Martinsville: Roush Racing preview

Martinsville Speedway, Mar. 31 -- Apr. 2 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: DIRECTV 500 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: KROGER 300 Roush Racing Fast Facts * Mark Martin has two victories at Martinsville (spring '92 and spring 2000). *...

Martinsville Speedway, Mar. 31 -- Apr. 2
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: DIRECTV 500
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: KROGER 300

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Mark Martin has two victories at Martinsville (spring '92 and spring 2000).

* Martin has 20 top-10 and 11 top-five finishes in 39 starts at Martinsville.

* Martin posted both of his wins and 10 of his 19 top-10 finishes at Martinsville in the spring.

* Martin has three poles at Martinsville.

* Martin finished third in his first ever attempt at Martinsville on 9/29/81. He started the race fifth.

* Martin has finished inside the top 15 in nine consecutive races dating back to last season.

* Greg Biffle is currently 15th in the point standings, a gain of six positions from the previous week.

* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 237 points out of the lead but are only 48 points out of a top-10 position.

* Biffle has two top-10 finishes in three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts at Martinsville Speedway.

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

* Matt Kenseth has completed more laps at Martinsville in the past eight Cup races than any other active driver (3,998 of 4,000).

* Kenseth is atop the NEXTEL Cup point standings for the first time since April 4, 2004, when he lost the points lead after Texas, 71 races ago.

* Kenseth has led at least 28 laps in four of the season's first five races; 338 in all.

* Kenseth has scored only three top-10s at Martinsville, which is tied with Darlington for the lowest count of top-10s at any track where Kenseth has totaled at least 10 starts.

* Bristol marked Kenseth's 225th career start in NASCAR's NEXTEL Cup series.

* In his six Cup starts at the Martinsville Speedway, Jamie McMurray has one top-five and four top-ten finishes.

* McMurray will be running car number 48 this weekend in Martinsville.. This car won the fall race in Richmond in 2005.

* McMurray will be in the blue and yellow IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion this weekend.

* Carl Edwards' best performance at Martinsville came in the Truck Series in October of 2003 where he started first and finished second.

* After moving up eight spots to 22nd place in the point standings, Edwards currently sits only 106 points out of 10th place.

* Edwards will only be running the Nextel Cup race this weekend, as the Busch Series enjoys its first off weekend.

* Chassis RK-358 will be making its season debut this weekend for Office Depot team.

* Edwards will be a guest on ESPN's, "Cold Pizza" this Friday, March 31st.

* Edwards will also be making his much anticipated debut on FOX's, "24" this Monday, April 3rd at 9:00 p.m. (EST).

* This will be Mark Martin's seventh career Craftsman Truck Series Race.

* Martin has finished in the top 10 in each of his Truck starts, including a wins at North Wilkesboro, Daytona and California. He has won 60 percent of the truck races he has taken part in.

* Martin is scheduled to move into the Truck Series full-time in 2007.

NNCS

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-191 The car will debut at Martinsville.

Martin on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"I don't think that it any secret that Martinsville is not my favorite track. In fact, it's a track that I've always hated with a passion. The funny thing is that we've won there a couple of times and everyone always tells me that we run pretty good there, although it sure never feels that way. The track can be physically demanding and a lot of times you leave there feeling really worn down. Martinsville has always been a real challenge for me, because in the end, it just doesn't fit with my driving style. But all that really doesn't matter, as it's the next track on the schedule and the most important one that we go to this week, so it's up to us to be on our A game and go there and hopefully try to contend for a win.

"Pat (Tryson) and the team have been outstanding this season. We've been a top-10 car every week, and we've been able to run up front, lead laps and contend. We've won at Martinsville before and we had a strong run there in the spring last year, so if we can expand on that, hopefully we can be in good shape."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Last year we had a really good run in the spring at Martinsville and then we were off in the fall, so we'll have to go back and figure out what we need to do to make sure we give Mark the best car possible. We've run well there in the past, so hopefully we can be competitive this weekend."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-297 (Martinsville '05)

Biffle on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is obviously not one of my best racetracks but we spent some time testing there last year and I think we learned a lot during the race there last fall. We're taking back the same car we ran there in the fall race and I think that if we can use those notes to find a better setup, we should be okay. We've been gaining a lot in the points and we just need a solid finish this weekend to keep up the momentum."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"We're taking a car that we raced at Martinsville last fall except that it has been re-bodied with the new Fusion style. We missed the setup last fall, so we're going to try some different things when we get out there for practice. Our goal this weekend is a solid top-15 finish. We'll go to Martinsville this weekend a little more on the defense than on the offense but if we can qualify well and stay out of trouble, we should have a decent run."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser


