NASCAR

Jack Roush is stepping up RFR game

Jeff Hammond on what to expect at Kentucky.
Jeff Hammond on what to expect at Kentucky.
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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

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I spent some time recently with Jack Roush and the Roush-Fenway Racing organization. I’ve worked for Jack in the past and I just have to say I’ve never seen him focused as hard as he is right now on getting his Fords back to Victory Lane and competing for a championship.

Jack is a fierce competitor and realizes the strength of his organization. One of the things I really admire about Jack is that he isn’t afraid to admit it when mistakes have been made in the past. Right now he has his teams and overall organization pointed in the right direction and working up to its potential.

In addition to the new Gen-6 car, Jack also has the benefit of having a new teammate when it comes to Ford Racing. Naturally I am talking about the switch from Penske Racing in the offseason from Dodge to Ford.

That opens up doors for Jack and his teams for more data and information-sharing. We all know Roger Penske’s commitment to excellence, and having just won the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship he and his teams are an excellent addition to the Ford camp.

I think Jack realizes with the addition of Penske Racing there are new approaches to things that he has to be willing to take a look at and also be willing to adapt to. Any time you can have the influx of new engineering ideas and thought processes, it simply makes you stronger and better.

So after their slow start, I am beginning to see some improvements across the board, but especially at Roush-Fenway Racing. Greg Biffle has now joined Carl Edwards in the win column. Carl ran really strong last weekend too at Sonoma.

I think between now and the Brickyard 400 we are going to see how much improvement they really have made. These next few races definitely will test the horsepower as well as the handling of these Fords.

So to me the bottom line is that Roush-Fenway Racing has recognized their weaknesses and have addressed them. When the Chase field is set following Richmond in September, I really do expect the Roush-Fenway Fords to be players you are going to have to contend with.

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