Tag: Roush Fenway Racing

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.

A Few Crazy Scenarios For 2015 Free Agency In NASCAR

It’s only May, roughly three months into the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the jockeying for 2015 free agents might begin soon. Hendrick Motorsports announced that Nationwide Insurance would sponsor Dale Earnhardt, Jr. starting in 2015 on Friday and it’s a move that impacts two teams at minimum. Continue reading “A Few Crazy Scenarios For 2015 Free Agency In NASCAR”

The Unstable World Of NASCAR Ownership

 

With the recent demise of Swan Racing, it got me thinking about the ownership landscape of NASCAR. It seems every year we see a team come in and leave within a year or two. Only a handful of organizations have stood up to the test of time. Here are my survival theories. Continue reading “The Unstable World Of NASCAR Ownership”

A Look Back: Mark Martin

With it most likely being Mark Martin’s final drive this weekend when the green flag comes out for the Ford EcoBoost 400 this Sunday at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Start ‘N’ Park Blog takes a look back through the years. Below you’ll find photographs from Martin’s career as well as his Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series career stats. Continue reading “A Look Back: Mark Martin”

Biffle Won’t Be Cutting Johnson Any Slack

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Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson won’t be exchanging Christmas gifts anytime soon after their run in at Martinsville in Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. Biffle was positioned in the top-10 when contact from Johnson sent him spinning.

While there was minimal damage to Biffle’s car, the real damage was having to go to the back of the line after pitting. He did have a strong enough car to work his way back to a ninth place finish, but it could have been a lot better had that not happened.

After the race Biffle got to Johnson to explain his frustration. “Hey, you tore my rear bumper off, you (expletive),” said Biffle. Johnson contended he was next to Biffle, but Biffle warned him he’d “better watch it.”  In the end it was a case of agreeing to disagree over the incident.

With three races to go and Johnson neck and neck for the title, it’ll be interesting to see if Biffle cuts him any slack in the coming weeks.  Drivers tend to have very long memories and if it’s not this season, it could go into next.

What’s Pastrana’s Future?

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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.

Edwards Seeks Home Turf Advantage

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Carl Edwards is coming to the Kansas Speedway looking for the home advantage. The Columbia, MO native has a best finish of 2nd at his home track, but that was back in 2008. In 12 starts he has zero wins, four top-5s, eight top-10s, and an average finish of 11.3.

After finishing 35th last weekend at the Dover International Speedway, Edwards is looking to regroup, and gain back the points he lost.

“I have not heard the very final ruling of exactly what happened (in Dover), but, basically, we had a wheel that came loose and was loose enough that it broke the studs off of the left-rear, so when I pulled in the first time we only had two studs on there.  We kind of got everything tightened up as best we could and just tried to roll around, but it wasn’t gonna work.  So the guys changed a hub in 13 laps under green, which was pretty good, but we still don’t know if it was a manufacturing problem.  I don’t think it was my tire changer.  He does a great job and all the data showed that he had it tight, so it’s just one of those things in racing that can happen.  It’s very, very frustrating,” Edwards explained to media members Thursday from the track.

Edwards and his team are not quitting on this season. They believe they can still make noise in the Chase.

There’s a lot of racing left.  If we can go out and if our speed today is any indication, if we can go out and possibly win this race and win a couple races, and if these guys (the 20) had some trouble, it could happen.  Anything can happen, so the biggest thing is when I got back to the shop Jimmy Fennig looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Look, I don’t quit.  We’re going here to win this thing and that’s it.  Until we can’t, we will.’  So that’s all you can do,” said Edwards.

Step one in the plan to rebound was testing on Thursday at the track, due to extreme weather changes, information gathered that day might not translate.

“We didn’t spend any time in qualifying trim, and the conditions changed throughout the whole test session, so, like I said, beating Matt Kenseth here is probably the biggest thing I could have done.  I think the temperature is gonna be a big factor and it’s also supposed to possibly rain on Friday night, so we might see the same problem Saturday trying to get the cars tuned in with the changing track,” commented Edwards.

The Hollywood Casino 400 gets under way Sunday at 2 PM EST, and can be seen on ESPN.