CONCORD, N.C. – Roush Fenway Racing will look to get over the hump this weekend and finally break into the win column at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Despite four runner-up finishes in the famed Brickyard 400, Roush Fenway has never won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the onset of the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis this weekend the team will have a pair of chances to earn the elusive win, and a win on Sunday would give RFR a rare sweep of the season’s Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.
“Indy has eluded us, but there have been a number of occasions where our cars were good enough to have won,” said team co-owner and founder Jack Roush. “Either because of a fuel mileage situation or the way it worked out by taking tires or not taking tires it didn’t work out. The decision you sometimes make late in the race will decide what the race has been in terms of where the strength was, and we had the speed to win on a number of occasions but just didn’t have things work out for us at the end so that we could close the deal.”
The team has been close. Former driver Mark Martin finished second in the 1998 Brickyard and Matt Kenseth has finished runner up twice in the event; in 2003 and 2006. Carl Edwards came in second in 2008, while Kenseth and Biffle finished third in both 2002 and 2010. Last season David Ragan drove to RFR’s first Indy pole and the team could be on the verge of breaking through at the 2.5-mile track known for its long straightaways and fast racing.
And, Roush admits that closing the deal at the famed speedway would indeed be a special feat for his team, now celebrating its 25th “Winning Year” in NASCAR.
“There’s a certain reverence that I’ve got for the track and for the fan base around the track based on the fact that it was something that I didn’t actually aspire to,” added Roush. “It was something that I respected as a youngster just because it was an indication that people were out there doing something in racing that I actually thought was beyond my reach.”
Overall, Roush Fenway has made a total of 76 starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, dating back to the inaugural event at the Brickyard in 1994. During that span the organization has posted 15 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes at IMS, while averaging a 16.9 finish and leading 167 laps.
“It’s always cool to come to Indy,” said two time Brickyard runner-up and current Sprint Cup point leader Matt Kenseth. “It’s always one you have circled on your calendar and you’re ready to go when you get there. In the past we’ve had some really good runs and some really good cars and haven’t always had the finishes, but it’s probably circumstances more than anything. I think we have equipment as good as anybody, we’ve just got to figure out how to make that all work for there and for the race and strategy that goes into being successful at Indy.”
“This race track is always good to compete on because there’s a lot of history that surrounds the race track,” added Greg Biffle, who enters the weekend third in the Sprint Cup points. “It’s fun to race at Indy. There’s a lot on the line because everybody wants to win the Brickyard.”