Races  that Cheez-It is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Las Vegas - 3/6
Phoenix - 3/13
Richmond - 4/24
Charlotte - 5/20-21; Sprint Showdown & All-Star Race
Charlotte - 5/29
Watkins Glen - 8/7
Talladega - 10/23
Races  that KFC is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited - 2/13
Daytona - 2/21
Kentucky - 7/9
Races that Roush Performance has been the primary sponsor in 2016:
Atlanta - 2/28
Martinsville - 4/3
Bristol - 4/17
Michigan - 8/28
Homestead - 11/20
Races that Ford EcoBoost has been the primary sponsor in 2016:
Auto Club - 3/20
Talladega - 5/1
Kansas - 5/7
Pocono - 6/5
Michigan - 6/12
Daytona - 7/2
Pocono - 7/31
Bristol - 8/20
Richmond - 9/10
Dover - 10/2
Charlotte - 10/8
Races that Kleen Performance / Performance Plus Motor Oil has been the primary sponsor in 2016:
Texas - 4/9, Kleen Performance
Dover - 5/15, Kleen Performance
Sonoma - 6/26, Performance Plus Motor Oil
Indianapolis - 7/24, Performance Plus Motor Oil
Chicago - 9/18, Performance Plus Motor Oil
New Hampshire - 9/25, Performance Plus Motor Oil
Texas - 11/6, Performance Plus Motor Oil
Phoenix - 11/13, Performance Plus Motor Oil
Races  that NESN Fuel is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
New Hampshire - 7/17
Races  that Hooters is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Darlington - 9/4
Races  that FordPass is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Kansas - 10/16
Martinsville - 10/30
Contract Status: Driver: 2016 and leaves; Sponsors: Cheez-It 2016 and leaves; Team Closes after 2016
Newmark discusses Roush Fenway's plans: The decline in performance at Roush Fenway Racing is best expressed in one stark statistic. In 2005, half the Chase field consisted of Roush Fenway drivers -- when there were only 10 drivers in the Chase. In 2016, there were no RFR entries in a 16-driver Chase field. How does that happen? RFR has been asking itself the same question while attempting to right the ship. Once the dominant organization in the Ford camp, Roush will drop to third in the pecking order upon the arrival of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017.
RFR President Steve Newmark called the downsizing at RFR a strategic move - albeit an extremely tough decision. The company considered more than a dozen options before arriving at its current organizational chart. "The whole goal and the whole objective of doing whatever we did is to make sure we would improve our performance and make our race cars faster," Newmark told Motorsport.com. "Obviously, there are different opinions on how you do that and ultimately what we decided is we need to be more of an engineering, laser-focussed company. We've always been good at production and manufacturing. I think sometimes you fall back on what you're comfortable with.
Over the last two weeks, close to 30 Roush employees have been displaced - some in house, some such as veteran crew chief Bob Osborne who had been overseeing Chris Buescher's campaign at Front Row Motorsports. Together, the pair made the Chase. Buescher, Roush's most talented prospect in its driver stable, is now on loan to JTG Daugherty Racing (along with a RFR charter) for 2017.
Roush Fenway Racing will continue its technical alliance with Bob Jenkins and Front Row Motorsports. Newmark says the multi-year deal with FRM is one of the best collaborations Roush has had over the years. Although it's unlikely that one of the RFR prospects will replace Buescher in the #34 Ford. "They have some great folks there and we''ll continue to work with them next year," Newmark said. "We have dialogue with Bob quite a bit, but I don't think that (driver development) will be part of the relationship next year." That's not to say that Ryan Reed or Darrell "Bubba" Wallace couldn't see seat time in a Cup car in 2017. However, Newmark says the company's immediate focus remains on getting Bayne and Stenhouse up to speed.(Motorsport)(12-8-2016)
Reiser out as general manager at Roush Fenway UPDATE: Robbie Reiser was relieved of his duties as general manager at Roush Fenway Racing on Tuesday, Motorsport.com has learned. Reiser, 53, has been with the company for 17 seasons, first as a crew chief and eventually graduating to a managerial role. Reiser has been offered a position in the car production side of RFR, but he has yet to decide where his future lies. Calls to Roush Fenway Racing were not immediately returned. Neither Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne or Greg Biffle finished inside the top 20 in the Sprint Cup standings this season. For the second year, there was not a Roush driver in the Chase.(Motorsport)(11-23-2016)
UPDATE: Robbie Reiser didn't really have a lot he wanted to say about his situation at Roush Fenway Racing. He was relieved of his duties as vice president of competition. But he's not going anywhere. He doesn't yet have a title or even a full job description for his next role as the team struggles to regain its footing. But he is as dedicated to doing his part to bring success as he was in 2003, when he won a NASCAR title as Matt Kenseth's crew chief, or in 2007, when he answered Jack Roush's call to lead the whole operation. And at this point in his life, the 53-year-old, second-generation racer from Allenton is OK with it all. "This is going to free me up for my family, to be able to spend some time with them," said Reiser, who has one son in college and twin boys in high school, one of them a dirt-bike racer he has rarely watched. Reiser's choice of words Thursday was interesting - he was "relieved" of his duties - because you have to believe there's a part of him that is relieved. He works hard, he's stubborn and he's not cut out to lose.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(12-4-2016)
Chris Buescher to 2nd JTG Daughtery team? UPDATE 2: Greg Biffle's decision to leave Roush-Fenway Racing on Monday triggered a strange chain reaction that will include the slumping racing company loaning driver Chris Buescher to a rival manufacturer next season. Buescher will drive for a newly-created second Chevrolet team at JTG Daughtery Racing in 2017. Roush Fenway is expected to scuttle Biffle's #16 team, and that could make that team's charter available to the highest bidder - including the new JTG Daughtery entry. Despite fielding full-time teams for Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway hasn't won a race since 2014. By loaning Buescher to JTG Daugherty next year, Ford Racing will be able to work on upgrades with Roush Fenway while keeping one of its young drivers under contract. "It was a mutual agreement," Biffle said. "It's been frustrating for everyone. I've been the one carrying the company banner. It just didn't get any better. I didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I decided I'd rather do something else - even if it means not driving anymore. I owe Jack everything I've accomplished in this sport. Some things just run their course." Roush said Biffle was one of the anchors of his entire race team. "I don't have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization," Roush said in a team release. "He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins. Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I'm extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization."(Florida Times Union)(11-21-2016)
UPDATE: From Bob Pockrass Twitter: "Tad Geschickter says nothing done yet as far as plans for second JTG car next year."(11-22-2016)
UPDATE 2: Roush Fenway Racing Announces 2017 NASCAR Cup Plans: Roush Fenway Racing has announced its 2017 plans for the NASCAR Cup Series that will see the organization field a two-car Cup operation next season, with drivers Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. piloting the #6 and #17 Ford Fusions, respectively, in NASCAR's highest series. In addition, Kevin Kidd and Tommy Wheeler will lead Roush Fenway's overall competition efforts going forward. Kidd will assume the role of Competition Director, and Wheeler will serve as the team's Operations Director. The team will lease its #16 NASCAR Charter and driver Chris Buescher to JTG Racing in 2017. "We have been able to shore up our plans for 2017 and we feel that this will continue to move us in a direction that will yield improved performance and results," said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. "We saw improvement in our cars and made substantial gains in our performance at times last season, and we will continue to build on that by maintaining a robust engineering group in order to take the next step by consistently running up front."
