Roush Fenway Racing began the Sprint Cup season perfect with Matt Kenseth winning the first two races.
Then, the improbable happened. Not one win from any of the team's five drivers since. In fact, it wasn't until last week at Pocono, the 14th race of the season, that one of Jack Roush's drivers, Carl Edwards, finished second.
Roush Fenway is expected to build on that finish because this week's race is at Michigan International Speedway, a track Roush has dominated over the years. A Roush team has won at Michigan in each of the past seven years, a track record. And every member of Roush Fenway Racing knows how important success at Michigan is to Roush.
“Racing at Michigan is pretty significant for all of us at this organization,” said Jamie McMurray, who finished tenth in both Michigan races last year. “The region is home to Ford Motor Company as well as Roush Industries, so this is a bit of a home track for Roush Fenway and we always want to perform well when we come to Michigan.”
Roush has more wins, eleven, at Michigan than at any other Cup track. Edwards and teammates Greg Biffle and Kenseth have two wins each. When Edwards won last August's race, all five Roush drivers finished in the top ten. In the June race, only Biffle fell short of a top-ten finish. (David Ragan, the fifth Roush driver, finished eighth and third.)
“Those wins at Michigan are special because of the looks on Jack's face and the Ford guys' when you get out of the car in victory lane,” Edwards said. “Michigan is a kind of bragging rights track. It's in Roush's back yard, Ford's back yard — so another win there would be huge.”
At this point, any win for Edwards would be huge. He won a series-high nine races last year, and if he comes away empty in Sunday's LifeLock 400, he will have his second-longest victory drought to begin a season. He was winless in 2006 and then won his 15th race of 2007 — at Michigan.
“I always say Darlington is my favorite race track, but Michigan is becoming a close second,” Edwards said. “Michigan has a lot of personal history for me, and I'm always glad to go there. It's where I made my first Cup start, where I made my 100th start and where I broke a 52-race winless streak with a win in June of 2007.”
by Bill Marx/Sporting News