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April 15, 2008 11:55 AM

Erik Darnell to Make Nationwide Series Debut This Weekend in Mexico City

CONCORD, N.C. (April 15, 2008) - Erik Darnell will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this weekend at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. The 25-year-old NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular will pilot the No. 17 CitiFinancial Ford Fusion and will be led by crew chief Drew Blickensderfer.

"I’m really excited for my first Nationwide Series race," said Darnell. "I have to thank Jack Roush and everyone at CitiFinancial for giving me this opportunity. Every driver’s goal is to move up through the ranks and hopefully land a Sprint Cup Series ride. This is going to be a big weekend for me and I’m just ready to get down there."

The Beach Park, Ill., native has two road course races under his belt; one at Infineon Raceway and one at Brainerd International Raceway. He also joined his Roush Fenway Racing teammates last month for a test session at Virginia International Raceway.

"Erik is a talented young driver," said Blickensderfer. "He did really well when we went to VIR a few weeks ago. I’m sure he’ll be anxious at first. We just want him to get some laps under his belt and get comfortable in the car."

In 55 career Truck Series starts, Darnell has one win, eight top fives, 21 top 10s and two poles. Darnell is scheduled to pilot the CitiFinancial Ford later this season at Milwaukee, Daytona and ORP.

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

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