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Did Ford turn a corner or just get lucky in Pocono?

By admin | August 2, 2010


By Richard Allen

The Pocono Raceway is known for having three distinct and tricky corners. But the corner in question here is one that Ford may or may not have turned on Sunday in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500.

Ford driver Greg Biffle put the ‘Blue Oval’ manufacturer in victory lane for the first time in a points paying race in 2010 and the first time since last year when Jamie McMurray won the fall race in Talladega.

For the most part this season, Ford has not looked very impressive. Granted, three of their drivers are in the all important top-12 but that has come largely on the strength of consistent, yet mediocre finishes.

However, in recent weeks there have been signs of life. Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and Biffle have shown the ability to run near the front at times. But is that, combined with Biffle’s win, enough to declare the manufacturer back in the game?

After all, it would be easy to argue that pit strategy during a late race caution, not strength of the new FR9 engine, is what won the race for Biffle. But, it would also be easy to argue that he pulled well away from the competition with only two new tires after that strategy was employed.

Roush Yates Engines CEO Doug Yates attributed the victory to hard work and cooperation in working on the new power plant. “This is a great victory for Ford, Roush Yates Engines, and Roush Fenway Racing. I am most proud of the teamwork that went into getting this engine ready” said Yates. “Everyone at the shop worked really hard to get all the parts to the track and the 16 team did a great job turning the car around from Indianapolis. It’s nice to see hard work pay off thanks to our continuous support from Ford.”

The scoreboard on Sunday in Pocono was overflowing with Chevrolets for much of the day. However, it was a Ford that ultimately crossed the finish line first. It remains to be seen whether that was merely a lucky fluke or if it was the start of better things to come for this brand.

Confidence and momentum mean a great deal in racing. Perhaps Ford teams gained enough of each in Pocono to make them a viable force once again.

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

6 Responses to “Did Ford turn a corner or just get lucky in Pocono?”

  1. Aaron Says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 4:04 am

    THe Biff got lucky!. Sorry but that’s the way this sport works. It is never over till the Checker falls. Gordon had the race won, til that last caution. Crew chief’s have to make a call and take that chance. I’m not a (ford fan) but I do enjoy the results when a driver that has not won for awhile to enjoy it while it last. It was also good for Jack, he deserves it and needed it. I hope he gets well soon and gets back to the track. Every misses him in the garage area, even Hendrick,Childress and the other owners I’m sure. You have to take advantage of the opportunities given you and the 16 team did that.

  2. david Says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Good for the Bif, great win for Ford.
    However I wounder how much the
    information about the chassis set ups
    from Kenny and Kahne contributed
    to the turn around for the rest of the
    Ford camp. You know they stunk until
    they changed over to the set ups the
    9 crew was using.

  3. The Old Guy Says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I’d say that if you look and the improved performance in the Ford camp over the last 4 - 5 weeks, it’s actually nor surprise that Biffle made it to victory lane.

    Biffle could have won Indy as well. He was the first car in the finishing order to have taken four tires. A two tire stop could very well have given him a win there.

    Kasey Kahne has been running very well in the RPM #9 car and Carl Edwards in the #99 has shown marked improvement as well.

    So, I don’t think it was neccessarily luck, but I do think Ford still has a ways to go to catch up with Chevy and Toyota.

  4. MarshallDog Says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I think if Biffle’s crew went with two tires at Indy they’d have two wins in a row. And they ran great at Chicago. I think at least Biffle has turned the corner for sure. Whether all the Fords have turned the corner is another story.

  5. Russ Edwards Says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Rich

    Biffle got the benefit of the “holy trinity” allowing him to win.

    1. Starting in the front row on a late restart beside a slower car. Allowed the aero advantage over anybody following.

    2. Hornish was just enough slower to hold everybody else up, and allow Biffle to get clear.

    3. Once they did clear Hornish they were battling amongst themselves so they had no chance.

    Even though I used to be a Ford fan I dont think this meant anything. After all its hard to lose’em all.

  6. Charles Says:
    August 4th, 2010 at 7:54 am

    I think Ford is better, and like David said getting Kahnes set ups I think is really what it making them better!

    But but I think Chevy has a big advantage on the field as usual, look at qualifing at Indy and Pocono, I think their were 8 or 9 Chevys in the top 10! Biffle benefited from clean air by getting out first!

    Its crunch time and if the past shows Chevy will be more dominate! Nascar does nothing to even it up and it will be the same old story!

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