Chicagoland: Roush Fenway Racing preview

David Ragan * 2007 was Ragan's first time competing in the Sprint Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway. He qualified 32nd and finished 25th. * Ragan has competed one time in the Nationwide Series at Chicago. In 2007 he started 42nd and finished...

David Ragan

* 2007 was Ragan's first time competing in the Sprint Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway. He qualified 32nd and finished 25th.

* Ragan has competed one time in the Nationwide Series at Chicago. In 2007 he started 42nd and finished 19th.

* Ragan competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2005 where he qualified second and finished second.

* Ragan is currently 15th in the Sprint Cup point standings, 102 points out of 12th.


Greg Biffle

* Biffle has finished 11th the last three years in a row at Chicagoland and has completed all but two laps in five races at the Midwest racetrack.

* Biffle finished 43rd last week in Daytona and currently sits 11th in the point standings.

* Biffle is 533 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and eight points ahead of Tony Stewart in the 12th position. He is only 96 points out of the sixth position.

* This weekend Biffle will run the 3M paint scheme.

* In addition to Biffle's Cup stats at Chicago, he has two top-10 finishes and one top-five finish in six Nationwide Series starts.


Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend in the 400.

* In seven starts, Kenseth has posted two top-five and three top-10 finishes. He has only finished outside of the top 15 once.

* Kenseth has completed all but one lap in seven races at Chicago and is tops among laps completed with 1871 of 1872 possible.

* According to NASCAR's loop data, Kenseth is tops in the following categories:

* Series-best average running position of 3.9

* Series-best driver rating of 126.2

* Series-high 146 fastest laps run

* Series-fastest average green flag speed of 169.240

* Series-high 792 (98.5%) laps in the top 15

* Kenseth's No.17 Ford Fusion will carry the USG Sheetrock colors this weekend at Chicago. It marks the second of three times this season Kenseth will pilot the USG Sheetrock Ford; the first was at Las Vegas in March where he finished 20 after leading 70 laps, and the last will be at Atlanta in October.


Jamie McMurray

* In five starts at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, McMurray has produced one top-10 finish.

* McMurray averages a 27.2 starting position and a 24.0 finishing position at Chicagoland Speedway.

* Currently McMurray is 23 rd In Sprint Cup point standings.

* ESPN ESPY Awards Last week, McMurray was nominated for a 2008 ESPY Award for Best Finish his 2007 finish at Daytona International Speedway, where McMurray edged Kyle Busch to the finish line by .005 seconds. Fans may vote at until July 12th.


Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters Chicago fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 249 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In 18 starts, Edwards has accumulated three wins, seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.

* Edwards will make his fourth Cup start at Chicago this weekend. In his previous three starts, Edwards has one top-five finish.

* Edwards continues to lead all drivers in top-10 finishes, having scored 13 thus far in 2008 Edwards has top-10 finishes in 11 of his last 13 races.

* The No.99 Office Depot Ford piloted by Edwards will feature a one-of-a-kind "Taking Care of Business" paint scheme this weekend, featuring the individual signatures of close to 8,000 Office Depot associates from around the world. The signatures - collected from Canada to Korea, from Slovakia to Spain, from the United States to the United Kingdom - are representative of the fact that Office Depot associates in more than 40 countries across the globe help customers "take care of business" every day.

* Edwards will carry the red and black colors of Office Depot this Saturday night. Office Depot store #2605 from Reno, Nevada is the weekly sales winner and will ride along with Edwards this weekend at Chicago.

* Edwards will partner with The Office Depot Foundation for a special "Back To School" event at 11 a.m. (CT) on Thursday at the Office Depot store in Frankfort, Ill., (11145 West Lincoln Highway). Edwards, a former substitute teacher in his hometown of Columbia, Mo., will help the Foundation donate 3,000 backpacks to a group of local organizations that work with deserving children in the greater-Chicago area.

* Edwards will also greet fans and sign autographs from Noon-1 p.m. (CT) on Thursday at the Office Depot store in Frankfort. Wristbands are required, with distribution limited to the first 200 customers (one per person). Wristbands will be available at the store when it opens at 8 a.m. (CT) on Thursday.


