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Sport Friday 5: Matt Kenseth’s return is only the beginning for Roush Fenway Racing

20:01  11 may  2018
20:01  11 may  2018 Source:   nbcsports.com

NASCAR Roundtable: What to expect at Talladega this weekend

  NASCAR Roundtable: What to expect at Talladega this weekend NASCAR heads to the always unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Talladega Superspeedway has produced some surprise winners throughout its history. Richard Brickhouse, Lennie Pond, Dick Brooks, Bobby Hillin Jr. and Phil Parsons all scored their only Cup win at the superspeedway. Who do you think could be a long-shot winner at Talladega this weekend ?Jim: Both of the Front Row Motorsports drivers, David Ragan and Michael McDowell, I believe could be long-shot candidates to pick up a victory this weekend. In fact, Ragan has done it before for FRM.

Matt Kenseth ’ s return to Cup today at Kansas Speedway is a feel-good story his fans hope will continue throughout the season. But let’s get one thing clear. He won’t be any type of savior for Roush Fenway Racing .

Matt Kenseth is making his return after being dropped by Joe Gibbs Racing last season. He will be greeted by Kyle Busch, who is on a dominant run right now. USA TODAY Sports.

a man wearing a black hat© Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesMatt Kenseth’s return to Cup today at Kansas Speedway is a feel-good story his fans hope will continue throughout the season.

But let’s get one thing clear.

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He won’t be any type of savior for Roush Fenway Racing. Kenseth can help make the team stronger but it will be up to every person in the organization to make that happen. This is not a one-person job.

“Probably as much as anything I’m as excited about Matt interacting with us about is what’s most important on the car because there’s 100 things that go on behind the steering wheel — from conditions of how the car is handling to how they react in traffic to all the stuff that goes on on pit road,’’ Tommy Wheeler, operations director at Roush Fenway Racing, said April 25 after the announcement of Kenseth’s return.

Matt Kenseth says ‘no problems’ with Trevor Bayne after a ‘good conversation’

  Matt Kenseth says ‘no problems’ with Trevor Bayne after a ‘good conversation’ The 2003 champion will return to Roush in the No. 6 Ford for the next five race weekends, NBC Sports has learned.In a Tuesday morning interview at Roush Fenway Racing, Kenseth told NBC Sports that he expects Trevor Bayne will be at Saturday night’s Cup race.

Matt Kenseth will return to drive Roush Fenway Racing ’ s No. 6 car in select NASCAR Cup Series races this season. By Jordan Bianchi Apr 23, 2018, 9:06pm EDT.

On April 25, 2018, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Matt Kenseth will return to the team and share the No. 6 with Bayne on a part-time basis, with Wyndham Rewards as his primary sponsor.

“We have enough resources to fix any number of things, but what is very difficult to discern with a young driver lineup like we have is what is most important. What is going to be the most impactful today to make the car faster?’’

Kenseth will be in the car for the next five weeks, including three events in a row at a 1.5-mile track (Kansas, All-Star Race at Charlotte and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte). The team has stated it needs to be better at such tracks. Kenseth’s input will be valuable.

Wheeler knows what Kenseth can provide. Wheeler joined Roush in 2010 as an engineering manager and saw the impact Kenseth had then.

“His feedback of telling us what direction to go with the race cars of ‘Hey if you fix this, I will run faster,’ that direct link and having the credentials and the ability to back that up can’t be overstated,’’ Wheeler said.

NASCAR takes steps to juice up competition for Saturday's All-Star race

  NASCAR takes steps to juice up competition for Saturday's All-Star race Runaways have been more the norm in recent All-Star events, and NASCAR has taken a dramatic step this year in attempting to reverse that trend. The 21 drivers competing in Saturday night’s race will do so under an odd set of aerodynamic rules. Cars will be fitted with power-sapping restrictor plates (the norm at big superspeedways but an oddity at CMS) and six-inch spoilers. The idea is to decrease the aero advantage of the lead car and, hopefully, make racing packs bigger. A similar experimental approach led to better racing in last year’s Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Friday 5 : Matt Kenseth ’ s return is only the beginning for Roush Fenway Racing .

Kenseth made his return to Roush Fenway earlier this year at Kansas Speedway and raced five consecutive weeks at the helm of the No. 6 Ford. Matt Kenseth ' s 2018 Roush Fenway Racing schedule.

Anything that Kenseth can state and the team can adjust could help Ricky Stenhouse Jr. make the playoffs for a second year in a row.

Stenhouse enters this weekend two points behind Chase Elliott for what would be the final playoff spot at this time. With 15 races left until the playoffs begin, there is time to move into a playoff spot but the competition won’t be easy.

