Martinsville: Roush Racing preview

Martinsville Speedway, April 9-10, 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Advance Auto Parts 500, Sunday at 1:20 pm (ET) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Kroger 250, Saturday at 1:15 pm (ET) Roush Racing Fast Facts * Greg Biffle is ...

Martinsville Speedway, April 9-10, 2005
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Advance Auto Parts 500, Sunday at 1:20 pm (ET)
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Kroger 250, Saturday at 1:15 pm (ET)

Roush Racing Fast Facts

* Greg Biffle is currently second in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series point standings, the highest position he has ever held in NASCAR's premiere series.

* With the end of tax season quickly approaching, this weekend Biffle's No. 16 National Guard Ford will feature a special Jackson Hewitt Tax Service paint scheme.

* Biffle has one pole, one top-five and two top-10's in three Craftsman Truck Series starts at Martinsville.

* Carl Edwards currently sits fourth in the overall NEXTEL Cup point standings. He's just one point out of third and 157 points out of first.

* To date, Edwards has completed 100% of his race laps run at Martinsville Speedway (1,404/1,404). In the truck series Edwards has claimed two top-five and four top-10 finishes in just four starts. He was also the pole winner in the fall of 2003 in the truck series.

* The No. 99 team tested RK-248 in Phoenix last week with success. Edwards raced this car to a sixth place finish at the second Richmond race in 2004. RK-248 also served as the primary car for the Phoenix race in 2004.

* Edwards will focus solely on the NEXTEL Cup race this weekend as the Busch Series takes the week off.

* The No. 99 Scotts team will celebrate National Gardening Month during the month of April when they carry a special TV panel decal for the Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix races.

* With his 35th place finish at Bristol, Kurt Busch remains in the top 10 NEXTEL Cup Series competition for the 40th consecutive race week, currently the second-longest streak behind Tony Stewart.

* Busch's No. 97 Ford Taurus sports the colors of Crown Royal for the second of six times this season at Martinsville. Busch finished sixth in the Crown Royal Ford in the pre-season Shootout at Daytona.

* The No. 97 Crown Royal team brings chassis #48 to Martinsville, the same chassis that finished fifth at Martinsville in the fall of 2004 and led 94 laps at Richmond in the last event there. Chassis #56 (finished 11th at Martinsville in the spring of 2004) will serve as the back-up.

* Busch picked up his second career victory at Martinsville in the Old Dominion 500 on October 20, 2002 from the 36th starting position, the farthest back a race winner has started at Martinsville by 12 positions (Lee Petty's win on May 3, 1959 from the 24th spot was the previous record).

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

* Martin has 20 top-10 and 10 top-five finishes in 38 starts at Martinsville. Martin also has three poles at Martinsville.

* Martin posted both of his wins and 11 of his 20 top-10 finishes at Martinsville in the spring.

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

* Todd Kluever will drive the No. 50 World Financial Group Ford F-150 at Martinsville. This will be the second of 15 races World Financial Group will be the primary sponsor on the truck.

* The No. 50 CTS team will be taking chassis #34 to Martinsville. This truck has not raced yet in 2005, but Jon Wood drove it to a fourth-place finish at Martinsville last spring.

* CTS rookie Kluever currently leads the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year points by five points.

* The No. 99 Superchips team will be taking chassis #35 to Martinsville. This is the same truck that Carl Edwards drove to an eighth-place finish at Martinsville last fall.

* Ricky Craven is currently third in the Craftsman Truck Series point standings after two top-five finishes in three starts. He is 86 points out of first place.

* Craven has 25 previous starts at Martinsville, 17 in the Nextel Cup Series and eight in the Busch Series. He has one win and one pole in Nextel Cup, and one pole in the Busch Series.

* Craven's first Nextel Cup win came at Martinsville Speedway on October 15, 2001.

* Matt Kenseth will be running chassis number 47 this weekend in Martinsville. This is a brand new car that has not been run before.

* The No. 17 team tested in Martinsville last week in an attempt to improve the team's performance at this track, which historically has not been kind to Kenseth.

Roush Racing at Martinsville

NNCS:

Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-274 (Brand new race car that will make its first run.)

Mark Martin on racing at Martinsville: "Martinsville is a place that I've always hated with a passion, but we've won two or three times there. I've always loved Pocono, but I've never won there, so what does that tell you. It's always been a thorn in my side as far as short tracks. The people have always told me how well I run there, but it sure never feels that way. It can be physically demanding. Sometimes you leave there worn down, sometimes you feel fine. It's been a real challenge for me, because it really just doesn't fit my driving style.

"We had a tough week in Bristol and despite what I may or may not like, Martinsville is our next opportunity to go out and win a race and that is what we'll try to do this weekend."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Martinsville: "Martinsville can be a tough place to race and we all know that it's not one of our favorite places to race. However we ran okay there both times last year and we had a really good race car there last spring, so we know that Mark can get it done if we give him the right tools to work with. We aren't happy with last weekend's results and so we are pretty anxious to get back out on the track and go to work on getting that first win for the No. 6 team. Hopefully that'll come this weekend."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard/Jackson Hewitt Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: #258 (Raced last year in the fall race at Martinsville)

