Tag Archives: Penske Racing

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

Brad Keselowski Deserved to Continue Racing at Talladega

Brad Keselowski had a fast car and set out to win the NASCAR Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Along the way he made some drivers and fans unhappy with his aggressive driving.

On lap 14 Brad Keselowski made the kind of a pass on Danica Patrick that some would argue was such a move reserved for the very end of a Talladega race. He completed the pass for the lead but as the racing continued came down in his lane a little while Patrick came up her lane. Either Keselowski wasn’t clear or Patrick got into him. That isn’t the story.

Keselowski said, “I’m not really sure what happened.  I made an aggressive move to take the lead and the next thing I knew I was spinning, so I’m not really sure.  Obviously, there was some kind of contact but I don’t know what happened.

The No. 2 Miller Lite car came back on the track six laps down after lengthy repairs. Keselowski continued driving aggressively. Eventually getting to the front with a car that looked just as fast as it was when he was leading the race. It looked like Keselowski had a great chance to get one of his laps back the hard way by passing the leader.

I just spun out in front of the whole field.  I don’t know why, if I just busted my butt on my own or lost a tire, but I feel bad for everyone that got torn up.” Keselowski added, “We had a really fast Team Penske Ford, but I just feel bad for the whole Miller Lite team.

Many drivers expressed displeasure that he was racing that hard in front of the field in spite of being many laps down.

Matt Kenseth said, “Well, I will say one thing if it was the other way around and it was anybody else except for him we’d all be getting lectured.”

Jimmie Johnson said, “I wasn’t so thrilled that a car six laps down crashed the field, that aspect of it. But I get it. You’re trying to get your laps back. But I didn’t have any big run-in with him except for unfortunately being caught up in that wreck.

Many of the fans on Twitter were also showing their displeasure with Keselowski.

The whole thought that Brad Keselowski shouldn’t be racing hard when he is six laps down is that a driver, including Keselowski, doesn’t want their day ruined by a car that has no chance to win. It is hard not to agree with this if that car is obviously slower than the other cars and is just plain simply in the way. Brad Keselowski’s car was not. He was competing and going to the front.

How can a team know how well the preparations of their car are if it isn’t racing? How can a driver keep his mental and physical edge if he isn’t racing? They can’t afford to ride around after lap 14. That is exactly why they fixed the car and exactly why Keselowski went back out on the track and raced.

Keselowski said, “Yeah, we had a lot of close calls and I guess most of them were my fault, but I’m just being real aggressive.  That’s what it’s gonna take to win here and whoever wins here will be really aggressive, too.

What if instead of a tire going down something broke on the car and because they found out about it they could correct the problem for future races? What if Brad Keselowski learned just enough about how the cars are handling at Talladega in order to race better next time?

The next Talladega Superspeedway race just happens to be the last race of the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Penske Racing Miller Lite team may have learned enough to win that race and move on to the third round. Their work this weekend to go back out racing just might have been a Championship winning move. That is why Brad Keselowski deserved to continue racing at Talladega.

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

Feature Photo Credit:  297853 NASCAR Via Getty Images