Roush Fenway Readies for Daytona 500 After a strong effort in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout, Roush Fenway turns its attention to the second week of Daytona Speedweeks and the Camping World 300 on Saturday and the famed Daytona 500 on ...
Roush Fenway Readies for Daytona 500
After a strong effort in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout, Roush Fenway turns its attention to the second week of Daytona Speedweeks and the Camping World 300 on Saturday and the famed Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Lineup for Gatorade Duel's
David Ragan, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle will race in the first Gatorade Duel on Thursday at 2 p.m. They will start 11th, 13th and 18th. Matt Kenseth will race in the second duel, staring on the second row in fourth. Each duel is 60 laps (150 miles) and determines the driver's starting position for the Daytona 500.
Roush Fenway in the 500
Roush Fenway racing has started 75 entries in the famed Daytona 500, tallying 23 top 10 and 12 top five finishes. In addition, the organization has one pole (Greg Biffle, '04) and one victory (Kenseth, '09).
Roush Fenway History in 500
Roush Fenway made its first start in the Daytona 500 in 1988 with Mark Martin, finishing 41stafter using a backup car and overheating just 19 laps into the race. It would take six years before the organization would earn a top 10 finish in the 'Super Bowl' of racing, but they would place two cars inside the top 10 in 1993. Since then Roush Fenway has placed at least two cars inside the top 10 of the event on seven occasions since '93 and last season's win in the race was the team's 12 top-five finish in the race, and ironically occurred in a backup car.
Memorable Roush Fenway D500 Days
Martin led the most laps of any Roush Fenway car in the Daytona 500, leading 65 in the 2000 Daytona 500, on a day Roush Fenway would place two cars in the top five and three in the top 10. Greg Biffle has the team's only pole in the Great American Race, when he earned the top starting spot in 2004. Matt Kenseth started in 43rdposition in a backup car and passed the entire field to earn Roush Fenway's first victory in the Daytona 500 a year ago. Roush's strongest statistical day as an organization in the Daytona 500 came in 1996 when all three of its entries finished top 10 with a 5.3 average.
Finding Victory Lane in the Daytona 500
Last season's win with the No. 17 team was the organization's first in the 500, but there were close calls before. The team has finished runner up in the 500 on three occasions (Jeff Burton in '00 and Kurt Busch in '03 and '05). In addition the No. 6 car finished third in '95.
Recaping last week's Shootout
Roush Fenway ran strong in last Saturday's Shootout; Carl Edwards dominated the first third of the race (leading 45 laps), Greg Biffle led with two laps to go and Kenseth was third late, but all three Fords were caught up in a last lap accident and finished 15th-17th (Biffle, Kenseth, Edwards).
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Colin Braun will each launch into their rookie seasons in the Natioinwide Series this week in the Camping World 300 on Saturday. Each has seven previous Nationwide starts under their belts. Stenhouse Jr. has one top five, two top 10's and a pole, while Braun has one top five and two poles in previous Nationwide action.
Roush Rookie-of-the-Year Awards
Stenhouse Jr. and Braun will each battle for what would be Roush Fenway Racing's 12thRookie-of -the-Year award. Roush Fenway as won the award on 11 previous occasions and in all three of NASCAR major series.
What they are saying at Speedweeks...
David Ragan on moving into the 2010 season...
"I feel like our UPS team is encouraged by the things that we've changed this off-season. I think, as a whole, the Roush Fenway organization is better prepared heading into this year. We looked at some of the things we did last year, some of our strong points, and built them up, and then looked at some things we really struggled with and went to work on trying to fix them. Donnie Wingo has come aboard and we've had a few months to talk and get our minds together on the same page.
"We've got to perform. We've got to win races. We need to win some championships down the road. Certainly, championships take time, but it's time to win some races and it's time to be competitive once again like we were in '07 and '08."
Greg Biffle on Daytona...
"I remember going, 'This is huge. This is my opportunity.' Actually, the very first time I came here I had a really fast car and my enginewent out in the 150 and I didn't make it, so that was disappointing because I had a good car. The second time I came here I made it and ever since then I've been in the points, but that's my first memory of it. And then it was my second full year when we sat on the pole for the 500, so that was pretty neat."
Matt Kenseth on returning as the defending 500 Champion...
"Speedweeks last year was really weird because it was really frustrating for me all week, and then obviously it was the best it could have possibly been in the 500. We missed the wreck. We had a great handling car and started in the back and worked our way all the way to the front, so the 500 was obviously great for us. So it was an interesting week. It took three cars and every single different thing we could think of setup-wise. I mean, the cars just didn't drive how I wanted them to in the Shootout and the 150, and all week in practice we just really struggled, but finally got it right for the 500. I hope it's not that hard this year, but I hope we have the same result. It was a total team effort all week to continue to work on the stuff to try to get it to drive like we wanted it to."
Carl Edwards on what it would mean to win the 500...
"To win the Daytona 500 would be something you can't take off your resume. It's there. You did it. You won the race. For me, it wouldn't be as big as winning the championship, but no matter what happened the rest of the year if we were to win the 500, I could hang my hat on that and say, 'That was OK. That was a good accomplishment.
"To win the 500, to me, you've got to have a great handling race car. You've got to have a fast race car. You really have to be lucky. Matt Kenseth won it last year. He's a great driver. He had a great race car, and on that last caution I was on his bumper, I didn't make it through the wreck and he did, so if the roles would have been reversed, he would have been out. So that luck is a huge part of it. Some people might call it fate here. It's a pretty special race."
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on moving into his 2010 Nationwide Rookie Season...
"I've got a new crew chief in Ben Leslie and I think we're going to click pretty good. We've had a few tests. The guys are really eager to get on the track and the pit stop guys are working really hard. We've got a lot to prove. We're going to shoot for the Rookie of the Year, run consistently and focus on top 10s. I think if we focus on top 10s and top fives, anything can happen when you're running in the top five, so that's our plan and that's what I've been doing off the track."
Colin Braun on moving into his 2010 Nationwide Rookie Season...
"I am very excited to get the season started. I have done so many things in preparation for the year, like the photo shoots and media events, but I'm really just looking forward to getting into the car and out on the track. My guys have done a really good job getting the car ready for me and I'm just ready to get in it and go racing."
Paul Menard on the 2010 Nationwide Series season...
"I am really looking forward to this season and racing fulltime in both the Cup and Nationwide Series. Last year I ran 16 Nationwide races and we had some decent runs. I think with some consistency -- running every weekend and establishing good communication with my team, we should be weekly contenders.