Changes coming to Roush

Silly Season has gotten an early start in Sprint Cup Series. Many rumors have been coming out of Roush Fenway Racing about their driver lineup for next year.

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16, and Carl Edwards, who pilots the No. 99, are in contract negotiations with team officials. Biffle has been a Roush Cup full-time driver since 2003. Speculation has been spreading that his sponsor 3M will go with him to his new venture next year, although Biffle has not been competitive in the series since 2010.

Team officials have issued many guarantees that the team has been experimenting on new setups and designs to improve their model. Biffle explained in an interview earlier this month that he “enjoyed” being at Roush Fenway and that “both camps have a great relationship. Plain and simple, I’ve got options and I know I’going to be driving a car next year.”

Carl Edwards has been looking for improvement in his team for months, but little progress has been made. He has been linked to a fourth team being proposed at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015. He would make a great fit since one of his old RFR teammates, Matt Kenseth, has been with the organization for a couple of years with great success. Gibbs would be willing to start a fourth team if the sponsorship money was solid.

Roush Fenway Racing announced last week it will be bring the No. 6 back to the track with Trevor Bayne behind the wheel and AdvoCare as the sponsor. Bayne won the Daytona 500 for the Wood Brothers a few years ago. He has seen moderate success with his part-time ride in the Cup series. He has been a regular driver for Jack Roush in the Nationwide Series for many years.

RFR may be prepping to lose its financial backing in 2015. So the departure of Biffle and Edwards may not be as big a loss to the organization as originally reported.

* DOVER FITS CONLEY: Cale Conley will driving the No. 33 Richard Childress Camaro this week with a new sponsor on the car. Conley has teamed up with Afghanistan Veterans of America as his title sponsor. Conley won the pole position at Dover last year while competing in the K&N East Series.

* BETTER NUMBERS: The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the most-watched sports telecast of the weekend, outdistancing such high-profile events as Pacers-Heat on ESPN (6.8 million) and the Indianapolis 500 on ABC (5.9 million, according to Nielsen fast nationals). The Coca-Cola 600 led FOX to be the No. 1 network in rating and audience in prime time among all broadcast and cable competition.

* ON HOLD: Haas Formula will defer its Formula One debut until 2016. The decision to wait an extra year will offer the organization more time to put its program together and align itself with the proper partners moving forward.

Although team owner Gene Haas said on Sunday morning that he was “leaning towards Ferrari” because “they’re more open to what we need to do.” the additional time could open other doors for the rookie team with other technical partners. Haas acknowledged, “It just seems that it’s taking longer to accomplish what we wanted to do than we thought.” While Haas Formula has its team principally in place, there’s still the question of a technical partner, designers and drivers.

Contact Eddie Thomas at ethomas@newsandsentinel.com