Monday, March 12, 2012

Roush Fenway Rewind: No win for RFR this week, but Greg Biffle moves to the top of the points standings

NSCS new points leader, Greg Biffle
(Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

The Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway produced 16 lead changes with 11 different drivers, two of these drivers being Roush Fenway Racing’s own Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth. However, at the end of the race, it would be Tony Stewart in Victory Lane, for a third different winner in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

The Roush Fenway Racing drivers started the race in decent positions, with Biffle being the only RFR driver in the top-ten, qualifying 9th on Friday. Kenseth qualified in the row behind Biffle, in 11th, while Carl Edwards was further back in the pack in 21st.

By Lap 50, Biffle and his No. 16 3M/Meguiars Ford had moved up to 3rd position. Kenseth and his No. 17 Zest Ford was right behind Biffle in 4th, while Edwards and his No. 99 Aflac Ford was running 20th.

It wasn’t until around Lap 150 that all of the Roush Fenway drivers would claim spots in the top-ten.

With 58 laps to go, fuel mileage seemed as if it would be a determining factor for the end of the race. Most crew chiefs and teams were announcing that they would be within five to seven laps short on fuel.  The fifth caution for debris (with 39 laps to go) would change this factor in the race. All three of the Roush Fenway Racing drivers would pit for fuel only, choosing to keep the tires they had and run a faster pit stop.
On Lap 253, with 14 laps to go, the RFR boys had managed to group up near the front of the pack. Biffle was racing in 3rd; Kenseth in 4th; and Edwards right behind them in 5th position.

With four laps left to go, Kenseth slid into the wall. Edwards had decided to go low, making the race a three-wide race. This move caused a reaction with Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne and this is what tapped Kenseth into the wall.  It was a risky move for Edwards, but at this point in the race, he was looking to move up positions and seemed to feel he had it covered safely. This incident would not bring out a caution and Kenseth would stay on the track. 

Once again this week, the Roush Fenway Racing drivers were lucky to not be involved in any of the eight cautions that were called during the race. Other than occasional problems that simply required air pressure adjustments, all three drivers had cars that were great cars for this track.

At the end of the race, Biffle would finish the race in 3rd place for the third straight week, making that his final position for every race so far this season.  Edwards would finish in 5th, his best finish so far this season. Kenseth would finish in 22nd, which would be his worst finish so far this season and a disappointment after starting the season with a win at Daytona.

Post-race, in response to the incident with four laps to go, Edwards was quoted as saying, “Matt spun his tires just a little on the restart. I went down on the apron. He gave me a ton of room and we just got all bunched up over there.” All Biffle had to say was, “All I know is that I was on the top and Carl was digging on the bottom. “

Once the reporters caught up with Kenseth, he was more than willing to share his thoughts on the incident. “I just don’t know. Carl just laid back and got by me three-wide. Just didn’t seem like there was a lot of room getting into one; they just stopped in the middle of the corner and I just got into them a little bit. I just don’t know what happened.”

With camaraderie expected out of Roush Fenway Racing, I am sure the incident will be discussed and cleared up before the drivers head to Bristol Motor Speedway next week for the Food City 500.  

For now, the Roush Fenway Racing drivers should be proud of their current point standings. As of Sunday, Greg Biffle had taken the lead in points with 125 points. This is one spot up from last week.

Matt Kenseth is currently in 5th with 102 points, down one position from last week.  Carl Edwards is in 6th position, also with 102 points (Kenseth’s win at the Daytona 500 being the tie-breaker this time). This is four spots higher than he was at last week.


Greg Biffle:
“Can’t wait for practice tomorrow!! Just watching TV, should have went to town and played craps I guess!!!”

Matt Kenseth:
This week’s Kenseth tweet will be one of his retweets. This tweet comes to you from his spotter, Mike Calinoff, referencing a celebration for Kenseth’s 40th birthday on Saturday.

“RT @MikeCalinoff: Great team dinner with @MattKenseth tonight. When they brought out his birthday cake, I thought Montoya ran into another jet dryer.”

Carl Edwards:
Since Carl still remains #TwitterlessCarl, I decided to share information with you this week, via Lori, one of the  member of No. 99's Public Relations camp.

When asked if Carl would be running any Nationwide races as of now, the reply was “no.”. 


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