Talladega II: Roush Racing preview

Roush Racing Fast Facts - With a fourth-place run last week at Dover, Martin moved to fourth in the points; his highest position since April. Martin is currently 21 points behind points leader Jimmie Johnson. - Martin is the only driver...

Roush Racing Fast Facts

- With a fourth-place run last week at Dover, Martin moved to fourth in the points; his highest position since April. Martin is currently 21 points behind points leader Jimmie Johnson.

- Martin is the only driver of the 10 in the Chase that has won on the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway.

- This will be Martin's 40th race at Talladega Superspeedway, where he has won twice and finished inside the top 10 twenty-one times. Martin finished 12th in his first race at Talladega in 1982. He's finished inside the top 10 in six of the last 13 there, but last fall's sixth place finish is Martin's only top-10 in his last seven races there.

- Martin is one of just six drivers to have competed in all 71 restrictor-plate races. Martin's 34 top-10 finishes are the most of any driver at restricted races. He has finished in the top 10 in 49 percent of the restrictor-plate races.

- For his accomplishments at Talladega, which include two wins and 21 top-10 finishes, Martin was inducted into the Talladega Hall of Fame in 2002.

- With the 13th place finish at Dover, Biffle fell to sixth in the point standings. However, he currently trails leader Jimmie Johnson by only 23 points and is tied with fifth place contender Tony Stewart.

- Biffle led two laps in the May race at Talladega on his way to a best-ever 13th place finish at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.

- The "yes, dear" episode featuring a Greg Biffle cameo appearance will air next Wednesday, October 5th at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

- This weekend the No. 16 National Guard Ford will feature the Post-it paint scheme.

- Matt Kenseth has one top-five and three top-ten finishes in his 11 starts at Talladega.

- Kenseth has led at least one lap in eight of his 11 starts at Talladega.

- The No. 17 team will be bringing car number 40 to Talladega next weekend. This is the same car that Kenseth raced at Talladega earlier this year, finishing in the 11th position. Car number 40 made its' debut at this race one year ago, racing to a 14th-place finish.

- Kurt Busch and the No. 97 Roush Racing team remained 10th in the "Chase" standings after a disappointing finish (23rd) in Dover last week. Busch is now 170 points behind leader Jimmie Johsnon.

- Though he has never visited victory lane at a restrictor-plate track, Busch finished in the top 10 in more than half his starts (10 top-10 finishes in 19 starts, including runner-up in this year's Daytona 500).

- Busch has competed in nine races at Talladega, posting six finishes of seventh or better. He has finished third twice (April '01 and '02), but suffered his worst finish and only DNF at the track last year in the spring race (36th). Busch has the best average finish (12.4) of any driver in the top 10.

- Richard Brickhouse, uncle of No. 97 spotter Jeremy Brickhouse, won the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup (known then as the Grand National series) race at Talladega in 1969.

- The No. 97 brings the black and red of Sharpie to Talladega on chassis #55, the same car that finished second at Daytona in February and seventh at Talladega earlier this year.

- In 28 Cup starts, Carl Edwards has accrued two wins, one pole, eight top five and 11 top-10 finishes. He currently sits eighth in the overall point standings with 5,259 points. He's 103 points back from first place Jimmie Johnson, 80 points back from fifth place Tony Stewart and a mere 22 points out of seventh place which is currently held by Jeremy Mayfield.

- RK-232 is the same car the No. 99 team raced at Talladega earlier this year. On lap 169 Edwards was involved in a 23 car pile up but several laps worth of repairs enabled Edwards to get back on the track and finish the race.

- The No. 99 Ford will carry the World Financial Group (WFG) paint scheme this week. The WFG paint scheme was also carried on the No. 99 Ford earlier this year in Las Vegas.

Mark Martin

Martin on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "Everybody knows that I'm not the world's biggest fan of restrictor-plate racing. I know that it's really exciting for the fans and I know that if I were at home you couldn't pry me away from the TV, but for the drivers it can be pretty frustrating, because nothing is really in your control. If you make a move, whether or not it's a good or bad move, completely depends on what happens with the other people around you. You might go to the front or you might go to the back, but it depends more on what they do than what you do. On top of that you ride around hoping to avoid the big wreck and it can just make for a frustrating day.

