David Ragan * Ragan will be making the trip back-and-forth between the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series for the third week in a row. He will fly out with teammate Carl Edwards in Jack Roush's plane on Saturday just in time to make the...
* Ragan will be making the trip back-and-forth between the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series for the third week in a row. He will fly out with teammate Carl Edwards in Jack Roush's plane on Saturday just in time to make the Nationwide race in Milwaukee.
* In 2007 Ragan finished 12th at Milwaukee.
* Ragan is currently 13th in the Sprint Cup point standings, just 10 points out of 12th.
* In addition to Biffle's Cup stats at Infineon, he also ran one Craftsman Truck Series race at the northern California road course in 1998. He started 10th and finished 20th.
* Biffle finished 20th last week in Michigan and currently sits eighth in the point standings.
* Biffle is currently 329 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and 120 points ahead of Clint Bowyer in the 12th position. He is only 75 points out of the fifth position.
* This weekend Biffle will run the 3M paint scheme.
* Matt Kenseth's fifth consecutive top-10 finish last weekend at Michigan has inched him a bit closer to `Chase' contention. Kenseth is currently 14th in point standings, just 14 points out of 12th place.
* King of Comebacks...In June of 2005, Kenseth was 320 points out of `Chase' contention and battled to make the `Chase' where he ultimately finished ninth. Kenseth is one of only two drivers to make the `Chase' since its inception in 2004.
* Kenseth will make his ninth start at Infineon Raceway in this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350. In his previous starts, Kenseth's best finish is 11th.
* Infineon Raceway is the only track that Kenseth has yet to score a top-10 finish during his Cup career.
* Kenseth's average finish at Infineon Raceway is 23.5 - statistically being his worst track.
* In five starts at the 1.99-mile road course, Jamie McMurray has completed all but one lap (549 of 550 laps) of competition.
* Last year, McMurray won his third-career Sprint Cup pole at Infineon Raceway after edging out Robby Gordon for the pole position.
* After leading 30 laps at Infineon in June 2007, McMurray and the No.26 took a late-race fuel gamble that came up two laps short while leading the event.
* McMurray has an average starting position of 11.4 at Infineon, which is his best qualifying track on the Sprint Cup circuit.
* Carl Edwards enters Infineon fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 228 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In 14 starts, Edwards has accumulated three wins, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.
* Carl Edwards scored his 10th top-10 finish of 2008 last week at Michigan. Edwards has scored top- 10 finishes in his past six races, extending a streak that began at Richmond.
* Edwards will make his fourth Cup start at Infineon this weekend. In his previous three starts, Edwards has one top-10 finish.
* Edwards' best finish at Infineon Raceway is sixth place, captured in June of 2006.
* Edwards' average start at Infineon is 19.3, his average finish is 20.7. He has completed all but three of the laps he has attempted at the California road course.
* The Office Depot team will be bringing chassis RK-482 to Infineon. This chassis was used at both road races last season. Edwards started 15th and finished 18th at Infineon in June, and at Watkins Glen in August he started sixth and finished eighth.
* Edwards will carry the red and black colors of Office Depot this Sunday. Office Depot store #2365 from Tustin, Calif., is the weekly sales winner and will ride along with Edwards this weekend at Infineon.
* For the third week in a row, Edwards will run two races in two different places. He will travel between Sonoma and Milwaukee to compete in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series events.
David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
"Road courses haven't been my strongest point in the past, but I've done some testing and hopefully all the hard work will pay off. Plus I've got a lot more experience on my side compared to where I was last year at this time. My team has been great and as long as we keep making the right adjustment and continue having solid pit stops then I see no reason why we can't leave Sonoma with a top-10 finish."
Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Infineon Raceway:
"David has been doing great this year, but Sonoma will be a good test for him. He's come a long way and keeps getting better and better. He struggled some on road courses last year, but we've done some testing that I think will help build his confidence level."
Greg Biffle No.163M Ford Fusion
"I like road course racing. It breaks up the season a little. Last year we had a top-five finish at Infineon and I think it's reasonable to shoot for a top-10 finish this weekend. We had a good test with this car at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago and I think we learned a few things that should help this weekend. There are a few drivers in this series who have a lot of road course experience and if I can just hold my own with them and get out of there with a top-10 or top-five finish, I think that would be a reasonable expectation."
