The House Of Roush

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While the focus following Speedweeks has deservedly centered on Kevin Harvick, winner of both the Daytona 500 and Orbitz 300, the cross country journey from Daytona International Speedway to California Speedway has shifted the spotlight towards another personality in the sport.

That person is none other than Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing.

With 11 victories at California Speedway, including five in the last six Busch Series events, much of the talk leading into this weekend's Busch Series Stater Bros. 300 is concentrated on Roush and his four drivers: David Ragan, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.

"I can't wait to run the Busch race at California this weekend," said Biffle, the defending race winner and driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. "Roush Fenway cars have a really strong record at California and I've won three Busch races there myself."

However, the team's success is not the only reason that makes a visit to California so enjoyable for Biffle.

"That track is a lot of fun for a driver because it is so wide and smooth. It's easy to pass and there are several grooves to choose from to make your car work," said Biffle, a three time Busch Series winner at the two-mile venue. "If one line doesn't work you can always move up or down the track to find one that suits the car's handling. It's a fun place to race."

Edwards, who is coming off a third-place finish at Daytona, has a lot of momentum heading into the weekend. The driver of the No. 60 World Financial Group Ford Fusion also knows about winning at California Speedway, having captured the Busch Series victory there in the fall of 2005.

"We had our sights on a top-10 and finished better than that with a third place finish. It's a great start for this season and right where we need to be," said Edwards' crew chief Pierre Kuettel after the Orbitz 300. "We are going to keep the momentum going from here. It's going to be fun this year."

Even though the odds favor the Roush Fenway drivers, as only 40 cars are currently entered for the 150-lap event Saturday night, it will not be easy.

Among the remaining 36 drivers are 19 full-time NEXTEL Cup drivers, four drivers attempting a partial NEXTEL Cup Series schedule (Regan Smith, Mike Wallace, Timothy Peters and Jon Wood), two Daytona 500 winners (Ward Burton and Harvick), a NEXTEL Cup Series champion (Tony Stewart) and four Busch Series champions (Joe Nemechek, Jeff Green, Steve Grissom and Harvick).

With so many high-level drivers racing this weekend, another Roush success will be hard to come by.

"There is a lot less pressure then you have on Sunday. You can just go out and race as hard as you can and go for the win," said Harvick, who will be driving his own No. 33 RoadLoans.com Chevrolet.

The Busch Series action gets underway on Friday at 11 a.m. (ET) with the first of two practice sessions. On Saturday, qualifying begins at 3:10 p.m. (ET) with the green flag scheduled shortly after 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Coverage of Saturday's Stater Bros. 300 is available on ESPN2, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, in addition to complete reports throughout the weekend on RacingOne.com.

Idle Notes
  • Although this weekend's Stater Bros. 300 marks the second race of the season, it will mark the debut for several drivers in 2007 Busch Series competition. The list includes Scott Riggs, Timothy Peters, Jeff Green, Jeff Burton and Kertus Davis. Another list of drivers - Casey Mears, Brad Keselowski, David Stremme and J.J. Yeley – will also be making their first start of the season, after failing to qualify at Daytona.

  • Looking for somebody who's due? Look no further than Reed Sorenson, driver of the No. 41 Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Dodge. He has completed all of the 600 Busch Series laps he's run at California Speedway. When it comes to Busch Series racing, he also has never finished outside of the top 20, totaling one top-five, one top-10, three top-15 and four top-20 finishes.

    Another candidate is Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 5 Autoguard Chevrolet. Of the three West Coast ovals on the NASCAR circuit (California, Las Vegas and Phoenix), Busch has earned two Cup Series victories, two Cup Series poles, one Busch Series pole, 11 top-10 finishes (Cup and Busch Series combined), and 341 laps led (Cup Series and Busch Series combined).

  • Juan Pablo Montoya may have a rookie stripe this weekend – but this is not his first visit to Fontana. During his CART FedEx Series career, he ran twice at California Speedway, 1999 and 2000. The Colombian native totaled one top-five finish and two top-10 results.

  • Home Sweet Home: Four drivers will be competing in their home state this weekend; Jason Leffler, Kevin Harvick, David Gilliland and Casey Mears.

Race Center

Kansas Lottery 300

@ Kansas Speedway
Saturday, October 04, 2014 3:00 PM
Radio Start:
MRN, 3 p.m. (ET)
TV Start:
ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

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