With only a month to go before the running of the Daytona 500, fans have been emailing and tweeting asking who I think really has to come out of the gates fast this season. The obvious answer I can give them is, quite simply, everybody.
They all need a quick start. From Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who finished 27th last year, to Kasey Kahne who finished 15th in the points, all the way up to our champion Kevin Harvick — they all need a fast start to the 2015 season.
Now if you want me to zero in on one team or one organization that really, really needs to come out of the gates strong, then my pick has to be Roush Fenway Racing. They’ve made a ton of changes over there. The only driver to win for them last year, Carl Edwards, is gone to the Toyota camp of Joe Gibbs Racing. They have two very young drivers in Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne paired with veteran Greg Biffle now.
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We know the Fords are very competitive and fast by what we witnessed from Team Penske last year. There’s just something that Roush Fenway Racing is missing. So across their organization from the drivers to the sponsors, they really need to turn things around in 2015. Probably No. 2 on my list that also really has to turn things around in 2015 is Michael Waltrip Racing.
As we keep reminding you, the X-factor that not only Roush Fenway or MWR, but every team is dealing with, is the new rules package for 2015. Again, it doesn’t affect the teams at Daytona, but we’ll get to see how it plays out the very next weekend at Atlanta.