Sunday, August 26, 2012

Roush Fenway Rewind: Disappointment despite Biffle's Chase berth

Despite all three Roush Fenway drivers leading laps at Bristol, their finishes were not up to par.

One highlight after Bristol is Greg Biffle maintains the points lead and has clenched a spot in the 2012 Chase.

A shout out to Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth for their pre-race involvement. When the MRO children sang the National Anthem, "The Biff" was front and center with little Emma and Matt was there with Kaylin. Adorable is the only word to describe this great tradition at Bristol.

Greg Biffle, No. 16 3M/Bondo
Started: 3rd
Finished: 19th
Points: 1st
Intro Song: "Adrenaline" by Shinedown

It is shocking to say that Greg Biffle's 19th place finish was the highlight for the Roush stable.

After leading 41 laps, a late race pit stop to make adjustments ended up hurting the No. 16  team. Biffle lost track position and finished the night in 19th. On the plus side, he is Chase-bound after holding onto the points lead.

Biffle took to Twitter after the race: "Not the night we were looking for, hitting the track a little bit on exit and chattering the RF!!! But we have a spot in the chase!!"

“It feels really good to be locked in (the Chase) with two races to go. It was a tough night here, but we did lock ourselves in and still have the point lead. This wasn’t the run we were looking for. We pitted at the end to try and make the car better and learn something, but it was probably the wrong thing to do because we lost about eight spots. We weren’t gonna win, so we thought we might as well try what we can.”

Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR
Matt Kenseth, No. 17 Valvoline NextGen
Started: 17th
Finished: 25th
Points: 4th (-26)
Intro Song: "Let the Sparks Fly" by Thousand Foot Crutch

Matt, Matt, Matt - how dare you cross paths with Tony Stewart! (Ok, that is my only joke!)

What a race the No. 17 team was having, racing for the lead alongside Tony Stewart, then BAM! Both drivers crashed and damage to Kenseth's car took some time to repair. Finishing the night in 25th, 14 laps down, Kenseth was unable to clinch his Chase spot this week.

If you missed the incident with Stewart and Kenseth, or just want to see it again, check it out on And really, good toss by Stewart! If this racing thing doesn't work out, you should try out for the Olympic shot put team. (Joke number two, but I had to!)

After the race, Kenseth tweeted, "Man, tough weekend. Sitting here thinking about Kaylin singing the national anthem tonight with a big smile on my face.... #prouddad."

Kenseth's comments on what happened in the accident with Tony Stewart:

PR - What happened with Stewart?
“I’m a little confused. I was running the top leading and he got a run and he went into turn one like I wasn’t there and just went straight to the fence. If I wouldn’t have lifted, like he chose not to do the next corner, we would have wrecked, so I let him have it and I got a run back, drove all the way alongside of him and we just kept going. I mean, I lifted down there or else we would have wrecked and he chose not to lift and wrecked us both, so I don’t know. He’s already had two in this series he’s pretty much taken us out of and I told him after Indy I was gonna race him the way he raced me and I did the exact same thing down there that he did down there – the exact same thing, except he didn’t give it to me. I guess he just wanted to do all the taking, so that’s where we ended up.”

PR - He said he's going to run through you ever chance he gets. 
“Yeah, that’s fine. Look, Tony is probably the greatest race car driver in the garage. I don’t really have anything bad to say about Tony. On the race track for years and years and years we’ve had tons of respect for each other and, for whatever reason this year, he ran me off the track at Sears Point and said he was sorry. It cost me seven spots in the finishing order and at Indy he was mad because he said I blocked him and I asked for five minutes of his time to clear the air and he wouldn’t give it to me and pretty much just got cussed out and knocked my whole side off and put us in position to get wrecked, so I just said, ‘OK, that’s fine. I’m just gonna race you the same way you race me,’ and he showed me how he was gonna race me down there, so I just did the same thing on the other end. So I don’t know. If you look at it we did the exact same thing, it’s just that he didn’t lift so I don’t really see where that’s 100 percent my fault or problem.”

Carl Edwards, No. 99 Fastenal
Started: 27th
Finished: 22nd
Points: 12th (-137)
Intro Song: "Backwoods" by Justin Moore

With just two races until the Chase, it is all or nothing for Carl Edwards heading into NASCAR's version of the playoffs.

Edwards had a strong run at Bristol, leading 45 laps. But as the race started to wind down, he made a costly error when he decided not to pit. The No. 99 slipped from the lead as the tires just lost grip, sliding backwards. The pit error cost the team dearly when Edwards ran out of gas with just four laps remaining. After hitting pit road for a splash-and-go, he finished the night in 22nd.

Explaining his decision to stay out on the last pit stop, Edwards said, “It’s all you can do is gamble like that. If we would have pitted when we should have pitted we were gonna run 10th or 15th anyway. We were just gonna get fuel and the tires were done at the end and that’s all we had. I made the decision to stay out, which in hindsight that was the wrong decision because we probably would have finished better than we are right now, but I wanted a chance to win the race. If we would have had one more caution or a couple cautions and short runs, we were up there in a position to win this thing. You don’t get those opportunities very often, so I had to take it.”

“The car was OK and I was really encouraged at Chad’s strategy," Edwards said. "He did a really good job and I’m ready for Atlanta. I’m excited about Atlanta, so we’ll go there and go for another one.”


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