Monday, March 5, 2012

Roush Fenway Rewind: A shorter second race doesn't produce winning results for RFR this week

Following an incredible Daytona 500, Phoenix International Raceway failed to produce another victory for the Roush Fenway Racing camp at the second Sprint Cup series race of the season. However, one Roush Fenway driver, Greg Biffle, would post a solid top-three finish.

Biffle had the strongest RFR car on Sunday finishing third
Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR
The race began with only Greg Biffle and his No. 16 3M Commercial Graphics Ford in a top-ten starting position (starting seventh). Carl Edwards and his No. 99 Subway Ford would start the race 24th, while Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Best Buy Ford would start in 26th position.

Prior to the race, Edwards joked about his Subway car being in Victory Lane for the Subway fresh fit 500. “There are no subs in this car…They’ve deprived me of food. There is a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sub waiting on me in Victory Lane as motivation.”

Edwards would battle issues with his car juggling between being tight, loose, or what he considered perfect all day. With each pit, there would be air pressure adjustments or adjustments to the car’s handling. Edwards was able to overcome these problems, but would battle problems at the end of the race, keeping him from a top-ten finish.

Biffle proved to have a fast car when he had moved from the seventh position up to third by Lap 3. He would stay in the top-20 for the entire race, battling at the front for the conclusion to produce a solid finish.

Kenseth would also gain spots and graze the top-10 a number of times, showing how we he could handle the car at Phoenix, as well.

With a race with seven cautions, the RFR boys were lucky to not be a part of any wrecks until caution No. 7. On Lap 256, Edwards car got loose, slid up the track, and made contact with Ryan Newman. Edwards was able to regain control of his car and stay on the track with only minimal damage to his fender.  Newman, however, slammed into the wall, following the contact and was forced to go to pit road.  Newman was quoted after the race as saying that he knew Edwards didn’t wreck him on purpose, but that he would retaliate in the future.

Fuel played an integral part in the conclusion of the Subway fresh fit 500. Out of the three drivers, this would only directly affect Edwards, who ran out of gas on the last lap. Running eighth with only two laps to go, Edwards would lose nine spots by the conclusion of the race.

At the end of 500 miles, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin would take the checkered flag for his first time at Phoenix.  Biffle would finish in a solid third place, behind Richard Childress driver Kevin Harvick.  Kenseth would finish in the 13th position, while Edwards would conclude the race in the 17th position.

Despite not producing a win for the second week in a row, Roush Fenway Racing drivers are now all in the top ten of driver points. Biffle is in second, six points behind Hamlin; Kenseth is in fourth, ten points behind the leader; and Edwards is in 10th, only 26 points behind Hamlin.

Coming up next week is the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Edwards clinched the win here in 2011; will he be able to do it again in the No. 99 Aflac Ford on Sunday?  Roush Fenway Rewind sure hopes so!

TOP TWEETS FROM ROUSH FENWAY RACING THIS WEEK:


GREG BIFFLE:

(In response to finishing second to Matt Kenseth at the Daytona 500) “I have never met a driver that wanted to finish 2nd!! 2nd is the 1st looser (loser) and so are the people who think I touched the brakes last 2 laps”

MATT KENSETH:

(In response to a fan asking what was his favorite type of dinosaur) “@allwaltrip (this being Darrell Waltrip’s Twitter account)


CARL EDWARDS:

Since Carl remains #TwitterlessCarl, I thought I would add a tweet this week from one of his Social Media/PR reps, Lori, who runs @99_RFRracing:

(In response to Edwards running out of gas on the last lap of the race) “Maybe next year Subway could consider running the Subway Fresh Fit 499”

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