The #6 team will once again be led by veteran crew chief Matt Puccia. Brian Pattie, who was the crew chief for the #16 Cup Series team last season, will transition to crew chief of the #17 team. Nick Sandler, who served as the #17 crew chief the last two seasons, has been named Director of Engineering. Robbie Reiser, who has played an integral role on the competition side at Roush Fenway Racing for a number of years, will remain with the organization in a yet to be determined position. Kidd has served as Roush Fenway's Cup Team Manager - supervising all at-track operations - for the previous two seasons, after coming over from Joe Gibbs Racing where he worked as a crew chief for the previous half decade. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech, and has worked as a lead engineer for multiple teams and drivers. Wheeler, who holds a B.S. in physics from Davidson College, joined Roush Fenway in 2009. A 20-plus year veteran of the sport, he has served in many capacities for the team, including as the team's production director since 2011, overseeing the building and production of all of the organization's Cup and XFINITY Series cars. (RFR)(11-29-2016)
AND Chris Buescher will drive a second car for JTG Daugherty in 2017, the team stated Tuesday. "We can confirm at this time that JTG Daugherty Racing is currently in the process of starting a second team in the NASCAR premier series," JTG Daugherty Racing team owner Tad Geschickter said in a statement. "We would also like to confirm and welcome Chris Buescher to the team as our driver for the second car. More details will follow." Said Buescher, 24, in a statement: "I can confirm that I have signed to race for JTG Daugherty Racing as they expand to a two-car team in the NASCAR premier series in 2017. I'm thankful for the opportunity and look forward to competing for a spot in the Chase. We'll have more details at a later date."(NBC Sports)(11-29-2016)
Biffle ready for a change? UPDATE4 leaves Roush: After re-signing with RFR in 2014, Biffle hasn't sniffed the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the last two seasons. He thought 2016 might be the year. With a new crew chief in Brian Pattie, a lower-downforce aero package from the sanctioning body and a renewed effort at Roush, things appeared to line up for NASCAR's elder statesman. And now, he's 24th in the standings with just one top-five finish, at Loudon. So when Biffle said his most recent contract might be his last, it's understandable. "Well, if I talk to you Sunday after the race in here, maybe that will be some inspiration," Biffle said in the media center where the winner is interviewed following the race. "I want to be competitive in races and run in the top 10. That's my goal and my focus. If I'm not doing that, then I am probably going to do something different." Biffle has been rumored to be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Although he owns the building that headquarters HScott Motorsports in North Carolina, Biffle said he has not discussed racing for Harry Scott after Clint Bowyer leaves in November. Biffle has heard the rumors that he'll end up and Front Row Motorsports - a technical partner - but given his loyalty to Roush over his career, that's unlikely to be something he'd consider. Still, it would take something more promising - and competitive - to pique his interest in continuing down the current path.(Motorsport)(10-15-2016)
UPDATE: hearing Biffle will leave Roush Fenway Racing and go to a second team fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. No word if the team would secure a charter.(10-22-2016)
UPDATE 2: When motorsport.com reached out to JTGD team owner Tad Geschickter via text on Monday, he replied, "We are weighing the pros and cons of starting a second team as we speak." Geschickter expects to stay the course with RCR after their contract expires at the end of the year. Although the Wood Brothers have shared a shop with JTGD since the end of the 2005 season, the #21 team is transitioning to a new home in Mooresville. The additional space would provide ample room for JTGD to expand to a second car.(Motorsport)(10-25-2016)
UPDATE 3: Tad Geschickter, co-owner of JTG Daugherty racing, says it is "certainly a possibility' his team may expand to two cars in 2017, adding "the economics" of charter acquisition will play into a decision, which they may "have that done next week." Geschickter made the comments on SiriusXM Speedway on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "That's a big decision," Geschickter said. "Certainly we're weighing out all the options right now. It's no secret that we have to figure out are there are charters available and their cost, are there drivers available, what do they cost and certainly we ultimately have to report back to the sponsors and pull the trigger. But it's Nov. 1, (eventually) we've got to make the call, but it's a huge decision for a company of our size," said Geschickter.(NBC Sports)(11-2-2016)
UPDATE 4: Greg Biffle, who has spent the last 14 seasons driving a Sprint Cup car for Roush Fenway Racing, has left the organization after a frustrating season where he finished 23rd in the standings, the team confirmed. Biffle had one year left on his Roush Fenway contract, but the organization does not have sponsorship for him for next year. The organization has not made a decision whether to field the #16 car in 2017; the team has a charter for that car, so it either must run the car, lease the charter or sell it..(ESPN)
AND Roush Fenway Racing and driver Greg Biffle have parted ways after the conclusion of the 2016 NASCAR season. Biffle, the organization's longest-tenured driver, drove the #16 Sprint Cup Series entry since 2002. He joined Roush Fenway in 1998, and worked his way up through the NASCAR ranks, winning championships in the Truck and XFINITY Series' and finishing runner up in the Sprint Cup Series. "We've had an incredible run and I am so appreciative for the opportunity to be a part of Roush Fenway," said Biffle. "For a kid that grew up Washington, I'm extremely proud of everything we have been able to accomplish over the last 19 years - both on and off the track. I've enjoyed every minute. I'm excited about the next chapter of my life, and I look forward to exploring other opportunities - particularly in radio and television - both inside and outside of NASCAR. I'm thankful to Jack Roush for the opportunity to have driven his race cars for all these years. It's very rare in this sport to have been able to stay with one team this many years, and to have been as successful as we have been."
The Vancouver, Washington native, who was first recommended to Jack Roush by the late Hall-of-Famer Benny Parsons, brought Roush Fenway its first two NASCAR championships in 2000 (Trucks) and 2002 (XFINITY). He came up just 35 points short of being the only driver to win a championship in all three major series with his runner-up finish in the 2005 season, when he led the series with six victories and led more than 1,300 laps.
"I don't have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization," said team owner Jack Roush. "He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins. Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I'm extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization. I know that Greg and I will maintain a strong friendship and I look forward to leaning on him on occasion as we continue to work on improving our performance."
