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.

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).