The legendary Ford NASCAR team has not won a race since the June 2013 Sprint Cup event at Michigan International Speedway, slightly more than three years ago, when Greg Biffle recorded Ford’s 1,000th victory in NASCAR.
Team owner Jack Roush and his current Cup drivers Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are as dedicated as ever to turning things around, said Pericak, who took over as global director of Ford Performance from Jamie Allison last year.
“I’ve been in the job for over a year and I’ve said we’ve been going to fix Roush,” said Pericak, chief engineer of the Ford Mustang from 2008-2015. “The cars this year have speed in them but the team has had trouble executing on pit road. I think they’ve definitely … shown a trend of improvement.”
If points and victories matter, Roush continues to struggle coming into Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at MIS, the 15th race of 36 on the Sprint Cup calendar.
Stenhouse leads the way for Roush in 19th position in points, while Bayne is 20th and Biffle is 25th.
“As it is today, Jack Roush is not happy about the situation,” said Pericak, who will leave Tuesday for France to oversee the Ford GT40’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic. “But he’s 100% committed to improving the team and his spirits are high.”
Pericak will be at MIS today to observe NASCAR’s new lower down force package for the track.
“It will be a wait and see thing,” said Pericak of the aerodynamic package which NASCAR believes will promote closer and better racing with more passing. “I think we are headed in the right direction and we’re hoping for better racing. At the end of the day, I think it allows drivers to drive the car.
“We have it pretty well figured out.”
Ford drivers have been using a state-of-the-art simulator in Charlotte, N.C., running the lower down force package for MIS.
Pericak said they had participated enthusiastically.
“We needed to win their hearts and minds (on it),” said Pericak. “They have been really fantastic, giving it all they’ve got. There’s now even a waiting list. The simulator is so realistic, it can even cast shadows across the race track, affecting track temperature.”
It is amazing just how far RFR have fallen in NASCAR’s pecking order. Roush-Fenway Racing has not won a race in three years! This once powerhouse seems to have fallen on hard times and can not gather itself up and get back into the middle of the competition. Even though it appears that Ford Motor Company is making RFR a priority, there is still a long road to go before RFR will be back to hoisting the hardware on Sundays!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!