Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Roush Five Are Chasing Each Other

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Roush Five Are Chasing Each Other

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

LOUDON, N.H. -- Jack Roush couldn't win a championship during his first 16 years as a car owner in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

Now he can't seem to lose.

After winning the last two titles, Roush put himself in good position for a third by qualifying five cars for The Chase for the Championship, which starts with Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

"I'm in better shape with five [drivers] that I would be with one," Roush said. "I think I'm in better shape with five that I would be with four, unless somebody runs into somebody for reasons that aren't good.

"No, I'm feeling that we've got five capable and able drivers driving equipment that's organized through great engineering activity, that pools their effort and works real hard, and administered by five crew chiefs that hopefully know what they're doing. On any given day, they've all demonstrated they can win."

Matt Kenseth, the 2003 series champion, enters the 10-race playoffs as the circuit's hottest driver. He has compiled more points in the last five races than any other driver, rallying from 24th in the standings to ninth in the last 13 races.

Kurt Busch, the defending champion, enters the Chase after winning last Saturday night at Richmond, Va.; Greg Biffle brings five victories this year to the playoffs; rookie Carl Edwards is a two-time race winner; and Mark Martin adds 25 years of Cup experience -- and 11 top-five finishes in the championship standings.

Together, Roush's Fords have combined to win 11 of 26 races this season.

"We're just living a dream with this thing," Roush said. "I knew we're going to give it back. Everything averages out for the luck that you can't affect through preparation and strategy. Some of it you just can't do anything about."

The points system was reshuffled for the Chase. Tony Stewart, the leader, now only has a five-point edge over Biffle, and 10th-place Ryan Newman is only 45 points -- about nine finishing positions -- behind. …

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