David Ragan
No.6 AAA Ford Fusion

"I'm excited for a night race at Chicago. It's a great track to race at since it's wide and there are plenty of opportunities to pass. Being a night race for the first time it will definitely make things interesting. I ran an ARCA race there back in 2005 and finished second, so Chicago is definitely a track I like a lot. We didn't do so well there last year in the Cup car, but I've got more experience this time around and think we will be able to get a better finish."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"Daytona was another solid run for this team. I'm really proud of them; they've been stepping up and performing each weekend, so I don't expect any less from them this weekend. Chicago is a fast track with multiple grooves and David should do pretty well. We just have to keep the big picture in mind and keep making smart decisions and finishing races."

Team: No.163M Ford Fusion

"Chicagoland is very fast and relatively flat, which makes it challenging. It requires a lot of throttle and brake control and those types of tracks are the most fun for a driver. We're taking the car that we raced at Charlotte back in May and if we don't have anything out of the ordinary go wrong, it should be a good race for us this weekend. We are obviously not in the position we would like to be in right now after our finish at Daytona but the points are close. Hopefully we can regain some ground at Chicagoland."

Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"This will be our first time at Chicago with the COT and we are expecting that we will be strong like we have been at most of the other mile-and-a-half tracks this season. We're looking for a top-five finish in Chicago. If we could have the kind of run we had with this car in Charlotte, I would be extremely happy. We ran well all night in the Coke 600 and if we could do the same this weekend and be there to compete for the win at the finish, it would be a great night for us."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 USG Sheetrock/DEWALT Ford Fusion

"Chicago is a great track and one I really enjoy racing at. It's wide and fast, real smooth and now that the pavement has aged, you're starting to see a wider groove. It's a big race weekend for me, with my hometown not too far away (Cambridge, Wisc.), and it's a big race weekend for our sponsor USG Sheetrock. We've had a car capable of winning the past three years but for one reason or another, that just hasn't happened. Hopefully we can do a little bit better this year and get a win for USG at Chicago.

"We're coming off of a great weekend at Daytona and I'm really proud of how well we performed last week. I hoping to build on that momentum and get a win. We are getting really close to the Chase and we need as many points as we can get you get the most points for winning, so a win would be huge for us."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"This year's race will be a bit different with the new cars and a fairly new team, but the desire to put the No. 17 in victory lane is just the same.

"The car we're taking is the same car Matt raced at Fontana, Texas and Charlotte. It's one of Matt's favorites and one we've had a lot of success with it this year. Hopefully we'll hit on the right setup from the get-go and that will translate into good things on Saturday."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion

"I would have to say that Chicagoland is probably one of the toughest tracks for me on the Sprint Cup circuit. I'm not sure exactly why, but it's my Achilles' Heel. Other than my first couple visits to the track, I've always seemed to struggle at Chicagoland. I told myself after the race on Saturday in Daytona that all week I wouldn't focus on the past at Chicago, but that I'd go into the track with a fresh outlook on the weekend.

"I know on paper, it doesn't appear that our team has had a very good run here recently, but if you ask me, we've had some of the fastest cars the last few weeks. In Michigan we were really fast, Sonoma we were running second, in Loudon we were good, and last week in Daytona, I thought we had a pretty decent car. This No.26 Crown Royal team has worked really hard in getting the cars exactly where we need them, but it just seems like we've had some rough finishes. We just need to be there at the end of these races.

