BUSCH: Roush Racing Phoenix preview

ROUSH RACING Phoenix International Raceway; Nov. 10 -- Nov. 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Checker Auto Parts 500, Nov. 12 NASCAR Busch Series: Arizona.Travel 200, Nov. 11 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Casino...

Phoenix International Raceway; Nov. 10 -- Nov. 12

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Checker Auto Parts 500, Nov. 12
NASCAR Busch Series: Arizona.Travel 200, Nov. 11
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Casino Arizona 150, Nov. 10

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Mark Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 65 percent (13) of his Phoenix Cup races.

* Martin won at Phoenix on Oct. 31, 1993.

* Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 11 of the last 16 races at Phoenix.

* Martin has finished second or better in six of 20 races at Phoenix.

* Martin has posted one win (Phoenix, '93), 12 top fives and 17 top 10's at the two remaining tracks that make up the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. He has a 10.5 average finish at those tracks and he has led 612 laps at the remaining tracks, including 612 at Phoenix, where in addition to his 1993 win, he has posted eight top fives and 13 top-10 finishes in 20 starts.

* Martin led 111 laps at Phoenix in the spring.

* Martin will run the special "Insurance" Paint scheme for the final time this season at Phoenix this weekend.


* Greg Biffle is currently 13th in the point standings after his 35th-place finish in Texas.

* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 659 points behind Tony Stewart in the 11th position.

* In addition to his Cup record at Phoenix, Biffle has two wins, five top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes in seven NASCAR Busch Series attempts as well as one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win.

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


* Matt Kenseth's average finish of 20.8 at Phoenix International Raceway ranks ninth among the 10 tracks in the Chase.

* Kenseth will run the USG Sheetrock paint scheme for the third and final time in 2006.

* PIR is one of four tracks in the Chase where Kenseth has scored victories during his Cup career. The other three are: Dover, Charlotte and Texas.

* In his last visit to each of the remaining two tracks, Kenseth has scored finishes of: third at Phoenix in April, and third at Homestead last November.

* Despite notching a win in 2002 at PIR, Kenseth's average finish there is just 20.8; third only to Homestead (25.5) and Sonoma (22.0) as statistically his worst track.

* Kenseth will be racing the No. 17 Pennzoil Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Busch Series on Saturday. For his career, Kenseth has notched five top-10 finishes in seven starts in the Busch Series at Phoenix.


* 22 -- The average starting and finishing position for Jamie McMurray at Phoenix International Raceway.

* An elusive strong finish? Phoenix is the only track on the NASCAR NEXTEL circuit where McMurray has yet to post a top-10 finish.

* This will be McMurray's final race of the season in the IRWIN Industrial Tools paint scheme.

* McMurray scored one of his seven Busch victories at Phoenix International Raceway in November 2004.

* McMurray is currently 23rd in the point standings and only 67 points out of 20th place. To date, McMurray has scored three top fives and seven top-10 finishes.


* Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot team are currently 12th in the point standings and 357 points out of 11th place.

* In four career Nextel Cup starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Edwards has earned three top-10 finishes.

* Edwards won the 2005 Arizona 200 Busch Series race from the pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

* Office Depot Store #481 of Paducah, Ky., will be on the side of Edwards' Ford Fusion for this weekend's race at Phoenix International Raceway.

* Edwards will co-host "The Chase is On" on SPEED at 8 p.m. EST Thursday.

Checker Auto Parts 500, Sunday, Nov. 12

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 06 3M/Sharp AQUOS Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Frank Stoddard
Chassis: RK-324 This is one of Mark Martin's former cars

Kluever on racing in the Cup Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Running the Cup car at Phoenix this weekend will be a little more challenging for me than the other tracks I've run this year. I prefer the banked tracks over flat tracks since the banked tracks really suit my driving style more, but I've made two starts at Phoenix already and I'll get more track time running the Busch race on Saturday. This car will be new to us since we've not raced it yet, but I'm sure it will be good since it came from Mark Martin's team. Frank (Stoddard) and the guys have spent a lot of time working on it and testing it on the squash rig so we should be in good shape for Sunday."