"We had a good run last weekend at Dover and we are up to fourth. Talladega may really be a wild card here, because you just can't predict what's going to happen. I know that we'll have a good car and hopefully we can just stay out of trouble, get a decent finish and move on to Kansas where we also hope to run well."

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "We were pretty good a Talladega in the spring and I think we were running second or third when we got caught up in the 'big one.' We should be good this weekend as well, the key will just be staying out of trouble. I don't think there is really any trick to it, we just need to run well and hope that we don't find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Greg Biffle

Biffle on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "Talladega is obviously a wild card for everyone. Restrictor plate racing is difficult in that as a driver, you can only do so much. You're car will only go as fast as it will go and that's what you've got for the day. You can try to draft with the fastest cars but that's about all the control a driver has in a restrictor plate race. We'll just need to stay out of trouble and hopefully get out of there with a top-five or top-10 finish."

Crew Chief Doug Richert on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "We're taking the same car we raced at Talladega earlier this year and all I can say is that we just need to come out of there with that same car in one piece. The only thing you can do is try not to put yourself in a place where you don't belong. Qualifying well would be a good start and pit selection will be important. Other than that, we just need to stay out of the wrecks and hope for the best."

Matt Kenseth

Kenseth on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "The first thing that comes to mind when I think about returning to Talladega next weekend is that I hope I don't hit anything! It's the same as always when we think about Talladega, but I think we've got better cars than we've ever had for our speedway program. Our speedway program has been a lot better the last couple of years. I don't want to lie and say that I look forward to going there, but I look forward to going there more than I have in the past. I think we can be competitive and hopefully we can be in the lead draft and stay out of trouble."

Crew Chief Robbie Reiser on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "I really hope we got our bad luck out of the way in Dover. We cut that first tire down and were able to battle back but when the second one went, our day was finished. Looking ahead to Talladega, the most important thing is to stay out of trouble. That's not always within your control, however, with the field running so closely together, but we'll avoid what we can and hopefully be around in the lead draft at the end."

Kurt Busch

Busch on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "If you're running in the top-five during the race, usually you're single file, not three-wide pack, that's something you try to position yourself for. If you're stuck in the middle there's not much you can do. You don't want to get caught up in a wreck, so you have to decide if you want to go forward or if you want to hang out in the back and wait for a pit stop to jumble up the field. Qualifying is important, but, if you qualify up front, you can get shuffled to the back if you get into the wrong draft. We'll see how it shakes up. We have a good car. It's the car we ran seventh here earlier this year so I'm excited to bring it back."

Crew Chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "Kurt's done pretty well here over the years. We're bringing the same car and back-up that we took to Daytona for the 500 and at this race earlier this year, and the primary did really well there. These Sharpie guys have done a great job with the racecars all year, and especially last weekend and in Loudon, but we haven't had the finishes. So we need a good run this weekend."

Carl Edwards

Edwards on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "I know it seems strange but I do like Talladega. The last two times I've raced there we have not had the best of luck. Last fall we were running up front when a mechanical failure ended our day early. Then in the spring we had a few problems but unfortunately got caught up in the 'big one' and that all but ended our day early. I would really like to redeem myself this weekend. I think I've learned a lot in the races since then, mainly I've learned to be more patient. It's been difficult but I'm starting to understand 'big picture' racing better and that's what will make us a better team. We had a decent finish at Dover last week which we knew would be a big hurdle for us in the 'Chase'. I think if we can avoid wrecking this weekend we might be ok. The World Financial Group team is awesome and I think we have the ability to finish a lot better than most people think we will."

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at Talladega Superspeedway: "Talladega is a tough track. It's one of those places that you could win or you could wreck out, it's that extreme. RK-232 was rebuilt over the summer after wrecking it there in the spring and I think we should have a pretty good race car. I think Carl has grown a lot as a driver and that will definitely work to our advantage. We just need to be patient and avoid the 'big one' and we should be fine."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards , Doug Richert , Mark Martin