Change has been the name of the game for Roush Fenway Racing the last few years. Some good changes, some bad changes. Going into the 2013 season, RFR has changed things up once again. Change after 2011 left RFR with an even worse season than the previous one. What will change after 2012 bring? We can answer that question in about 11 months. The changes RFR has made for the upcoming season are looking good and could put RFR back on top.
The regular-season in 2012 for Biffle was great. Biffle had multiple top five and ten finishes and even a few wins. He led the points for much of the regular-season but once the Chase began, Biffle was quiet. Biffle didn’t do anything spectacular in the Chase which led to a bad ending for a season that started out so greatly. A repeat performance of what he did last year is what Biffle and the No.16 team will be looking for this season but will they be as good? Only time will tell.
Roush-Fenway Racing hasn’t been the team with the most success out of the Gen 6 car yet this year but as time progresses, they will only get better. Biffle hasn’t been known as the most consistent driver from season to season but, in 2013, he can prove us wrong and have a great performance.
Biffle’s key to success this season will be how well he does on the mile and a half tracks. If Biffle can have some victories and great finishes on the mile and a half tracks, he could have a great shot at the Chase. If we see the un-consistent Biffle from season to season show up, 2013 will be a long season for Biffle. Coming out strong, especially at 1.5 mile tracks, early in the season will be an indicator on how Biffle will do this season.
My Prediction- Biffle has a very un-consistent season and fails to make the Chase. It seems as Biffle has success every other season and the every other season he has success, was last year. 2013 will be rough for Biffle but RFR might make some changes to help Biffle in the future. Don’t expect too much out of Biffle this season.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Stenhouse Jr will be the new guy in the cup garage this season along with already being Danica’s new man. Stenhouse Jr will be competing for the rookie of the year honors along with his new girlfriend, Danica Patrick, this season. If the two drivers compete like they did in the Nationwide Series last season, Stenhouse Jr should take the rookie title easily. Success came easily for Stenhouse Jr in the Nationwide Series but the Cup Series is a whole new game and success is hard to come by.
Typically, rookies don’t have a lot of success but, when a rookie gets put in a good ride, like Stenhouse Jr is, he could have some good performances. Wins may not come as often as they did in the Nationwide Series for Stenhouse Jr but one or two may arise for Stenhouse Jr this season. The Chase is possible for Stenhouse Jr to reach but it is a tad bit of a stretch. Getting used to the whole Cup Series deal is what Stenhouse Jr should be concentrating on this year and that could lead to future successes.
My Prediction- Stenhouse Jr has a solid first season which includes a win and a few great finishes. The Chase won’t happen for Stenhouse Jr but he’ll be closer than many expect. Stenhouse Jr will win the rookie of the year honors and overall, he’ll have a decent first Cup Series season.
The biggest question that surrounded Carl Edwards last season was what happened? Edwards went from being the top driver throughout much of 2011 to having many issues in 2012. Edwards didn’t win a single race and he failed to make the Chase. 2012 will be a year to forger for Edwards but, 2013 can be much better.
Edwards will be paired up with veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig this season which RFR put together in an attempt to better Edwards’s performance. Fennig had great success last year with Matt Kenseth and there is no reason the same can’t happen for Edwards this season. Edwards came so close to the championship in 2011 but, he lost in a tie. This season, Edwards should channel what he accomplished in 2011 and bring it back in 2013. If he can manage to accomplish that, watch out for Carl Edwards this season.
My Prediction- Edwards comes out strong but can’t keep it up once we reach the summer months. Edwards will fall off his mountain of success and barely miss the Chase. A few wins will come for Edwards but they won’t matter since the championship will be out of reach. A major re-assessment of Edwards is needed and once RFR and Edwards accomplish that, they will get to the top and possibly stay there.
Based on what I have predicted for RFR this season, there season will be very interesting. Wins will be a huge factor of success for RFR this season and if wins can’t come, neither will the success. The changes Jack Roush put in effect for 2013 should be working by mid-season but, if they’re not, a major re-assessment needs to occur at that camp. RFR has a great shot at success this season and soon we will find out whether or not the success reigns at RFR. 2013 will surely be interesting at RFR, to say the least.
By Jason Schultz