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Jack Roush is looking for more speed

Roush Racing Continues to Search for Speed
The race that brought Roush Fenway Racing to its knees last year provided what may be a glimpse of salvation for the organization on Saturday night.

Clearly, race runner-up Carl Edwards and his No. 99 Ford team found something before and during the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. So did David Ragan's No. 6 outfit. Ragan improved throughout the race and finished 12th, his best result at a non-restrictor-plate track this season.

Matt Kenseth ran a steady-if-unspectacular 13th, and Greg Biffle showed early speed before dropping a valve, eventually blowing his engine and finishing 35th.

Contrast Saturday night's aggregate performance with that of a year ago. Edwards finished 14th that night. Problem was, he was the best Ford in the race. Jamie McMurray—then driving for Roush—was 22nd, Kenseth 23rd, Ragan 25th and Biffle 31st.

That was the race that amplified the questions that have dogged the Roush Fenway drivers ever since: “What's wrong with Roush?” “What's wrong with the Fords?”

On Saturday night, Edwards found the speed he had been lacking. In the closing laps, he caught and passed Jeff Gordon for the second position and had trimmed race winner David Reutimann's lead from more than two seconds to .727 seconds by the time the checkered flag fell.

For months, Edwards has politely answered the relentless, tiresome questions about Roush Fenway's performance. The LifeLock.com 400 provided a welcome respite. Edwards appeared in the media center AFTER the race as one of the top three finishers for the first time this year.

“The good thing is that we had the fastest car at the end of the race,” Edwards said. “If you have the fastest car at the end of the race every week, you'll win plenty of races. If we can just do this more often, we will have turned the page, and we've got a lot of good things to look forward to.

“Hopefully, we can go back and look at what we did (Saturday night) and apply it for the races to come.”

There are cautionary notes. Obviously, one race doesn't make a comeback. Edwards and Biffle are still in the top 12 (10th and 11th, respectively), but there is no margin of error if they hope to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.




Related Pictures

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Roush and Edwards at Talladega 2010
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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday, May 31, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. Following in second and third place are Kevin Harvick, driver of the # 4 DiTech Chevrolet SS and Kyle Larson, driver of the # 42 Target Chevrolet SS. (Photo by David Tullis/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory, Sunday, May 31, 2015, after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. This was Johnson`s 10th win at Dover, his career 74th. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, is cheered by his team while celebrating with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, races Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Cares Toyota, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Cole Whitt, driver of the #35 Ford, leads Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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