Michigan: Roush Racing preview

Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI, June 18-19, 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Batman Begins 400, Sunday at 2:10 pm (ET) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Paramount Health Insurance 200, Saturday at 3:15 pm...

Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI, June 18-19, 2005

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Batman Begins 400, Sunday at 2:10 pm (ET)

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Paramount Health Insurance 200, Saturday at 3:15 pm (ET)

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- Kurt Busch dropped out of the top 10 in the series standings by a single point following his 22nd place finish at Pocono last weekend. Busch sits outside the top 10 in NEXTEL Cup Series competition for the first time since Rockingham last year, ending a streak of 48 consecutive race weeks, the longest streak on the circuit.

- Busch picked up his seventh career victory at Michigan International Speedway on June 15, 2003, starting from the fourth spot and leading 24 laps on his way to victory in the Sirius 400.

- Busch's No. 97 Ford Taurus sports the black and red of Sharpie for this weekend's race at Michigan.

- The Sharpie team brings chassis #65 to Michigan, the same car Busch drove to a fifth-place finish at Homestead last season en route to clinching the 2004 NEXTEL Cup Series championship. This car also finished seventh at Texas earlier this year.

- Last week's win at Pocono marked Carl Edwards's first visit to Pocono Raceway as well as his first win there. It was also the first win at the track for team owner Jack Roush. While on the subject of firsts, it was the first time Stonebridge Life Insurance was carried as a primary sponsor on any race car.

- Edwards moved up five spots to fourth in the overall NEXTEL Cup point standings, he sits 299 out of first and only 77 points separates fourth place Edwards from 10th place.

- Michigan International Speedway is the site of Edwards's first career NEXTEL Cup start. Edwards finished 10th, one of only five active NEXTEL Cup drivers to finish inside the top-10 in their first career start.

- The No. 99 Ford will carry the black and blue AAA paint scheme for the first time in 2005 at Michigan. AAA will also be carried as a primary sponsor at the second Michigan race as well as Indy.

- Edwards's Pocono win brings his overall totals in 2005 to two wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes in just 14 starts.

- Mark Martin's 25 top-10 finishes at Michigan are the most of any active driver.

- Martin has four wins at Michigan in the Cup car, the third most of any active driver.

- Martin has led 21 races at Michigan for a total of 841 laps, including 46 laps led there last fall.

- Martin has finished in the top 10 in five of his last seven at Michigan.

- Martin finished second at Michigan last fall.

- Greg Biffle remains second in the point standings, 123 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

- In addition to his win last year in the Nextel Cup Series, Biffle also has two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins at Michigan International Speedway

- The National Guard/Charter paint scheme returns to the No. 16 Ford this weekend.

- In his 11 Cup starts at Michigan, Matt Kenseth has one win, three top-fives and seven top-ten finishes.

- Kenseth will be running car number 41 at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. This car is new for 2005 and ran in Atlanta and Texas this year.

- Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 team tested in Michigan June 6-7.

- The No. 17 will be running the copper and black Carhartt paint scheme this weekend for the second of three races this season. Carhartt's third race will be at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October.

- Todd Kluever will drive the No. 50 Shell Rotella® T Ford F-150 at Michigan. This will be the fourth of 10 races Shell Rotella® T will be the primary sponsor on the truck.

- Kluever currently leads the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year points by 46 points.

- Ricky Craven's No. 99 Ford F-150 will have a special "Batman Begins" paint scheme at MIS to promote the premier of the movie release this week.

- Craven has 16 previous starts at MIS in his Nextel Cup career, and eight Busch starts. Combined he has three top fives and two poles.


Mark Martin
Team: No. 6 Viagra® Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-231 (Finished 3rd at Dover and 4th at Darlington this season)

Mark Martin on racing at Michigan: "I can't wait to get up to Michigan. Michigan is a great track, where if you have a good car you can really pass some people. We were really good there last fall and had one of the cars to beat. We had a problem in the pits that hurt us late, but we rebounded and came back to finish second, so we are excited about going back up there and hopefully closing the deal.

"We'll be running a Batman Begins paint scheme for the race and that should be a lot of fun. Everyone knows that we had a lot of success there last year with the Batman cars in both the Busch and Cup races, so hopefully we'll be able to take the "Batmobile" to victory lane this weekend."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Michigan: "Michigan is a great track for Mark. We are taking the same car that ran there last fall and we are pretty excited about going back there weekend. We had a great run there, with a second place finish and we'd like nothing better than to get a win this time. Mark has a great record at MIS, so it'll just be up to us to give him what he needs to put that car into victory circle."