"As much as the trophies and championships, I will cherish the memories and the relationships forged during our run," added Biffle. "We had some great teams, fast race cars and some really outstanding partners over the past two decades. I'll always be thankful to everyone that gave us the opportunity to go out and accomplish the milestones that we have been able to." Biffle, who is one of only 17 drivers to make 500 consecutive Sprint Cup starts, qualified for the Chase on eight occasions and has driven to victory lane 19 times in his Sprint Cup career. Overall, Biffle has started 835 NASCAR races - having won 55 times in the three major series - and led almost 12,000 laps.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-21-2016)
Greg Biffle to Make 500th Consecutive Start: #16-Greg Biffle will make his 500th consecutive career Sprint Cup start this Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Biffle is only the 17th driver in NASCAR history to reach this career milestone. The 500-race streak began for Biffle at Atlanta in the spring of 2003. Earlier this season Biffle made his 500th Sprint Cup start at Richmond in September, but now joins the ranks of the few elite drivers who have reached the 500 consecutive milestone. "I was really excited about making my 500th start at Richmond and it's pretty amazing to be reaching 500 in a row this weekend at Phoenix," said Biffle. "There are a lot of great memories over the 500 starts, but one of my favorites was winning on Father's Day in Michigan with my daughter there to celebrate with me. So far this season we don't have the results that we would have liked, but hopefully we can finish up these final two races on a high note." Biffle made his Sprint Cup debut in 2002 at California driving for Jack Roush. Over his 15 years in the series he has earned 19 wins, 92 top-five and 175 top 10 finishes.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-9-2016)
All-time Consecutive NASCAR Cup Starts:
1) Jeff Gordon, 797 [ended Feb 2016, retired]
2) Ricky Rudd, 788 [ended Feb 2006, retired]
3) Bobby Labonte, 704 [ended June 2013, sat out Kentucky]
4) Rusty Wallace, 697 [ended Feb 2006, retired]
5) Terry Labonte, 655 [ended Aug 2000 at Indy]
6) Dale Earnhardt, 648 [ended when he was killed at Daytona in 2001]
7) Jeff Burton, 626 [ended Feb 2014, part time]
8) Mark Martin, 621 [ended March 18, 2007 after Atlanta]
9) Ken Schrader, 579 [ended Aug 2003 at Indy]
10) Matt Kenseth, 571 [ended Nov 2015 at Texas, two-race suspension]
11) Jimmie Johnson, 538*
11) Ryan Newman, 538*
13) Kevin Harvick, 530*
14) Tony Stewart, 521 [ended August 2013, after being injured in sprint car wreck before Watkins Glen]
15) Richard Petty, 513 [ended March 26, 1989 at Richmond when Petty failed to qualify for the race]
16) Jamie McMurray, 506*
17) Greg Biffle, 499*
17) Darrell Waltrip, 499 [ended July 1990 at Daytona, injured]
* active streaks.(11-9-2016)
Cheez-It / Kelloggs leaving Roush/Watkins Glen: Cheez-It is not renewing its current deals in NASCAR, as the Kellogg's-owned brand confirmed to THE DAILY this morning that it will let its deals with Roush Fenway Racing, Watkins Glen International and track owner ISC expire after this season. However, the brand stopped short of confirming that it will fully exit the sport. Cheez-It, which signed on in 2015 with RFR's #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle for a handful of races as primary sponsor, also has been the entitlement partner of WGI's annual Sprint Cup Series race since 2013. The company in a statement said, "As part of our ongoing evaluation of company sponsorships and other business activities, the Kellogg Company has decided not to renew its sponsorship of Roush Fenway Racing, Watkins Glen International and the International Speedway Corporation. All of the people within these organizations have been tremendous partners and we have truly enjoyed our association with them, the drivers and the fans." Sources added that Cheez-It had been shopping its deal with other teams in recent months.(Sports Business Daily)(10-20-2016)
Biffle ready for a change? After re-signing with RFR in 2014, Biffle hasn't sniffed the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the last two seasons. He thought 2016 might be the year. With a new crew chief in Brian Pattie, a lower-downforce aero package from the sanctioning body and a renewed effort at Roush, things appeared to line up for NASCAR's elder statesman. And now, he's 24th in the standings with just one top-five finish, at Loudon. So when Biffle said his most recent contract might be his last, it's understandable. "Well, if I talk to you Sunday after the race in here, maybe that will be some inspiration," Biffle said in the media center where the winner is interviewed following the race. "I want to be competitive in races and run in the top 10. That's my goal and my focus. If I'm not doing that, then I am probably going to do something different." Biffle has been rumored to be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Although he owns the building that headquarters HScott Motorsports in North Carolina, Biffle said he has not discussed racing for Harry Scott after Clint Bowyer leaves in November. Biffle has heard the rumors that he'll end up and Front Row Motorsports - a technical partner - but given his loyalty to Roush over his career, that's unlikely to be something he'd consider. Still, it would take something more promising - and competitive - to pique his interest in continuing down the current path.(Motorsport)(10-15-2016)
FordPass featured on the #16 at Kansas: Greg Biffle's #16 Ford Fusion will feature a new look with the FordPass app on his #16 Ford Fusion at Kansas Speedway. FordPass is a smartphone app that is designed to serve as a one-stop shop for transportation needs. Launched earlier this year, FordPass is available for both Ford owners and non-owners and offers mobility solutions like find parking and connect to a Dealer. "Ford is focused on creating a great experience with our customers and FordPass provides us a new way to engage with our Ford owners," said Elena Ford, Ford Vice President, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. "Ford owners can easily connect with their Dealer and schedule a service appointment, reserve and pay for parking in advance and get one-on-one help from FordGuides. Everything about FordPass is designed to improve the ownership experience." Biffle is a two-time NASCAR Champion and is no stranger to finding his way at Kansas Speedway. Biffle has two wins at the 1.5-mile track, seven top-five, nine top-10 finishes plus had led for a total of 364 laps.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(10-12-2016)
Roush Fenway campaign for breast cancer awareness in October: Roush Fenway Racing will again utilize its award-winning 'Driven' Marketing program in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. The 'Driven for a Cause' campaign will use various elements to highlight cause awareness and support throughout the month. All of Roush Fenway's race cars will carry special 'pink ribbon Driven logos' in each of the month's events. In addition, Greg Biffle will run a special pink Ford EcoBoost paint scheme on his #16 Ford Fusion at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 8. Other Roush Fenway Racing Fords will feature special pink numbers during the Charlotte event. During the month of October, team owner Jack Roush will don a pink 'Driven for a Cause' shirt on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race days in an effort to bring more awareness to the cause. At Roush Fenway's Annual Fall Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday, October 6, fans will be invited to participate in the pink-themed 'Driven for a Cause' selfie-booth, complete with pink props. Fans who utilize the social media platform Snap Chat and are onsite for Fan Day will also have the opportunity to use a special geofilter with the 'Driven for a Cause' logo. All participants are encouraged to share these photos with family and friends on social media using the #DrivenforaCause hashtag. Roush Fenway is offering 'Driven for a Cause' merchandise, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Carolina Breast Friends.(Roush Fenway Racing)(10-3-2016)
New pit crew coach at Roush Fenway: Roush Fenway Racing has decided to reassign longtime pit crew coach Andy Ward, replacing him with Scott Bowen, a current RFR employee and an ex-pit crew member. Ward has been at RFR for many years and has produced some very good pit crews. Roush Fenway Racing released the following statement regarding the move: "We continuously evaluate our race team operations at Roush Fenway, and as part of a mid-season restructuring we have implemented a change in the department structure with our pit crew teams. We have placed Scott Bowen, who previously was our head of purchasing, in charge of our pit crew operations. Scott is a longtime employee of Roush Fenway, and worked as an over-the-wall pit crew member for several years. We believe this change will prove beneficial in our continued effort to improve on-track performance."(PitTalks/NASCAR.com)(9-29-2016)
Biffle & McMurray to make 500th Career Sprint Cup Starts: #16-Greg Biffle will make his 500th career Sprint Cup start this Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. Biffle made his Sprint Cup debut in 2002 at California driving for Jack Roush. Over his 15 years in the series he has earned 19 wins, 92 top-five and 175 top 10 finishes. Biffle will celebrate this milestone with his friend, and former teammate, Jamie McMurray. The last time two drivers hit their 500th start at the same time was in 1995 with Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte at Watkins Glen. Only 37 drivers have hit the 500 start mark in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and on Saturday night that number will move up to 39 with the addition of Biffle and McMurray. In all three NASCAR Series Biffle has a total of 824 starts. Saturday evening at Richmond will be his 825th start and will tie him with Sterling Marlin for 21st on the all-tire NASCAR National Series combined start list. Biffle will become only the second driver to make his 500th Sprint Cup start at Roush Fenway Racing, joining Mark Martin who made his 500th start in March of 2002. All but six of Biffle's 499 starts have been in a Roush Fenway Ford.(Roush Fenway Racing)(9-8-2016)
NESN Fuel to sponsor Biffle at New Hampshire: Roush Fenway Racing is going to have more "fuel" than usual when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. NESN Fuel, a website covering all things automotive, is set to be the primary sponsor of Greg Biffle's #16 car for the New Hampshire 301 on July 17. NESN Fuel launched in February. In addition, NESN Fuel and RFR will host Boston Bruins players Frank Vatrano and Noel Acciari on race day. Both players have New England roots; Vatrano is a native of East Longmeadow, Mass., and played at UMass, while Acciari was born in Johnston, R.I., and won a national tile at Providence College.(NESN), see images of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(7-12-2016)
Drivers hopeful new rules mean better racing at Michigan: Optimism remains high for the lower downforce rules package in place for Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. "Well, I think that we made a pretty good step forward with the move we made from the 2015 to the 2016 package," said Scott Miller, NASCAR vice president of competition. "For aerodynamics in making more competitive racing and closer competition, more passes for the lead. In most cases all the metrics we looked at have been better in those areas. So this is just another step toward, again, creating closer competition and great racing that the fans and the media and everybody wants to see. We want to see that really bad, and I think this direction has been something that's been embraced by the drivers, and actually we've worked together with them to land here and try this for this year as a potential way to move forward with closer competition."
