Watkins Glen: Roush Fenway Racing preview

Roush Fenway Racing Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, N.Y. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Centurion Boats at The Glen Sunday, August 10 David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion Greg Biffle No.163M Ford Fusion Matt ...

Roush Fenway Racing
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, N.Y.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Centurion Boats at The Glen
Sunday, August 10

David Ragan No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Greg Biffle No.163M Ford Fusion
Matt Kenseth No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Jamie McMurray No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Zippo 200
Saturday, August 9

David Ragan          No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion

Matt Kenseth No.17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Carl Edwards No.60 Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion


David Ragan

* Ragan has one prior Sprint Cup Series start at Watkins Glen International. In 2007 he qualified 22nd and finished 32nd.

* Ragan has one Nationwide start at Watkins Glen. In 2007 he qualified 39th and finished 21st.

* Ragan is currently 14th in the Sprint Cup point standings, 46 points out of 12th.

* Ragan is currently fifth in the Nationwide Series point standings with 14 top-10 finishes.

Greg Biffle

* In addition to Biffle's Cup stats at Watkins Glen, he has two NASCAR Nationwide top-10 finishes, as well as a win in the Craftsman Truck Series at the New York road course.

* Biffle finished 13th last week in Pocono and currently sits eighth in the point standings.

* Biffle is 470 points out of the lead currently held by Kyle Busch and 88 points ahead of Matt Kenseth in the 13th position.

* This weekend Biffle will run the 3M paint scheme.

Matt Kenseth

* Matt Kenseth will make his ninth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Watkins Glen International this weekend.

* Kenseth has three top-10 finishes at the Glen in his previous starts. He has completed 721 of 722 (99.9%) possible laps in competition there.

* Watkins Glen International is one of only two tracks that Kenseth has yet to record a top-five finish; the other is Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Kenseth did however, score a career best eighth- place finish at Sonoma in June of this year.

* Kenseth's average start at Watkins Glen is 14.8, his average finish is 16.8.

* Kenseth has led only one lap in eight races at Watkins Glen; second worst among tracks ahead of only Sonoma.

Jamie McMurray

* In five starts at the 2.45-mile road course, Jamie McMurray has completed all but one lap (99.8% laps completed).

* McMurray's average finish at Watkins Glen International is a 17.0.

* McMurray's best finish at The Glen came in August 2006, when he finished third.

* McMurray has led seven laps at Watkins Glen, six laps last year and one lap in his first race at Watkins Glen in 2003.

Carl Edwards

* Carl Edwards enters Watkins Glen as the most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner. Edwards picked up his fourth win of the 2008 season last weekend at Pocono Raceway. It was his second career win at the 2.5-mile track.

* Edwards enters Watkins Glen third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 185 markers behind point leader Kyle Busch. In 21 starts, Edwards has accumulated four wins, nine top-five and 15 top-10 finishes.

* Edwards will make his fourth Cup start at Watkins Glen this weekend. In his previous three starts, Edwards has accumulated one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

* Edwards will carry the red and black colors of Office Depot this Sunday. Office Depot store #2303 from Los Angeles, Calif., is the weekly sales winner and will ride along with Edwards this weekend at Watkins Glen.

* The Office Depot team will be bringing chassis RK-482 to Watkins Glen. This chassis last raced at Infineon Raceway, where Edwards started 12th and finished ninth. This chassis has been used by the No.99 team in every road race since the COT was implemented last year.

* Crew chief Bob Osborne won the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race last weekend at Pocono Raceway. It is the second time this season that Osborne has collected the honor.



David Ragan: No.6 AAA Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Chassis: RK-495 Last ran Infineon, finished 24th
     RK-490 Last ran infineon '07, finished 29th

Ragan on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I can't say road courses are my favorite places, but I'm beginning to become more comfortable at them. I went up to Watkins Glen last week and made a few laps around the track just to familiarize myself with it. Plus this weekend the Nationwide and Cup cars are together so that will give me lots of track time to get used to the track. It's crunch time for the Chase so we need to hang in there and get a solid run on Sunday."

