Roush Fenway Racing Bristol preview

Roush Fenway Racing Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol Tenn. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sharpie 500 Saturday, August 23 David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion Greg Biffle No.16 Dish Turbo HD Ford Fusion Matt Kenseth No.17...

Roush Fenway Racing
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Tenn.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sharpie 500
Saturday, August 23

David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Greg Biffle No.16 Dish Turbo HD Ford Fusion
Matt Kenseth No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Jamie McMurray No.26 Sharpie Pen Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.99 Office Depot Fusion

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Food City 250
Friday, August 22

David Ragan        No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion

Greg Biffle No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.60 Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: O'Reilly 200
Wednesday, August 20

Colin Braun        No.6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150

John Wes Townley No.09 Zaxby's Ford F-150
Erik Darnell No.99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150


David Ragan

* David Ragan competed in his first Sprint Cup race at Bristol in March of 2007 and earned a 26th-place finish.

* Ragan has three starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Bristol Motor Speedway, his best finish came in the spring of 2007 where he qualified 19th and finished sixth.

* Ragan also has two starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Bristol Motor Speedway. In 2006 he earned a 15th-place finish.

* Ragan is currently 14th in the overall point standings, tied with 13th place Clint Bowyer.


Greg Biffle

* In addition to Biffle's Cup stats at Bristol, he has four top-five and six top-10 finishes in the Nationwide Series at the Tennessee short track.

* Biffle has completed all but two laps (5,508 of 5,510) in 11 Cup Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* Biffle finished fourth last week in Michigan and currently sits seventh in the point standings.

* This weekend Biffle will run a special Dish Turbo HD paint scheme.


Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his 18th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend in the Sharpie 500.

* For the record... In his previous starts at BMS, Kenseth has achieved two wins, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. He has completed 96.7% (or 8228 of 8510) of all laps attempted. Kenseth has led a total of 742 laps.

* In the LOOP... According to NASCAR's Loop Statistics, over the past seven races at Bristol, Kenseth ranks first in: fastest laps with 218 and laps in top 15 with 3263. Kenseth ranks second in laps led with 706 laps. He has a driver rating of 109, which tops the list of active drivers.

* Rewind...Kenseth and crew captured a solid fifth-place finish last weekend at Michigan International Speedway. After qualifying 14th and battling an ill-handling racecar, Kenseth brought home his fifth top five of 2008.

* Standings...With Kenseth's impressive fifth-place finish last week at Michigan, he gained two spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. He is currently ranked 10th with 2783 points. He is 48 points ahead of 12th place.

* On the track... This weekend the No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion team will be unloading chassis No. RK- 516. Kenseth drove this car from a 34th-place starting position at Darlington to a sixth-place finish.


Jamie McMurray

* In 11 Sprint Cup career starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, McMurray has one top-five and four top-10 finishes. McMurray's best finish came in August 2003, where he finished third.

* McMurray has a career-average starting position of 15.8 and an average finishing position of 20.1 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

* On A Roll McMurray has posted three top-10 finishes in the last four races, with his other finish being 16th at Watkins Glen International.

* This weekend, McMurray will pilot the No.26 Sharpie Pen Ford Fusion this is his first time back in the Sharpie paint scheme since August 2006.


Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters Bristol second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 222 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In 23 starts, Edwards has accumulated five wins, 10 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

* Edwards enters Bristol as the most recent winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He picked up the win last week at Michigan International Speedway. It was Edwards' fifth win of the 2008 season.

* Edwards scored his 17th top-10 finish in 2008 last week at Michigan. Edwards has scored more top-10 finishes in 2008 than any other driver.

* Edwards will make his ninth Cup start at Bristol this weekend. In his previous eight starts, he has one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

* Edwards enters Bristol as the defending winner of the Sharpie 500, having scored the victory in the '07 August race.

* Edwards has won races at Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (August '07), NASCAR Nationwide Series (March '07), and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (August '04).

* Edwards' average start at Bristol is 24.1, his average finish is 15.4. The Columbia, Mo., native has completed 95.8% of the laps he has attempted at the half-mile track.

* The Office Depot team will be bringing chassis RK-596 to Bristol. This chassis last raced at Dover in June, where Edwards finished second.


David Ragan: No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-568 Last ran Dover, finished 15th
     RK-503 Last ran All-Star race, finished third

Ragan on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I'm excited to be heading to a short track this weekend. Short tracks have been strong for us in the past, but we've never quite got the finish at Bristol we've deserved. This past weekend was a good run for us and definitely helped us out in the points. We've got to maintain that and get a good finish in Bristol. It should be a fun Saturday night short track race under the lights."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"David likes Bristol and last year qualified well for the night race, but didn't get the finish we would have liked. He's come such a long way in a year that I think we can go out there and have a solid run. We've still got some points to make up and we have some strong tracks coming up. He did great in Michigan, now we just need to carry on that momentum."

