ran Bristol, led 17 laps and finished 1st

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Dover International Speedway:
"We can only improve from the last time we went to Dover. Jimmy (Fennig) and the guys had done a great job setting up the car and I though we were going to have a great day and maybe challenge for the win, but right after we fired the engine we discovered a problem with one of the spark plugs. By the time we got it fixed we were already a lap down and it was hard to do anything at that point. If the car is as good this weekend as it was in practice back in June, then we should be able to compete for another win. Someone pointed out to me that the last three Busch Series winners have gone on to win the Cup race the next day... if that's the case, it becomes even more important for us to put this Ameriquest car in victory lane on Saturday."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"We are taking the same car that got us a win in Bristol to Dover this weekend, so hopefully we can get it back into victory lane where it belongs and earn another win for Ameriquest. The whole team had a weekend off so we are all ready to get back to racing."

David Ragan
Team: No. 50 Barr-Nunn Transportation Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-356 Previously ran in Charlotte, finished 22nd Bristol, finished 26th and Nashville, finished 10th It was driven by Mark Martin in Texas where he finished 24th

Ragan on racing in the Busch Series at Dover International Speedway:
"This is an awesome opportunity again this weekend to get some experience in the NASCAR Busch Series, the guys with the No. 50 team had a great run with Danny here in the spring. It's a really good opportunity to get some valuable seat time to help me get familiar with Dover; I've never raced here so every lap I make is really going to help me."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"We've been waiting all year to come back to some of these race tracks. Dover is a place we started to get a hold of in the race, so we should start and race a lot better this time. The car that we are taking to Dover is the same car that we took to Bristol and Nashville. We are really looking for a good top-five finish so hopefully we will be able to achieve that here soon."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 60 Henkel/DEP Sport Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK-357 Last ran Gateway, finished 1st

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Dover International Speedway:
"I really can't wait to race at the Monster Mile. We had a great finish there back in June. We finished second, but just couldn't catch Jeff Burton. It's an awesome track! It's always a challenge. We only have seven races to go. Our Henkel/DEP Sport team plans on giving it all we have until the end!"

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel (P.K.) on racing at Dover International Speedway:
"It's always exciting to run the DEP Sport/Henkel Ford Fusion at the Monster Mile. We had a great run there in June finishing second. Hopefully, we can pick up the extra spot and pick up a win."

Las Vegas, Nev., Saturday, Sep. 23

Peter Shepherd
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: 36, last raced at Nashville where Ragan finished 34th after being involved in an accident.

Shepherd on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"I'm really excited for this opportunity with Roush Racing to race the No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150 this weekend at Las Vegas. It's a new track surface and we'll have a day to test the truck and get comfortable with it, and that should help us in the race. I've not had the opportunity to test at a track before I've raced there, so that gives me a little more confidence heading into the weekend. All of the Roush trucks have been really good on the mile-and-a-half tracks this year so I know that I'll have a good F-150 under me. These guys are trying to win the owner's championship so I'll try to get all I can out of the weekend and bring the Scotts people home a good finish."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"Las Vegas is going to be a challenge for everyone with the new surface. Peter's never raced the trucks on a speedway like this, so we'll take advantage of the open test day to get him up to speed and comfortable with the track."

Michel Jourdain, Jr.
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: 47, Last raced at Nashville where Shepherd finished 31st after suffering transmission failure.

Jourdain on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"I am looking forward to racing on the new track configuration. I raced in the first ever Vegas race and finished second. I hope that we can go back there and do the same in the No. 50 Ford F-150. I hope that we can not only have a chance to win on the track, but I hope to win the jackpot at the casinos!"

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"It's a new track, so that means all of the stuff we've had there in the past goes out the window. Michel had a great run at Texas and he was really strong at Kentucky, so he knows what it takes to get around places like this."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Woolrich Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: 42, last raced at Kansas where Darnell finished 26th.

Darnell on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We'll all enter here on the same page since it's a new track, no one will have any experience to fall back on. The rookies and veteran drivers will all be equal heading into this weekend, it's going to be ability to adapt that will determine who's going to be successful here. The way things have been going with our team, I don't doubt that we'll be one of the teams that can get a handle on the place and have a solid run. We've had a pretty good mile-and-a-half program this year so our confidence level is pretty high."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
"We're all going to Las Vegas with a blank notebook, we'll have to take advantage of the open test session to try some different things and get a feel for what it's going to take to win the race here on Saturday. Erik's run really well at Atlanta and Charlotte, he's got a knack for the mile-and-a-half stuff. We talk about this every week that we've got to get Erik comfortable with heading to tracks he's never been to, but this week we'll be at the same place that everyone else is and we can capitalize on that and hopefully it will work to our favor."

-credit: rr

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