Friday's practice and qualifying sessions saw higher speeds through both the corners and down the straightaways with average speeds topping 200 mph. However, while reaction has been mostly favorable, there is still much to be observed before gauging whether the rules are successfully reaching goals.
"And as far as today, I think it's difficult to visually see the difference, but when you look at the data from the cars, the speed trace is significantly different, the mid corner speeds are down a lot, the entry speeds are up a little," Miller explained. "And from some of the driver comments, having to use the brakes pretty hard and maybe even thinking about needing brake cooling and everything at a big track like this is a departure from where we've been before, and we're really hoping that those things actually produce a really, really good race on Sunday."
But as of now, it's still very much a guessing game. "What I'm anticipating is hopefully a lot of slipping and sliding; a loss of momentum, and the ability to stack up some guys and to get a big run from third, fourth, fifth on back," Kurt Busch said. "That's what we hope we see and that we don't have a leader that just gets out there and then we're not able to chase him down. And then the restarts are going to be that much more exciting because of the lack of downforce and how stable will the cars be side-by-side? Nobody knows that yet."(Motor Racing Network)
AND NASCAR Sprint Cup owner Jack Roush was not happy with the series' decision to use new rules to the aerodynamic package to further reduce downforce and sideforce for this weekend's FireKeepers Casino 400 race at Michigan International Speedway. "It's different from what it was, no doubt," said the 74-year-old Roush of the new rules package. "Nobody had been on the race track with this package before. Everybody is struggling to find out where the sensitive adjustments are. The car has not been as loose as we expected. We thought that the problem would be flying out from underneath of you, loose on exit and entry. The entry has been a little bit of a problem, but the exit and center has not been a bigger problem than normal." Roush's three-car team of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (12th), Trevor Bayne (13th) and Greg Biffle (18th) all qualified outside the top-10 Friday.(Detroit News)(6-12-2016)
Ford working with Roush to improve: Ford Performance boss Dave Pericak is convinced Roush Fenway Racing will soon return to victory lane. The legendary Ford NASCAR team has not won a race since [Sonoma in 2014]. Team owner Jack Roush and his current Cup drivers Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are as dedicated as ever to turning things around, said Pericak, who took over as global director of Ford Performance from Jamie Allison last year. "I've been in the job for over a year and I've said we've been going to fix Roush," said Pericak, chief engineer of the Ford Mustang from 2008-2015. "The cars this year have speed in them but the team has had trouble executing on pit road. I think they've definitely ... shown a trend of improvement."
"As it is today, Jack Roush is not happy about the situation," said Pericak, who will leave Tuesday for France to oversee the Ford GT40's return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic. "But he's 100% committed to improving the team and his spirits are high."
Pericak will be at MIS [Friday] to observe NASCAR's new lower down force package for the track. "It will be a wait and see thing," said Pericak of the aerodynamic package which NASCAR believes will promote closer and better racing with more passing. "I think we are headed in the right direction and we're hoping for better racing. At the end of the day, I think it allows drivers to drive the car." Ford drivers have been using a state-of-the-art simulator in Charlotte, N.C., running the lower down force package for MIS.(Detroit Free Press)(6-10-2016)
Fill in crew chiefs for Pocono UPDATE: Following the suspension of three Sprint Cup crew chiefs following the Charlotte race, two of the teams have named their replacements:
Ernie Cope will fill in for Randall Burnett as crew chief for the #47 team of A.J. Allmendinger. Burnett is serving a one race suspension.
Stewart-Haas Racing engineer John Klausmeier will serve as crew chief for #41-Kurt Busch while Tony Gibson serves his one race suspension.
