Tag: Chris Buescher

Sadler Should Do Good With Roush Fenway In 2015, Not Great

There was a time when Roush Fenway Racing was brought up, in respect to the Nationwide (soon to be XFINITY) Series you could say it was dominate. Mark Martin spent many years winning a lot of races for the team, then Carl Edwards stepped in and kept the train rolling, and then there was Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. picking up back to back championships.

As with their Sprint Cup Series effort, dominate is not the word I would use to describe the team. I’m not sure what exactly the word would be because whenever I think they’re down and out, the team comes through with a good performance.

Announced for 2015 is veteran Elliott Sadler joining the organization to drive alongside Ryan Reed and Chris Buescher. There should be a bump in performance given Sadler’s experience, currently Trevor Bayne is the most experience driver in the stable, but I’m not expecting miracles for Sadler or his teammates.

Sadler is a puzzle of a driver right now. He’s’ shown the ability to get it done, but for some reason or another there is no consistency. When he drove for Richard Childress Racing from 2011 to 2012, he was in the thick of the championship hunt and won races. That relationship eroded and he left knocking on the door for a title.

Year Starts Poles Wins Top-5s Top-10s Led AvgSt AvgFin Rank
2011 34 5 0 12 24 181 8.7 9.8 2
2012 33 4 4 15 24 366 6.7 7.6 2

Joining Joe Gibbs Racing, a team that dominates week in and week out thanks to Kyle Busch, you figured he would make that next step to champion. The results, including this year, have been disappointing and are likely why Sadler will be in his third team in four years. He finally got a win this season at Talladega, but has been lackluster everywhere else.

Year Starts Poles Wins Top-5s Top-10s Led AvgSt AvgFin Rank
2013 33 0 0 9 20 150 12.1 11.2 4
2014 30 1 1 6 22 148 9.2 9.7 4

Looking at his performance versus his future team and you see the numbers are not drastically that far from each other. Buescher added a win this year, Bayne has yet to break through, but has a pole, and Reed has spent the year learning the ropes.

Driver Starts Poles Wins Top-5s Top-10s Led AvgSt AvgFin Rank
Reed 30 0 0 1 1 29 17.3 16.5 9
Bayne 30 1 0 5 20 62 11.9 10.6 6
Buescher 29 0 1 4 13 57 11.3 12.9 7
Sadler 30 1 1 6 22 148 9.2 9.7 4

That is why when you mash the numbers up to predict what Sadler could do with Roush Fenway Racing, the results are about where he is now with Joe Gibbs Racing. Granted, there are factors we won’t know for a while, including the makeup of Sadler’s team, but on paper it’s a lateral move.

Year Starts Poles Wins Top-5s Top-10s Led AvgSt AvgFin Rank
2015 33 1 1 7 17 130 11.3 11.3 5

I expect Sadler to compete from time to time, be consistent, which will lead to him being near the top of the standings, but that will be deceiving. I don’t see him as a legitimate title contender at this point, like he was with Richard Childress Racing.

What’s Pastrana’s Future?

Travis_Pastrana_NNS_Iowa_060813

All indications are that Travis Pastrana will return to Roush Fenway Racing to make another go at the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2014. The biggest question mark surrounding the former X-Games standout is where is he going with this NASCAR endeavor?

Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, talked openly this past week about his desires for a fourth Sprint Cup Series for next season. He has a sponsor and driver he’s trying to put together for that spot. If that falls through, the plan is to continue to develop their young talent to get into a fourth car.

The names he dropped as the “young talent” were Trevor Bayne and Chris Buescher. There was no mention of Pastrana. Then you look at the recent signing of 20-year old Ryan Reed to run in the Nationwide Series as another indication of young talent he’s collecting.

While the 29-year old Pastrana isn’t exactly over the hill, he’s not exactly setting the world on fire in his first full season of Nationwide racing. Through 30 starts, Pastrana has one pole, no wins or top-5s, 4 top-10s, an average finish of 21.1, and5 DNFs. All five DNFs have been from accidents. Heck, the running joke among many people on Twitter is a race isn’t official until Pastrana spins.

Most drivers might be worried that they have no sponsors on the car and have seemingly gone nowhere during the season. Pastrana does have sponsorship, Red Bull and DC Shoes, but they opt not to have their logos on the Roush Fenway Racing Ford. It sounds like they’re good for coming back next year, but if Pastrana is serious about NASCAR, he might want to look for another team that is going to develop him versus cashing his checks.