GREG BIFFLE: No.16 Dish Turbo HD Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK 546 (Las Vegas 3rd, Darlington 43rd, Loudon 21st)

Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Night racing at Bristol has to be one of the most exciting shows we put on for the fans. Bristol is a fun track for the drivers and racing at night always adds a little more excitement. We made a big move up in the point standings last weekend in Michigan, and if we can get three more solid top-five finishes in these next three weeks, we'll be all set for the Chase. We have to keep working on getting the car to turn, but other than that this team is really coming together. We had really solid stops last weekend and we should hit our stride in the next few weeks."

Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We're taking a car that we probably should have won with at Darlington. Biffle led 95 laps with it until an engine failure took us out of the race. That is one race we would definitely like to have back and a win in Bristol would be a great way to make up for it. We made a pit crew change for Michigan last weekend and the team has been able to move forward with the change in a way that I think will be positive for everyone in the upcoming races. We need solid finishes to keep us in Chase contention and then I know we'll be strong in those last 10 races."

Matt Kenseth: No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-516 - Raced Darlington this year; started 34th, finished sixth

Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of my favorite places to race. Part of that is because of the success we've enjoyed there over the years. Since Bristol has been repaved the racing is not the same, but they did a nice job of re-doing it. For the fans, I know it's not the racing that they're used to, but for the drivers the new track is a lot of fun to drive. There are two grooves, so you can pretty much drive wherever you want on the track. This makes the racing a bit different than it has been, but as we've seen over the last two races there, the racing is still good and there's just as much action."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We are bringing car No. RK-516 to Bristol this weekend. It's the car that we raced at Darlington this year and had a typical team 17 race. We started 34th and finished sixth and began turning our season around. With only three races left until the Chase, we need to get solid finishes so that we can insure a spot in the top 12.

"At Bristol you've got to be able to drive off the corners and not get wrecked. It's a challenging track, but Matt's had a lot of success there and he knows his way around the place well. I think if we can stay out of trouble, we should be fine this weekend."

Jamie McMurray: No.26 Sharpie Pen Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-456 Last outing: Dover, June 2008; Finished 10th
     RK-463 Last outing: Martinsville, Oct.2007; Finished 32nd

McMurray on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Whenever fans ask me what's my favorite race, I always tell them the Bristol night race is one of the best races of the year. It's always so exciting and the stands are always packed. It's probably the most exciting race of the season. And after the way this No.26 team has been running the last few weeks, I'm really excited to return to Bristol. It's a track that if you can stay out of trouble, you can typically have a pretty good finish. It's a track that I've always enjoyed racing at and have had some success at the in the past.

"In our last visit to Bristol, we had some mechanical things happen to us early in the race that put us way back in the pack. We were caught up in a wreck and spent most of the day behind the wall trying to fix it. We were able to finish the race, but certainly had a better car than the finish we ended up with that day. This weekend, I think we have a pretty good car and should be really competitive in the race on Saturday night.

"This weekend we are running the No.26 Sharpie Pen Ford Fusion, which is our first return to the Sharpie car since 2006. It's a big race for Sharpie and it would be really great to have another good run this weekend at Bristol."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is one of those tracks where qualifying is so important to how your race day will go. If you qualify badly, you spend the entire day trying to stay on the lead lap, since the leader will catch you so quickly. If you do qualify well, it's about staying out of trouble and being there at the end of the race. We are taking the same car that we took to Bristol last time, and the same car that we ran in the top 10 with at Dover. Bristol is one of those races that all the guys look forward to, and after the way we have run over the last few weeks, it's really encouraging to head there and know we will have a really strong race car."

Carl Edwards: No.99 Office Depot Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
    Chassis: RK-596 Last outing: Dover International Speedway in June, finished second

Carl Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a tough track, but it's one that I really enjoy. I think it will be all about survival at Bristol. This team has been really strong this season, and I think we're going to be strong this weekend in the Office Depot Ford Fusion as well. It's a tough track, but its going to be a lot of fun and hopefully we'll get a great finish."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I really enjoy racing at Bristol in general, but the night race there is really special. It's a race that I think all drivers really want to win, and we were fortunate enough to have accomplished that in this race last year. Entering this race as the defending race winner, we'd like nothing more than to put the Office Depot Ford into Victory Lane once again."


David Ragan: No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-374 Last ran at Nashville, Mar.08', finished eighth

Ragan on racing in the Nationwide Series at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I can assure you I will be up on the wheel early in the race. We put ourselves in a tough spot in the points because of our mishap in Michigan. Our Discount Tire team has worked hard all year and we should be in a better position in the point standings. The good thing is we have always been strong at Bristol. We got a top 10 in the fall race and I am hoping for an even stronger finish this time around. If we have good pit stops and manage our track position, I don't see any reason not to bring home a top 10 or better."

