The indirect news of Carl Edwards’ departure from Roush Fenway Racing come season’s end, by virtue of direct and confirmed news of Roush Fenway Racing’s 2015 driver line-up that doesn’t include Edwards is, or may be, good news for some. It may be considered good news for Edwards, maybe even good news for Joe Gibbs Racing (long-standing rumors still have Edwards at JGR next year). But what does it all mean for Roush Fenway Racing’s future? It sure doesn’t look like good news.
Team owner Jack Roush confirmed multiple times during a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday that he tried to keep Edwards in the Roush Fenway driver stable, and that’s completely understandable, since Edwrds is Roush Fenway Racing’s top performer and has been the last few years.
Matt Kenseth departed the team at the end of 2012 for the seemingly, and increasingly legitimate, greener pastures. It looks like Edwards is now following that RFR to JGR path blazed by Kenseth. Edwards’ move to JGR isn’t official, and therefore may not be certain, but whether he reunites with Kenseth at Gibbs next year or not, one thing is for certain — he won’t be at Roush Fenway next year.
That leaves RFR with Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. from the current RFR Sprint Cup stable. Then throw in Trevor Bayne, with a promotion from Nationwide Series racing for Roush Fenway and a move from part-time Cup racing with the Wood Brothers organization. No offense, but that looks like somewhat of an underwhelming roster to me, especially when you consider that this is a two-time Cup championship organization that has boasted driver line-ups including not only Kenseth and Edwards but Mark Martin, the driver with a reputation of being the best driver, ever, to not win a championship.
Biffle can get it done, at least sometimes. He’s won several races at the Cup level, but the last few years, his results have been a little off a good portion of the time. There are glimmers of the Biffle of old every now and again, but those glimmers seem to be getting fewer and farther between.
Yeah, there’s rumblings of Roush Fenway Racing being in a slump or being “behind,” equipment-wise. Really? Then, how does Edwards have two wins in 20 races, so far, this season? He must not be struggling all that much.
Yeah, Bayne won the Daytona 500 a few years ago, but that was an upset win, and what has he done since? In Sprint Cup and Nationwide combined — not much.
Then there’s Stenhouse. Sure, he has his two back-to-back Nationwide titles, but he’s in his second year of Cup racing, and from my viewpoint, it’s all been underwhelming. Two rookies, Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson, this year are in position to possibly get into the Chase on points. To borrow words from Evelyn Lozada from Basketball Wives, Stenhouse, at least to this point, is a “non-factor.”
I’ll admit that maybe I’ve hit a new low by borrowing words from one of the Basketball Wives, but that’s beside the point.
I’m not going to be all gloom-and-doom and say that Roush Fenway Racing has bitten the dust and won’t be around much longer. It’ll stick around. Will it ever again be a powerhouse team at the level of Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing, though? Maybe so, but if it is, it won’t be anytime soon.
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