Roush Racing Loudon preview

Roush Racing heads to Loudon for start of "The Chase" Roush Racing Fast Facts - Mark Martin and the Viagra Racing Team secured their spot in the Race for the Chase with a solid fifth-place run at Richmond. The finish moved Martin up to eighth...

Roush Racing heads to Loudon for start of "The Chase"

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- Mark Martin and the Viagra Racing Team secured their spot in the Race for the Chase with a solid fifth-place run at Richmond. The finish moved Martin up to eighth place in the point standings. This week Martin will begin his quest for the Nextel Cup Championship in Loudon, New Hampshire.

- Martin advanced all the way from 15th to eighth place in just five races and will start the Chase for the championship just 35 points behind leader Jeff Gordon.

- New Hampshire is one of only seven tracks currently on the Nextel Cup Schedule where Martin has never won, and one of only three where he has made more than 10 starts and not won. Martin has finished second at Loudon on three occasions, including his first race there on July 11, 1993. In addition, Martin has two poles, 11 top-10 and seven top-five finishes in 19 starts at Loudon. Martin finished 14th there this year in July.

- Martin and the No. 6 Viagra Team move into the 'playoffs' on a roll, having finished top five in four of the last five and five of the last seven races. In fact, Martin has posted eight of his 12 top-10 and all but one of his seven top-five finishes after June 6.

- Matt Kenseth finished 28th at Richmond one week ago. He still has fifteen top-10 finishes in 26 starts in 2004. Kenseth has now been inside the NASCAR Top-10 for 61 straight weeks--the longest active streak.

- Kurt Busch clinched his spot in the inaugural "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" with a 15th place finish in Richmond last week. Busch led 94 laps in the event, and was forced to give up the lead with nine laps to go to pit for fuel. Busch remains seventh in the point standings, but is now 30 points behind new leader Jeff Gordon.

- Busch has been among the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Top 10 for 25 of the 26 weeks (his only week out was following a 16th place finish at the season-opening Daytona 500). He was ranked No. 1 following a sixth-place finish at Texas in early April. With the new point structure, Busch is guaranteed to finish inside the top ten at the end of the season.

- Busch is running the IRWIN Industrial Tools paint scheme for the 17th of 19 events in 2004.

- Busch has extra incentive to run well at NHIS to benefit low-income families. For a top five-finish, IRWIN will donate $10,000 in product to the charitable foundation Rebuilding Together, and $20,000 for a win.

- For the second week in a row Edwards will pull double duty racing both the No. 99 Superchips F-150 in the Truck race and the No. 99 Roush Racing Ford in the Cup race.

- Edwards qualified the No. 99 Ford 13th last week at Richmond. This is his best NEXTEL Cup qualifying effort to date. He has improved each time he's qualified, qualifying 25th (Bristol), 19th (California) and 13th (Richmond). (Michigan qualifying was rained out so according to owner points he started 23rd, his inaugural start.)

- Rookie Edwards has chalked up three top-10 finishes in just four starts. This is more than eight other drivers who have competed in every NEXTEL Cup race this season.

- In just four NEXTEL Cup starts Edwards has accrued 498 points - the most of any driver with four or fewer races. In the five or fewer races category Edwards' 498 points in just four races ties Bill Elliott's record of 498 in five starts.

- Edwards will be making his 50th career Craftsman Truck Series start Saturday at NHIS.

Mark Martin on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "Obviously we are excited about the opportunity to get in the hunt for the championship. Considering what we had to go through to get here it's unlikely that anyone on this team will overlook the challenge or the opportunity. We've come so far, but it's back to square one now. We have 10 races to get it done and we'll have to beat the best of the best if we are going to have a shot at it. From here on, we are just going to go out and try to win races. If we can do that the rest will fall into place.

"Loudon is one of the most challenging tracks that we go to. It can be very hard to pass people, and you have to be able to handle there or you'll be in for a tough day to say the least. We weren't very good there in July, so we'll have our work cut out for us this weekend. But, I have a lot of confidence in Pat and the guys and hopefully we'll be able to get us another good finish this weekend and get this thing started right."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We've put so much into getting in the Chase and now it's time to concentrate on winning the thing. We weren't great at Loudon in the spring, so we'll have our work cut out for us this weekend. We are taking the same car that we ran last week at Richmond, so the guys have worked hard to get it turned back around. Hopefully we can get the same kind of finish this weekend."

Greg Biffle on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I've only got one race this weekend so it will be somewhat relaxing just focusing on one car. We struggled with a loose racecar last time we were in New Hampshire, but we feel like we've got something to work with this weekend. The key to New Hampshire is getting the car to rotate in the center of the corner and have good forward bite exiting. That allows you to make your passes on the long straightaways.

