Talladega Superspeedway, Apr. 28-30 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Aaron's 499 NASCAR Busch Series: Aaron's 312 Gateway International Raceway Apr. 29 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Missouri/Illinois 200 Roush Racing Fast Facts * Mark Martin's...
Talladega Superspeedway, Apr. 28-30
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Aaron's 499
NASCAR Busch Series: Aaron's 312
Gateway International Raceway Apr. 29
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Missouri/Illinois 200
Roush Racing Fast Facts
* Mark Martin's pace in the 1997 Winston 500 at Talladega set an all-time NASCAR Cup record for the fastest race ever run, as Martin won the caution-free event with an average speed a 188.354 mph. He covered the 500-mile distance in two hours, 38 minutes and 18 seconds.
* Martin has two victories at Talladega, with both coming in the spring race (1995 and 1997).
* Martin has scored top-10 finishes in six of his last 14 races at Talladega.
* Martin has finished in the top 10 in 49 percent of his 73 restrictor -plate races.
* Martin's 34 top-10 finishes in restrictor plate races are the most ever.
* Martin is one of five drivers to have completed in all 73 restrictor-plate races.
* Greg Biffle is currently 23rd in the point standings, dropping five positions after an accident on lap 82 sent him to a 42nd place finish in Texas.
* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 406 points out of the lead and are 188 points out of a top-10 position.
* Biffle has two wins, five top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes in six NASCAR Busch Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway.
* This weekend the No. 16 National Guard team will run the yellow Subway paint scheme again this weekend for the Subway Fresh 500.
* Matt Kenseth leads the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship point standings for the second time in 2006. Kenseth's well documented slow 2005 start now in the rear-view mirror.
* Kenseth ranks fourth in laps completed (2,096) at Talladega since the beginning of 2000, Kenseth's rookie season in NEXTEL Cup.
* Kenseth's average starting position at Talladega is 26.9; worst among NEXTEL Cup tracks for Kenseth's career.
* Kenseth's career average finish at restrictor plate tracks is 19.0, well above his career average for all tracks of 15.6.
* Jamie McMurray, in his seven Cup starts at the Talladega Superspeedway has one top-five and two top-ten finishes.
* McMurray will be racing chassis number RK-192 this weekend, which raced in Daytona earlier this year.
* McMurray will be back in the blue and yellow colors of the No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion at Talladega.
* Carl Edwards, after an amazing comeback in Phoenix last weekend has jumped up six spots in the overall Nextel Cup point standings to 16th. He currently sits only 126 points out of the coveted 10th place.
* Crew chief, Wally Brown will be making just his second start of the season as the crew chief for the No. 99 Office Depot team. Brown coached Edwards to a fourth place finish last week at Phoenix International Raceway.
* Chassis RK-232 will be making its 2006 season debut this weekend in Talladega. It was last raced at Talladega in October 2005, where Edwards finished fifth.
* This weekend will mark Edwards' fourth Nextel Cup start at the Talladega Superspeedway. In his most-recent visit, Edwards was able to avoid the "big one" and bring home his best-ever finish of fifth place.
* Edwards is one of only 16 current contenders for NASCAR's "Chase for the Nextel Cup." Edwards is within the 400-point range needed to make the "Chase."
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-337 Finished seventh in the Bud Shootout in February
Martin on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I think that my feelings regarding Talladega as a restrictor-plate race are pretty widely known. I'm not a big fan of that type of racing at all, but I know that the fans love it and it's the next race. We've had awful luck there the past few years. I think we wrecked both times there last year and maybe even the year before, but hopefully out luck will be a little better this weekend. We are definitely due there.
"We've run pretty well all season and at all of the different types of tracks that we've raced on, including Daytona and Phoenix. Pat (Tryson) and the AAA team have done an outstanding job with the cars this year and I can't remember a year where I had better cars each week to race with. We had a really fast car at Phoenix and things just didn't work out, but if we keep bringing cars like that to the track, we'll be in really good shape heading down the stretch."
Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"We are taking the same car that we ran in the Bud Shootout and we had a chance to win with that car, so we like our chances. Mark is great with the draft, the main thing is hopefully we'll be lucky enough to avoid all the wrecks. If that can happen we should come away with a solid finish."
Team: No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-367 -- Brand new racecar
Biffle on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Well, we obviously really need to finish this race. If we can stay out of trouble and get out of there with a top-10 finish, I'll be happy. This race takes a lot of concentration by the driver and a lot of give and take on the racetrack. A lot of people ask me about luck not being on our side so far this year. I've always thought that you make your own luck but I guess if there were a race that I'd like to have luck on my side, Talladega would be a good one."
Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Talladega Superspeedway :
"We're taking a brand new racecar this weekend. We had it built based on some of the stuff we learned at the Daytona test and we hope it is at least as good as if not better than the car we took there last year. We need to situate ourselves to stay out of trouble and finish the race. We need to gain as man points as possible."
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-271 -- Both Talladega races in '06; finished 11th & 3rd
RK-218 -- Bud Shootout @ Daytona '06; finished 6th
Kenseth on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Talladega is all about staying out of trouble, getting to the end, and picking the right lane at the right time. Oh yeah, and if you're in the lead, hope there isn't a caution with under five to go. I felt last fall we were in good shape. We were leading at the end and had everyone lined up behind us, then the caution came out and bunched everyone back together and we ended up pushing DJ (Jarrett) across for the win.
"Anytime we go to Talladega I know it's going to be a wild race. There are some things that are out of my control, but I have to make sure that I take care of what I can and get our car to finish, hopefully with a chance to win."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"You have to be ready for anything at Talladega. I fell like, especially since we run the small fuel cells, that getting in and out of the pits under a green flag can make or break you. Under caution, you really have to be on your toes on pit road, because when all the lead lap cars come down together, at Talladega, that's going to be right at 40 cars. So pit road, while it is big and wide, it narrows up in a hurry because everyone comes in together.
"It will be interesting to see if the softer rear bumpers have that big of an effect on the bump drafting. I still think it comes down to the individual driver of knowing when and when not to bump draft. I still think you'll see it a lot during the race. The drivers will get on the track on Friday and get a feel for it. Everyone should have a pretty good idea of how big of an effect it will have by the end of the two practices on Friday."
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Car Number: RK-192, Raced at Daytona in Feb. '06
Jamie McMurray on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I'm looking forward to heading to Talladega this weekend. We are taking our Daytona car which was just awesome during the 500 weekend. We qualified sixth and were able to run in the top-five and top-ten for much of the race. We were running eighth with just four laps to go when we were caught up in a crash that ended our day, but the car was really good up until then."
Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I'm not making a lot of changes from what this team did in Daytona earlier this year, so based upon their performance in Daytona, I am optimistic about our upcoming weekend in Talladega. It's a good car and Jamie was able to run up front with it."
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Wally Brown
Chassis Number: RK- 232
Edwards on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"We had a great run last time at Talladega. I love racing there; it's just about staying out the wrecks. We've had bad luck at Talladega in the past, but I know we have great car for this weekend. If we can just go out there and do our job and have a little bit of good luck, it could be a place we can gain some points."
Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Last week in Phoenix was a great way to get started. The Office Depot team made a good jump in the points which was exactly our goal heading into the weekend. Looking ahead to Talladega, wow, there's not much you can do there, it's Talladega. Bob Osborne built the car we are taking to Talladega, so I know it will run well. Carl had a good run at Talladega last fall, so I am hoping our team can repeat the same this weekend. It's all about avoiding the 'big one' and being there at the end. Hopefully, we can run well, stay out of trouble, and have another good weekend in the points."
Team: No. 06 3M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: #RK-331 -- finished seventh at Daytona in Feb.
Todd Kluever on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I've never raced at Talladega before, but I've heard a lot about it. I tested a truck there in December of 2004, and tested one of Matt Kenseth's Busch cars in January of 2005. I've had a lot of time on the track, but not with 42 other cars around me.
