Fontana II: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Roush Fenway Racing Auto Club Speedway Fontana, Calif. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Pepsi 500 Sunday, August 31 David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion Greg Biffle No.16 3M Ford Fusion Matt Kenseth No.17 R + L ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Auto Club Speedway
Fontana, Calif.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Pepsi 500
Sunday, August 31

David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Greg Biffle No.16 3M Ford Fusion
Matt Kenseth No.17 R + L Carriers Ford Fusion
Jamie McMurray No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.99 Aflac Ford Fusion

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Camping World RV Service 300 presented by Coleman
Saturday, August 30

David Ragan        No.6 America's Tire Ford Fusion

Jamie McMurray No.17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.60 Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion


David Ragan

* In three prior starts at Auto Club Speedway David Ragan's best finish was in the night race last year. Ragan qualified 33rd and finished 12th.

* This will be the second time the series visits a two-mile D-shaped oval. Just a few weeks ago they were at Michigan where Ragan earned a third-place finish, tying his career-best third-place finish at Richmond last fall where Ragan will be competing next weekend.

* Ragan has also competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Auto Club . Speedway four times His best finish came this spring where he qualified. 12th and finished 12th .


Greg Biffle

* In addition to Biffle's Cup win at California in 2005, he also has three Nationwide Series wins at the two-mile oval.

* Biffle had led nine laps and looked to be a contender for the win in the first race this season at California had it finished at night. As the race finished the next day, the conditions were altered and Biffle finished 15th.

* Biffle finished 11th last week in Bristol and currently sits seventh in the point standings.

* Biffle is now 625 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch, and 141 points ahead of David Ragan in the 13th position.

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


Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his 14th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Auto Club Speedway this weekend in the Pepsi 500.

* For the record... In his previous starts at California, Kenseth has achieved two wins, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He has completed 99.9% (or 3,253 of 3,255) of all laps attempted. Kenseth has led a total of 383 laps at Fontana more than any other active driver.

* In the LOOP... According to NASCAR's Loop Statistics, over the past seven races at Fontana, Kenseth has turned 90 of the fastest laps and spent 1,521 laps (86.7%) in the top 15. His driver rating is 112.7, which ranks Kenseth second to Jimmie Johnson.

* Rewind... After qualifying 25th and battling an ill-handling racecar, Kenseth and crew captured a solid ninth-place finish last weekend at Bristol.

* Standings...With Kenseth's ninth-place finish last week at Bristol; he maintained his 10th-place standing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Kenseth has 2,921 points. He is 688 points behind first place and 66 points ahead of 12th place.

* On the track... This weekend the No.17 team will sport the yellow and green colors of R+L Carriers. The guys will be unloading chassis No. RK-550. Kenseth has raced this car four other times this season and has scored one top-five and four top-10 finishes.


Jamie McMurray

* Statistically speaking, Auto Club Speedway is Jamie McMurray's best track on the Sprint Cup circuit.

* In 10 career Sprint Cup starts at the two-mile speedway, McMurray has five top-10 finishes, including three top-five finishes.

* McMurray has a career-average starting position of 26.2 and an average finishing position of 13.7 at Auto Club Speedway.

* Over the last five races, McMurray has averaged a 10.6 finish, marking his best run of the 2008 season.

* This weekend, McMurray will run double-duty in both the Cup and Nationwide Series. McMurray will pilot his No.17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion at the two-mile speedway on Saturday evening.


Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters California second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 212 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In 24 starts, Edwards has accumulated six wins, 11 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.

* Edwards will make his ninth Cup start at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. In his previous eight starts, Edwards has one win, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

* Edwards' average Sprint Cup start at Auto Club Speedway is 16.8, his . average finish is 6.8 Edwards picked up his first win at Auto Club . Speedway earlier this season .

* The No.99 team will be bringing chassis RK-558 to California. This chassis last raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Edwards started second and finished first.

* Edwards heads west as the winner of the past two Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Edwards has won three of the last four races beginning with Pocono on August 3. With his win last week at Bristol, Edwards has locked himself into the 2008 Chase.

* Edwards picked up his first pole of the 2008 season last week at Bristol, locking him into the starting field of the 2009 Shootout at Daytona.

