Roush team is seeking better results

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Brooklyn, Mich. — Livonia businessman and longtime Sprint Cup owner Jack Roush is getting a helpful hand from New Global Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak and his staff.

And, you can bet the Roush Fenway Racing organization will take any help it can get after entering the Quicken Loans 400 Sunday at Michigan International Speedway with just three top-10 finishes from its three-car team of Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne.

"We are with Jack all the time and we spend a lot of time with Jack's team and we are making all the right, I believe changes within not only the Roush Fenway organization but as we apply our technical resources within Ford Performance assisting Jack and his team to get to a better place," Pericak said prior to the race Sunday morning.

"We have seen progress. We are excited about what we have seen so far. Obviously we need to see more but we are confident that Jack is dedicated with his team to do that. We are partners in this and our goal is to make them perform better and we are expecting a better performance today."

And, Roush got a better performance, at least from Trevor Bayne, who finished a season-high ninth. His best previous finish was 18th. His best finish at MIS in eight starts with the Wood Brothers was 15th in the June race two years ago.

Roush talked for a few minutes before heading into the drivers meeting, talking about a number of subjects, including his team's performance and the talk of the series having possible rules changes coming up in the weeks and months ahead.

"I'm looking to win more races, we finished second at Charlotte with Greg," said Roush of Biffle's runner-up spot over Memorial Day weekend in the Coca Cola 600. "We've not run as many top fives or top 10s that we've liked to, but we've made a big improvement in our cars and we've got an improved car here but maybe haven't figured out how to totally capitalize on it yet. Last night they had the computers working hard and I believe we have better set-ups than yesterday."

So, should NASCAR make rules changes midseason?

"Well, if they made a decision to change the aero package for every track than that would be an unbelievable problem for the teams," Roush said.

"We'd have to go to the wind tunnel to do some CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) work in order to be able to understand how to use that and the challenge that they'd face and the expense would be realized from changing it more often would be unreasonable."

Harvick's flat tire

Defending series champion Kevin Harvick looked to be the driver to beat nearly two-thirds through the race in his Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing.

Harvick led a race-high 63 laps, giving up the lead while pitting on Lap 122. He returned only to experience the flat tire two laps later. He finished 29th.

Harvick is the points leader.

He has 576 points, holding a 15-point lead on Martin Truex Jr. with Jimmie Johnson 70 points back.

Edwards looking for rain

Carl Edwards had a strong day, leading for 41 laps in his Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Edwards was running third at the midway point of the regularly-scheduled 200 laps and was still in position for a strong finish, running sixth on Lap 120 before settling for 12th.

"We had a good run and we got to lead a bunch," Edwards said. "We tried there at the end. I thought Darian (Grubb, crew chief) was going to get them with staying out. I thought that rain was going to get here earlier, but it didn't."

Edwards' JGR teammate Matt Kenseth finished fourth.

"We had a really good Dollar General Camry, but it was frustrating when you run all those laps under yellow," Kenseth said of the 38 caution laps. "Frustrating for the fans and frustrating for everybody. Once we got rolling there we had a good car.

"I thought we could have got to at least second with another seven or eight laps, but the rain just came a little too early."