NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: NEXTEL All-Star Challenge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Quaker Steak & Lube 200 Roush Racing Fast Facts * Mark Martin will compete in his 17th - straight All-Star event. * Martin won the event in 1998 and last year...
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series: NEXTEL All-Star Challenge
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Quaker Steak & Lube 200
Roush Racing Fast Facts
* Mark Martin will compete in his 17th - straight All-Star event.
* Martin won the event in 1998 and last year in 2005.
* Martin has posted five top-five and six top 10's at the All-Star event.
* Martin finished third during his first All-Star, back in 1990.
* Martin is one of only two active drivers to have won the event twice.
* Greg Biffle is currently 14th in the point standings, picking up three positions after the win in Darlington.
* Biffle and the National Guard team are currently 497 points out of the lead and are 106 points out of a top-10 position.
* In 2004, an incident with then teammate Kurt Busch took Biffle out of the race. Last year with one lap remaining in the second segment of the All-Star Challenge, a blown tire caused severe damage to the left front fender leaving the team without time to repair it for the final segment.
* This weekend the No. 16 National Guard team will run the signature red, white and blue paint scheme with a special Charter Communications hood design.
* 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.
* In the past five All-Star events, Kenseth has completed all but one lap (429 of 430).
* 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-317, that Kenseth will pilot in Saturday night's event has three top-five finishes in its last three outings, all in 2005 (Homestead -- third, Texas -- third, Kansas -- fifth).
* Jamie McMurray has one All-Star race start in his three previous seasons. That came by virtue of a win at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October of 2002, in only his second NEXTEL Cup start of his career.
* Two years ago, McMurray nearly made the transfer from the Open to the All-Star race (granted to the winner of the Open) by finishing third in the Open.
* For his career, McMurray has scored four top-10 finishes at LMS in NEXTEL Cup, including the win in 2002 and has notched three top-10 finishes at LMS in the Busch Series.
* By finishing 42nd with a mechanical failure at Darlington, McMurray snapped a three-race streak of top-20 finishes.
* Carl Edwards will make his second appearance in the Nextel All-Star race this weekend in Concord, N.C. In Edwards' first All-Star race, he finished 15th.
* After winning the Atlanta race in March of 2005, Edwards became eligible for both the 2005 and 2006 Nextel All-Star races.
* Over the last four races, crew chief Wally Brown has led the Office Depot team to one top-five finish and two top-10 finishes.
* The Office Depot team will take chassis RK -- 272 to the All-Star race this weekend. RK- 272 was recently tested by Edwards and the team at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where Edwards' speeds were among the fastest of all drivers.
* Edwards is H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler's annual "Pick-the-Winner" choice for Saturday night's All-Star Challenge.
Team: No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pat Tryson
Chassis: RK-231 Once the top car in Martin's fleet, 231 made its last start at Michigan last summer; running to a third-place finish. Nicknamed the "Batmobile," after running two different Batman themed schemes, the car has finished in the top-seven in all three of its outings last year.
Martin on racing in the All-Star Challenge:
"I'm looking forward to the All-Star race. It's always great to take a week off of point racing and just go out there and shoot for the win. Second means nothing in a race like this so you can just go for it all. Last year we were able to do just that and we got one of the coolest wins of my career. It was a really special night for this team and hopefully we'll have a chance to go out and do that again. I love racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway and I've always enjoyed the All-Star race so, that combined with the truck race on Friday, should make for a great weekend of racing.
"We've been able to run well at a lot of the tracks this year where we struggle, so if we can run that well at the tracks that we really like that are coming up, we should be pretty strong going into the summer. The team has done a great job with the cars this year and it's really been fun driving cars like this each week that have a chance to run up front and compete for wins."
Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing in the All-Star Challenge:
"We had a great run in the All-Star last year and we are looking forward to going back this year and trying to repeat as the winner. The All-Star is a good event for the teams, as we don't have all the pressure of point racing, and they kind of make the night about the teams. We think we have a good car for the race and we are excited about getting back to Lowe's."
Team: No. 16 National Guard Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Doug Richert
Chassis: RK-275 (Same car the team won with at Texas and Fontana in 2005)
Biffle on racing in the All-Star Challenge:
"We had a really good test at Charlotte, so I am pretty excited about the races the next two weeks. The All-Star race is a lot of fun for the drivers and the fans. Any race under the lights seems more exciting I guess. There's also a lot of money on the line and that makes things interesting. I don't think you'll see anything crazy out there but there will be some good racing and maybe a little more risk-taking than usual."
Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing in the All-Star Challenge:
"We're taking the car that we won with last year at Texas and Fontana. It was one of the two cars we tested at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago. We're taking the car that Greg liked better to the Coca-Cola 600 but we learned a lot of things from that car that we can apply to this one and make it even better. As far as being more aggressive with the setup for the All-Star vs. the 600, we may run a little different setup but NASCAR regulations make it difficult to be much more aggressive than we are on a regular basis."
