Daytona II: Roush Fenway Racing preview

David Ragan * 2007 was Ragan's first time competing in the Daytona 500 and he earned a fifth-place finish. * Ragan has competed three times in the Nationwide Series at Daytona. His best finish was ninth this past February. * Ragan is...

David Ragan

* 2007 was Ragan's first time competing in the Daytona 500 and he earned a fifth-place finish.

* Ragan has competed three times in the Nationwide Series at Daytona. His best finish was ninth this past February.

* Ragan is currently 17th in the point standings, 128 points out of 12th.

***

Greg Biffle

* In addition to Biffle's Cup stats at Daytona, he has seven top-10 and three top-five finishes in 13 Nationwide Series starts.

* Biffle scored his first ever Sprint Cup Series win at Daytona International Speedway on July 5th, 2003.

* Biffle finished 21st last week in New Hampshire and currently sits eighth in the point standings.

* Biffle is 377 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and 103 points ahead of Matt Kenseth in the 12th position. He is only 101 points out of the fifth position.

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

***

Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his 18th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Daytona International Speedway this weekend in the Coke Zero 400.

* In 17 starts, Kenseth has achieved one top-five and six top-10 finishes. Kenseth has led a total of 59 laps at Daytona in Cup Series events.

* The No.17 will sport the yellow and green colors of R+L Carries this weekend. Kenseth has carried the R+L Carriers paint scheme just eight times since 2006. In his eight previous starts in the No.17 R+L Carriers Ford, Kenseth has achieved eight top-12, six top-10 and three top-five finishes.

* The No.17 R+L Carriers team will be unloading RK-582 this weekend at Daytona. RK-582 most recently raced Talladega, where it started 13th and finished 41st after being involved in an early-race accident.

* Kenseth is currently 13th in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with 2001 points. He trails 12th place by only 15 points.

* After Richmond Kenseth was ranked 22nd in the point standings, however managed to work his way back into Chase contention with six consecutive top-10 finishes.

***

Jamie McMurray

* Jamie McMurray has one victory, two top five's and three top-10 finishes in his last six starts at Daytona International Speedway.

* McMurray is the defending race winner at Daytona International Speedway after winning by .005 seconds in the July 2007 race.

* In 11 starts, when finishing on the lead lap, McMurray has produced three top-10 finishes otherwise, McMurray has finished 26th or worse.

* McMurray will pilot the No.26 IRWIN Marathon with WeldTec Ford Fusion; the same winning paint scheme from last July. This is a special paint scheme promoting IRWIN's Marathon saw blades.

***

Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters Daytona fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings. In 17 starts, Edwards has accumulated three wins, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.

* For the first time since Richmond on May 3, Carl Edwards finished outside the top 10 when he th finished 17 last week at New Hampshire. Despite that fact, Edwards continues to lead all drivers in top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' average start at Daytona International Speedway is 18.1, his average finish is 24. Edwards' best finish at Daytona is fourth place, captured in July of 2007.

* Edwards will make his eighth Cup start at Daytona this weekend. In his previous seven starts, Edwards has accumulated one top-five and one top-10 finish.

* Edwards will carry the blue and green colors of Aflac this Saturday night.

* The No.99 team will be bringing chassis RK-593 to Daytona. This is a brand-new chassis.

***

NSCS

David Ragan Team: No.6 AAA Ford Fusion

"This weekend we are heading back to Daytona. I really like racing there, but it's a restrictor plate race so you never know what will happen. We'll try and qualify well so we will hopefully be ahead of any accidents that may happen. But with all the drafting and jockeying for position you never know what will unfold anywhere on the track. We had a good car last weekend, but got caught up in something that wasn't our fault. Now we need to get back out there and try and get a good point run."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"Daytona is a good track for David. He was running really well back in February, but bottomed out and lost it which ended his day early. He rebounded back with a strong run at Talladega so I see no reason why he can't get another solid run this weekend in Daytona. We've got a great team and are taking a proven car so it should be a good night for our AAA Ford Fusion."

GREG BIFFLE Team: No.163M Ford Fusion

"Superspeedway racing is always a gamble which makes these races at Daytona and Talladega wildcards on the schedule. Handling comes into play more at Daytona than at Talladega, so we'll focus on that in practice. How the car handles in the draft is crucial. If we can just finish the race, that will be a step in the right direction. If we can finish in the top 10 or top five, that would be huge. This team gets better every week and if we can just keep this steady pace, we will be a threat for the championship in a few weeks."

Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"We're taking the car we ran at Talladega earlier this season because it's got our most recent speedway body. It was brand new for Talladega. We're going to go down there and try to stay out of trouble in practice first of all and then we're going to concentrate on having a good car for long runs on tires. Handling is a priority. We probably won't focus on qualifying runs because starting position there is not critical and the pit selection is not really a big deal. The team is doing a great job sticking together through these summer months. We need to improve over the next nine races to be at the top of our game for the Chase."

