Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Roush Fenway Racing Auto Club 400 Preview: Team Is Fired Up About California

Edwards using a new chassis at Fontana
CARL EDWARDS ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA: “We’re going to California to win the race this weekend. We’ve got fast race cars and this is a great race track for us. Our whole Roush Fenway team has just been performing really well this season. I think any one of our teams could be considered a favorite to win at California.”

EDWARDS CREW CHIEF BOB OSBOURNE ON CALIFORNIA: “Historically California has been a really good track for Carl. He has finished in the top 10 in all but three of his Cup races there. We are taking a brand new car so we feel it will be very competitive at California. We had another solid run last weekend at Bristol which moved us to within one point of the lead. It’s still early in the season, but we are right where we need to be right now.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS SELECTION: The No. 99 Aflac crew will unload RK-739 for the weekend. This is a new car for Edwards and the team.

EDWARDS AT CALI: In 13 starts at the two-mile California track, Edwards has one win, one pole, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. His average start is 19.0, and his average finish is 9.2 which is third best. Edwards has completed 3189 of 3205 (99.5%) of laps attempted at Auto Club Speedway.

GREG BIFFLE ON RACING AT FONTANA: “I really can’t wait to get to California. I love that track partly because we’ve had success there but also because it’s a lot of fun and it is fast and challenging. A lot of strategy comes into play at California and that usually makes it interesting too. I also really like going out west because I get to see my family. My mom usually comes to most of the west coast races and it’s always good to get to spend time with her. We had a solid run last weekend in Bristol that we feel like got us going back in the right direction. We just need to continue that momentum with a good finish this weekend and that’s all I can ask for.”

BIFFLE CREW CHIEF GREG ERWIN ON FONTANA: “California is another big, fast racetrack where we seem to run well. Qualifying well will be important because the field gets strung out pretty quickly and if you start near the back, it can be hard to make up positions. We’ve also seen fuel mileage come into play at California several times so pit strategy will be a factor. We just need to try to have a mistake-free race and take what it gives us.”

Kenseth bringing runner-up Texas chassis
MATT KENSETH ON CALIFORNIA: “I really enjoy racing at Fontana since it’s a track where Roush Fenway typically runs well at, so I always look forward to racing there. Fontana is a wide track which allows us to find multiple lines to race on and it’s also a place where we focus on horsepower. The keys to Fontana are to have a fast car with good handling and then of course to have a clean day in the pits as well. We had a great finish at Bristol last weekend and I’m really looking forward to another strong run this weekend.”

KENSETH CREW CHIEF JIMMY FENNIG ON CALIFORNIA: "Fontana is a race track where Roush Fenway has had success at in the past and I really feel like it’s a place where you really have to have a lot of aspects working together. It’s a wide track where horsepower and handling really come into play, along with aerodynamics since it’s a down-force track. In the past we’ve also seen tire wear come into play at Fontana so there really are a lot of factors that you want to make sure are all working together to have a successful race out there. We earned a great finish last weekend in Bristol and we’ll look to carry that momentum with us out west this weekend.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: RK-707 - This car last raced in the Texas fall race and was runner-up to Denny Hamlin.

• In 18 Cup starts at Fontana, Kenseth has completed 4,453 of 4,455 laps (99.9 percent) and led for 497
• Kenseth has an average starting position of 21.2 and an average finishing position of 10.3 at ACS
• Kenseth has achieved three wins, seven top-five, and twelve top-10 finishes at Fontana in the Cup series
• Kenseth has finished within the top ten in nine of his last 11 starts at Auto Club Speedway

New chassis for Ragan this week
DAVID RAGAN ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA: “California is a track where the Fords excel at and it’s one of the tracks Drew and I got to work together at last year which just adds to our confidence level going into this weekend. Last year we ran a newer-style car like we are taking this time so we’ve got good notes to go off of. It’s a track that you can really pass and move around a lot since there isn’t one set groove. Finding where the car is the best is always a challenge at California and makes for a fun race.”

RAGAN CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary chassis RK-744 is brand new. The backup chassis is RK-695, which last ran at Phoenix in 2010 as the No. 99 with Carl Edwards finishing first.

In Ragan's eight starts at Auto Club Speedway, he has completed 1,942 of 1,950 laps for a total of 99.6 percent laps completed.

- Roush Fenway Racing, Press Release

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