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"David is not known for his road racing skills, but he has definitely come a long way in just a year. The more track time he gets the better off he'll be and hopefully he learned a lot testing Road Atlanta last week. Some of the guys close to us in the standings are solid road course racers so we'll have to hang in there and see what we can get out of this weekend."

GREG BIFFLE: No.163M Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Greg Erwin
Chassis: RK 497 Last outing: Infineon 2008 (Finished 11th)

Biffle on racing at Watkins Glen:
"I like road course racing. It breaks up the season a little. Last year we had a top-10 finish at Watkins Glen and I think it's reasonable to shoot for a top-10 finish this weekend. We had a good run with this car at Infineon and even though the Glen is a little bit of a faster track with a different configuration, I think we've got a good car for 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 Watkins Glen:
"We're taking the car that we ran 11th with at Infineon earlier this season. Watkins Glen is a faster track so the setup will be different but I think 497 is a good road course car for us. Brakes are generally a huge factor especially when trying to get the driver through the turns. We think we've got a brake package that we can confidently rely on and it should work with Greg's driving style on road course conditions. We're in the home stretch now. We just need solid finishes to get us in the Chase."

Matt Kenseth: No.17 DEWALT Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Chip Bolin
Chassis: RK-597 Raced Infineon in June of this year, started 33rd; finished eighth

Kenseth on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"Road courses are not my specialty by any means, but after our top 10 at Sonoma I feel a lot more confident heading into Watkins Glen. I like Watkins Glen a lot better than Sonoma. The Glen is a lot faster and there's more room to pass. There are two or three good passing zones at The Glen where at Sonoma there's really only one. You also don't have the big elevation changes at Watkins Glen like you do at Sonoma which makes it a little bit easier. If we can qualify well and work out a good pit strategy, I feel like we should be able to come out of there with a top 10.

"Despite the last two weeks, I'm still optimistic. Our car was really fast at Indy and we qualified really well. We had another fast car last week at Pocono and were able to run in the top 10 for most of the day. Our stuff has been fast, so I'm confident we have the equipment to compete in this stretch leading into the Chase. But as we've seen in several races this year, it isn't always about the fastest car ­ it's a lot of strategy and luck. Hopefully we'll have some good luck over the next several weeks and lock ourselves into the Chase."

Crew chief Chip Bolin on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"We're taking the same car we took to Sonoma and I think the car was pretty good out there. We finished in the top 10 and for us on a road course that was a huge accomplishment. Races now are more about strategy than anything, so hopefully my strategy will work this weekend. Other than that our goal is to stay on the racetrack and finish as best we can. We've just got to stack up as many top 10s as we can and hope that we finish in front of Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer."

Jamie McMurray: No.26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Larry Carter
Chassis: RK-496 Last outing: Watkins Glen, Aug.2007; Finished 34th
     RK-485 Last outing: Sonoma, June 2008; Finished 18th

McMurray on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"Watkins Glen is one of the tracks that I look forward to racing at each year. I've always enjoyed racing the road courses, and after Sonoma, I feel like we have something to prove. We raced such a good race and were going to finish in the top five before we were taken out by another car. The same thing happen to us last year at Watkins Glen. We had a great car, but couldn't get the finish out of it. This weekend, if we can be there at the end, I know we'll have a car good enough to compete for the win.

"We've had a little bit of momentum on our side the last couple of weeks. If we can finish Watkins Glen this weekend without any problems, I really think we can continue carrying it forward. We've had the cars, and now finally, we are getting the results to go with it. It should be a good weekend for the No.26 Crown Royal team."

Crew chief Larry Carter on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I know when we left Sonoma, all of the guys on the No.26 team were upset about our finish. We easily had a top-five car, but were left with an 18th-place finish. Jamie is a really good road course racer, one of the best ones out there. He runs a clean race, and does a good job of saving his equipment and not pushing it too hard on the road course, which a lot of guys tend to do ­ overdrive the course. If we can avoid being caught up in the wrecks this weekend, we should have a pretty solid finish."