Greg Biffle
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-239 (Won at Michigan last year)

Greg Biffle on racing at Michigan: "I like racing at Michigan, there's a lot of room to race and we seem to do well there. We're taking the car that we won with there last August but Doug (Richert) and the guys have completely rebuilt it. We had an issue with the brakes last week, so the team is looking into that and it shouldn't be a problem from here on out. A win this weekend would be a great rebound from the points we lost last week and a victory in Ford's backyard is always something we want."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Michigan: "We're taking RK 239, which is the car we won with at Michigan last August. We have totally rebuilt it with the latest updates and the new areo package we've been running this year. It's a good car for a track like Michigan, so that's why we made the changes and decided to take it back. We'll start with our set-up from last year but modify it a little to account for the new spoiler. It should be a good race for us."

Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: #41 (Ran at Atlanta and Texas earlier this year.)

Matt Kenseth on racing at Michigan: "Michigan is a great track that has three or four grooves that you can run. It's really a driver's track in that you can really move around and pass. We've had some good finishes there, along with a win in 2002, so we'll see if we can get a solid finish out of it this weekend."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Michigan: "We tested up in Michigan a couple of weeks ago and learned some things about our cars. We chose to bring car number 44 as our primary car to Michigan because Matt thought it drove easier than the 44, which we also tested. Handling will be key -- starting loose enough is important yet at the same time you want to be tight enough not to loose speed. Hopefully, we'll get the set-up right and get a good finish out of it."

Kurt Busch
Team: No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools/Sharpie Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: #65 (Finished 7th at Texas earlier this season)

Kurt Busch on racing at Michigan: "My first couple of trips here weren't all that successful for the No. 97 team, but other than that, I've always enjoyed coming to Michigan. It's got multiple grooves and you can race two and three wide in the corners. Fuel mileage also seems to usually play a part in the final outcome so there a strategy element involved that keeps everyone on their toes."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Michigan: "I've got a lot of knowledge about running well here from my past experiences, but anymore, it's like you're coming here for the first time, it seems. There's always a lot of work and consideration to be done to get your car to handle good here. Lots of racing room for the drivers, too--the thing that usually bites the crew chiefs is the fuel mileage. We're bringing the same car we used last year to get that championship and we finished seventh with it in Texas, so we're looking for another top-ten finish with it."

Carl Edwards
Team: No. 99 AAA Ford Taurus
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-302 (This car was first run at Dover two weeks ago)

Carl Edwards on racing at Michigan: "I'm really looking forward to Michigan. It's where I made my first NEXTEL Cup start so it's a special place for me. I really like the track a lot, its fun to race at. You can pass and I think the fans always see a good show there. We have AAA on the No. 99 Ford for the first time this year so we're really excited to give them a good run and build on last week's win. I'm just really looking forward to going to Michigan and doing everything I can to win another race. Bob and the team have worked tremendously hard and I can't thank them enough. They have given me fast race cars and fast pit stops all year and it shows. I'm really proud of my team and I think there are many more trips to victory lane in our future."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Michigan: "The entire AAA team is looking forward to going back to Michigan this weekend which was the site of Carl's first Cup start. We had a nice solid run there in the fall and I think we are definitely capable of doing that once again. Our win last week was huge for this team. I think the second win is the best because that just proves the first one wasn't a fluke. I think our Pocono win established us as a team to contend with and that's huge."


Todd Kluever
Team: No. 50 Rotella T Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Monsam
Chassis: #39 (Raced at Dover)

Todd Kluever on racing at Michigan: "We had a disappointing race at Texas last week, but this whole team is looking to turn that around this weekend at Michigan. We're taking the same truck we raced at Dover a few weeks ago that was a new truck there. I think that will help us a lot because that was a pretty good truck at Dover, but we had some circumstances in the pits that hurt our results.

"I've never raced at Michigan before, but I'm really looking forward to it. We had a fourth-place finish at California back in February and I know the two tracks are very similar. I hope we can run as well at MIS as we did at California. Michigan doesn't seem like the type of track that will be tough to figure out, you just need to bring a good truck with a lot of horsepower."

Crew Chief John Monsam on racing at Michigan: "I think Todd will run really well at Michigan. He did a great job at California. I wish we had the same truck as we had in California, but this one should be pretty good. It ran decent at Dover a few weeks ago, so hopefully we can hit the set-up at Michigan."

Ricky Craven
Team: No. 99 Batman Begins/Superchips Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: #41 (Raced at Lowe's and Texas)

Ricky Craven on racing at Michigan: "Michigan is a great track for me. They have tremendous fans and it is always enjoyable racing there. The track is very smooth and wide, which makes for great passing. The trucks put on a great show at Michigan. After watching the tape of last year's race I'm quite excited about racing there in the truck.

"In addition to that, we'll have Batman helping us here this weekend. We're running a special 'Batman Begins' paint scheme to promote the premier of the movie. My son is quite excited about meeting Batman. Hopefully Batman can give us some tips about how he gets the Batmobile as fast as it is."

Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Michigan: "Michigan should be a good track for us. Ricky has run well there in the past, and hopefully we can help him get his first win there and our first in the trucks."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Ricky Craven , Carl Edwards , Jack Roush , Todd Kluever , Doug Richert , Mark Martin