"The National Guard team has really come together in the last couple of months and it's fun going to the track each week knowing that you're going to be fast and have a car capable of winning. We're coming up on some tracks that we've historically run well at, so I feel like another win for this team is just around the corner."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: " We feel good about taking this car because it has the latest body combination, which should make set-up for New Hampshire a little easier. When we raced there earlier this year, we struggled a little with being loose and then had an accident take us out of the race. This time we've got a new car and new momentum and I hope to bring home another top-10 finish. This weekend at Richmond was a perfect example of how this team is pulling together and I think we're on track to finish the season on a high note."

Matt Kenseth on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We're really getting our focus together this weekend as it's the first Chase event on the schedule. We've had a lot of success at New Hampshire and it always comes down to making your car turn in the middle of the corner. I think we've got a good car and a great shot at a top-10 finish if we stick to our 'No Mistakes Racing' motto."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We've got an awesome car here. I asked the guys Monday morning to turn this thing around and get it ready for this weekend. It's one of our older chassis, but it's got a brand new body on us and it seemed to work really well for us last weekend even though we didn't get the finish we needed."

Kurt Busch on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We're really excited about this weekend coming up for the IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford. Last week was disappointing to come up short on fuel at the end with such a fast car, but it really shows how well we are running at this point in the season. We've got another hot rod for this weekend, and we'd love to be able to kick off the first of the ten races in the Chase with a sweep at Loudon."

"So we're in, and we've got a great car to go to New Hampshire with. We had a very fast racecar last week, just miscommunication in the pit. It's good to have that fumble now. It's good to have that strikeout looking now rather than this week at Loudon."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "The key to this track is getting through the middle and off of the corners. You never know with the racing surface either, but we're bringing the same car here that we won with in the spring. We were really quick last time, and the IRWIN Ford has been sitting in the corner of the race shop with a cover on it ready to go for this one, so we're going to try and start out this deal right with a win."

Carl Edwards on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I like New Hampshire, it's one of my favorite tracks. It's flat and fast and it puts a lot of things in the driver's hands. It's a lot of fun. I think this weekend holds a lot of potential for me. I'm real comfortable in the No. 99 Superchips F-150 there and since we are running the truck on Saturday I think that will help me tremendously. That combined with everything I've learned over the last four weeks looks to be positive."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "The last four weeks have been a lot of fun. To accumulate three top-10 finishes in just four starts with a rookie is just incredible. The No. 99 team has been working hard across the board, in the shop, at the track and over the wall. That combined with Carl's talent and ability is enabling us to have strong finishes. We don't have the pressure of the points chase so for us we just want to go out and have good finishes and hopefully bring home a win in the near future. I think Carl's previous experience at New Hampshire will be beneficial to him come Sunday. We are looking forward to getting back on track and seeing if we can improve on last week's strong run at Richmond."

Jon Wood on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We should have had a top-five finish at New Hampshire last year, but I got rooted out of the way during that last restart with 16 laps to go. I fell back to ninth and couldn't work my way up any higher before the race ended. New Hampshire is a pretty cool track and it's a lot of fun to race there. We've improved every year we've raced there, so hopefully this year will be no different.

"We're still struggling with our setups lately, but we're making progress. We ran in the top 10 at Richmond for over half the race, but we still don't have all the pieces of the puzzle to put together yet."

Crew Chief Tony Price on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "We're taking the same truck we raced at Bristol (chassis 30). Jon had a good run going there, but we had some trouble in the pits that cost him track position. Hopefully the truck will run just as well at New Hampshire and we can keep Jon up front this time."

Carl Edwards on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "I had so much fun racing at New Hampshire last year. Jimmy Spencer and I had an awesome battle for the win and I ended up coming out on the bad end of that one, although I still finished second. I respect Jimmy a lot and it's always fun to race with him. We had a few intense laps at Richmond too.

"I'm looking forward to running both the truck and the car at New Hampshire this weekend. I've only been there once so the extra track time will be very valuable. We closed a big gap in the points at Richmond so a win at New Hampshire would be huge for the Superchips team."

Crew Chief Kevin "Cowboy" Starland on racing at New Hampshire International Speedway: "Carl is going to be busy jumping back and forth between the truck and the Cup car, but I think that can only help him. The track experience he'll get is invaluable. We've only got eight races left in our season and we've made up 128 points in the last two races. We need to focus on our main goal -- wining the championship."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Jimmy Spencer , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jon Wood , Carl Edwards , Doug Richert , Mark Martin