Greg Biffle on racing at Martinsville: "I feel pretty good about Martinsville. We'll just have to keep our heads in the game and make smart decisions. At Martinsville, we had a decent finish last year and I'm looking forward to getting an even better finish this year. The short tracks are more intense and there is a little more pressure. You have to stay on your marks every lap and there's always someone on your bumper."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Martinsville: "We're taking chassis 258 because it ran well last year but we just didn't have good track position. It will be a good foundation to improve on though and hopefully get a better finish this time. I think a realistic goal for us this weekend at Martinsville is a top-10 finish. I'd have to say our strategy for the race will change depending on where we're running and how we qualify."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: #47 (Brand new race car)

Matt Kenseth on racing at Martinsville: "We've been inconsistent in our finishes at Martinsville. We've done a lot of testing here in the past, including last week, and we're still trying to get the set-up right. We're bringing a new car this weekend that I hope will run well. Like Bristol last week, we have to concentrate on staying out of trouble and preserving the car."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Martinsville: "Our team has really struggled at Martinsville. Brakes are always a concern, and we've had to adjust to the changes in the track surface over the years. We tested in Martinsville last week with mixed results. I'm not sure how the car will be when we unload this weekend. We need to break our string of bad luck and come out with a solid finish, so I hope this weekend will be a turning point for us at Martinsville."

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools/Sharpie/Crown Royal Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #56 (finished 11th at Martinsville in the spring of 2004)

Kurt Busch on racing at Martinsville: "This is the first time we've ever had two short tracks back-to-back on the schedule, so it's going to be different. You don't take the same car to Martinsville that you race at Bristol, but the races are still tough on the body, literally, to run short tracks back to back. It will definitely be an interesting race with the points, with some guys on the outside looking in. The aggressiveness that people didn't use at Bristol is likely to come out at Martinsville. But we hope to rebound with a solid run and a top five in the Crown Royal car."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Martinsville: "With those long straights and tight corners, Martinsville is a tough track on the brakes and the motors. It really puts a lot of it on the driver too because it is so mentally exhausting to go run around for 500 laps on those tight turns. We had some tough finishes here last year, but in 2002 we ran well here. Kurt has taken the car to victory lane here before, and we all know he knows how to run short tracks, so we'll see if he can keep the fenders clean and get a good finish."

Carl Edwards
Team: No.99 Scotts Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-248 (also raced at the second Richmond and Phoenix race in 2004)

Carl Edwards on racing at Martinsville: "I sat on the pole there in 2003 and I've finished pretty well there in the truck series so I guess you could say I like the track. It's a lot of fun to race there. It's probably one of the toughest tracks for me in the Cup car. After last week's run at Bristol I'm really ready to go to Martinsville and do awesome in the Scotts Ford. Last weekend was so frustrating for me, I want to go to Martinsville and not hit anything."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Martinsville: "Martinsville is definitely one of the more challenging tracks on the circuit. You have to qualify well so you don't go a lap down early in the race. Plus pit strategy and tire management are huge factors that can make or break a team in 500 laps. We didn't have the run we were hoping for in Bristol so we're hoping to redeem ourselves this week at Martinsville and maintain our position in the points."

NCTS:

Todd Kluever
Team: No. 50 World Financial Group F-150
Crew Chief: John Monsam
Chassis: #34 (Finished 4th last spring at Martinsville)

Todd Kluever on racing at Martinsville: "We spent two days testing in Martinsville two weeks ago and that really helped. I'm glad we went there because that track is like nothing I've ever experienced before. The long straightaways and tight corners take some time to get used to, and I can only imagine what it's going to be like with 35 other trucks out there.

"During the test we made some good qualifying runs which will be important since you want to start up front there. That is not the place to start toward the back and have to fight your way up through the field. I think we've got a good race set-up too.

"I feel good going into Martinsville since I've got two of the best people to help me there. My teammate, Ricky Craven, won his first Nextel Cup race there in 2001 so he certainly knows his way around. He was also testing the first day we were there and he was a lot of help. My crew chief, John Monsam, also knows a few things about Martinsville. He's won there twice with two different drivers. I'd really like to become the third."

Crew Chief John Monsam on racing at Martinsville: "I enjoy going to Martinsville since I've been lucky enough to win there twice as a crew chief. I helped Jon Wood get a popular hometown-win there in 2003 and I'd like to help Todd get a win there as well. We tested there and I think that will really help us."

Ricky Craven
Team: No. 99 Superchips Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: #35 (Finished 8th last fall at Martinsville)

Ricky Craven on racing at Martinsville: "There will always be a special place in my heart for Martinsville since it is where I got my very first Nextel Cup win. I remember it was down to the wire with Dale Jarrett. We were sideways going down the backstretch. What stands out is crossing the finish line and the feeling of time standing still. There were a lot of different emotions. There was a sense of relief and accomplishment at the same time. There were several drivers and crew members that ran out on pit road to congratulate me. The first driver to me was Dale Jarrett who finished second. It was really a great feeling of support from my fellow competitors.

"My first win in the Cup series was in a Ford at Martinsville, so it seems appropriate that my first win in the Craftsman Truck Series might come in a Ford at Martinsville. We spent a day testing there about two weeks ago and had an extremely productive test. We found a great set-up that I think will work really well for the race."

Mike Beam on racing at Martinsville: "Ricky is so good at Martinsville. This whole team is looking forward to racing there. We had a great test a few weeks ago and learned a lot. I think we all have high expectations for this race."

-rr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ricky Craven , Jon Wood , Carl Edwards , Todd Kluever , Doug Richert , Mark Martin , Lee Petty