Greg Biffle – We are Dying a Slow Death

All NASCAR fans know that Roush Fenway Racing did not do very well last year and started out this year more or less the same. Could it be worse than we know? Did Greg Biffle let out some frustration during qualifying at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California? We probably won’t know for sure but it does look that way.

Last year Greg Biffle made the Chase for the Sprint Cup on points and Carl Edwards made it via winning a race but mostly the flagship Roush Fenway Racing drivers were not a threat to win every week and perhaps any week especially at the 1.5 and 2 mile tracks they are known to be good at. The talk all last year is they know they are behind and will catch up. Well this year is another year and it is simply not looking good.

Carl Edwards bolted for seemingly greener pastures. The jury is out on that but it seems to get greener every week. Greg Biffle is left to be the elder statesmen of the Roush team so when he says “We are dying a slow death” it is troubling. To be fair here is the full quote.

It’s been a challenging year and a half for us and it’s no different this weekend than normal. All of our cars, I think our best car is 26th or 27th. So that’s just not acceptable for how good of a team we are and how hard everyone works back at the shop and our engines.” Biffle added, “We just got to figure this out. You Know we’re dying a slow death and we just got to work hard and figure out where the speeds at and get the cars trimmed out. Show up closer than we do for the weekend is the main thing we need to work on. Seems like we’re getting speed in. The very last run was our fast run but just not quite fast enough yet.

Greg’s statement only leads to many thoughts. The first and main thought is what happened to “One Ford”? Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, the Penske Racing team, seem to be making those Fords work. Richard Petty Motorsports driver, Aric Almirola driver of the famous no. 43 is 14th in points Sam Hornish Jr. driver of the No. 9 who is 24th in points get their chassis from RFR. It was hoped that Hornish’s connection to Penseke would provide a benefit.

Let’s let the Elephant into the room. Did Roush Fenway Racing do something to Penske Racing when they switched to Ford such that they will not ever help? Will there never truly be “One Ford?”

The season isn’t lost yet for Roush Fenway Racing but it doesn’t look good. Greg Biffle is 16th in points, Trevor Bayne 26th and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 27th but if they keep this up time will run out.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will lead the Charge for Roush Fenway Racing at Auto Club Speedway starting 27th. Greg Biffle will start behind him 29th and Trevor Bayne will start 36th. All of these starting position are bad. The only hope is that this is a 2 mile speedway with multiple groves and it is a long 400 mile race. They can get to the front if they can find some way to make their cars faster. Unfortunately their recent history suggests that will not happen.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 307241 Jeff Gross/NASCAR via Getty Images

NASCAR Fans You Must Get to the Track Sometime

When I started writing about NASCAR in 2011 it was all about taking my passion and excitement for NASCAR racing to a new level. It was all about becoming a member of the media and getting even more access and knowledge about the sport. I was able to accomplish those goals but somewhere along the way I lost something and I didn’t even know it.

I’ll tell you a secret, well maybe not a secret but something I didn’t know. Most of the media people, who you know and love, at most of the tracks, actually watch the race on TV in the media center. They don’t see the commercials as the cameras still roll in the media center but they do watch the coverage on TV. They do have access real time to an actually live leader board and everything available via a scanner real-time if you’re at the track.

Since I have been a member of the media I actually have not sat in the stands looking at the whole track since August of 2013. This year at seemingly the last moment I decided to visit Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, as a fan, to see the races there. It was everything I expected from the eleven years I had attended races as a fan prior to being in the media.

While doing my weekly radio show it was discussed that the Atlanta race at times wasn’t very exciting. That there was too much single file follow the leader racing. I chimed in that it was a very exciting race but in an instant it dawned on me. As I reran the race in my head it occurred to me that yes while viewing on TV one might come to a much different conclusion as to how the race progressed.

There was two and sometimes three wide racing from approximately sixth place on back through the field throughout the race at Atlanta. There was drivers moving up through the field as they made their cars better and others that were dropping through the field as the reverse happened. That is what I had been missing.

NASCAR fans if your driver doesn’t happen to be up front and on TV there is no better way to get a feel for exactly how bad it is then being at the track. Seeing your driver either pass others in similar circumstances or being passed by other drivers. It’s very telling. At one point in time I happened to see all three Roush Fenway cars racing two and three wide for about 20th. Some were moving up and others not. It was very telling. Something you just can’t get a feel for watching on TV.

I recommend every NASCAR fan get to a track to see and experience the whole picture. Some drivers results may not look so bleak as they do on the score card.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 305909 Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images

Kurt Busch has Been Released From NASCAR Purgatory

On February 20th 2015, Kurt Busch was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR due to the outcome of an order of protection hearing in a Delaware family court. The court had granted on order of protection to Patricia Driscoll from Kurt Busch resulting from an altercation that occurred in Busch’s motor home at the Dover International Speedway.

Kurt Busch signed an agreement with NASCAR outlining his road to reinstatement. The suspension and agreement all happened prior to finding out if actual criminal charges would be filled against Kurt Busch by Dover Delaware.

The decision to lift the suspension was made by NASCAR after Kurt Busch:

  • Complied with all requirements in its reinstatement program;
  • Completed the mandatory behavioral assessment sessions; and
  • The behavioral health care expert who conducted the sessions recommended to NASCAR that Kurt Busch be allowed to return to competition.

NASCAR has also granted a waiver that a driver must compete in all 26 current season events in order to be eligible for the Chase. This means that if Busch can win a race and get enough points to be in the top 30 he would be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Steve O’Donnel, NASCAR Executive Vice President said, “We have made it very clear to Kurt Busch our expectations for him moving forward, which includes participation in a treatment program and full compliance with all judicial requirements as a result of his off-track behavior.”

Domestic Abuse is serious and as such NASCAR, due to what has happened with other players in other sports was painted into a box. They had to act given what was found in the Family Court. We will never truly know what happened in that motor home. Seeing that the prosecutors came to the same conclusion and Kurt Busch followed and promised to continue their plan; NASCAR also had to act to reinstate Kurt Busch.

One can criticize NASCAR for the suspension and then the quick reinstatement but they had to act or in this case react to what had been happening with Busch off the track. Whatever your opinion of Kurt Busch baring a felony conviction or on track behavior that hurts competition or safety he deserves to be racing. There is no reason to keep Kurt Busch from pursuing his livelihood of racing in NASCAR.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Feature Photo Credit: 296903 Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images