* Edwards leads all drivers in top-10 finishes thus far in 2008 with 18.

* Edwards will carry the blue and green colors of Aflac this Sunday evening.

* Edwards has three wins and 10 top-five finishes in 2008 Nationwide competition.

* Edwards has one win, four top-five and five top-10 finishes in seven starts at Auto Club Speedway. He has completed 99.1 percent of laps in his seven Nationwide races (1,041 of 1,050), and led 101 of those laps.

* Edwards' average Nationwide finish at California is 8.1.


David Ragan
Team: No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-615 Brand new chassis
     RK-561 Last ran Pocono, finished 24th

Ragan on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"I'm looking forward to another night race, especially at a track like California. It's really wide and fast and there are plenty of opportunities to pass if your car is handling right. Having the Auto Club of Southern California on the car is pretty neat since they are huge in that area and took over sponsorship of the track. It's a big race for us and very important since there are just two more races until the Chase. Hopefully we leave California with a good finish and gain some points."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"I'm really proud of how well this team has been doing. We keep going out there and having solid runs and good pit stops which reflect where we currently are in the point standings. California is a good track for David and we should be able to get another solid run."

Team: No.163M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK 571 Last outing: Michigan in June (Finished 20th)

Biffle on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"California and Michigan are probably my two favorite tracks. I've had a lot of success at Auto Club Speedway in the Nationwide Series and we've run well there the last several times in the Cup car. We ran pretty well at Michigan a couple of weeks ago and I think we learned a few things that will help us get pointed in the right direction with the setup this weekend. There is a chance that we could get locked in for the Chase this weekend and that would take a lot of pressure off for Richmond. It would still be great to get a win in before the Chase and we're not ruling that out with the two tracks we have coming up."

Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"We're going to try to look at what happened to us there in the first race with the rainout. We had a really good car for that race but we feel like we corrected a lot of our problem. We're going to take an improved setup based on what we learned at Michigan and hopefully build on the momentum we have going right now. If we can come out of California locked into the Chase, I'll feel a lot better going to Richmond."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No.17 R+L Carriers/DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-550 Last outing: Chicago, July '08 started ninth, finished seventh
     Also: Raced: Coca-Cola 600 finished seventh; Texas
     finished ninth and California, Feb. '08 finished fifth

Kenseth on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"California has been one of our better tracks throughout our time in the Nationwide Series and in the Cup Series, so it's definitely a track I look forward to racing. The track is just a real big, wide track. You get a little bit of everything there. You get a lot of speed, especially now in the new cars because they have less drag, so you really go fast down the straightaways. It's got some pretty big corners where you can run around the bottom or you can run up high and you're always kind of searching for a groove, so the racing is always a lot of fun.

"Over the past couple of weeks we've run really bad. I know our finishes have been decent, that's mainly because we've had good pit stops and have been able to make a lot of good adjustments. But in all honesty, the past few weeks have really been a struggle for us. We haven't really been finding the right setups and it's been really difficult for us. In the race, we've been relying on Chip's adjustments, which have been good and the pit crew to keep me competitive. It's not what we aim for every week. For some reason, we've been quite a bit off from my teammates. As we head into the last two races before the Chase, we have a lot of work to do, but I feel confident that Chip and guys will get us where we need to be."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"We're bringing RK-550 this weekend to Fontana. We've raced this car a few times this year and we've had some decent finishes in it. The last time Matt raced this car we were at Chicago and he went from 30th , a lap down on lap 176 to finish seventh just 90 laps later. I think he set a record for cars passed in that race. Hopefully the car will be just as fast and handle just as well this weekend at Fontana. Fontana is a momentum track that fits Matt's driving style, so if we can get the right setup for him and have the car handling just right, we should be fine."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-603 Last outing: Indianapolis, July 2008; finished sixth
     RK-463 Last outing: Martinsville, Oct.2007; finished 32nd

McMurray on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"It's easy to look back on Michigan and say that we will have a good run at California because of how well we ran there a couple weeks ago, and I certainly hope that is true. Typically, when you look at the guys who were fast at the Michigan race just a few weeks ago, it usually carries over into this race. The tracks are similar, but still have a lot of different characteristics to them.

