Greg Biffle believes Roush Fenway Racing has found speed by redesigning its cars


FORT WORTH – Greg Biffle won’t deny it. Roush Fenway Racing needs speed, and the team needs it now.

Through the season’s first six races, Roush’s three Ford drivers Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne totaled one top-10 finish and only two laps led.

The organization is pinning its hopes on a wave of redesigned cars that were put through the wringer in preparation for a debut in Saturday’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

“We’ve been working really hard on these news cars, trying to get our stuff better and better,” Biffle said Thursday night during a Q & A with fans in the TMS infield. “These cars have been in the works for about five months. You know, it’s not revolutionary, I’m sure. But we’ve made some changes that are an improvement over what we’ve had. We feel like it’s going to be better.”

With an off week for Easter, Roush took extra care to ensure its Fusions were ready after the revamp.

“We were able to do some wind tunnel comparisons with other stuff in other cars, and we did see a little bit of deficiency, even with out brand new car,” Biffle said. “We were getting ready to come to Texas, and we took it back to the shop, changed some more stuff on it, (then) went back to the wind tunnel because we had the week off. We think we found a little bit more speed, still within the rules, that’s the biggest thing. How to get these things shaped to where they’ll go through inspection and still be able to make it out of there and go out on the racetrack.”

Roush Fenway Racing is seeking its 10th victory at Texas, but it’s been three years since its last victory on the 1.5-mile oval with Biffle. The team won five of the first 10 races at Texas, including the track’s April 1997 inaugural event that also marked NBC analyst Jeff Burton’s first career victory in Cup.

But Roush has been on a downward slide over the past three seasons while losing veterans Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth to Joe Gibbs Racing.

Biffle is the longest-tenured Roush driver, joining the organization in 1998 and then moving to Cup in 2003 after championships in the Xfinity and truck series. He is the only current Roush driver to have won in Sprint Cup, having earned 19 victories on the circuit (the most recent at Michigan International Speedway in 2012 and ’13).

In his third Cup season with Roush, Stenhouse has posted two top-five and eight top-10 finishes and an average finish of 22.7 in NASCAR’s premier series. The two-time Xfinity champion in 2011-12 also failed to qualify for last October’s race at Talladega Superspeedway. Bayne, who won the 2011 Daytona 500 and has raced part time in Cup over the past four seasons, hasn’t finished higher than 18th in his first full Cup season at Roush.

But Biffle is no stranger to the cowboy hat and six-shooters that Texas winners receive, having won here in 2005 and ’12.

“We’re working overtime, working really hard,” Biffle said. “It’s certainly not from a lack of effort, not having the speed we want. We hope that the new car and the update on the body that we just did is going to have speed tomorrow.”

COTA Truck race results: Zane Smith wins

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Reigning series champion Zane Smith won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

The victory is Smith’s second of this year.

MORE: COTA Truck race results

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain.

The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.

Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.

Stage 1 winner: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.

Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.

Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.

Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
COTA winner Zane Smith’s truck catches fire after he did his burnout on the frontstretch. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

William Byron wins Cup pole at COTA


William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.

Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: COTA Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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