Carl Edwards: No.99 Office Depot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne
Chassis: RK-482, last raced at Infineon Raceway in June
     Also: This chassis has been used in every COT road course event for the 99 team

Carl Edwards on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I am excited about racing Watkins Glen. It's a really fun track to drive, and I feel really good about the car we're bringing. I think it's a good car that's capable of winning. Hopefully our pit strategies will work out this weekend, it seems like that has bit us a few times in the past at these races. I know that all the guys on the Office Depot team are really excited after our win at Pocono last weekend, and we'd all like nothing more than to go for two in a row this weekend at the Glen."

Crew chief Bob Osborne on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I'm looking forward to racing Watkins Glen. We are bringing the same car we've run in all of the COT road races thus far. It's a really good car, one that has had the chance to go to Victory Lane on a few occasions had it not been for pit strategy that didn't play out they way we'd hoped. We are coming in on the heels of our fourth win of the season, and everyone on this Office Depot team is ready to get the next one. Hopefully we can accomplish that this weekend."


David Ragan: No.6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Mike Kelley
Chassis: RK-424 Last ran at Mexico, Apr. '08, finished 22nd

Ragan on racing in the Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen International:
"We should build on our solid run at Montreal last weekend. I am doing everything I can to get better at road racing. It takes a lot of repetition and patience to run well, but I am confident we can surprise a few people this weekend at Watkins Glen. We need to stay on the course and take care of our equipment. The field is stacked with road course aces, so I will be learning every step of the way."

Crew chief Mike Kelley on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"I am looking forward to the task that lies ahead at Watkins Glen. I am hoping our teams' consistency over the last few months pays off. There will be a strong field of drivers competing this weekend and a top-10 finish would exceed our expectations. David has been testing extensively at various road courses and I am confident he will step up to the challenge on Saturday afternoon. Our Discount Tire team is confident the tough competition will bring out the best in all of us when the checkered flag falls."

Matt Kenseth: No.17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Pierre Kuettel
Chassis: RK-510 (finished sixth at Watkins Glen in 2007)

Kenseth on racing at Watkins Glen:
"This is only the second time I've raced a Nationwide car at Watkins Glen since 1999 and since road courses are definitely not my specialty I'm looking forward to getting the extra seat time. Obviously the Cup and Nationwide cars are a lot different now, but anytime you can make laps around a place, you get an advantage.

"We're bringing back the same car that I raced there last year when we finished sixth, so maybe we'll be able to at least pull off a top 10. As long as we qualify well and keep the car on the track I think we'll be able to manage that."

Crew chief Pierre Kuettel on racing at Watkins Glen:
"I'm excited to get going again. This team hasn't raced since Gateway and I'm not a big fan of watching races on TV so I'm ready to get back to the track. Matt says that road courses aren't his specialty and while that might be true, I think anytime you have Matt Kenseth in your car you have a shot at winning.

"The guys on this No.17 CitiFinancial team have worked really hard and I think we've given Matt a pretty good car. Qualifying is key at a road course. Hopefully we'll be able to start up front, keep good track position and stay out of trouble all day."

Carl Edwards: No.60 Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer
Chassis: RK-489 Last ran at Mexico, Apr.08', finished fourth

Edwards on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"We had a very strong road course car in Montreal last weekend. The Save-A-Lot team is going into Watkins Glen with a lot of confidence. The course is so unique with the 11 turns and banking. It should make for an interesting race. It's always challenging, but I am ready to tame the course. I plan on coming out of there with a very solid finish."

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing at Watkins Glen International:
"This weekend will be one of the toughest of the year. There are so many good road course racers in the field. Our team must be prepared mentally from the outset of the race. We have to be error free and our pit strategy has to be sound. I am confident in our chances at the Glen because Carl is good on any type of track. Our Save-A-Lot Ford Fusion will be stout. It is the same car we took to Mexico and got a fourth-place finish. We are well within striking distance of point leader Clint Bowyer, so we need to have a solid run to stay in contention for a championship."

-credit: rfr

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About this article
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , David Ragan , Greg Erwin , Mike Kelley , Kyle Busch
Teams Roush Fenway Racing