Matt Kenseth Team: No.17 R+L Carriers Ford Fusion

"Daytona has been very frustrating over the past couple of years, for us anyway. We've had good cars, but it seems like something always happens to take us out of contention. Restrictor-plate racing, for me, is maddening. You have to make the right decisions, but a lot of it is luck. You have to depend on other cars to help you get to the front. If I have a good car and I'm riding second or third on the last lap and I pull out of line, I might win it, but I might finish sixth, or 10th, or worse. You're really at the mercy of the cars behind you, and for whatever reason, I haven't been able to make it work at the end and win one of these things. No one would like to change that more than me this weekend."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"The biggest thing for us this weekend is to make sure we take care of everything on our end to help Matt on the track. Daytona is a lot different than Talladega although both are often compared to one another. Daytona has bumps and different grooves and there's much more suspension travel, so you have to treat your setup a lot like you would on intermediate tracks. There are so many things out of your control when it comes to plate racing, so you better hit all the marks on everything you can control, or you can really dig yourself a hole. It's our job to make sure the car is set up just right, to make the right calls in the pits and to make sure we have flawless pit stops all night to get Matt track position, keep him up in front of the draft, and hopefully in contention to win by the end of the race."

Jamie McMurray Team: No.26 IRWIN Marathon with WeldTec Ford Fusion

"The last few weeks, this No.26 IRWIN Industrial Tools team certainly hasn't produced the finishes that really show how strong our cars have been. In both Sonoma and Loudon, I thought we had great cars, but in each race we were caught up in wrecks. It's really a shame, because I've felt we've had some really strong cars.

"This weekend, I know I'm really looking forward to returning to Daytona. Obviously, it's a great feeling to be the winner of last year's race, and knowing how much all the guys are looking forward to return there. We are taking a brand new car that has a slightly different body style on it. David Ragan ran the same type of car in Talladega and had a lot of success in it.

"We are also running the same paint scheme this weekend that we did in the race last year. It's a really cool spin off of the IRWIN Industrial Tools paint scheme. They added a flame job and huge Marathon saw blades down the side of the car. It's really cool looking car and I would like nothing more than to return it to victory lane again this year."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"We have a brand new chassis that we are going to run at Daytona this weekend. It's the same style of chassis that the No.6 team ran at Talladega earlier this season. They seemed to have a lot of success with it, so we applied what they learned into our setup for this weekend's race. We haven't had the best of luck the last two races and have lost some spots in the points, but returning to Daytona this weekend as the defending champions is always a good feeling. Jamie is one of the best drafters in our series, and has had a lot of success at the superspeedways. If we can stay out of trouble this weekend, it should be a great weekend for the No.26 IRWIN Industrial Tools team."

Carl Edwards Team: No.99 Aflac Ford Fusion

"I know a lot can happen at Daytona and I haven't had the best finishes there, but I feel really confident in my team and our equipment. If I can keep the Aflac Ford out of trouble and finish up front, I think we'll be in good shape."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"A solid run at Daytona will be important to our Aflac team. Anything can happen there, but I feel that with smart racing, we'll be in good shape. We just need to finish up front and I know we can do that."

NNS

David Ragan Team: No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion

"I am pleased with the direction our Discount Tire team is headed. We have been really consistent the last five races and our team has become a force in the series every week. The key to Daytona is avoiding the big wreck. If we can do that and keep our Ford Fusion in clean air, we should be able to run up front. We have been close so many times this year, so it would be very special to get our first win at a historic place like Daytona."

Crew chief Mike Kelley on racing at Daytona:
"We are confident in our speedway program and the plan we have put in place for Friday night's race. We got a top 10 at Daytona in February so we are hoping to at least duplicate that performance. David has been gaining confidence every week in his ability to run up front. Our pit crew has also been riding a wave of confidence. They have lived up to our expectations and have become one of the elite pit crews in the series. I believe it is only a matter of time before we put together the perfect race from start to finish. This weekend would be a great time for that to happen."

Colin Braun Team: No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion

* This will be Braun's first Nationwide Series race at Daytona.

* Braun qualified ninth in his only career NASCAR start at Daytona; this year's Craftsman Truck Series season opener.

* Braun has three Nationwide Series starts this season and has top-10 qualifying efforts in each race, including his first career pole which came in Mexico City.

* Braun currently sits 15th in Truck Series points.

* Braun will also drive the No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion later this summer at ORP.

Braun on racing at Daytona International Speedway: "I'm looking forward to going back to Daytona. I won my first big Grand Am race down there in 2006 so it's definitely a special track for me. I'm excited. I haven't been there since the truck race in February. We were running well that night but I got caught up in a wreck and didn't finish where I should have. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble and be around at the end this time. I really enjoy running these Nationwide Series races and hopefully we can get a good finish for CitiFinancial."

Crew chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Daytona International Speedway: "Our Daytona car is pretty good. We're taking the same car Greg drove in February. It's probably not going to be very fast in single car runs but we should draft really well. Luck plays such a huge role down there; it's hard to predict what's going to happen. Colin is a smart driver and as long as he's not in the wrong place at the wrong time, I think he'll have the CitiFinancial Ford Fusion up front at the end."

Carl Edwards Team: No.60 Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion

"It's always great racing under the lights at Daytona. We have picked up a little momentum the last few weekends and the whole team feels we can win at Daytona. We secured a top 10 at Daytona earlier in the year, so I am confident we can improve this time around. We need to stay out of trouble, and make sure we bring our Ford Fusion home without a scratch. I would love to get Save-A-Lot a win at the historic superspeedway."

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Daytona International Speedway:
"I am confident we have a solid game plan for this weekend at Daytona. Carl has been pretty consistent throughout his career at the track. Carl and I have worked well together the last few weeks getting to know each other and our different racing philosophies. The most important thing is being in position to win races every week. If we continue this level of consistency we should be in the hunt for a championship at season end."

-credit: rfr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Colin Braun , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Greg Erwin , Mike Kelley , Kyle Busch
Teams Roush Fenway Racing