However: A Roush Fenway Racing spokesman said Thursday afternoon that the team still was evaluating whether to appeal the two-race suspension of crew chief Brian Pattie after Greg Biffle's #16 Ford failed postrace inspection from the Coke 600.(NBC Sports)(6-3-2016)
UPDATE: Robbie Reiser will serve as crew chief for Biffle at Pocono.(6-3-2016)
RFR Fan Day, Friday May 26th: Jack Roush, Bubba Wallace, Ryan Reed and Gray Gaulding. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chris Buescher are scheduled to appear at RFR Fan Day in Concord, NC on Thursday, May 26. Autograph sessions will kick off at 10 a.m. with Jack Roush and the Roush Fenway NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers, Bubba Wallace, Ryan Reed and Gray Gaulding. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chris Buescher will sign autographs at 11:15 a.m. Autograph session tickets will be on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 8 a.m. RFR is located at 4600 Roush Place, Concord.(5-18-2016)
Roush not likely to move back to 4 cars soon: Now that the organization is headed back in the right direction when it comes to their performance, Roush president Steve Newmark said Sunday the focus is on the immediate future of fighting for a Chase berth and not what their driver lineup is going to be. With three drivers running full-time in the XFINITY Series, three more under their banner in Cup, and Chris Buescher on loan to Front Row Motorsports, decisions will soon have to be made of who is running where. When the company felt [Buescher] was ready to be in Cup instead of running a third year in the XFINITY Series, they coordinated with Bob Jenkins and Front Row, who Buescher was already familiar with, to compete in their camp. In a perfect world, admitted Newmark, Roush will get him back under their roof sooner rather than later. "There's a combination of factors that will go into that," he said. "Ideally, we'll have him in one of our cars in the next few years, but I think the focus right now is we got to get him running better in the 34." Under NASCAR's new ownership rules of only being able to run four full-time cars, plus the addition of the Charter System this year, Roush has been in a box. The chance of ever going back to four full-time cars looks slim, but Newmark won't close the door on any possibility. "Jack would rather run 10 cars; he would run as many cars as he would be enabled," Newmark joked. "It really will depend exactly on the driver, sponsorship, and then now you also have to have a charter, so I don't think we would run a (fourth) full-time, but you never know."(Popular Speed)(5-16-2016)
Roush Yates already prepping for Stewart-Haas addition: The addition of Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford in 2017 will mean an increased workload for Roush Yates Engines, the company that supplies Ford power to teams in all three of NASCAR's national series. But it means much more than the 60 or so additional engines the supplier will have to produce, according to CEO Doug Yates. "For us, that's four more top-notch cars, opportunities to win races and championships," Yates said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "But the work starts now because we've got to get ready for next year." Yates, son of famed engine builder and former team owner Robert Yates, said his company currently has approximately 250 engines in its fleet for Sprint Cup teams. "We'll start building them up but next year, with four cars will mean about 60 more engines... Today we build about 750 Cup, XFINITY and Truck engines a year. At our road race shop we build about 250 a year. Obviously we will have to add some people. We feel like we have a good process, we just have to add volume." The benefit, he said, is it will be "a good opportunity to allow us to bring on more resources for the R&D side, more testing, more engineers. Just add depth to every department. It's exciting.(NASCAR.com)(2-28-2016)
Roush Performance on the #16 at Atlanta: This weekend, for the first time this season, Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle and the #16 Ford Fusion will carry the ROUSH Performance colors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. ROUSH Performance visited victory lane with 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Chris Buescher twice last season, at Iowa Speedway and Dover International Speedway. ROUSH Performance Products is a premier supplier best known for its line of high-performance Mustang powertrain parts, including superchargers, cold air intakes, and exhaust kits. The list goes on to include a full line of wheels, tires, interior, body components, graphics, service parts, accessories, drivetrain, cooling upgrades, and more. ROUSH Performance also offers performance upgrade packages for the Ford F-150 and Focus. In addition to appearing on Biffle's #16 Fusion in the NSCS, the #6 Mustang, driven by Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, will again carry the ROUSH Performance colors at select races during the 2016 season. Biffle displayed the ROUSH Performance livery three occasions last season, earning a best finish of fifth at Pocono Raceway in August.(Roush Performance), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(2-24-2016)
Roush cars forced to change rear gears: During the first practice, #6-Trevor Bayne and #16-Greg Biffle experienced rear gear issues. The rear gears were replaced and both Bayne and Biffle will start from the rear of the first Can-Am Duel on Thursday.(Motorsport)(2-18-2016)
Biffle talks about Charter system and possible new contract: #16-Greg Biffle met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, a few of the Q&A's:
Q) HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW CHARTER SYSTEM?
Biffle: "I think it is good. I don't know a tremendous amount about it but I know bits and pieces and I think it gives owners and investors something to build upon over time. It gives them some value I think. I get all of those things because after all, if somebody wants something at the end of the day for their time and effort they put in that a charter system heads in that direction."
Q) DID IT REQUIRE RENEGOTIATION OF YOUR CONTRACT?
Biffle: We are still working on that. I haven't had a chance to sit down with our people yet. Our contracts were based around the old system so obviously the new system won't work around the old system so we have to figure out how that translates."
Q) WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE IMPACT THE CHARTER SYSTEM HAS HAD ON DRIVERS AS A WHOLE?
Biffle: "I think two things. This is just purely my opinion. I know they worked very hard on the charter system and spent a great deal of time on it and I believe it is a great thing for NASCAR and the teams and owners and investors across the board. The bad thing, and not by design, was that it got done - they worked all through Christmas and everything - but it got done two weeks before or a week before the season started and our contracts are built around the old system so now it is almost like that gets kicked out of the system and has to be redone or renegotiated or whatever. You have Daytona a week away and I will have to say also that I wasn't up on what all the changes were going to be and how it affected us. That is probably my fault. Until it was done did we know that it happened. I don't know if other drivers were privy on how it would go down. I knew it would change, and it isn't a bad thing, but the timing is more of an issue than anything."
Q) HAVE YOU HAD YOUR DEAL REDONE?
Biffle: "Not yet. Steve (Newmark) has bugged me a couple times that we need to sit down and go over it so that we can get it and we had media things and KFC commercials to shoot and I have been very busy doing stuff so we haven't had a chance to sit down yet. I think it is just a matter of economics or math. We are all going to want to keep our same deal, it will just be derived differently. It will be the same as it was just instead of coming from one column it will come from four but ultimately will be the same." Q) STEVE NEWMARK HAS TOLD YOU THAT YOU WILL GET PAID THE SAME AS LAST YEAR BUT JUST A DIFFERENT STRUCTURE BECAUSE THE PURSE IS DIFFERENT?
Biffle: "That is what I anticipate. He hasn't used those exact words but I don't think anybody is taking it as an opportunity to change driver contracts."
Q) HAVE YOU SEEN THE CHARTER SYSTEM, THE DEAL AND HOW IT DIVIDES UP THE MONEY DIFFERENTLY THAN BEFORE?
Q) SO THEY AREN'T GOING TO PUT PURSE WINNINGS IN BOX SCORES AFTER RACES ANYMORE. DID YOU EVER LOOK AT THAT?
Biffle: "Not really because it was really a phantom number because it had planned money or TV money or contingency money. You could look at it as a sea level type thing of what that race paid to win because there is some variance if you are going to Texas or Darlington or Michigan, there is a little variance, but I didn't look at it to try to figure out what I was going to get out of a certain thing."(Ford Performance)(2-16-2016)
February 14th Marks the Anniversary of Roush Fenway's entry into NASCAR: While across the world, Feb. 14th annually marks the celebration of St. Valentines Day, the date holds a different significance for Jack Roush and the Roush Fenway Racing team. It marks the anniversary of Roush's first foray into the world of NASCAR; his first race at the highest level of automobile racing and a day that would serve as the launch pad for one of the most successful organizations in professional sports history. Competing with a backup car not even built for a superspeedway, Roush and his newly formed team covered only 19 laps before overheating and finishing 41st in its debut Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 1988. Humble beginnings for a team which 29 years later has accumulated a NASCAR record 322 wins and hoisted championships in all three of NASCAR's highest levels of competition.
"We wrecked our car in the twin qualifying race and had to run a car that was built for a smaller track," said Roush of the day. "We went with what we had and of course did not yield the results we would have liked for your intro to NASCAR that day."
"We made the race on time," said driver Mark Martin, who piloted the #6 Stroh's Ford Thunderbird in Roush Fenway's inaugural season and held the ride for the next 19 seasons. "Then we got wrecked in the Twin-125's and we didn't have a backup speedway car, so we used the Atlanta car for the race. We didn't last 20 laps."
