CONCORD, N.C. – Roush Fenway moves into the NASCAR Easter off weekend coming off the strength of a strong showing last week at Auto Club Speedway, where RFR placed two Fords inside the top-six of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race. However, team owner Jack Roush points out the season is just getting started.
“We haven’t really reached our stride yet,” said Roush. “We were at the top of our game with the Gen 5 car that preceded this, and we are learning things each week about the Gen 6. I think the racing at California really bodes well for this Gen 6 car. I think NASCAR has delivered on what they were trying to do for the fans and the teams and they have given us a very exciting car.”
“We are in good shape,” added Roush. “Our challenge is really to figure out how to get the Roush Fenway Fords to start a little faster off the truck in practice.”
After five races in 2013, Roush Fenway Racing occupies two positions inside the top-five of the Sprint Cup point standings, with Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle tied for fourth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been solid in his rookie season and is one of only a handful of drivers to have completed every lap in the Sprint Cup Series. He currently sits in 12th position and in solid ‘Chase’ contention.
“Ricky is outstanding,” said Roush. “He has all this enthusiasm and motivation, but he has managed to temper that against the realities of Sprint Cup racing. He has been patient with me and his team and he is getting the most out his experience.
“He’s building towards a better result as we get towards the middle of the year and he’ll be able to race for those top-fives and race to win occasionally,” added Roush. “He’s doing what he needs to do and he’s making the best investment of his time for what will follow. His finish in California was not even indicative of where he ran for most of the race, it was an issue of two tires or four tires and that happens. I expect Ricky to be a top-10 car and compete for a top-five at Texas.”
Edwards’ pairing with legendary crew chief Jimmy Fennig has thus far yielded strong results, with the driver having posted three top-five finishes and a victory early in the season. In addition, Biffle has been solid and leads Roush Fenway with an 11.4 average finish in 2013, having posted a pair of top-six finishes.
On the Nationwide front, Trevor Bayne continues to climb in the point standings. The former Daytona 500 winner currently sits at sixth in the standings, having posted three top-10 finishes and a pole in five races this season. Travis Pastrana has thus far exceeded expectations, having finished inside the top-10 twice and only outside of 16th on one occasion. In his first season of full-time competition he is currently 12th in the standings.
Roush Fenway will shift its attention to the short track of Martinsville next weekend, where the team has won on four occasions in Sprint Cup action dating back to 1992.