Frank Stoddard on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I expect Todd to run well this weekend at Phoenix. This type of track might be a little tougher for him, but from what I've seen he adapts pretty quickly and I'm sure we can get the car better for him throughout the race."

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-221 Dominated the spring race at Phoenix this year, leading 111 laps, despite finishing 11th after late-race problems. Last ran at Martinsville in Oct., finished 24th after getting caught up in an accident. Same car Martin used to win the '05 All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Martin on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I enjoy racing at Phoenix and we've had a lot of success there over the years. We've been off a little there the last few years, but we got that corrected and had a car that was just awesome there in the spring and we really should have probably won that race. We'll go back there this weekend hoping to pick up where we left off and hopefully we'll be able to go out and compete for the win again.

"We've had an awful string of bad luck lately. We've wrecked in races, we've wrecked in practice, and we've wrecked in practices and then the races. Sometimes that's just the way racing works, you start getting caught up in a lot of other peoples' messes and there really just isn't a lot you can do about it. Hopefully we are finished with the bad luck and we'll be able to go out and compete for the win at the next two races and close this thing out on a strong note. I've been in this car for 19 years and I'm not going to quit until the last lap is run."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We are excited about going back to Phoenix. We were really strong there in the spring and we are taking the same car that we used there when we led a lot of laps and were probably the class of the field. We've had a tough couple of weeks and nothing would be better than to go to Phoenix and Homestead and close out the year with a couple of solid runs and hopefully a win or two. The guys on this team have given everything they have this year and Mark's really been on the wheel. There really isn't a lot we could have done about some of the things that have happened, but we are going to keep moving forward, and we are going to keep trying to win races."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-258 Loudon '05 and Richmond '05

Biffle on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We've had a lot of success at Phoenix with a couple of wins in the Busch Series and a few really good runs in the Cup Series. I always enjoy racing on the west coast and especially at a track where we've had some success. We're taking a car that we haven't raced since last season but the guys at the shop rebuilt it specifically for this race, so I'm excited to see what it can do."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"The car we're taking is a car that we haven't raced at all this season. It raced a couple of times last year but we've rebodied it for the Phoenix race with the most current body style. I'm looking for great things at Phoenix this weekend. It's one of Greg's stronger tracks and we've run well there but just haven't been able to pull off the win."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-353 Last ran Loudon in Sept., finished 10th. Also ran Loudon in July, finished 14th. Also ran Phoenix in Apr., finished 3rd
     RK-150 Tested earlier in '06 at Vegas

Kenseth on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I enjoy racing a Phoenix. We've had some ups and downs there but it's a good track and we've had our share of success. It's one of the tracks we've won at and that will give us a little bit of confidence going in. Hopefully this weekend will add to that confidence. We can definitely use some momentum. It's getting down to crunch time and that means no more mistakes. A mistake at this point could cost us big time. We have to stay focused on our team and our performance and let everything else fall where it may. All we can do is our best and we'll just see how it turns out."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We're bringing the same car we ran at Phoenix earlier this year. We have to get our cars running better and give ourselves a chance on Sunday. We can't keep pulling out top-15 finishes from cars that can barely run in the top 25. We're very fortunate to finish where we did in Texas. We didn't run anywhere near as good as we finished, but I have to credit the guys on the team. They never quit and we found a way to get a respectable finish. We feel pretty good about the car we're bringing this weekend. We can't afford anything less than our best in these next two races if we're going to have a chance to win it all."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK--322 Last raced at Pocono in July 2006

McMurray on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is a great race track, and one that I look forward heading out to twice a year. It's not just the racing there, but everything else the Phoenix area has to offer. I try to get out to Phoenix a couple days early each time we race there. Phoenix always does a great job and it's a great track to run on. I won a Busch race there a few years ago and would love to repeat this weekend. This weekend will be my final race weekend in the Busch car for Rusty Wallace. And this will be my last weekend in the IRWIN paint scheme this season. IRWIN has been really awesome this entire season; I can't thank them enough. Hopefully, with this being their last race of the season, we can go out there and give them a really strong finish in the IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I am looking forward to Phoenix this weekend. Phoenix is where Jamie and I first started working together. In our debut back in April we posted a top-15 finish at the speedway. Hopefully, this weekend, with the great setup we have in RK-322 and some good pit stops by the boys, we should have a great weekend. This is our last IRWIN race and I would enjoy nothing more than getting them a great finish to end the year on."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Wally Brown
Chassis: RK-358 Last raced at New Hampshire in September, finished 18th