Crew chief Greg Erwin on racing at Infineon Raceway: "We're taking the car that we took as the backup to Infineon last year. We tested it a few weeks ago at Road Atlanta and had a pretty successful test. We learned several things with the time we spent down there that should give us a head start this weekend in Sonoma. There are several things to focus on at a road course that don't come into play as much on the oval tracks. Obviously we have to worry about handling in an entirely different way and then the wear and tear that shifting for that many miles can put on the transmission. We looked closely at the brakes at the test and I think we should be okay there. Greg has finished in the top five in the last two races at Infineon so if we can just get the car right for him, we know he can drive it."
Matt Kenseth No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
"For the longest time I really dreaded coming to a road course, but I guess it's kind of like anything else, the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel, and I don't dread it nearly as much as I used to. We've gotten a little better with our road-course program, but more importantly, I think I've got a better feel for that type of racing as I get more experience.
"The main thing is track position. We need a good qualifying effort, which, ironically, Sonoma seems to be one of our best tracks in terms of qualifying, which, come to think of it, is kind of backwards from how we are on the ovals. But, this is probably the best I've ever felt about our chances at a road course this weekend. Hopefully, we can get a good qualifying spot and keep our track position all day and maybe end up with a top 10."
Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Infineon Raceway:
"There are two things important about Sonoma: one is to stay on the track and the other is to get REALLY good fuel mileage. Road course racing has nothing to do with how good your car is; rather you just have to be able to go a lap farther than the rest.
"It's all about track position when it comes to road courses. We need a good qualifying position and then it usually comes down to pit strategy and solid stops. Everyone works the pit strategy on road courses backwards, meaning that they figure how many laps they can make it on a fuel run and then count the laps backwards from the end to determine the soonest they can pit in order to stay in their window and make it to the end on fuel. The last thing you want to do is have to pit in the last 10 or 15 laps and lose 20 or 30 positions, because there's always a lot of cars on the lead lap and passing is so hard, there's no way you're going to be able to make it up."
Jamie McMurray No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
"Sonoma is a race that has been circled on my calendar all season long. Last year, I thought it was our race to win; we were so fast the entire day. When we took the fuel gamble late in the race, it was a big gamble that did not play out in our favor. I was so disappointed following that race. This past weekend in Michigan we faced the same issue late in the race take gamble or come in and pit for a safe finish. We opted to come in, and it paid off with a top-10 finish for our team.
"Sonoma is one of my favorite tracks that we visit each year. Last year was so much fun after we won the pole, and then to run as well as we did, it was great. This weekend we have to focus on making sure the car is balanced throughout the course, make sure our brake package is where it needs to be and finally, we need to have good pit strategy. If we can make all of that happen, I think we'll have a great weekend at Sonoma for Crown Royal and all the guys on the No.26 team."
Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Infineon Raceway:
"We all know how important Sonoma is to Jamie and making sure we have the best car possible for him. We are taking the same car that we took to both Sonoma and Watkins Glen last year, and one that we feel is a pretty good Ford Fusion. We took this car down to Road Atlanta a few weeks ago to shake it down and work on a few different setup options. The last few weeks have been pretty good for the Crown Royal team. Last weekend, I felt like we were one of the top three cars in Michigan. Had the fuel strategy played out a little bit different, I really do feel we had a great shot at the win. Hopefully, we have put ourselves into place where we can go out this weekend and show everyone how strong this No.26 Crown Royal team really is."
Carl Edwards No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
"Bob Osborne and the rest of the Office Depot team have been doing a lot to help improve our road course program. We recently tested Road Atlanta to get in some practice on a road course and I think it has helped. I don't come from that kind of racing background, but getting a few races under our belts has helped a lot."
Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Infineon Raceway:
"Carl has only raced Infineon three times, but has managed to pull off some pretty solid finishes there for the Office Depot team. We tested Road Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and were able to gather a lot of really good information, so hopefully we'll have a competitive car come Sunday."