"Over the last few weeks the No.26 Crown Royal team has put together some really good finishes. At the end of the Bristol race, I was really disappointed with our 12th-place finish, but I also know those are the finishes that you need to move yourself up in the points. This team has come such a long way this season, and I'm excited about the remainder of the season.

"This weekend should be pretty good for our team. We didn't have the best race here in February, but since have done a lot of testing and have come a long way with this new car."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"I'm excited about returning to Fontana this weekend. Our cars are almost where we want them to be and after Michigan, I'm feeling good about our intermediate program. Last weekend, we didn't qualify well at all, but were able to come up through the field with a fast race car. We've done a lot of work at the shop with simulating the tracks and how the cars are going to react with various setups, and I think going into Fontana, based on information from all of our teams, we will have a really good weekend."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-558 Last outing: Las Vegas Speedway in March, finished first

Carl Edwards on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"I just love Auto Club Speedway. It's a fun track and I've had a lot of success there. My Aflac Ford should be extremely fast out there. We won there earlier this year and we were in Victory Lane just a few weeks ago at Michigan, a pretty similar track. We've been fortunate enough to win the last two races in a row, and we'd love to make it three this weekend."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"I am excited to head to California this weekend. It has been a successful race track for Carl and the 99 team. We were fortunate enough to win there earlier this year and we feel like we've got a great chance to head back to Victory Lane this weekend. It's been a great few weeks for this Aflac team. We're already locked into The Chase, so we're looking to have some fun and pick up some more bonus points."


David Ragan
Team: No.6 America's Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-378 Last ran at Chicago, Jul.08', finished 13th

Ragan on racing in the Nationwide Series at Auto Club Speedway:
"I am looking forward to running well at Fontana. We have struggled lately and I am going to do everything in my power to get America's Tire a great finish. Our team has prepared a fast race car and anything less than a top 10 will be unacceptable. It's time for us to get our identity back. We know what it takes to run well in this series, but we haven't executed our game plan in recent weeks. I am confident we can turn the corner and get back to running up front every week."

Crew chief Mike Kelley on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"We have put ourselves in a horrible position after last weekend in Bristol. Our team needs a top-10 finish in the worst way. I am just glad we didn't slide any further down in the points. David has had some success at Fontana, so I am confident we can turn it around. The field will be very competitive this weekend, but I know our team can step up to the challenge. Our setup has to be right and we must have a solid fuel mileage strategy during the race. I am expecting to right the ship this weekend and secure a strong finish for the America's Tire family."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No.17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK-553 (finished sixth at California in February)

McMurray on racing in the Nationwide Series at Auto Club Speedway:
"I've always enjoyed racing at Fontana. You can run on the top or on the bottom, and there's a lot of room to pass. We had a good run out there earlier in the year, we just didn't have enough at the end to contend for the win. I know P.K. and all of the guys have been working really hard gearing up for this weekend. The last time I was in this car we gave CitiFinancial their first pole of the year so hopefully this week we'll be able to give them their first win!"

Crew chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"This will be my first time at this track with Jamie and I'm really looking forward to it. I know this team had a strong run with him out there in February and I expect nothing less this weekend. I've really enjoyed working with Jamie. He's in our car a lot in the coming weeks and I fully expect to see him win a race or two in the No.17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.60 Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-377 Last ran at Charlotte, May 08', finished 13th

Edwards on racing in the Nationwide Series at Auto Club Speedway:
"I can't wait to run on another two-mile oval. I really enjoy running at Fontana, because it's super fast and very similar to Michigan. It has a lot of room to race. Our team has had a lot of success there and we are very determined to have a good run for Save-A-Lot and start digging into the overall points lead."

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
"This is a big weekend for us. We have slipped a little in the points, but Carl is phenomenal at Fontana. I am very confident we can win this weekend. Our Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion will be very fast and sets up nicely for the track. Our pit crew has been good in recent weeks, but in order to make a move in the points they have to be stellar. It is going to take a total team effort to reach our ultimate goal of a championship. This weekend will be a true test of what this team is made of."

-credit: rfr

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