Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roush Fenway Racing Daytona 500 Preview

Kenseth's last win came at Fontana in 2009, a week after winning the 500
MATT KENSETH ON RACING AT DAYTONA: “The Daytona 500 is our biggest race of the year, so when you can win that race it is one of the things you like to collect. You want to win every week, but if you had to pick one race, this would be one of them. It was great to win it back in 2009, and I’d really like to win it again. The new surface has so much more grip now that we’re able to change lanes at the drop of the hat and put the car wherever we want. You couldn’t do that before because the pavement was so worn out and we had such big restrictor plates. Drafting partners were really important in the Shootout, but I’m interested to see how the race plays out with a full field of 43 cars all together for the 500.”

KENSETH CREW CHIEF JIMMY FENNIG ON RACING AT DAYTONA: “After Saturday night’s Shootout, we really saw how important having a drafting partner is with this new surface. Our focus is to find as much speed as we can in our Crown Royal Black Ford since handling isn’t as much of a hassle as it has been in the past at Daytona. We’ll look to have a strong run in Thursday’s Duel race so that we can earn a good starting position for the 500 on Sunday and start the season off on the right foot.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-713 (Brand new chassis)

• Kenseth has led laps in four of his last five consecutive Daytona 500 races
• Kenseth has an average starting position of 22.2 and an average finishing position of 17.3 at Daytona
• Kenseth has achieved one win, three top-5’s, and ten top-10’s at Daytona
• Kenseth has completed 3,564 of 3,845 (92.7 percent) laps at Daytona and led for a total of 69 laps
• This weekend at Daytona, Kenseth will pilot the No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford Fusion

GREG BIFFLE ON THE DAYTONA 500: “I think this Daytona 500 will be the most one we’ve had for everyone involved. As a competitor, I don’t really know what to expect because the track surface is different, the tires are different and we have new rules. I think you will see some of the two-car drafts that we had in the Shootout but there will be so many more cars and we have a new cooling system rule so we’ll see how it plays out. All of these factors will also make it a pretty exciting race for the fans too. I think we’re all ready to see what’s going to happen in the Duels on Thursday.”

David Ragan has had his best collective performances at Daytona
DAVID RAGAN ON RACING AT DAYTONA: “I’m excited and pumped up for the first race of the year. Hopefully everyone had a good off season and are ready for Daytona. The new track surface is so smooth so it is going to be a different type of race than we’ve seen in the past. When we were down here for testing we didn’t do any drafting and just worked on handling, so practice and the Duels will be important to see how the cars draft. The Duels in general will be more important than in years past because the cars will handle different and there will be different pit strategies with the new fueling system. We’ll be able to see what kind of fuel mileage we can get. Hopefully we can start the year with a good run in our UPS Ford.”

RAGAN CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-691 Last ran Talladega – finished 21st Backup: RK-723 Brand new chassis

• David Ragan earned a fifth-place finish in his first-ever Daytona 500 in 2007.
• Ragan has an average finishing position of 17.1 at Daytona.
• Ragan had three top-five finishes out of four restrictor-plate races in 2008.

CARL EDWARDS ON RACING AT DAYTONA: "We’re going for three in a row coming off wins in the last two races of the season last year. I think it’s really anybody’s race with the new surface and you’re going to see a different style of racing than we’ve seen at Daytona in a long time, maybe ever. I still haven’t exactly decided how to approach the race. We’ll have to see how the Duels go with the rule changes NASCAR implemented since the Shootout, and we’ll see what we are left with to make all of our decisions. I think it looks to be one of the most anticipated Daytona 500s in a long time.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: RK-712 Brand new chassis

EDWARDS REWIND, DAYTONA 500, 2010…Edwards made it interesting for his fans by starting in the back of the field after an engine change and working his way as high as second in the final laps of the race. After two green-white-checker restarts he was shuffled back, but rebounded to finish the race ninth.


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