It goes without saying at Roush Fenway Racing: If Jack’s not happy, no one’s happy.
Jack, of course, is team co-owner Jack Roush. And while RFR had some decent showings in 2014, qualifying Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle into the Chase for the Sprint Cup, it wasn’t a great overall season for RFR. The team’s three Fords had two wins, both by Edwards.
Roush made a number of changes during the offseason, particularly with crew chiefs. Bob Osborne moved to Trevor Bayne’s team, and Nick Sandler replaced Mike Kelley as Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s crew chief.
Kelley remains with Stenhouse as car chief, while Sandler – formerly team engineer for Edwards (who left for Joe Gibbs Racing) – will get his first opportunity as a Sprint Cup crew chief.
Greg Biffle, who is the dean of Roush Fenway Racing having joined the team in 1998, kept crew chief Matt Puccia.
Roush is confident his team will rebound in 2015.
“The glass is definitely more than half full,” Roush said. “The hole in our performance was in the mile-and-a-half and two-mile racetracks, which had typically been our strengths. I characterize our changes as tweaks, rather than revolutionary changes.
Biffle, 45, is the elder statesman of Roush Fenway Racing. He struggled through last season, failing to win while managing three top fives and 11 top-10 finishes.
“Last year was certainly a very tough season for us,” Biffle said. “This offseason, with no testing going on, we’ve really agonized over it, but I really feel like it’s been a turning point for Roush Fenway. It gave us the opportunity to step back and look at potentially where we made the wrong turn in the road.
“When you’re racing every week and trying to do this and testing and doing all these things, you’re looking at the problem down low. It wasn’t until we got up higher and really looked at the landscape and decided we made some wrong decisions back possibly over a year ago on the direction with our cars, we really feel like we’ve found some things we’ve done wrong and have righted those things.”
Trevor Bayne, who won the 2011 Daytona 500 for Wood Brothers Racing, will move into Cup full time in the No. 6 Ford and essentially take Edwards’ slot.
“I think Roush Fenway Racing is turning a corner and hopefully we turn it pretty fast here and we can go and contend for some wins this year,” Bayne said.
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