NASCAR: Jack Roush tight-lipped about Roush Fenway’s 2015 plans

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While rumors swirl about how Roush Fenway Racing will look next Sprint Cup season, team owner Jack Roush would not be drawn into revealing hints this morning at Michigan International Speedway.

“In due time, we’ll have announcements for 2015,” Roush said to reporters at MIS. “We’ve got a lot of 2014 in front of us and we’re obviously focused on that.”

While Trevor Bayne will return to full-time Cup racing next year in the No. 6 RFR Ford, things remain unofficial at this point with Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, who are both in contract years (although some media reports have emerged stating that Biffle will stay with the team).

But right now, the biggest concern for NASCAR’s Cat in the Hat is getting his squad turned around.

Outside of Edwards’ victory this spring at Bristol, RFR has had a disappointing campaign. Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are still chasing a regular season win that can get them into the Chase, and overall, the team has had inferior performance compared to fellow Ford stalwart Team Penske.

But Roush insists that his team is doing all it can to increase its performance.

“We’ve got a test going somewhere virtually every week, either a tire test at a NASCAR race track – a sanctioned test – or a bootlegged race track test that’s not on the NASCAR circuit, so we’re testing,” he said.

“We’re running our eight-post machine in the lab real hard and we’re taking very careful note of the ride height changes on the race track and where we seem to have our challenge and our best result returned.”

Roush doesn’t feel like the team has been having, in his words, a “fundamental error problem” as it tries to get back in the lead pack. Nonetheless, he acknowledged Penske’s success “with very similar cars” this year, and knows that they have to be better.

“This business cycles,” he said. “We’ve had times when we’ve been the cars to beat for an extended period of time to everybody’s frustration and now we’re just struggling to get back to where we need to be.”

Biffle, Edwards, and Stenhouse will start 18th, 22nd, and 30th respectively in Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”