Roush Fenway Racing Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 18-19 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Nextel All-Star Challenge Saturday May 19 7:00 PM Eastern on SPEED/PRN Craftsman Truck Series: Quaker Steak and Lube 200 presented by Circle K Friday May 18 8:30 PM...
Roush Fenway Racing
Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 18-19
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Nextel All-Star Challenge
Saturday May 19
7:00 PM Eastern on SPEED/PRN
Craftsman Truck Series: Quaker Steak and Lube 200 presented by Circle K
Friday May 18
8:30 PM Eastern -- SPEED/PRN
Roush Fenway Racing Fast Facts
* David Ragan has competed at Lowe's Motor Speedway previously in the Busch Series' race in October of '06. He started 10th and finished 36th.
* Ragan also competed in the Craftsman Truck Series' race on May 19, 2006. He qualified 12th and finished 25th.
* Ragan is currently 26th in the NEXTEL Cup Championship point standings.
* Ragan is also second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. Juan Pablo Montoya leads by four points over Ragan.
* In last year's All-Star Challenge, Greg Biffle got caught up in a multi-car collision on lap 48 during the second segment.
* Biffle won two races in 2006 (Darlington and Homestead), securing his spot in this year's All-Star Challenge.
* If Biffle completes every lap in this year's All-Star Challenge, it would be a first. In 2004, an incident with then teammate Kurt Busch took him out of the race and in 2005 Biffle cut a tire while racing with Elliott Sadler, causing severe left front fender damage.
* Biffle finished 15th last weekend at Darlington and currently sits 16th in the point standings; 105 points out of the top 12.
* This weekend Biffle will run the black and gold Ameriquest paint scheme.
* Matt Kenseth has competed in the All-Star race every year starting with his sophomore season in the NEXTEL Cup Series.
* Kenseth has scored four career victories at Lowe's Motor Speedway; 2000 Coca-Cola 600, 2004 All-Star Race, and two Busch Series wins.
* Kenseth won $1,044,000 in prize money after winning the 2004 All-Star race, which remains the largest, single-race purse that Kenseth has won in his career.
* Chassis number RK-323, that Kenseth will pilot in Saturday night's event, was the workhorse for the No. 17 team in 2006, racing in 10 events and scoring two wins, five top fives, and seven top 10s. After finishing sixth at Homestead in November, it went in for a "make over" and will make its 2007 debut Saturday night.
* Kenseth's average finish in NEXTEL Cup this season is 8.5, second only to Jeff Gordon.
* Kenseth has completed every lap so far in 2007, one of only two drivers to do so (Jeff Gordon).
* Jamie McMurray returns to the track where he scored his first NEXTEL Cup Series win. McMurray's win came in only his second start at the NEXTEL Cup level while filling in for the injured Sterling Marlin.
* Entering the All-Star break last year, McMurray was 20th in the Cup point standings with one top five and three top-10 finishes. This season, McMurray enters in 13th with two top-five and five top-10 finishes.
* In nine NEXTEL Cup Series starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway, McMurray has one win, two top five and five top-10 finishes.
* McMurray is currently scored 13th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings and only 46 points out of the "Chase." .
* This is the first year in Carl Edwards' NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series career that he has not automatically qualified for the All-Star race.
* In his previous two starts, Edwards boasts one top five and one top-10 finish.
* The No. 99 Office Depot crew will be unloading RK-270 for the NEXTEL Open. Edwards previously raced this car at Atlanta and Fontana of this year.
* Edwards also captured his first NNCS win in this car at Atlanta in 2005.
* Office Depot Store No. 2392 from Bangor, ME is this week's Weekly Sales winner and will ride along with Edwards during the All-Star festivities at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: Nextel All-Star Challenge
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: Primary: RK-201 Last ran at Texas '07, finished 39th after being involved in a wreck.
Back-up: RK-405 Previously ran at Texas '06, finished 35th after being involved in a wreck.
Ragan on racing in the NEXTEL Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Well we are not guaranteed a spot in the All Star race yet so we are going to try to race our way in by competing in the open race earlier on Saturday night. We are taking the car that we ran at Atlanta and Texas earlier this year so hopefully it will be fast and we will be able to get it up front. I have raced a couple of times at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Busch car and in the Craftsman Truck not to mention the dozens of Legends car races I have been a part of at the track. It will be nice to be at home for the weekend and still be able to race so I am looking forward to it."
Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing in the NEXTEL Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"There are two spots that will be filled from the group that will be competing in the open race on Saturday. One for the winner and one for the runner-up so one of those needs to be David. The car that we took to Texas is the one that we will be running this weekend. We didn't get much of a chance to see what it could do when we were out in Texas so hopefully we will get more of a chance this weekend. Charlotte can be a little bit tricky, but David has some experience here from other series so that is a plus. We will just go out there, do our best and see where we turn out."
Team: No. 16 Ameriquest Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-314 Last ran by Mark Martin in 2006 Coca-Cola 600; finished fourth
Biffle on racing in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"One good thing about being in the All-Star Challenge is that it means that you've won a race in the last year, so for that reason alone I enjoy being a part of it. It's just a fun race as a driver. It's got more of an entertainment element than the rest of the races with the way they do driver intros with the team and all of the production Nextel puts into it. Since it's not a points race you could say that there's no pressure but when there's that much money on the line, trust me, the pressure is there. Every driver wants to win every race they're in no matter what the circumstances and when a million dollars are involved, it just makes it that much more exciting."
Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're taking an old chassis with a brand new body for the All-Star Challenge this weekend. It's a chassis that Mark finished fourth with in the Coca-Cola 600 last year but we put a brand new experimental body on it. We figured the All-Star race would be a good time to try it out. We think we'll have success with it and if it runs well this weekend it will give us a good idea of what we need for next weekend. With a pit stop being a part of qualifying, the guys are working really hard this week. We made a couple of changes on the crew before Darlington and the new group is working really hard together. They had some great stops in last weekend's race and I think they'll only improve as the season goes on."
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-323 Last ran at Homestead, Nov. '06, finished sixth. Also in '06: ran 10 times with two wins, five top fives, and seven top 10s
RK-340 Tested Las Vegas, Jan. '07. Last ran: Pocono, Jun. '06, finished fifth
Kenseth on racing in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I think it's like any other sport, the All-Star race is cool if you get to be a part of it because not everybody gets to do it. To be a part of that group is always cool and to do it at Charlotte is a lot of fun. It pays a lot of money and it's a short race with no points, so it's always fun. To me, the most fun thing is it involves the crew so much. They have the pit crew competition during the week and then they do a pit stop for qualifying, so they have a lot to do with the qualifying position, and they have some green-flag pit stops in the race. So, it really focuses on the team a lot and I really like that.
"The year we won was pretty cool. It was a fun race. Ryan stayed out on tires. We were running side by side and I had to pass him for the win right at the end and that was a really exciting race for us."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I think the All-Star event means a lot to everybody on the team because we're in it. It separates the elite, and I think that makes everybody feel special, and it allows us a chance to go run against the best, and that's what everybody wants to do.
"With the way the All-Star Challenge is set up, it allows the guys that work on the car every week to get to step out on stage and see what the fans all think of them, and it gives them an opportunity to be a part of it, in the qualifying event where you go three laps, we do a pit stop, which gives us an opportunity to shine.
"A couple of years ago we sat on the pole, and it was all off our pit stop, which made the guys all feel real great, and the same way with the race. The way the race is structured, I think two of the stops this year will be pitting on the fly. So, it gives the guys on pit road a real opportunity to be a part of this race and make a difference."
Team: No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-445 Last raced at Fontana, Feb. '07, finished 37th
RK-403 Tested at Las Vegas, Mar. '07
McMurray on racing in the NEXTEL Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"The All-Star race isn't like any other race that we run all season long. For the guys running in the Nextel Open race, we have 40 laps to prove what we have and justify getting our car in the All-Star race. The All-Star race is a pretty big deal and I think it's the only race other than Daytona where the winner takes home one million dollars for winning the race. We are taking the same car that we ran at Fontana, which was a really good car until we were wrecked only seven laps into the race. The car didn't qualify very well, but raced extremely well. Hopefully, we can figure out the qualifying deal and start the race in a good position. Charlotte isn't as much about track position, but we have qualified so well in the last few weeks, it'd be nice to back it up again this weekend. With some good luck in the Open, we should be able to race our way into the All-Star race."
