Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roush Drivers all Figure to be Major Players in All-Star Race Based on Texas and Vegas

Kenseth is one of the favorites to win based on his Texas win (Getty)
Matt Kenseth
Team: No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig

Chassis: Primary: RK-766 (Brand new chassis)

Kenseth on racing in the Sprint All-Star Race: “There’s different strategy and things to think about with your car’s set-up when it comes to looking ahead to the All-Star Race. You want to do everything you possibly can to win that race, but you don’t want to have a terrible finish at the same time. We want to go for the win, and do everything you know you can do within your means, but you still have to be smart enough to know when you step over that edge. We’re all going to be driving it right on the edge every lap to try to pull off that win. With a lot of money on the line, and no points attached to Saturday’s race, we’re all going to do whatever we can to try to figure out how to win the Sprint All-Star Race.”

Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing in the Sprint All-Star Race: “The Sprint All-Star race you race differently than we will next week for the 600 miles at Charlotte. We can look at a couple different set-ups this weekend for the All-Star race, but most times a lot of the car settings won’t be able to translate over. The All-Star race is always a lot of fun for the fans and it gives the crews a chance to get some recognition earlier in the week with the Pit Crew Challenge. We’ve had a great start to the week and I’m looking forward to continuing that through Saturday night for our Crown Royal team.”

• Kenseth has started every All-Star race (10 events) since his sophomore season
• Kenseth won the All-Star event in 2004
• Kenseth has two poles, four top fives and seven top 10’s in All-Star competition
• Kenseth has led a total of 47 laps in All-Star action, including 38 in 2007
• This weekend in the All-Star Race, Kenseth will pilot the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
• Kenseth is currently sixth in the Sprint Cup Series driver point standings

Biffle using the race as a prep for the Coca-Cola 600 (Getty)
Greg Biffle on the All-Star Race: “I’m really looking forward to the All-Star race this weekend. One of the best things about the All-Star race is that everyone on the pit crew gets to share the spotlight. The crew will get a lot of recognition with the pit crew challenge on Thursday, the pit stop during qualifying on Friday night and the pit stops during the race. They also participate in the driver introductions and that’s a lot of fun for all of us. Hopefully we’ll all learn some things in the All-Star race that will help us in the Coke 600 next weekend.”

Biffle's Crew Chief Greg Erwin on the All-Star Race: “We’re planning to use the All-Star race as a test for the Coca-Cola 600. We’re going to run a different setup than what we plan to run next weekend and see how it works out. If we are successful, then we will probably adjust our planned setup for the 600. It is nice knowing it’s not a points race and we can kind of relax and have fun with the race this Saturday night. The All-Star race week is also good in the way that it recognizes the whole team.”

All-Star Notes
• Biffle is currently 12th in the Sprint Cup point standings following his 19th-place finish in Dover.
• Last year Biffle was able to race his way into the All-Star race by finishing second in the Sprint Showdown.
• Biffle finished 11th earlier this year at Auto Club Speedway in the car he will be racing Saturday night in the All-Star race.
• The 3M pit crew has a combined total of 64 years of experience in racing.
• The front tire changer, Mike Lingerfelt, has been in racing for 17 years.

Ragan should do well based on his 1.5-mile runs this season
David Ragan
Team: No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Drew Blickensderfer

Chassis: Primary: RK-744 Last ran California –finished 22nd; Backup: RK-695 Last ran Phoenix in 2010 as the No. 99 – finished first

Ragan on racing in the Sprint Showdown: “The Sprint Showdown is one of the biggest races of the year for us since the Daytona 500. We’ve come so close to winning the last couple of years and I really think this year is our chance to win it. It’s a very short, action-packed race that is a lot of fun to run. The Showdown pays no points, so with nothing to lose and everything to gain, we’re going to give it our all and go for it. Charlotte has been a good track to us in the past and it’s great to be home for a few weeks.”

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer on racing in the Sprint Showdown: “We’ve run well at 1.5-mile tracks and the last time we were at one we sat on the pole and ran in the top 10. Charlotte is similar to Texas, so hopefully we can win the Showdown and make it into the All-Star race. With no points on the line you can be aggressive and go for the win.”

* Ragan sat on the pole and led all 20 laps in the first segment last year in the Showdown.
* A lucky draw earned Ragan the pole in 2010 since qualifying was rained out before everyone could complete their laps.
* In four Showdown attempts Ragan’s best finish came in 2008 where he started third and finished third, just missing advancing to the All-Star Race.

Carl Edwards is looking for his first All-Star win this week (Getty)
Carl Edwards
Team: No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Bob Osborne

Chassis: RK-726 – Most recently ran at Martinsville in April, finished 18th

Carl Edwards on racing at the Sprint All Star Race: “We’re pulling out all the stops for the All Star race and have some really neat stuff car-wise that I’m excited about. We’ll see if we can finally break through and win this race. We’ve never been able to close the deal. I’m excited to be able to go compete for a million dollars and not have points on the line. It’s just a fun weekend and I’m looking forward to it more than I have any other All Star race. We’re running well enough that I think we have a real shot at this thing.”

Crew Chief Bob Osborne on racing at the Sprint All Star Race: “It’s an honor to compete in the All Star race, especially since we needed the fan vote to get in it last year. The best we’ve ever finished in it is fourth back in 2006, but I feel our team is much stronger now than in previous years. It’s always fun to race without the pressure of points so everyone on the team is excited for Saturday night.”

Fast Facts
* Carl Edwards will make his sixth appearance in the Sprint All Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. In his previous starts he has two top-five and three top-10 finishes.
* ON THE TRACK…Edwards will carry a special “Now Hiring” Aflac paint scheme Saturday night. Aflac is hiring for various positions in all 50 states to keep up with an ever-changing landscape within the industry to maintain the excellent service that has positioned them as the world leader in guaranteed renewable insurance.
* THE CAR…. The No. 99 Aflac crew will be unloading chassis RK-726 for this weekend’s event. Edwards raced this Ford Fusion at Martinsville in April of this year where he finished 18th.
* A LITTLE HISTORY… Roush Fenway Racing has won three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All Star races. Mark Martin won the event in 1998 and 2005, and Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag in 2004.
* PIT CREW SPOTLIGHT… The No. 99 Aflac crew will participate in the annual Sprint All Star Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday night, May 19 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The event will be aired at 8 p.m. that evening on SPEED.

- Roush Fenway Racing, Press Releases

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