Carl Edwards may now be firmly in the Chase for the Sprint Cup after his second win of the year on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. But things remain far from hunky-dory at Roush Fenway Racing.
Overall, the team has struggled to keep up with the likes of Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart Haas Racing, and their fellow Ford mates at Team Penske. And while Edwards has been able to overcome that performance gap to get two wins, his Roush teammates Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have yet to pick up a regular season win that can catapult them into the playoffs.
Today on NASCAR AMERICA, host Rick Allen and analyst Jeff Burton (himself a former Roush Fenway driver) discussed the team’s up-and-down first half of 2014.
But at least RFR has one of their men set to race for a championship this fall. Edwards talked with NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast after sipping the California wine in Sonoma’s Victory Lane.
Another edition of NASCAR AMERICA airs tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra. For more clips from the show, head over to the archive page.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.