The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season has been a challenging one for Roush Fenway Racing, to say the least.
RFR, like every NASCAR team, was forced to overcome the obstacles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted a two-month pause on the season. But hardships overcame RFR even prior to the coronavirus surge, highlighted, of course, by Ryan Newman’s scary wreck on the final lap of the Daytona 500 February.
RFR co-owner Jack Roush on Tuesday opened up about the roller coaster of a season and also looked ahead to the next campaign.
“I’m obviously disappointed (with the season) because, at this late date, we still don’t have cars in the playoffs,” Roush said, per Racer.com. “But this viral epidemic and the shutdown that has gone with it – the lack of practice time and the lack of a chance to get the drivers as close as they need to to the crew chiefs – have really hit us hard.
“Of course, Ryan lost time because of his accident at Daytona. He was coming into his second year with us, and we had hoped to capitalize on the first year, which has not helped us out as much as I’d hoped.
“Chris (Buescher) and (crew chief) Luke Lambert were new to one another, and they’ve had very little chance to build the kind of chemistry that it takes to really be successful at this level.
“We’ve had an uphill battle all year. We’ve had streaks of brilliance, (and) if we’d have had better track position, we might have been able to capitalize and gotten a win earlier. We missed a chance at Daytona. We missed a chance at Talladega. We hope that the next Daytona will be great for us. We can’t get both of them in at Daytona, but hopefully, we can get one of them in if Jimmy Fennig delivers the kind of cars he’s had for us in the recent past.”
There are three races remaining on the regular-season schedule. Newman and Buescher both are in need of a victory in order to qualify for the playoffs.