Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing parting ways in ‘mutual agreement’

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After 14 full-time seasons in the Sprint Cup series, Roush Fenway Racing has announced it and driver Greg Biffle are parting ways.

Biffle, the longest-tenured driver at Roush, announced the news on Twitter that the split was a “mutual agreement” they started working toward “many months ago.”

“We’ve had an incredible run and I am so appreciative for the opportunity to be a part of Roush Fenway,” said Biffle in a press release. “For a kid that grew up Washington, I’m extremely proud of everything we have been able to accomplish over the last 19 years – both on and off the track. I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’m excited about the next chapter of my life, and I look forward to exploring other opportunities – particularly in radio and television – both inside and outside of NASCAR.

“I’m thankful to Jack Roush for the opportunity to have driven his race cars for all these years. It’s very rare in this sport to have been able to stay with one team this many years, and to have been as successful as we have been.”

Said owner Jack Roush: “I don’t have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization. He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins.

“Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I’m extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization. I know that Greg and I will maintain a strong friendship and I look forward to leaning on him on occasion as we continue to work on improving our performance.”

Biffle leaves the team after his third winless season in a row. Biffle, the oldest full-time Sprint Cup driver at 46, finished the 2016 season 23rd in points.

The native of Vancouver, Washington, has 19 Sprint Cup victories but none since the June 2013 Michigan race. That win was the 1,000th for Ford in NASCAR.

Biffle’s first Sprint Cup start for Roush was the 2002 NAPA Auto Parts 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

His first full-time season was 2003, where he earned his first win in the July Daytona race.

Before his move to Sprint Cup, Roush fielded Biffle in three Camping World Truck Series seasons beginning in 1998 and two Xfinity Series seasons beginning in 2001.

Biffle earned 55 NASCAR wins for Roush with 16 Truck wins, 20 Xfinity wins and 19 in Cup and gave the team its first NASCAR titles (2000 Truck Series, 2002 Xfinity).

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch questions Xfinity rules package at Indy

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Kyle Busch isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly did so after Saturday’s  Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NASCAR implemented a number of changes to make the racing closer, tighter and more exciting — including restrictor plates, a larger rear spoiler, aero ducts, and a smaller splitter — and achieved all that on many fronts.

But not for the younger Busch brother, who wasn’t pleased with the rules package. Was it actually designed to specifically slow him down rather than to even out things for the entire field?

Or was he just simply upset because he didn’t win a third Xfinity race in a row at IMS?

Check out how our NASCAR America analysts gauged the Xfinity changes in the above video.

 

TriStar Motorsports team owner Mark Smith passes away

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Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, died Saturday at his home, after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Monday. He was 63.

He began his racing career building engines for his brother Jack’s drag car in the 1970s. He moved his family from the West Coast in the early 1990s to pursue a career in NASCAR. He was the owner of TriStar Motorsports and Pro Motor Engines.

TriStar Motorsports fields the No. 14 in the Xfinty Series with JJ Yeley and the No. 72 in the Cup Series with Cole Whitt. The team stated the team will continue operations under the management of Bryan Smith, son of Mark Smith.

“It was dad’s dream to own and operate a NASCAR team,” Bryan Smith said. “He devoted his life to that dream and his family plans to honor his wishes by continuing our efforts in his memory.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang victoryjunction.org or NOVA (National Organization for Vehicle Access, part of the BraunAbility) novafunding.org.

The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. ET, Aug. 1 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, North Carolina. They have created a Facebook page where you are encouraged to leave a story for the family to enjoy. (facebook.com/Remembering-Mark-Smith-301261653675224)

NASCAR America: Analysts break down Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. wreck (video)

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Given how wild the Brickyard 400 played out, the big wreck between race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t exactly surprising.

Rather, with the way the race transpired from the opening lap, was the Busch/Truex wreck almost inevitable?

Truex got loose and washed up into the left rear of Busch’s car, sending both drivers and their respective cars into the outside retaining walls, hitting hard and ending their respective days.

Check out what our NASCAR America analysts had to say about the wreck from Monday’s show in the above video.

NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Jr. recaps wild Brickyard 400 (video)

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who will become part of our NBC Sports Group in 2018 — looked back on a wild and intense Brickyard 400.

Earnhardt was one of several drivers whose day came to an early ending — in Junior’s case when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne‘s car, destroying his radiator in the process.

All the mayhem and mishaps could be linked to over-aggressive driving, Earnhardt said, saying that every driver was in “attack mode,” especially on restarts.

Check out Junior in the video above.