Stenhouse trails a Hendrick Motorsports driver for that last playoff spot and is just ahead of a Joe Gibbs Racing driver (Daniel Suarez) and another Hendrick driver (William Byron) in the points.

2. NASCAR is watching you …

Since teams were informed before Bristol that NASCAR would call uncontrolled tire penalties more closely, such penalties have increased significantly.

NASCAR has called 18 uncontrolled tire penalties in the last four Cup races — more than double the number of those penalties called in the first seven races.

NASCAR All-Star Race starting lineup: Matt Kenseth wins pole as Roush Fenway sweeps front row

  NASCAR All-Star Race starting lineup: Matt Kenseth wins pole as Roush Fenway sweeps front row The veteran is preparing to run just his second race since returning to the NASCAR Cup Series this season.NASCAR's biggest stars got a chance to live on the wild side Friday night in qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and no one did it better than veteran Matt Kenseth.

Roush Fenway Racing introduced Matt Kenseth on Wednesday as the newest addition to its driver roster. And Kenseth scored 24 of his 39 wins with Roush — including the organization’ s only two Daytona 500 victories in 2009 and 2012.

Matt Kenseth ’ s return to Cup today at Kansas Speedway is a feel-good story his fans hope will continue throughout the season. But let’s get one thing clear. He won’t be any type of savior for Roush Fenway Racing .

The change happened after NASCAR admitted it should have penalized Kevin Harvick’s team for an uncontrolled tire on a late pit stop at Texas. Instead, Harvick went on to finish second in that race.

Kyle Larson’s pit crew has been penalized for an uncontrolled tire twice in the last four races. So has Matt DiBenedetto’s team and AJ Allmendinger’s team.

NASCAR called six uncontrolled tire penalties at both Bristol and Richmond. There were five last weekend at Dover.

3. Youth tryout

NASCAR announced this week the formation of a youth esports racing series catered to “attract and identify young talent.’’

This column brought up the topic in February but focused more on what a manufacturer or team could do to gauge the ability of youngsters. Such a program would give those who begin racing at an early age a way to display their talent who wouldn’t be able to otherwise for whatever reason. William Byron didn’t race a car until he was 15 years old. Five years later, he’s with one of the sport’s top teams in Hendrick Motorsports.

Said Jack Irving, director of team and support services for Toyota Racing Development, on finding talented youngsters through sim racing: “That is something that is of interest and something we’ve spent some time on.’’

NASCAR at Charlotte: Live updates, results, highlights from the 2018 All-Star Race

  NASCAR at Charlotte: Live updates, results, highlights from the 2018 All-Star Race NASCAR is back in Charlotte for the 2018 All-Star Race. Follow along for live updates, results and highlights from Charlotte Motor Speedway.On-and-off rain throughout the day on Friday limited drivers to not more than a few laps of pratice but the weather subsided long enough in the evening to get the lineup set for race day. Matt Kenseth logged the fastest qualifying time and lap speed to win the pole in just his second race of the season. This marks the veteran driver's third time winning the pole at NASCAR's All-Star Race. Next to Kenseth on the front row with be Roush Fenway Racing teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Matt Kenseth ’ s return to Roush Fenway Racing nears its first on-track time of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, and the 2003 champion is itching to get going. “I’m anxious to get in the car for sure tomorrow and see where everything’s at and get acclimated to the team and the car

Despite persistent questioning, Matt Kenseth refused to budge. The driver who returned to Roush Fenway Racing in a part-time role this season isn’t ready to talk about next year. In fact, Kenseth says his sole focus is on finishing out the current season in the No. 6 Ford he shares with Trevor Bayne.

For more of the story, go here.

4. Working hard

On Thursday’s NASCAR America, Parker Kligerman noted that while testing Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Gaunt Brothers Racing — the team he will drive for in the Coca-Cola 600 — he shared the track with manufacturers doing a wheel-force test.

Wheel-force testing can be mundane and time-consuming. But Kligerman noted that the Chevrolet wheel-force car was driven by Jimmie Johnson. Kligerman said that Johnson told him that no one was going to outwork him as he seeks to return to winning races for Hendrick Motorsports.

5. To the front

Stewart-Haas Racing has had at least one of its cars finish in the top three in seven of the first 11 races this season. SHR took the top two spots last weekend with Kevin Harvick winning at Dover and Clint Bowyer placing second.

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What might have been: Jeff Gordon driving for Jack Roush? .
Jeff Gordon will enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019 with Jack Roush. Gordon tells the story of how he might have ended up driving for Roush.Gordon told the story after he was selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Wednesday with Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, Roger Penske and Roush.

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