Tag Archives: Sam Hornish Jr.

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

The Nationwide Series has the Spotlight This Weekend at Chicagoland

The NASCAR Nationwide Series and Chicagoland Speedway have the spotlight this week. The Sprint Cup and Truck Series are off. This week is the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway and the Nationwide Series is going to shine.

The Chicagoland Speedway is a 1.5 mile D shaped oval with 18 degrees of banking in the corners, 11 degrees in the front stretch and 5 degrees on the back stretch. Racing at Chicagoland is not as fast as the other 1.5 mile tracks that have more banking, but it still is fast. The races at Chicagoland are sometimes won by having good fuel mileage. A good handling race car is not only fast but will get good fuel mileage. This could be a factor in this race.

When analyzing on who will be good here via driver ratings we have to note that we do have one Cup driver interloper, Kasey Kahne, who has limited Nationwide Series stats at Chicagoland. Kyle Larson is also a Cup interloper but he is a rookie in the Cup series, and not in Nationwide.

When looking at the driver ratings, Sam Hornish Jr. seems to have the field covered with a rating of 115.8 over Brian Scott’s rating of 95.1. Remember these ratings, unlike Cup ratings, do not have the same number of races contained in the statistic. In this case it doesn’t really matter. The number 54 car has won four out of 17 races this year including one by Hornish with an average finish of fourth.

However, Hornish needs to worry about hot shoe Kyle Larson and previous Chicagoland winner Elliott Sadler, not to mention Kasey Kahne. Other cars to watch would be those JR Motorsports cars of #7 Regan Smith and #9 Chase Elliott. Ryan Blaney, in last year’s winning car—the #22—will also have a shot at winning.

Sam Hornish Jr’s teammate Erik Jones, who won his first Camping World Truck race last weekend, will be making his first Nationwide Series race this weekend and will also be someone to watch.

This race is one of the Dash4Cash races where an eligible driver can win a $100,000 bonus. The eligible drivers are #7-Regan Smith, #2-Brian Scott, #60-Chris Buescher, and #11-Elliott Sadler. The one who finishes the highest will win the Cash. Regan Smith won the cash last week and is eligible to win an additional $600,000 if he wins the next three Dash4Cash races (Chicagoland, Indianapolis, Iowa).

If you cannot get to Chicagoland Speedway it will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Saturday July 19th at 8 PM ET.

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

Feature Photo Credit: 288276 Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images

Top 10 Driver Rating at Chicagoland Speedway

Car# Driver Average Finish Driver Rating
54 Sam Hornish Jr. 4.8 115.8
2 Brian Scott 9.9 95.1
11 Elliott Sadler 15.7 94.3
6 Trevor Bayne 13.3 91.1
42 Kyle Larson 22 84.8
99 James Buescher 15 81.5
19 Mike Bliss 15.8 79.5
5 Kasey Kahne 21.8 79.3
62 Brendan Gaughan 19 77.5
43 Dakoda Armstrong 15 74

Note: Driver Ratings compiled are all over the map for the Nationwide Series since this series is transient in nature.