The results would quickly improve however, with Roush and Martin winning a pole that season and earning 10 top-10 finishes. The next season Roush Fenway won six poles, earning 19 top-10 finishes and its first win in 1989, breaking through to the win column in the fall at Rockingham. Roush Fenway would go on to earn its first NASCAR championship in 2000 and its first Cup championship in 2003. Ironically, 25 years later Roush would earn his historic 300th NASCAR [Cup, XFINITY & Trucks] victory in the 2012 Daytona 500; the same event his car had lasted only 19 laps a quarter of a century earlier. Today, Roush's teams have competed in 5,579 NASCAR events, holding the record for most NASCAR wins, most NASCAR wins in the Nationwide Series and most NASCAR wins in the Truck Series.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-15-2016)
Stewart hospitalized for a back injury UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart is being hospitalized for a back injury he suffered in a non-racing accident while driving an all-terrain vehicle, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Tuesday. Stewart is awake, alert and able to move his extremities, according to a statement from Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning, who said the accident happened Sunday on the West Coast and wouldn't specify where Stewart is hospitalized. Fox Sports reports that Stewart flipped a sand buggy outside of San Diego and was airlifted to a hospital. Arning said the team is not expected to make any further announcements about Stewart's condition until Thursday afternoon. Stewart was in Arizona on Saturday night at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale and was interviewed on live television from the event. "We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart's accident and injury," NASCAR chairman Brian France said. "On behalf of everyone at NASCAR, I wish Tony a full recovery and look forward to seeing him back in our sport when he's ready to return."(ESPN)(2-2-2016)
UPDATE: Greg Biffle was among a group riding with Tony Stewart in the sand dunes of Southern California when Stewart suffered a back injury on Sunday, he told SiriusXM's NASCAR channel on Wednesday night. Biffle confirmed to Sirius he was in Stewart's group, though he "wasn't near what went on" and didn't see exactly what happened. "We were kind of all riding as a group," Biffle told Sirius. "We started kind of hearing bits and pieces that he hurt his back. That's all we knew. I do know the people that helped him ... (said) he was walking and moving all of his extremities, but he was in a lot of pain."(USA Today)(2-4-2016)
KFC to Partner with Greg Biffle in 2016: Roush Fenway Racing has announced a multi-race partnership with KFC as a primary partner for Greg Biffle and his #16 Sprint Cup Series team during the 2016 season. The partnership will kick off at Daytona Speedweeks and include primary placement in the famed Daytona 500 and Sprint Unlimited All-Star events at Daytona. The partnership in Daytona will feature KFC's recently launched line of smoky and crispy 'Nashville Hot' chicken, which comes just in time for the launch of the 2016 NASCAR season. Nashville Hot is available on KFC's first ever tailgate platter; perfect for tailgating at events, watching sports and hosting group parties.
"It's definitely exciting to have KFC on the car," said two-time NASCAR Champion Biffle. "I don't think there is a more iconic brand out there; who didn't grow up loving KFC? Their new spicy, smoky and crispy Nashville Hot Chicken is now available nationwide - which I am very excited about - and I can't wait to get to Daytona, enjoy a couple of tailgate platters with the team and hopefully put the Colonel in victory lane at our biggest race of the season."
"We are very happy to be teaming with Greg Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing and especially to partner with them for the Daytona 500," said Kevin Hochman, KFC U.S. CMO. "Greg and Roush Fenway have a strong tradition of winning at Daytona, and we can't think of a better way to launch our new Nashville Hot Chicken than at NASCAR's biggest race of the season where we will be promoting the biggest thing in spicy chicken since Buffalo wings."
"We are proud to welcome KFC to the Roush Fenway Racing family with Greg and the #16 team," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "We know they will be a great partner going forward in 2016 and look forward to a strong partnership launch as the season kicks off in Daytona."(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the KFC scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(1-20-2016)
Biffle helps unveil site of planned Lake Norman pet center: #16-Greg Biffle and fellow Friends of the Animals board members on Saturday unveiled the new 2.5-acre site of their planned pet education and adoption center on Lake Norman, NC. Biffle's foundation is a lead supporter of the 11,500-square-foot center, which will house a boarding area for adoptable dogs and cats, a medical clinic and education center. Low-cost spay and neuter services will be phased in after the center is open, as well as educational programming for students. The center is scheduled to be completed by year's end on Templeton Road, between Interstate 77 exits 31 and 33 in southern Iredell County. "It's tragic that 77 dogs and cats a day are euthanized in the greater Lake Norman region," Biffle said. "When we started dreaming of this project, it was close to 100. And although the rate of euthanasia has gone down over the years, the numbers killed are still staggering."(Charlotte Observer)(1-20-2016)
SRI Performance Purchases Roush Yates Performance Products: Roush Yates Performance Products announced that it has reached an agreement with SRI Performance in which SRI will now own, operate, and manage the performance parts distribution business previously owned and operated by Roush Yates Performance Products. With this new agreement, beginning January 1, 2016, SRI will operate out of two locations in Mooresville, NC. Each location will represent a distinctly different product offering.(roushyatesparts.com)(1-5-2016)
Roush Fenway Racing crew chief assignments for 2016: Roush Fenway Racing has set its crew chief lineup for 2016, adding Brian Pattie to call the shots for veteran Greg Biffle and the #16 Ford team next year. Pattie first confirmed the news on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday night. A Roush Fenway Racing representative confirmed the new-look crew chief roster Thursday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series. Pattie served as crew chief to Clint Bowyer with Michael Waltrip Racing's #15 Toyota for most of the last four seasons, switching to David Ragan and MWR's #55 team after the first Pocono race of 2015. The Waltrip-owned team ceased operation after the 2015 season.
Pattie replaces Matt Puccia, who had been paired with Biffle since the midway point of the 2011 season. Bob Osborne returns as crew chief for the #6 Ford of Trevor Bayne. Nick Sandler is back with the #17 team and driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
On the XFINITY Series side, Puccia shifts to the #6 team and driver Darrell Wallace Jr. Phil Gould, paired last season with Elliott Sadler and RFR's #1 team, will join forces with driver Ryan Reed next year on the #16.(NASCAR.com)(12-18-2015)
Roush Fenway Racing Bolsters Competition Effort: Roush Fenway Racing has bolstered its competitive efforts with three key personnel additions to its NASCAR team. Kurt Romberg, Dr. Kent Day and Vojin Jaksic have each taken on high-level roles within the team that captured its eighth NASCAR championship in 2015. "It takes great talent to win in this sport and we are very pleased with the additions we have made on the competition front," said team owner Jack Roush. "We recognize the importance of putting the appropriate personnel into place, as we continue our relentless pursuit to put the best and most competitive race teams on the track."
Kurt Romberg, who spent the last 15 years heading up aerodynamics at Hendrick Motorsports, joins the team as the Technical Director of Aerodynamics. Romberg worked with General Motors and Petty Enterprises before becoming the chief aerodynamicist at Hendrick.
Dr. Kent Day will serve as Manager of Simulation. Day, who holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, brings over two decades of experience to Roush Fenway and has held technical director positions with Team Penske and RCR and most recently specialized in vehicle dynamics at MWR.