Crew Chief Larry Carter on racing in the NEXTEL Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"This is a busy week for the Crown Royal team. We have the pit crew challenge on Wednesday night, which I think some of our guys have a good chance to win the individual prices and a great shot at winning the overall event. The guys have been working really hard on the car they are taking to that event, and then on Friday we are back on the track at LMS. Our test at Charlotte last week went alright. I think we have some stuff to still learn this weekend that we will be able to carry over into next week at the 600. Overall, I think we have just as good of shot to get our car into the All-Star race as the next team. It's cool that it's a 40 lap shootout -- those kinds of races are fun for everyone."
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-270 previously raced at Atlanta and California this year. This is the same car Edwards captured his first NEXTEL Cup Series win in at Atlanta in 2005
Edwards on racing in the NEXTEL Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"The All-Star race is such an awesome experience and I'm really going to do everything in my power to have this chance again. One of our goals this year was to win a race in the Office Depot Fusion, but unfortunately we haven't done that just yet. Now my goal is to either race my way in or be voted in by the fans. No matter what, I'm really looking forward to the race itself. It will be a lot like Saturday night dirt track racing with the format the way it is. Everything is a sprint to the end and you go 100% every lap and that's going to be fun. To win $1 million would be just awesome and as I said on Trackside Live Saturday, I will donate all of the money to the Victory Junction Gang Camp and Speedway Children's Charities."
Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing in the NEXTEL Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We thought that we would have won a race and earned our way into the All-Star event. But unfortunately that is not the case. So we are going to do our best to get the Office Depot Ford in the race by winning the NEXTEL Open. I know this race is very important to Carl and I fee like we have as good a shot as anybody at winning the big prize. We are taking what we feel like is a good car, so hopefully everything will work out for us. I think Carl should do well in this format. We'll see what happens on Saturday night."
Craftsman Truck Series: Quaker Steak and Lube 200 presented by Circle K
Team: No. 6 K&N Engineering Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: RK-319-43 Last raced at Kansas where Kvapil started fourth and finished 13th
Kvapil on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Lowe's Motor Speedway is a really cool track, and it's relatively new to the series. I've only raced there twice in the truck and since then it's been repaved. You can use the draft there, and it's got high speeds similar to Atlanta. It's a fun track to race at, but you need a lot of horsepower and good handling characteristics to be successful there. With it being in our backyard, so to speak, we get to sleep in our own beds and I think for the reason you' re in front of all your friends and family, everyone puts a little more emphasis on running well at this track. We had a good truck at Kansas and we feel like we've got our program on track and that things are going the way we need them to. We're looking to contend for the win this week at Charlotte."
Crew Chief Mike Beam on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We had a pretty good test at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week, and we're coming off having a great truck at Kansas two weeks ago. We feel like we've got things going back in the direction they need to be. Racing at Lowe's is tricky because of the hard tire, but we feel like we learned a lot in the test that will help us for Friday night's race."
T. J. Bell
Team: No. 50 Heathcliff's Cat Litter Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
Chassis: RK-335-47, last raced at Kansas where Bell started 21st and finished 22nd
Bell on racing at Lowe 's Motor Speedway:
"I've never raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway in a truck, but I'm looking forward to it. It's a great racetrack. It's pretty tricky to get around there with the combination of the tire package and new pavement. We were good at the test last week and we feel like we've got a fast truck that is pretty consistent. I feel confident heading into the race having the additional seat time that I got in the test. Hopefully we've run out of our bad luck and can have a good finish on Friday night."
Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We had a great run at Kansas but had a tire cut down. We're bringing the same truck and we're hoping to get the finish that we should have had out there. We learned a lot at the test and I think the seat time that T.J. got will help his confidence heading into the race. Lowe's is kind of a wild card with the tire and newer pavement combination, but we'll do what we can to get a good finish."
Team: No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Chassis: RK-386-53, this is a brand-new chassis
Darnell on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We had a mishap in practice last year that put us behind, but the guys worked hard and we recovered from a poor qualifying effort to get a good finish. This is one of the tracks that we actually get to test at before we show up for the race and we feel that we learned some things at the test that will help us for the race. We're coming off the win at Kansas and that's been such a huge shot in the arm for these guys. We feel good about our chances at Charlotte this week. Maybe we'll be able to go for two in a row. I don't want to be too overly optimistic, but we really feel great about the direction this team is heading in."
Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're heading to Lowe's with a brand new chassis. We intended on running the Kansas-winning truck, but we unfortunately wrecked that at the test last week. We feel like this truck is every bit as good and it was fast at the test. Erik's on a run of good races; he has two wins and a second in his last three starts. We'd like to continue that trend this week at Lowe's."