Jack Roush has spent the better part of three decades competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series but has never experienced a prolonged slump quite like the one he and Roush Fenway Racing are currently enduring this season.
Despite a campaign in which all three teams are at risk of missing the Chase for the Championship for the first time in company history, Roush believes his organization is starting to work itself back into contention.
"We have been Cup racing now for 28 years and had times when we had the hot hand and the combination that everyone else wished they understood or could have," Roush said on Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. "And there have been times when we lacked that. We are on a cycle now that is on its way back up."
Over the past two seasons, NASCAR has banned independent on-track testing in favor of sporadic tire tests in order to cut costs for participants. That has forced teams to rely on digital simulators and seven-posts more than ever before — an area where Roush Fenway has faced scrutiny in recent years.
Roush called the computational fluid dynamic programs (CFD) that NASCAR teams use "an imperfect science" but also believes they will also eventually see RFR back to the top of the sport. He also feels his core group of talented young drivers will pilot those cars to victory lane when the time comes.
Veteran Greg Biffle is currently leading the way for the Sprint Cup Series operation but is only 18th in the championship standings. Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are both outside of the top 25.
On the other hand, Roush top prospect Chris Buescher is leading the Xfinity Series championship standings.
"All of my programs have potential," Roush said. "As I indicated on a radio program, we are a ‘promote from within’ company and have had 36 drivers drive our cars over a period of time, and 17 of them have won races.
"Not the same 17, but 17 are still involved in the sport in some way, and we are excited about our new rookie field, and, of course, Greg is a cornerstone of what we have done in Trucks and Xfinity, and he has won championships in those two series. I am not going to give up and I don’t think he will give up until we win the Sprint Cup, as well." AutoWeek