Vojin Jaksic returns to Roush Fenway Racing as the research and development/special projects manager after serving in similar positions at MWR and Joe Gibbs Racing. Jaksic previously worked at Roush Fenway Racing from 2005 until 2011.
The additions are part of a strategic plan to expand organizational capabilities and follows the hiring of industry veterans Mark McArdle and Kevin Kidd to lead engineering and Sprint Cup competition last season.(Roush Fenway Racing)(12-15-2015)
Roush Fenway Racing restructures: Change is coming to Roush Fenway Racing. After the dissolution of the #1 XFinity Series team following Elliott Sadler's departure, RFR "right-sized" its NXS program on Monday. However, despite the release of a significant number of employees, others will be hired as RFR restructures its organization. Kent Day, who holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and most recently worked at MWR following his tenures at Richard Childress Racing as technical director and Penske Racing as chief engineer. Day will oversee Roush's simulation program. Kurt Romberg has also been recruited by RFR. Romberg was the chief aerodynamicist at Hendrick Motorsports for 15 years. He worked at General Motors and Petty Enterprises prior to joining HMS. Someone with knowledge of the situation told motorsport.com the net loss of personnel would likely be 25 workers.(Motorsport)(11-24-2015)
Ortho will not sponsor Biffle or a team in 2016 UPDATE: Scotts Miracle-Gro has confirmed that its Ortho pest-control brand will not return next season as the primary sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing's #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle, and the brand will instead sit out the year as a NASCAR team sponsor. Scotts Dir of Marketing Promotions & Communications Chris Strunk in a statement said, "We evaluate our sponsorship portfolio on an annual basis and have decided not to renew our partnership agreement with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush Fenway and Greg Biffle have been terrific partners, and we wish them the best. We are extremely appreciative of their participation and support of the Ortho brand." RFR declined comment. The brand this season sponsored about half of Biffle's 36 Sprint Cup Series races, but will not be on the car for the Sunday's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Bleacher Report will be on the car). Ortho was one of the main brands to step in and fill the void when 3M left after a nearly 10-year relationship with Biffle, switching to Jeff Gordon's #24. Prior to deploying its Ortho brand to the #16, the Ohio-based Scotts had sponsored other RFR cars from 2005-2011.(Sports Business Daily)(11-20-2015)
UPDATE: The Ortho brand of Scotts Miracle-Gro will not return as primary sponsor of Greg Biffle's #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 2016, the organization and team confirmed Friday. "We have enjoyed a long-standing and greatly productive working relationship with Ortho and the Scotts' brand," RFR President Steve Newmark said in a statement. "Over the course of the last decade they -- at different times -- have been able to successfully activate various marketing platforms through our partnership. They had great success activating around Greg and the No. 16 team and I think all of us enjoyed the 'What's Buggin' Biffle' promotion. However, their marketing strategy for '16 will take them in a different direction. We would of course welcome working with them again in the future and look forward to that possibility."(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2015)
Brian Pattie to replace Puccia as Biffle's crew chief: Brian Pattie will take over crew chief duties on the #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford with Greg Biffle in 2016. The 40-year-old Zephyrhills, Florida native has worked as a crew chief for Michael Waltrip Racing for the last four seasons. Pattie started his NASCAR career with fellow Floridian Joe Nemechek in 1994. He led a variety of NEMCO teams to seven Xfinity Series wins in four years. Although Pattie left NEMCO for a short stint with Hendrick Motorsports in 1996, he returned in 2003 to work as a team manager and crew chief with Randy LaJoie and Nemechek. He moved to Ganassi Racing in 2004 and won NXS races with Jamie McMurray and Reed Sorenson. In 2008, Pattie was reassigned to the #42 Target team midway through the season as the third crew chief to work with former Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Together, Pattie and Montoya won one race, seven poles and posted 16 top fives and 39 top-10 finishes. Pattie also guided the team to the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup - Montoya's only appearance in the NASCAR post-season. Pattie declined comment on his plans for next season. In 2012, Pattie was recruited by Michael Waltrip Racing where he was assigned to Clint Bowyer. The pair won three Sprint Cup races their first season together and finished second in the Chase. However, after their third winless season together, Pattie was moved from the #15 team to the #55 Toyota with David Ragan after 16 races. Sources said Puccia will be reassigned within the company.(Motorsport)(10-26-2015)
Biffle not setting a timeline for retirement: With both #24-Jeff Gordon and #14-Tony Stewart -- two of NASCAR's biggest stars and most accomplished drivers of all time -- set to call it quits from Sprint Cup competition by the end of 2016, it's only natural for folks to wonder who else among NASCAR's 40-and-over club might follow suit in the near future. Greg Biffle, who turns 46 in December, is older than both Gordon and Stewart, and is the oldest active driver in NASCAR's top series. So will he be the next one to hang it up? While it's certainly possible, don't count on it. Biffle said his contract with Roush Fenway Racing runs through the end of the 2017 season and he has every intention to honor it. "The Biff" admits he isn't sure what his future holds beyond '17, but at least for now, he's not ready or willing to put a timetable on how much longer he'll keep driving in the Sprint Cup Series. "I've got my own plan. I'm enjoying driving these cars and love what I do," said Biffle, "I feel like we've got still something left to accomplish. I'm looking forward to the new body that we're going to get, and the downforce (with the 2016 rules package) and the changes we've made in the company. I want to see Roush Fenway winning races when I hang my helmet up for the last time, and I think we can do that. I know we can do that."(Fox Sports)(10-18-2015)
Congrats....baby: Greg Biffle's crew chief, Matt Puccia, announced on his twitter: "Alyssa Puccia and I want to welcome Kennedy Harper Puccia to the world! Thanks everybody for all the kind words!
