Things are not rosy at Roush Fenway Racing. Lately, they’ve lost their top driver to apparently Joe Gibbs Racing, and today they lost 3M as a primary sponsor on the No. 16 Ford of Greg Biffle. The performance has been putrid at best all year even though Carl Edwards has two wins, but Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have not had the performance that a top team should have. That is cruel, but fact. Biffle had a good day at Pocono last week, but that’s been pretty much it for this season. Stenhouse is a former Nationwide Series champion, but it has not transferred to the Cup series. It has to be the cars, and that’s a really big problem for RFR.
Stealing sponsors is nothing new, but Gibbs and Hendrick are very good at it. It’s kind of like the rich get richer is true. Yeah, it is business, as they like to say, but there seems to be a big target on RFR and those who are running better have determined to make sure they don’t come back to prominence. Baseball does it all the time at the trade deadline, of course. Teams trade players to non-contenders and never to contenders. At the waiver deadline, teams claim players so that other teams cannot get them. It’s just business.
That said, you have to image the mood over at Roush Fenway—Ford’s top team for years. Roger Penske, the gentleman he is, said that he would never take a driver or sponsor from a fellow Ford team. In fact, Penske has a kept a professional attitude toward all teams. For some reason, non-Ford teams seem to like to pick on Jack Roush. He’s an easy target now. It’s easy to pick on the guy who is down. It happens. Now, it’s up to Roush. If he gets his teams back to being competitive, things might turn around, but teams must always remember that if you stumble, there are two giants waiting to grab your drivers and sponsors.
RFR has had more success than either Gibbs or especially Richard Childress Racing in 2014; RCR has no wins. That may change now as a down on their luck organization is faced with a lame duck driver, minimal sponsorship, and a down year. It would be good if they could rise like the Phoenix and make some noise, but I don’t see it and that is bad for the sport.