Crew chief Mike Kelley on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We have to bounce back in a major way this weekend at Bristol. This is one of the most important races of the year for us since we have taken a step back in the point standings. David knows this is a critical time in the season and I am sure he will do everything in his power to ensure a strong finish. Bristol is all about survival. If we can be there at the end of the race, we have a shot at a top 10, or better."

Greg Biffle: No.16 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Eddie Pardue
Chassis: RK-354 (finished 13th at Bristol in March)

Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I'm excited to get back to Bristol. We had an awesome car here in the spring and the race was called early for rain and we definitely didn't get the finish we deserved. Hopefully we can get a full race in this time. I've never won a race at Bristol and I'd love to break that streak on Friday. It's hard to believe we're still looking for the first win of the year. I only have a few more races with these guys this season and I really want to win one before we're done."

Crew Chief Eddie Pardue on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I really like Bristol. It's fun going there with a driver as aggressive as Greg. We were running pretty well there in the spring but we weren't in a great position when the rain came and we were stuck with a finish that we definitely didn't deserve. We're taking the same car back this time so we know we should run up front all night."

Carl Edwards: No.60 Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-349 Last ran at Gateway, Jul.08', finished first

Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Our Nationwide team is on a roll and I can't wait to get back in my Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion this weekend. Bristol is a special place with a lot of history and tradition. It's always fun going to Bristol because there is nothing like racing under the lights. We had a great points weekend in Michigan and we will carry the momentum into Bristol and focus on gaining as many points on the series leader Clint Bowyer."

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"This weekend will be challenging for us. Bristol is fast short track that can get the best of many good teams. Our Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion will be very fast and I am confident we can run in the front all night. In order to do so our pit stops have to be above average and we have to take care of our equipment. Our team chemistry has been off the charts as of late and I am looking forward to getting back to victory lane very soon."


Colin Braun: No.6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-39 Last outing: Memphis in June finished 29th

Braun on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I've never raced at Bristol, but I was able to test an ARCA car there last month. The amount of banking for a track that small is wild, and it's probably one of the neatest tracks I've been to in my career. Running a half-mile track requires a lot of patience because it's hard to pass. You have to be smart and patient, and let the race come to you. It usually doesn't work for a rookie to try to bully their way around there. It might work for some of the veterans, but our strategy is going to be patience. Mike Beam has had a lot of success there winning with Mark Martin in '06, and he should have won with Travis Kvapil last year. I know he'll give me a fast truck so we just need to let the race come to us."

Crew chief Mike Beam on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Bristol is a tough track, but it can be a lot of fun when you have a fast track that handles well, and you can stay out of the wrecks. I've talked to Colin quite a bit about being patient and not being too aggressive too soon. It's a long race and we can't beat ourselves. There will be plenty of other people trying to do that for us."

John Wes Townley: No.09 Zaxby's Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Chad Norris
Chassis: RK-49 Last outing: Milwaukee finished 18th with Townley

John Wes Townley on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"I've attended several races at Bristol. You get the sense that the place is awesome by simply walking through the gate. I had a chance to turn laps in an ARCA car at Bristol during a private test earlier this month. We got really fast near the end of the session. I am confident that will help me be prepared to be very competitive in the Zaxby's truck on Wednesday."

Crew chief Chad Norris on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"We are going to take the same truck John Wes raced at Milwaukee a few months ago. Bristol is a wild place and stuff happens pretty quickly there, so I'm glad he got the chance to test there a bit before our race. We'll need to make the most of our practice time on Wednesday, and make sure the Zaxby's team has good stops during the race to keep him in front of the wrecks."

Erik Darnell: No.99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-50 Last outing: ORP July '08 Finished third
     Also: Memphis June '08 Finished second
     Martinsville March '08 Finished fifth

Erik Darnell on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"Following the resurfacing of the track last year, Bristol is a really fun place to race. I like it because you now have the option of running low, middle or high. The combination of the track's high banking and small size will certainly make for a night of paint swapping. My previous two finishes at Bristol have not been good at all, but I was able to run all 200 laps each time, so I guess that could be considered a victory in and of itself given the circumstances. We need to have a great qualifying time on Wednesday, if not it could be a long night of trying to make up laps. We need to stay up front and not look back. It certainly would be awesome to pull out a win under the Bristol lights."

Crew chief Matt Puccia on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:
"My strategy for Erik Wednesday is plain and simple; stay out of trouble. If Erik can do that, we should be able to escape Bristol with a pretty good finish. The constant flow of traffic means Erik needs to be patient throughout the race. Being aggressive will get you nowhere at this track. Our pit stops have to be on point Wednesday night. If we are on pit road longer than expected on any of our stops, it will not be a good night for the No.99 team. However, our stops the last couple of weeks have been outstanding, so we just need to keep up the good work. We definitely have the truck this week to have a great run."

-credit: rfr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Colin Braun , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , David Ragan , Erik Darnell , John Wes Townley , Greg Erwin , Mike Kelley , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin , Travis Kvapil
Teams Roush Fenway Racing