Chassis: Primary: RK-164, Last ran at Phoenix, fall '05; finished 32nd Ran both Martinsville races in '05; finished 12th and 11th

Backup: RK-298, Never ran; only test was Richmond, fall '05

Kenseth on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"People talk about running the two shortest tracks on the circuit back to back, but really, Martinsville and Bristol are like black and white. They're the same size on a piece of paper; they're both a half-mile, but other than that I don't think anything is the same. To me, it's the same as asking if Charlotte and Loudon are the same. They're just so much different, to me, besides the size that, which I don't compare that. We have a different car we take to Martinsville. We usually take the car I like the least to Martinsville, but we're taking a decent car to Martinsville that we've ran good on the flat tracks with. At Bristol we've just got one car that we've run here the last six or seven races that seems to like this place alright, so we've got a different car that we only use at Bristol."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is definitely a one of a kind racetrack, at least in the Cup Series. It's the only oval we go to where we run about 35 miles per hour through the corners. Track position becomes so important because it's so hard to pass. It helps if you can qualify good and not put yourself in a hole to start. If you're good and consistent with your pit stops, this is a track where you can pick up a lot of positions on pit road. We try to stay focused on one race at a time and not get caught up in the big picture at this point. If we finish as good as we possibly can each week, then the big picture will work itself out."

Jamie McMurray
Team: No. 26 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Car Number: 48, won Richmond, fall '05

Jamie McMurray on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"I know a lot of the guys don't particularly look forward to going to Martinsville, because it's tricky to get around and unlike any other track we visit. I've been fortunate to get some good finishes there, so I'm actually looking forward to it. I've only finished badly there twice, so I hope my good fortunate at the "paperclip" will continue."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"We're still struggling a little bit with our set-ups and getting Jamie what he likes in the race car. We're bringing probably our oldest car to Martinsville this weekend, but it's a good one. It has several wins in its' history, most recently in Richmond last fall. We have a new rear tire changer and a new spotter that joined us in Bristol, so hopefully everything will come together for us this weekend."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis Number: RK- 358

Edwards on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"You know it takes a lot for me to look forward to Martinsville, but days like Bristol are sure helping. I am excited to go to Martinsville. I love racing at these short tracks. We need to have another good race like last weekend in Bristol. Martinsville is probably one of the toughest tracks for me in the Cup car. If we have another good qualifying effort this weekend in Martinsville, I know we will run well."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is another challenging track for the Office Depot team, but I know we are up to the challenge. We are very confident in our brand new race car we taking up there this weekend. Carl and the entire Office Depot team did a great job last weekend in Bristol and we are just looking to continue that same success. We know how important qualifying is at these short tracks, so a lot of focus this weekend will be put on a great qualifying effort. Martinsville is a track where we have to take our time and be there in the end. Hopefully, we come out with a top-ten finish and move up another few spots in the points."

NCTS

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: New Truck

Mark Martin on racing the truck at the Martinsville Speedway:
"I'm looking forward to getting back in the Scotts Ford F-150. Mike Beam and the team have done a great job this season, and we've had some really good trucks. Hopefully we'll be able to go there and contend again for another victory. It's been a lot of fun driving the truck series this year, and there are some great competitors that we go against, so I know I'll have our work cut out for us, especially at Martinsville."."

David Ragan
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Crew Chief: TBD
Chassis: 34

David Ragan on racing at the Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I'm really looking forward to going to Martinsville and building off what we accomplished in Atlanta. I really like racing at short tracks, and Martinsville has some of the best racing you'll see. We'll go there with the intention of completing all the laps, and maybe knock on the door of a good, solid top 15 finish. I think those goals are realistic, and anything beyond that we can consider a bonus. It's going to be a trying day, that's for sure, but if we can keep our cool we should be able to bring home a good finish."

Erik Darnell
Team: No. 99 Woolrich Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: 41

Erik Darnell on racing at the Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is a tough little track to get around. I've never competed here in a race, but I've made some laps here when we filmed Driver X. I don't know if that will really help me too much in the race, but it's something that I can hopefully use to my advantage. So far when we've come to the track it's been my first laps in the first practice session, so I feel like we can come with a little different game plan this time. I won't have to spend as much time familiarizing myself with the track. This team won here last fall, so I'm hoping I can take advantage of that and get a good solid finish in my fist short track race of 2006."

Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at the Martinsville Speedway:
"Martinsville is one of those tracks that can really test a driver and team. Things happen so fast, they can completely change your day and it's often times something out of your control. This is a place where patience on everyone's part is crucial to a successful run. You'll often see it's not only the drivers that get rather animated here, but the crew as well. We had a great run here last year with Ricky Craven, and I hope that we'll be able to take advantage of that and bring home another solid finish this year."

-rr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Ricky Craven , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Erik Darnell , Doug Richert , Mark Martin