Team: No. 17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Robbie Reiser
Chassis: RK-317 Last ran Homestead, Nov. '05; finished 3rd
Won pole at Kansas, Oct. '05; finished 5th
RK-280 Tested at Charlotte, last ran Michigan, Jun. '06; finished 4th
Kenseth on racing in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge:
"The All-Star race is a lot of fun. It's pretty cool to go out there and really have nothing to lose. You don't have to worry about the points or anything like that. It's pretty much, go all out and try to win the thing and don't worry about salvaging a second-place or a top five or something like that. One of my favorite moments in NASCAR was a couple of years ago when we won this race. I had a great a time battling Ryan (Newman) over the final laps and we ended up on top. It was a great night for all of the guys on the team and we had a blast celebrating on the stage afterwards."
Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge:
"The All-Star week as a whole is just a different animal. The Pit Crew Championship is on Wednesday night, and our guys are really looking forward to that. They do a great job all year and it's nice that they have the spotlight for at least one night to showcase their talent. Then, Saturday night is really a spot for our team to showcase our talent as a group. We've been running really well lately and it would be nice to go get that winner's purse on Saturday night, which is really what this week is all about; it's that all or nothing approach that the teams take this weekend that make it special."
Team: No. 26 Irwin Marathon Saw Blade Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Car Number: RK-237 Tested at Charlotte, new chassis
Jamie McMurray on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"This will be my second All Star Challenge event. I wish I had a race win in 2005 to get me into this, but racing with all of these race winners will be fun. The All Star race is a great night for the fans and cool to be a part something special for our crew. I really like racing at our home track and hopefully this new Fusion will showcase what our team is really capable of."
Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"The No. 26 team tested this new Fusion at Lowe's earlier this month and had good results. Darlington did not get us the results we wanted for Crown Royal, so we just need to focus on the next races coming at us. Jamie has won at this track, I know we can do it again with him."
Team: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Wally Brown
Chassis Number: RK-272 Last ran at Dover 2006; Finished 9th
Edwards on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Racing in the All-Star race on Saturday night is going to be awesome. It's hard to believe this is my second All-Star race and it's really cool to be picked by Humpy Wheeler to win the event. It seems like his endorsement has helped a lot of people over the past 17 years. Humpy's a really smart guy who has seen a lot of racing and hopefully he is right on this one. After last week, the Office Depot team needs a good run this weekend at Lowe's."
Crew Chief Wally Brown on racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"It is going to be a lot of fun racing this Saturday night in the All-Star race. The way they have the segments broken up, it really makes for some exciting racing. I think the final segment is 20 laps, which is perfect for a late-race shootout. The tests at Lowe's a few weeks ago provided a lot of data for us to work with back at the shop. I think we have a racecar capable of winning the event. It's really cool because we don't have to worry about points this weekend; we are only out there for the win. I think it will be a lot of fun and I know all the guys are looking forward to it, especially being back at home in Concord."
Team: No. 6 Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Mike Beam
Chassis: No. 43 or No. 39
Mark Martin on racing the truck at the Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I love racing the truck and I love racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway, so it's hard to look forward to Friday's race. Mike Beam and the team have done an outstanding job with the Scotts' Trucks this year and hopefully we'll be able to contend for the win and take our Ford F-150 back to victory lane."
Team: No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150
Crew Chief: Matt Puccia
David Ragan on racing at the Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"If I had to choose a favorite track, it would be Lowe's. I've run a lot on the quarter mile, and it's something I want to do more of this summer. This is a second home for me, and to have people who've helped my career out there watching, that's going to be pretty cool. The new surface should be fun to race on, it's going to be the same for everyone, so maybe we'll go into it a little more on even playing ground, everyone's got to pick up and learn on the same deal. All the crew guys will have their families out there, since it's so close to home, so the atmosphere will be fun. And to run under the lights, that's going to be really cool. I couldn't be happier to be racing here."
Crew Chief Matt Puccia on racing at the Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"Our No. 50 team is going to head to Lowe's with the intent on improving on our accomplishments in Atlanta. We put that deal together last-minute, and if it wasn't for getting caught a lap down, we would have been right up there with the leaders. Our goal is to do just that, get up front and give the leaders something to contend with. We'll try to learn the new track and get settled in with it, and we'll know what we need to do come race time. We'll have to put some of our focus on qualifying, as we'll need to get in on speed, but I feel confident that once we get into race mode we'll be a contender on Friday night."
Team: No. 99 Woolrich Ford F-150
Crew Chief: John Quinn
Erik Darnell on racing at the Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"We're looking forward to getting to Charlotte. It's nice because it's close to home, we get to sleep in our own beds. This is one of the races where a lot of the guys will bring their families out to watch the races, they take a lot of pride in performing well for them. Obviously you want to run well all the time, but it's a bonus to get to do it when you've got your family there. I don't know what the new surface will be like, I hate that we're the first to try it out, but we're all going out there on the same page, no one will have an advantage. It's going to be a challenge, but it's the same challenge for everyone."
Crew Chief John Quinn on racing at the Lowe's Motor Speedway:
"I was happy with the way our team performed in Atlanta a few weeks ago, so that gives us confidence in out mile-and-a-half program. With a new surface, everyone will face the same challenge with handling. It's one variable that each team will have to face, so it will be up to us to rise to the challenge and be one of the teams that hits it faster than the others. I'm confident in our abilities, and I believe we'll be able to get another good finish with the Woolrich Ford."