Edwards on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I want to win everywhere, but Phoenix is a place where I'd especially like to end up in Victory Lane. It's just an awesome track and a blast to drive. In the race car, you can move around a lot and try different lines because of the track's odd shape. I also ran my first pavement race at Phoenix, and it was pretty exciting to win a Busch race from the pole there last year, too. The year is winding down, and I know the entire No. 99 Office Depot team would like to finish strong. We're all looking forward to a great weekend at Phoenix."

Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"My first race as a crew chief was at Phoenix in April, and I'm looking forward to the return trip. We've got a good car ready for Carl, and I think we'll be strong. Last weekend was a tough one--we just struggled to get the speed we needed in the car to run with the leaders--but our pit crew was outstanding. The guys clocked some really fast stops, and if we continue to execute like that, we'll put Carl in a great position to compete for the win at Phoenix."

Arizona.Travel 200, Saturday, Nov. 11

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 06 3M Sharp/Aquos Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-190 -- ran at Milwaukee in June, Mark Martin raced it at Phoenix in April

Kluever on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We had a pretty good run in Texas last weekend so I hope to keep that momentum going. We got our third top-10 finish of the season and won rookie of the race. We probably could have run even better but I made the call to change a spring after practice on Friday that might have hurt us a bit.

"This weekend we're taking the same car that Mark (Martin) ran so well with at Phoenix in the spring. He finished fifth with it in April so I'd be happy with another top 10. Phoenix is not one of my stronger tracks. I prefer a one-mile track like Dover with a lot of banking over the flat tracks, but I feel confident we'll have a good run. We really struggled there in the spring and I think getting caught up in a wreck put us out of our misery. This week we've got a much better car. We ran it at Milwaukee and although we didn't finish great, we had the car dialed-in pretty well about halfway through the race so hopefully we can hit the set-up from the start this week."

Mike Kelley on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We've got a much better car going to Phoenix this time than we had in the spring. Mark (Martin) got a top five in it in the spring race and we raced it in Milwaukee this summer. We learned a lot about it at Milwaukee and I think we should be able to get another top-10 finish this weekend."

Greg Biffle
Team: No.16 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK- 345 last ran Richmond - finished 2nd

Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is absolutely one of my favorite tracks. I have never finished outside the top 10 in the Busch Series. We really ran well there earlier this year and I have two wins under my belt there. Our Ameriquest team needs to shake off some of the bad luck we've been experiencing. I plan on going to Phoenix to have fun and to win."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is a place where track position is very important. We had a very fast car here at the spring race but a loose qualifying effort hurt us. We will be bringing that same car back and hope to qualify much better to capitalize on one of Greg's best tracks. We finished second with chassis RK-354 at Richmond the last time out so it's ready to bring the trophy home for Ameriquest."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK- 395 last ran Richmond, finished 3rd

Kenseth on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I'm looking forward to going to Phoenix with Jimmy and the guys. We had a rough time at Texas, which is really the first time in a long time where we haven't been competitive. We'll be looking to bounce back in a big way this weekend. Phoenix was one of the first races this season that Jimmy and I were together. I think Texas the week before was actually our first race together. We were decent but I feel confident we'll be better this time around. Phoenix is a good track. It's unique and a lot of fun. The corners drive so much differently from one another and you better have a good handling racecar or you're in for a long day, but, of course, that's pretty much any where we go. We've only got two more races and this team has run too good all year long not to win another one. We've won once, but we've come close several other times. Hopefully we can give ourselves a chance this weekend."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Last weekend in Texas was a tough one for our No. 17 Pennzoil Ford Fusion team. We've put that behind us and are ready to put forward a solid effort in Phoenix. We had a top-10 finish here in the spring and we are looking to improve on that this weekend."

Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Team: No. 50 World Financial Group Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-350 Previously ran at Darlington, finished 38th; Loudon, finished 29th; Phoenix, finished 14th and Milwaukee, finished 7th

O'Quinn, Jr. on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix was a good track for us in the spring so I think we will have a good run here in the fall. The car that we are taking is the same car we took in the spring and the same car that we finished seventh with in Milwaukee. I really want this Rookie of the Year title so I am going to do whatever it takes to get it and make my team and my sponsors proud."

Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We are looking forward to Phoenix. We are looking to redeem ourselves after a disappointing weekend in Texas and move forward in our attempt at the Rookie of the Year honors. We have World Financial Group on the car this weekend so we are looking forward to them coming out to watch us run a good clean race this weekend with a solid finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Ameriquest / FreeCreditReort.com Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK- 357 last ran Memphis -- finished 3rd

Edwards on racing in the Busch Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I can't wait to race at Phoenix again. Our Ameriquest team is very pumped and motivated. There's just something about that one-mile track, lots of good memories. I ran my first pavement race in the USAC Series there. We are the reigning champs for this weekend's race. We have always run well there and we are taking my favorite car, chassis 357. This is a good mixture for a great race. Phoenix is a blast and we will go in there to have fun, take names and win."

Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"This is the car that we have won the majority of our races with so we are excited about bringing it to Phoenix and possibly helping it with it's record. I heard that Harvick is bringing his 4-0 car there and we are bringing our 3-1 car. Hopefully, when we leave we'll both be 4-1."

Casino Arizona 150, Friday, Nov. 10

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: No. 46 Finished fourth in its last run at Martinsville three weeks ago.

Martin on racing in the Truck Series at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I love driving that No. 6 Scotts Ford F-150 for Mike Beam and those guys. It's just an awesome team and they give me great trucks each week. Driving that truck this season is some of the best fun I've ever had in racing and I really appreciate the opportunity to work with these guys and I really appreciate all the hard work that each of the guys on the team have put into this season. They are just a great team to work with and hopefully we can go to Phoenix and get us another win."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"It's always great to work with Mark, especially in the Scotts truck and we are excited about the chance to go out and hopefully compete for another win. We had a good run in the Busch car last weekend and we have two more races with Mark in the Scotts Ford F-150, so hopefully we'll be able to give him a truck capable of winning each of the next two races."

David Ragan
Team: No. 50 Purpose Money Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: 35, last raced at Martinsville where Erik Darnell started fifth and finished third

Ragan on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"I've never raced at Phoenix, but I've watched a few races here and spotted for Mark Martin in the spring Busch Series race. I learned a few key things by working with him that I think will help me during the race. It looks like a great track to race on, so I look forward to getting out there. I'll be making my last Craftsman Truck Series start of 2006, and it would mean a lot to me if we could go out on a winning note. We'll do our best to put the Purpose Money Ford F-150 in victory lane."

Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"Phoenix is a very unique track, it's got a very different shape and characteristics unlike any other track. It's a flat oval, and we're taking one of the strongest short track trucks in our inventory. We ran well at Loudon, and some of what we learned there will carry over to here."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: 49, last raced at Bristol where Darnell started 26th and finished 18th

Darnell on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"The last few weeks we've gone to some tracks for the second time and it's really helped our performance, and Phoenix is another track where I have previous experience. I've not been in a truck there, but having some track time will be a help. It's a unique one-mile track that provides some very good racing action. It's fun to drive, but unfortunately I haven't had that much success out here. Hopefully we'll turn that around this weekend in the Northern Tool + Equipment Ford. I'd never been to Loudon until this year and we were able to pull off a decent finish up there, and I hope some of what we learned there will carry over to this weekend."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Phoenix International Raceway:
"We had a great run at New Hampshire in September, and I think a lot of what we learned there will carry over to Phoenix. All three Roush trucks ran together at the end of the race, and I think we can back that up at Phoenix if all goes well. Erik has not raced here in a truck but he does have quite a bit of seat time here so that will help us with getting acclimated. It should be a good race for the Northern Tool + Equipment team."

-credit: rr

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About this article
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Todd Kluever , Erik Darnell , Doug Richert , Danny O'Quinn , Mike Kelley , Mark Martin