Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent
With Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race being the 13th points-paying race on the schedule, its conclusion will mark the midway point of NASCAR’s 26-race “regular season.” Most of the attention has been on Hendrick Motorsports’ quest and then claim of Cup win 200, but right outside the spotlight, Roush Fenway Racing has been quietly going about the business of domination.
First, there’s Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He’s first as in first in the championship points standings, a position he has been in for 10-straight weeks. For a little comparison, Tony Stewart, the reigning Sprint Cup champion, led the series point standings a grand total of three weeks all of last season, and the three weeks weren’t strung together.
I have high expectations for this weekend.
Secondly, there’s Matt Kenseth, the driver of the No. 17 RFR Ford, who just happens to be right behind teammate Biffle, second in points.
Both Biffle and Kenseth have been to victory lane this year. And they’re both looking forward to the trip to Dover.
“Dover is my favorite track on the Sprint Cup circuit, and it’s been a place where we’ve had a lot of success at, as well, so I just love racing there,” Kenseth said.
Biffle echoes his teammate’s sentiments.
“Dover is a track the Roush Fenway cars have run well at and a place I’ve had some success at,” Biffle said. “I have high expectations for this weekend.”
That leaves Carl Edwards, driver of Roush Fenway’s No. 99 Ford. He’s having a rather lackluster season, considering he still hasn’t won yet in 2012. A season removed from finishing out the 2011 season in a points tie with Stewart, Edwards heads to Dover 10th in points. That may not be up to Edwards standards, but it’s still top-10, even if just barely.
Not only is the Roush Fenway Racing trio, as a whole, good in 2012, the teammates are good on Dover’s concrete surface. Edwards even counts “Concrete Carl” as one of several nicknames.
“It (Dover) is one of my best race tracks and our team’s best tracks,” Edwards said. “This track has been really good to us, but it is a very difficult track.”
Kenseth heads to Dover as this weekend’s reigning race winner, and all three RFR drivers posted top-10 finishes at the track last fall, NASCAR’s most recent visit to the track. Edwards was the highest finisher among the three then, finishing third.
In all, Kenseth and Biffle each have two wins apiece at Dover, and Edwards has one.
The Hendrick Motorsports organization may be hogging the spotlight as of late, but in the meantime, Roush Fenway Racing is just going about its business, whether anyone notices or not.