"We're taking the same car we raced at Daytona. It finished seventh there so with a little luck we can get out of another restrictor-plate race with a top-10 finish at Talladega. The car will be really good. I was pleased with how it ran at Daytona. We just need to stay out of trouble and finish the race in one piece. We haven't been real lucky the last two weeks with getting caught up in wrecks, so maybe we're due to make it through Talladega without any incidents. A good run at Talladega would really help the 3M team gain some momentum again which we certainly need right now."
Crew Chief Mike Kelley on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"We'll be running the same car we took to Daytona. That was a pretty good car and I think it will be even better at Talladega. We spent all of our practice time at Daytona working on qualifying set-ups since we had to make it in on time, now we can spend practice working on our race set-up which will help Todd a lot in the draft."
Team: No. 16 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Greg Biffle on racing in the Busch Series at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Talladega definitely is not one of my favorites, but I am still going to go out there and try to get a decent finish and bring the Ameriquest Ford Fusion back in the garage in one piece. My guys have been working real hard all season to make sure we are ready each weekend so I am really looking forward to seeing how we make out."
Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"We're real excited to go to Talladega with our Ameriquest Ford Fusion. We are taking the same car that we ran in Daytona. We wrecked it, but we've got it fixed up and we are real excited about getting it back out on the track. The main thing about Talladega is staying out of the big wreck that happens here every year. That is our main goal for this weekend--then of course winning is right up there too."
Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Team: No. 50 Stonebridge Life Insurance Co. Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
O'Quinn Jr. on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I am definitely excited about Talladega. I enjoy racing on the big speedway tracks, and we had a great run in Daytona in February. We picked up a lot of positions in the closing laps, and we had a solid top-20 finish. The car was great there, it drafted well, and we are bringing the same one with us to Talladega, so it should be a good race for us."
Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"Talladega is a pure-speed track. Like Daytona it is a restrictor-plate racetrack, but handling isn't as important because of the surface and the size of the track. We are bringing the same car that we ran in Daytona, RK-344, and hope to continue to make steps toward becoming a top-10 team."
Chassis Number: No.60 Freecreditreport Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis Number: RK- 338
Edwards on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I'm not really crazy about Talladega, but I have a personal goal to finish there in the top-ten. The key is to stay out of trouble, qualify good and stay clear of the "big one". I had a good Cup race there last year. I am very proud to be representing our new sponsor Freecreditreport.com this weekend. This is my only race with them and the freecreditreport.com team wants to make it a good one."
Crew Chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Talladega Superspeedway:
"I'm very excited about having freecreditreport on board this weekend in Talladega. We are starting to work everything out as a new team Carl only has one Talladega race under his belt and ran into problems last year early. We are well aware of the importance of starting in the front and the freecreditreport team is very focused on finishing strong."
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
David Ragan on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"I'm really looking forward to going to Gateway. I feel like I'm well prepared heading into this race. I've run there a bunch, racing and testing. It is one of my favorite places to race, because it's a real unique track that takes a physically fit driver. It's like a hybrid between the straightaways of Milwaukee and the corners of Martinsville."
Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"We're excited to get David in the No. 6 truck for the first time. David really likes racing at Gateway, and we know we're bringing a good truck up there. David's done a great job so far this year, and we're really excited to build on that."
Team: No. 99 Simply Wow Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Erik Darnell on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"I'm looking forward to running there because it's going to be the first race this year that I've got experience at the track we're going to. We've been successful adapting to the new tracks, but heading into this weekend I think we've got an upper hand since that time will now be spent at tweaking the setup, not getting me comfortable with a new facility. We got a top-five in the ARCA car, and I'm expecting to get the same in the truck. I've got a lot of confidence heading into this weekend, hopefully we'll get out there and make the most of the weekend."
Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Gateway International Raceway:
"Gateway is a challenging place because the corners are very different. We'll try to get a setup under the truck that will be well-balanced. We're not going to try to kill 'em at one end of the track and be out to lunch at the other. The team feels pretty good heading to Gateway, we're looking for another strong run."