AND Matt Puccia, crew chief for Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle, wasn't at Dover International Speedway on Friday. Then again, with rain washing out all track activity at the Monster Mile, there wasn't a compelling reason for Puccia to be there. But Puccia had much more important business at hand-witnessing the birth of daughter Kennedy Harper Puccia in Mooresville, N.C., where he drove from Dover on Thursday night after wife Alyssa went into labor. RFR Sprint Cup team manager Kevin Kidd filled in for Puccia during two abbreviated Sprint Cup practice sessions on Saturday. It will be Puccia's decision whether to return for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the Monster Mile. "I tried to leave them at peace and let them get through the baby being born, but since then, we've talked a couple of times, and it will probably be a Sunday morning game-time decision, and I'm leaving it completely in Matt's hands," Kidd said. "If he wants to come up and do the race tomorrow, then we'll certainly welcome him. As a company, we'd love to have in back, but we also want to be respectful and do the right thing as an employer and give him some time to be with his family right now."(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-3-2015)
Biffle gets a new spotter: Roush Fenway Racing's #16-Greg Biffle likely needs a win in the next four races to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but he'll have to do so while working with a new spotter. According to RFR, Jason Reiner will replace Joel Edmonds as Biffle's spotter this weekend at Michigan. Reiner has spotted for Chase Elliott. "It is not one of the changes I was looking for, but it was time to head down a different path for the company," Biffle said. "Like I said, it was not preferable to start with a new spotter, especially with Bristol next weekend and four races before the Chase, but it is a business and we will work for it the best we can to get up to speed with listening to a new guy up top."(NASCAR.com)(8-16-2015)
Mark Martin no longer working with Roush Fenway UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Mark Martin, who was hired last July as a driver development coach for Roush Fenway Racing, is no longer with the organization. Asked Friday on Twitter if he would be working with RFR's crop of young drivers in the upcoming season, Martin responded, simply, "No." Martin, who drove for Roush Fenway from 1988-2006 -- the vast majority of his Sprint Cup career -- said at the time of his hiring as a driver development coach that he was happy to be reuniting with the organization where he earned 35 of his 40 career Sprint Cup wins. It was announced in mid-January that Martin, 56, has joined forces with late model dirt-racing legend Scott Bloomquist to field two entries in the Lucas Oil Late Model Championship in 2015. Bloomquist and up-and-coming driver Jared Landers will drive the two team cars, respectively, with both carrying sponsorship from Batesville, Ark.-based Mark Martin Automotive Group.(FoxSports)(2-7-2015)
UPDATE: Mark Martin explained in a tweet Saturday morning why he no longer is working in a driver development role with Roush Fenway Racing. Martin tweeted: "I didn't want to go to the races. I've done enough of that for now. Except for dirt track." Martin answered a fan's question Friday on Twitter confirming that he was no longer serving as a coach for Roush. Saturday, he answered another fan's question as to why he wasn't coaching Roush's drivers.(NBC Sports)(2-8-2015)
Congrats: Matt Puccia crew chief for #16 Greg Biffle married Alyssa Abbott on 12/13/14 at St. Mark's Church, Huntersville, NC, they are honeymooning in Hawaii.(12-20-2014)
Yates Denies Rumors of Roush Fenway Buyout: Roush Yates Engines CEO Doug Yates responded yesterday (Dec 4th) to rumors that he will replace Jack Roush at the helm of Roush Fenway Racing when Roush steps down in the near future. "Jack is committed to NASCAR racing," said Yates, son of legendary NASCAR engine builder and team owner Robert Yates. "He loves two things besides his family; racing and flying airplanes. He is not planning to stop the racing part, anyway. I know that for a fact." Yates admitted, however, that he is interested in following his father into the ownership ranks one day. "It's flattering to hear my name out there (in the rumor mill) and if the right situation came along, I'd love to carry on what my dad started and what he accomplished. But right now, my focus is on building great engines for Ford Motor Company and making Ford and Roush proud. That's what I'm going to try to stick with and be focused on in the near future. Jack Roush is not going anywhere" he said, "...and one thing he's not going to do is quit before he gets (Roush Fenway Racing) back where he wants it." Yates also said Roush has been instrumental in his success as an engine builder, adding, "He's been really good to me... a lot like my dad. I've been so fortunate to learn and watch and be around him. He's taught me a lot."(Godfather Motorsports)(12-5-2014)
Biffle's new deal with Roush is for three years: #16-Greg Biffle spoke to the media Friday after practice in Pocono:
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT RE-SIGNING WITH ROUSH FENWAY?
"Every driver has opportunities and I was very thankful that I had plenty of opportunities. I was coming down to deciding what I was gonna do for the future from other teams and there were some interesting seats open and opportunities, but I think internally what happened is as I was deciding what I wanted to do for the future, I think Carl decided that he was gonna move on and then I needed to make a decision what I was gonna do. I've won over 55 races driving there and 19 Cup wins and I just felt like we can get this thing turned around, so I made the decision to stay and be the anchor for Roush Fenway, and do another three-year contract, regardless of sponsorship at that point. I made that commitment to stay and it's been a tough eight weeks since then.(Ford Racing)(8-2-2014)
Roush starting to scale back: Having achieved nearly everything he'd wanted in his racing career, [Jack Roush] the 71-year-old captain of industry prefers to revel in others' success in the dusk of his NASCAR career. "There aren't so many firsts left for me, but I've not lost my passion for competition or my desire to operate at the top of my game," the founder of Roush Fenway Racing told USA TODAY Sports. "I just look forward to enjoying vicariously the success of drivers winning their first race or championship, and the crew chiefs and engineers able to share in those firsts. It's less about me and more about being a parent or a grandparent to them."
Once the Sprint Cup Series' quintessential hands-on team owner, Roush quietly is moving toward the sidelines. After a quarter-century of owning stock-car teams that have 314 wins in NASCAR and two championships in its premier series, Roush still works seven days a week but doesn't set his alarm for dawn anymore. He no longer spends 90 minutes before every race tinkering with each of his cars' carburetors, which have been excised from stock-car racing by electronic fuel injection. The mechanical wizard ... has been marginalized somewhat by advances in technology. The survivor of two plane crashes has eased into a role he jokingly labels as public and human relations manager.
"I've gone from wanting to be the mechanic that I hoped everyone else would be to now I'm the point-and-grunt guy," Roush said with a laugh, "hopefully, I'll become less viable before I'm gone. The challenge is to give up the management and decision-making at the right time." Within the next five years, the plan is he won't attend every team meeting or race anymore, scaling back to spend more time with five grandchildren who range in age from 8 months to 12 years old.
"He's trying to empower the folks running the team on a daily basis," team president Steve Newmark said. "I suspect that is sometimes hard for him, but he's doing it of his own accord, which is great because you see a lot of patriarchs that hold on for too long and don't leave the company in a good state. He's focused very much on making sure the company continues regardless of the level of his involvement." So is there a clear plan for the enterprise once Roush steps away? "There's no written plan," Newmark said. "We'll welcome his leadership as long as we can get it."Read much more at USA Today.(7-11-2013)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 3:00pm/et
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 25, 2017, TBA
Born in DECEMBER:
10 Mike 'Jimbo' Barrientos, Makayla Ann McSwain, Jerry Honeycut
11 Frankie Adamczyk, Mariah Belber, Eric McClure, Chris Horn, Tony Eury Sr., Jon Bernal
12 Ed Watkins, Rick Pennington, Emerson Fittipaldi
13 Army National Guard, Jim Vandiver, Jarrett Andretti, David Stover, Mark Nickels, Michael Mumford
14 NASCAR (meeting at Streamline Hotel), Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Darrin Dykes, Steve Hmiel, Bob Tracey, Harry McMullen
15 Jeff Beck, Eli Gold, Lance McGrew
16 A.J. Allmendinger
17 Mike Beam, Dustin Long, Matt Martin, Montgomery Lee Petty, Bobby East
18 Ted Musgrave, Vic Irvan, Tom Polansky
19 Patty Moise, Paul Tracy, Sheldon Schrader, John Monsam
20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons
21 Daniel Knost, Travis Kittleson, Michael McDowell
22 David Pearson, Owen Larson
23 Fr. Steven Janoski, Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 David Ragan, Mike Curb, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch
25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer
26 Ben Kennedy, Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick
27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh
28 Jack Ingram, Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns
29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Hal Martin, Jessica Stroupe, Harold Smith, Ray Kelly
30 Fred Lorenzen, L.D. Ottinger, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier, Shane Huffman, Burt Myers
31 Ryan Blaney, Riley Craven, Benny Ertel, Joe Hicks, Dorthy Schrader, Beth Simons-Dykes, John Wes Townley