BACKING BOSTON – Some NASCAR teams are stepping up to show support for Boston in the wake of Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Roush Fenway Racing will show its support for the city with a “B-Strong” tribute this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The three Roush Fenway Ford Fusions will carry “B-Strong” decals during this weekend’s NASCAR event, and RFR co-owner Jack Roush has pledged to donate $100 for every lap the team leads during Sunday’s Sprint Cup race.
“When events occur such as what happened earlier this week in Boston, it is our nature to be overwhelmed with a variety of emotions,” Roush said. “To have to withstand an act of such senselessness and cowardice against innocent people is disheartening to us all. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, as well as the entire city of Boston.
“As Americans we can all be proud of the way the city of Boston – and the entire nation - has banded together in the wake of this tragedy. We are proud of our Boston connections and feel privileged to be able to play a very small part in supporting the ‘B-Strong’ effort.”
Roush Fenway is half-owned by Boston’s Fenway Sports Group, the same company that owns and operates the Boston Red Sox.
Also, team co-owner Michael Waltrip, who has run in the marathon, plans to honor the victims of Monday’s tragedy by running special door numbers on his three Sprint Cup cars at Kansas.
The door numbers on the No. 15, 55 and 56 MWR Toyota Camrys will replicate the 2013 Boston Marathon runner “bib” numbers, which are pinned on each of the nearly 30,000 runners. Waltrip posted a time of 4 hours, 33 minutes in the 2000 event.
“The news coming out of Boston this week was very personal to me,” said Waltrip. “When I ran the Boston Marathon in 2000, I remember thinking about what a privilege it was to be able to participate and all the hard work it took to be there. When you can see those international flags flying in Copley Square, you know you are about to complete your journey. I know the joy those runners were feeling at that moment when their worlds changed.
“It was a great moment of pride when they pinned the Boston Marathon bib on me, so I thought it would be great to pin bib numbers on our race cars this week in Kansas. I want to thank our sponsors, NAPA Auto Parts, 5-Hour Energy and Aaron’s, as well as NASCAR, for giving us permission to show our support. We just want the victims of the attack, the brave men and women who helped after the explosions and the city of Boston to know that we are thinking of them and we will support them any way we can.”
THE BIFF HOT AT KANSAS – Greg Biffle left Texas Motor Speedway last Saturday in fourth place in Sprint Cup points, and, following Wednesday’s NASCAR penalty announcement involving Brad Keselowski, Biffle moved up to third.
He could make another move this week with a strong finish at Kansas Speedway, one of his best tracks.
In 13 career starts at Kansas, Biffle has two wins, seven top-five and nine top-10 runs. The track also represents his best average finish – 9.5.
“I’m really excited about going to Kansas this week,” Biffle said. “We’ve got a few wins there, and we tested there a couple weeks back. We feel like we have a pretty strong program and pretty good handle on that race track. Kansas is really smooth, really fast, and our cars handle well there. We’re looking for a win this weekend.”
Biffle has four top 10s this year, but his best finish is a fourth – last week at Texas.
RCR WANTS A WIN – Richard Childress Racing has targeted Kansas Speedway this weekend.
After making 2,294 starts in Cup races, RCR drivers remain winless at only four current Cup tracks – Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway.
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 31 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.