Roush Fenway Racing Needs To Reestablish Dominance
Roush Fenway Racing might be the biggest organization in NASCAR.
With five full time Sprint Cup teams, two and a half (Paul Menard's team is the half) almost full time Nationwide Series teams, and a full time Camping World Truck Series team, a multi-million dollar deal with Ford, and a merger with Fenway Sports group, Jack Roush may have the biggest organization in NASCAR.
And with all of this, 2009 has been a total disappointment.
It all started in Daytona.
Things were looking good for Roush Fenway Racing.
People were putting all five of the Roush Fords in the chase in their preseason lists, and were almost assured that that was going to happen.
Daytona was sort of confusing.
It was rain shortened, and people weren't sure what to think of Matt Kenseth's win in the Daytona 420.
With four out of the five Roush Fords finishing on the lead lap, fans thought that Roush Fenway Racing were on their way, and California had us reassured with another Kenseth victory.
But since Vegas, Roush Fenway Racing has looked worse than Front Row Motorsports.
It may have gone unnoticed to some, but here's Roush's story so far for 2009.
Carl Edwards has failed to look like the driver that almost won the championship in 2008.
He is ninth in points, after a 25th place finish at Martinsville dropped him three spots in the standings.
With his highest finish of third at Atlanta being the only quack out of the new $40 million duck on the front hood, Edwards is one bad run away from falling out of the top 10.
Matt Kenseth started off 2009 looking better than the driver who won the 2003 series championship.
But after winning a rain shortened Daytona 420, and the Auto Club 500, his average finish is 28th and Kenseth may fall out of the chase with another mediocre run at Texas.
Jamie McMurray is 22nd in points.
After being the highest finishing Ford at Martinsville with a 10th place finish, McMurray jumped from 27th to 22nd in the points standings.
And other than his worst finishes of 37th coming at Daytona and Bristol where he got caught in someone else's mess, McMurray's lowest finish is 16th, and is the most consistent running Roush Ford of 2009.
Greg Biffle is a different story. Other than a blown engine at Bristol (huh?) and a crash at Atlanta, Biffle's worst finish is 28th, which was at Martinsville, and that dropped him from 18th to 23rd in the points.
With their average finish being 22nd for the season, Biffle and crew chief Greg Erwin need to cut that average finish almost in half to make the chase.
And then there's David Ragan.
Ragan isn't even in the same class of bad as his teammates.
Ragan has been way beyond that.
Other than a sixth place finish at Daytona, Ragan has been absolutely horrific.
Excluding Daytona, Ragan's average finish is 26th.
He currently sits 29th in the standings, tied with fellow Georgia driver Reed Sorenson.
UPS would've been better off staying with MWR and David Reutimann, who currently sits 11th in the standings.
Ragan is a bad run away from not only falling out of the top 30, but almost assuring himself of missing the chase, after only the seventh race of the season.
2009 has been a total disaster for Ragan and crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, and with Roush having to cut his organization down to four cars after this season, Ragan is making himself the top candidate to be the odd man out.
Even Ragan's fans are fed up with it.
"My guy has been the most disappointing by far this season," said hard core Ragan fan Clayton Caldwell.
Ragan is going to need a few really great runs in the coming weeks to make himself a chase contender again, and maybe save his season.
Now Texas Motor Speedway is coming up, and Yates/Roush engines have nine wins in the first 16 races at Texas, including the last two by Carl Edwards.
Roush Fenway Racing must have all five of his Fords finish in the top 15 at Texas in order to turn around what could be the most disappointing season in Roush's 21-year history.
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