Of course one of the biggest news items to come out of the Brickyard 400 was the announcement from Roush Fenway Racing that driver Carl Edwards will not be driving for the organization in 2015. Honestly, I thought to make that announcement on the morning of what I consider our third biggest race of the year — behind the Daytona 500 and Homestead — was very unprofessional.
There’s always a method to Roush Fenway Racing’s madness. We all know that they have a way of firing the first shot at someone they are offended by. History shows us this is not the first time it has happened from that camp. If you stop and think about it, though, they had those two weeks in between the race at Loudon until the race at Indianapolis to do it, but didn’t.
The reality to me is they are cutting their nose off to spite their face. Trust me, I realize the business we are in, and the NASCAR world is a very small world where secrets don’t stay secrets very long. I know there comes a point of no return when you have to make this type of announcements public.
Let’s face it, though: Carl Edwards is the only bullet in the Roush Fenway gun to have a chance to be a contender for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Carl will be a contender. Yes, he will be in the Chase, but the stark reality is Roush Fenway Racing is struggling week in and week out regardless of the wins Carl has. So to me, losing Carl Edwards is going to be a pretty heavy hit.
Let’s be candid, their driver lineup for 2015 is weak. Veteran Greg Biffle is by far their strongest horse in the stable. In two years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Greg’s teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., only has a couple career top-five finishes.
Now sure, the third teammate has a Daytona 500 win under his belt, but it’s the only top-five finish in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career. So to me, Greg Biffle is going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting next year, but the biggest hurdle they have to overcome is the mystery of what is hurting their performance.
I talked to Roush Fenway’s Robbie Reiser at Indianapolis and he agreed that the Team Penske Fords are the perfect template of what the problem is not. That would be the engines and the Ford body because those are the same that Roush Fenway Racing has. So obviously they are missing the boat in other areas.
So to me these last 16 races of 2014 are all about figuring out what they are missing and what can get Roush Fenway Racing competitive.
VIDEO: Roush Fenway Racing announces 2015 driver lineup