"Hopefully we can go to Chicagoland this weekend, stay out of trouble and get a good finish for this No.26 Crown Royal team."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"I think we have a great car for this weekend's race in Chicago. I know Chicago hasn't been the best track to Jamie over the years, but I'm pretty confident about the race this weekend. This is the same car that we ran well with at Texas. This weekend has a lot of unknowns going in this is the first time we've raced at Chicago at night, and also the first time with us running the new car at the track. I'm pretty confident, we'll be able to take a lot of the information we learned at Charlotte and Texas and transfer over into this car. This weekend, we just need to get solid track position and stay out of trouble and it should be a good race for the No.26 team."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion

"I am excited to race at Chicago. We are coming off of an awesome race at Daytona where we nearly picked up the win. I think we have the potential to do really well this weekend in the Office Depot Fusion. Chicago hasn't always been a great track for me, but we had a great finish there last year."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"I'm looking forward to getting back to the 1.5-mile tracks. Carl runs really well at those types of tracks so we are certainly hoping to have a strong finish for the Office Depot team. Tracks like Chicago, Fontana and Kansas seem like cookie cutter-type tracks but actually they all have their own unique characteristics, and running at Chicago always makes for some great racing."


David Ragan
Team: No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion

"I am very confident we can make some noise in Chicago. We had an okay finish there last year, but this year our expectations for every race are much different. We not only want to secure good finishes and stay on the lead lap, but we want to be right there at the end challenging for top fives and wins. That means our Discount Tire team has to limit the amount of mistakes we make during a race. When this team stays consistent we run very well. I am looking forward to running up front with the best in the field and hopefully putting our Ford Fusion in position to win a race."

Crew chief Mike Kelley on racing at Chicago:
"We are very confident in our ability to run up front every week. Our Discount Tire team has secured five straight top-10 finishes. We have been in contention for wins in all of those races. We know what we need to do to run well, now we have to get over the hump and get that first win. Chicago is a similar track to Texas, and David has always run well there. Racing under the lights has always been fun to me, especially in a great sports town like Chicago. We are going to do our best to put our Discount Tire Ford Fusion in victory lane this weekend."

Greg Biffle
Team: No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion

"I like Chicagoland. It's similar to Las Vegas and we ran really well out there earlier this year. I haven't been in the Nationwide Series car in a few weeks so I'm looking forward to getting back over there. I've never won a race at Chicagoland and I'd love for my first win there to come in the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion. Night racing is always fun and it's cool to be running the first night race at Chicagoland. These guys deserve a win and hopefully that'll come on Friday night."

Crew chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Chicagoland Speedway: "We're really looking forward to this
weekend. We're taking one of our best cars, it's the same one Greg drove at Charlotte and in Las Vegas. The team has put a big effort into this weekend and we're pretty excited to get out there. We're still looking for our first win and I think this might be our best chance so far."

Team: No.17 Valvoline Ford Fusion

"It's no secret that Chicago is one of my favorite race tracks. I've had a lot of success there over the years and I always look forward to racing there. On the other hand, I've never won at Chicago and that's a monkey I'd like to get off my back. I think I've finished second there twice in the Cup car and twice in the Nationwide car. I've had really good races there where I thought we could've won, but something always happens. This weekend, hopefully that won't be the case and we can get a win for the Valvoline team at Chicago."

Crew chief Pierre (P.K.) Kuettel on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"This will be my first race with Matt, so I'm pretty anxious to see how the weekend will go. Matt is an experienced racer who has had tons of success, so I know we'll have that on our side this weekend. Hopefully we've put together a fast car for him and we can go out there and get a top-five finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 World Financial Group Ford Fusion

"Chicagoland is close to home for me, so it's important to run strong. We've been on a roll the past couple of weeks and we plan on keeping the momentum going. I feel confident that we will give World Financial Group a good run. The best way to do that is by putting them into Victory Lane. There is no better place, or time than this weekend at Chicago."

Crew chief Drew Bickensderfer on racing at Chicagoland Speedway:
"I am looking forward to getting back to my home state in our No.60 World Financial Group Ford Fusion. The Nationwide Series field is getting more competitive every week so we have to bring our best this weekend in Chicago. Carl has never won at Chicago so I am sure he is hungry for a win. We have been in contention for wins every week as of late and I am confident we can do the same this weekend. We are sitting third in the point standings and that is not acceptable. A win is our only goal this weekend."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Greg Erwin , Mike Kelley , Kyle Busch
Teams Roush Fenway Racing