Greg Biffle – We are Dying a Slow Death

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

8 thoughts on “Greg Biffle – We are Dying a Slow Death”

  1. They are a sinking ship, and have been for awhile. I believe Greg Biffle will soon retire, then Roush will be left with 2 “new” drivers and no veteran to guide them. I believe when Jack Roush stepped back 1.5 yrs ago, is when all the trouble began. He has said that himself, and it’s evident. When Petty moved away from Roush’s shop, who benefitted…. it wasn’t Roush, hint hint.

  2. It amazes me that Roush struggles have carried on into 2015. Such a big success gap between them and the Penske Fords. My biggest worry is this failure to perform is really overshadowing the talent of their young drivers. I think Ricky and Trevor have far more talent than race results.

    1. If Roush could qualify like they race, they’d be good. Trevor said they get lapped because they qualify so deep in the field and can’t make it back to the lead lap, even though they have top-15 speed.

  3. Keep this in mind. Penske is not going to share much with anyone. This goes back to the days of Mark Donohue, who literally wrote the book on getting an advantage in racing. Bobby Allison, who also drove for Penske and was a teammate of Donohue at the 1973 Indianapolis 500, noted how secretive Donohue was, even toward the other members of the Penske team, himself and Gary Bettenhausen. And we must also remember that Ryan Newman wouldn’t even share information with Rusty Wallace when they were teammates at Penske, so the lack of information sharing with Penske, even among teams within the organization, goes back a long ways.

    Now as for Roush, one of their problems is that they’ve been one of the most conservative teams, in terms of setting their engines up, for years. But it wasn’t until Penske rejoined the Ford ranks in 2013 that Roush’s conservative nature with engine set-ups was exposed. And back when Roush, Penske, and Robert Yates were all top-tier Ford teams in the 90s, Roush was always behind on horsepower. Where he beat everyone was with handling. I still think a key factor in Roush’s quick demise was the loss of Matt Kenseth after the 2012 season, because Kenseth gave Roush something they still haven’t been able to replace, and that is the ability to set up a car, because Kenseth may be the best chassis man among the drivers, and given how important handling is to the Roush teams because of their conservative nature in setting up the engines, this was a crippling loss, one from which they still haven’t recovered.

  4. The reason for the sinking ship at RFR can be traced directly back to Jack Roush himself. Nothing to do with lack of information sharing involving Penske, (look at how Brad & Joey are sharing things & Penske is sharing with RPM), & little to do with the loss of Kenseth or Edwards, though that does factor into it.

    Remember when RFR became the clearinghouse for Ford in NASCAR, much like Holman-Moody was in the 60s? That’s when the rot set in, as Jack Roush micromanaged his teams into near oblivion. Due to that RYR was driven out, & RPM & the Wood Brothers became nothing more than satellite teams of RFR, to the point where the Petty cars were completely built by RFR, right down to the wrapping of them, & were literally wheeled across the road from RFR to RPM. Roush consolidated his power & left the Woods & RPM to wither & die. RPM moved to another shop, away from RFR, & aligned with Penske, as well as doing more of the work themselves. Bingo! RPM’s performance began to improve.

    In his mishandling of things, Jack Roush nearly derailed Ford in NASCAR, & if Penske hadn’t switched from Dodge to Ford, Ford might have become irrelevant in the sport. “One Ford”? That’s merely a coverup for Ford getting things away from Roush, while allowing him to save face & retain some influence. They way he screwed things up is why Kenseth & Edwards left & why he now has a team comprised of journeyman, (at best), drivers.

    He’s getting exactly what he deserves & I’d bet within three years RFR will either be gone, or such a minor player in the sport that they might as well be gone & good riddance.

  5. RFR is behind for sure, but his stable of drivers is lacking also. Despite what Old Biffle said, he had NO big teams looking to sign him and was forced to stay with Jack. Don’t believe that, then what power team even had a position to offer Biffle, answer, none. Stenhouse has never shown he can drive a cup car in 2 plus years. Seems he’s content to run around Danica at the back of the 32 cars that are in the cup battle. And Trevor needs time. Look for Stenhouse to be back in the lower series next year, no way a big name sponsor is going to pay big bucks for where he is finishing. Biffle hasn’t been relevant for a lot of years now, give it up Biff, it’s over.

  6. And by the way, RPM is not aligned with Penske, despite what was written in this article, mainly because Penske’s not aligning with any other team that’s capable of running up front, which RPM has proven it can do. In fact, as far as I know, the only reason Penske has aligned himself with the Wood Brothers is to get Ryan Blaney some more experience in Cup cars, and who better to do that with than the most experienced organization in the sport. If not for that, he wouldn’t be helping them.

    And Echo, while I tend to agree with you regarding Stenhouse, and certainly Biffle doesn’t have that many years left, I do disagree with what you said about Trevor Bayne. You said that Trevor Bayne needs time to adjust to these cars, but time is one thing he doesn’t have much of, as far as his career goes. While being 24 years old would suggest he has time, the truth is, that since he has MS (and has likely had it for going on four years), time may run out on him at literally any moment, because there’s no telling when the symptoms he has may act up again, and if that happens, his career may be over. So the possibility exists that none of Roush’s current drivers will be there by 2017 (Biffle because of age, Stenhouse due to lack of performance, and Bayne because of health issues) if Roush sticks around that long, because he has no plan of succession in place for when he’s no longer able run his team.

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