DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — You might have noticed Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne struggling to keep pace with the leaders in just about every Sprint Cup series race last year. Everyone at Roush Fenway Racing certainly did.
That’s why Biffle, when asked at Tuesday’s media day what he’s most eager to see in the new NASCAR season, was blunt.
“If our cars have speed now,” Biffle said. “We’ll find out soon enough.”
Biffle begins the 2016 season as RFR’s closest thing to a contender week to week, as he was last season. But “closest” among the horsepower-challenged Roush cars was a long way from “close” to the rest of the field in 2015. Biffle, Stenhouse and Bayne led 43 laps combined all of last season, and Biffle placed highest in the final Sprint Cup standings — at 20th.
President Steve Newmark and co-owner Jack Roush responded with changes up and down the lineup, juggling some crew chiefs and making several additions to the technical staff. While a new research and development manager, aerodynamics director and simulation manager might have benefits team-wide given NASCAR’s new low-downforce package, the change of most immediate interest to Biffle was bringing on Brian Pattie as his crew chief.
“A lot of unknown,” Biffle said. “We’ve got a bunch of new people, new crew chief, new car design, new aero package. This is probably the most changes I’ve ever had in one season in my career, versus going Xfinity to Cup. This is all new, every aspect of it.”
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images