Off-Season Changes Encourage RFR

RFR

Roush Fenway Racing believes off-season changes will help reverse the team’s recent run of struggles in the Sprint Cup Series. (Photo: Getty Images)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Roush Fenway Racing believes off-season changes will help reverse the team’s recent run of struggles in the Sprint Cup Series.

Crew chief Brian Pattie has been brought in to work with Greg Biffle and veteran Bob Osborne is paired with Trevor Bayne. Only the duo of driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and crew chief Nick Sandler remains intact.

"We have a lot of changes in place yet we have continuity with things that have been good for us in the past," team owner Jack Roush said Wednesday during NASCAR's annual pre-season media tour. "Looking at the management team we have - on the pit boxes, heading up departments in the shop and top management of the company, it's a blend of the promote-from-within philosophy to build on experience and potential of people, and give them more responsibility. We've also added three posts on our organization chart for outsiders that have come in to help us with the transition as NASCAR becomes less crew chief-driven and more of a technology-driven organization."

Pattie was with Michael Waltrip Racing the last few seasons and Biffle has high aspirations.

"I've worked with him and we won a couple races in the short amount of time we were together," Biffle said. "He can possibly bring some technology over from another team. We're always trying to learn something setup wise or how they run a shop and build a car. That's good for our organization."

While Biffle and Bain have new crew chiefs to work with this year and hope those changes will bring improved performance, Stenhouse believes consistency is a key for his team’s success.

"It's nice going into the season knowing we don't have any changes on the '17' team," Stenhouse said. "This is my first time in the Cup series having the same group of guys two years in a row. Our communication and commitment to one another is the best we can make it. That's going to be important, to use all the resources Roush Fenway gives us then go out and perform the best we can."

RFR has been searching for ways to return to the competitive ways of the organization’s past for several years. While there have been changes in personnel and technology in recent off-seasons, the results have not been there.

But Roush is confident that this time, the changes that were made since the end of last year will lead to increased performance.

"I've never felt more excitement as I walk through the shop and monitor the meetings," he said. "I've never felt more enthusiasm to get speed in the cars off the truck, to race for wins, compete for championships and build the careers of everybody involved."

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