Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing, originally Roush Racing, is a racing team competing in NASCAR racing. As one of NASCAR's largest premier racing teams, Roush runs teams in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series, and formerly in the Camping World Truck Series and ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Since its inception, Roush has competed exclusively in Ford brand automobiles. Currently, the Ford Fusion competes in the Sprint Cup, the Ford Mustang template is used in the Nationwide Series, and the Ford F-150 (later branded as the F-Series) was used for the Camping World Truck Series.
- 1 History
- 2 Sprint Cup Series
- 3 Xfinity Series
- 4 Camping World Truck Series
- 5 Partnerships
- 6 Aerospace industry
- 7 The Gong Show
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
- 11 Sources
Roush first entered NASCAR competition in 1988, but had competed and won championships in various drag racing and sports car racing series since the mid-1960s. The racing business was originally a small branch of co-owner Jack Roush's successful automotive engineering and road-racing equipment business based in Livonia, Michigan.
The NASCAR operation, based in Concord, North Carolina, has since become the cornerstone and centerpiece of the company, winning back to back Sprint Cup Series Championships in 2003 with driver Matt Kenseth and 2004 with driver Kurt Busch. In the Sprint Cup Series, the team currently fields the No. 6 Advocare Ford Fusion for Trevor Bayne, the No. 16 Ortho Ford Fusion for Greg Biffle, and the No. 17 Fastenal/Zest Ford Fusion for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr..
In the Xfinity Series, RFR fields the No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford Mustang for Elliott Sadler, the No. 6 Ford EcoBoost/Roush Performance Mustang for Darrell Wallace, Jr., the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/Drive to Stop Diabetes Mustang for Ryan Reed, and the No. 60 Roush Performance/Fastenal Mustang for Chris Buescher. The No. 60 had been dominant throughout its history, amassing many wins with Mark Martin, two driver's championships with Greg Biffle in 2002 and Carl Edwards in 2007, and an owner's championship with Edwards in 2011. The No. 6 won back-to-back driver's championships in 2011 & 2012 with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr..
From 1995 until 2009 Roush also fielded teams in the NASCAR Truck Series, fielding trucks for drivers such as Kurt Busch, Biffle, Kyle Busch, Edwards, Ricky Craven, David Ragan, and various others. Many of these drivers went on to drive for the team at the Cup level. Roush's trucks won over thirty races and the 2000 Truck Series championship with Biffle driving.
Sprint Cup Series
Founded in 1988, the program is built around having multiple cars and providing engine, engineering and race car build services to other NASCAR teams fielding Ford branded vehicles. The multi-team aspect of the company allows for information and resources to be shared across the enterprise, improving the performance of all of the teams. Since the 2004 season, engines for the cars have been provided by Roush-Yates Engines, a partnership between Roush Fenway Racing and now-closed rival Yates Racing, with Doug Yates as head engine builder. Roush-Yates also provides engines, cars, and parts to other Cup teams including Wood Brothers Racing, Team Penske, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Front Row Motorsports.
In 2007, sports investor John W. Henry, owner of the Fenway Sports Group which operates the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool F.C., and the New England Sports Network bought a 50% stake in the team, renamed Roush Fenway Racing. Jack Roush continues to head day-to-day operations of the team.
From 1998-2000 and 2003-2009, Roush Racing operated five full-time Cup teams (6, 16, 17, 26/97, 99), more than any other organization including Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing which have both operated as many as four full-time teams. The team set a NASCAR record by putting all five of its race teams in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup in 2005. Following the 2009 season, Roush Fenway was ordered by NASCAR to shrink its operation to four Sprint Cup Series teams, ceding the #26 team. The team would later shrink to three teams after the 2011 season.
Car 99/6 history
The 6 car started off as the 99 car, first raced in 1996. The #99 car first raced at the 1996 Daytona 500, with Jeff Burton driving and Exide Batteries as the sponsor. The car finished 5th in that race. After missing the first Atlanta race, Burton won a pole at Michigan and finished 13th in the points standings. Burton won the first 3 races of his career in 1997, (including the inaugural Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway) and ended the season 4th in the points. In 1998, Burton enjoyed another successful season, winning 2 races, mounting 23 Top 10 finishes, and finishing 5th in the championship points standings. The team led the points standings part of 1999, but lost the top spot after performing poorly at Richmond. The team again finished 5th in points, with 6 wins and—like the previous year—23 Top 10's. Late in 2000, Exide ceased their sponsorship, and Citgo joined with new financial backing. The car finished a team-high 3rd in the points standings with 4 wins (one of which was at New Hampshire in September where NASCAR used restrictor plates following the deaths of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin earlier that year), 22 Top 10, and 1 pole. Burton won 2 races in 2001, at Charlotte and Phoenix, but fell back to 10th in the points with 16 Top 10. The #99 would not win another race with Burton behind the wheel, as he managed back-to-back 12-place points standings finishes in 2002 and 2003.
After the 2003 season, Citgo discontinued their sponsorship for the #99 team and Roush wasn't able to find a full-time sponsor to run the team. Burton continued to race for the team with several one-off sponsorship deals and some support from his secondary sponsors but with the financial state of the #99 still in doubt and Burton struggling rumors began circulating that Burton's days in the #99 were close to an end. Burton did eventually leave Roush after 8 and a half years to replace Johnny Sauter in the #30 AOL-sponsored Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and took whatever sponsors were left with him to his new team.
To fill the void left by this departure, Roush elevated Carl Edwards from the Truck series. Edwards showed immediate promise while driving the unsponsored #99 car, posting five Top 10 finishes in his shortened season. In 2005—his first full-time season—with sponsorship from Scotts, Office Depot, Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, and World Financial Group, Edwards won 4 races and finished in a tie for 2nd in the points standings. In 2006, Office Depot became the team's exclusive sponsor. Edwards failed to win or make the Chase for the Cup, posting ten Top 5's but finishing 12th in points. Edwards snapped his 52-race winless streak by winning the 2007 Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway. In 2008, Edwards posted a series-best 9 wins and also led in Top 5s and Top 10s, but he was still runner-up by 69 points to 3-time consecutive champion Jimmie Johnson. Office Depot did not renew their sponsorship after the 2008 season. In 2009, Aflac became the new sponsor for Carl Edwards and the #99 car. Edwards made the chase in 2009 finishing 11th in points despite not winning a race. In 2010, Kellogg's moved from Hendrick Motorsports to join the team as the primary sponsor for 2 races, and associate sponsor for the rest of the season. Scotts also joined Edwards' Cup sponsorship after several years as a Nationwide sponsor. Edwards snapped a 70-race winless skid with his victory in the 2010 Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. One week later, he won his 2nd race in a row at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Ford 400.
In 2011, Carl Edwards still drove the #99. He won his only race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but managed to remain in the Top 12 with consistent finishes. Kellogg's and Subway returned to sponsor a few races, and Edwards managed to finish 2nd in points on a tiebreaker with Tony Stewart. For 2012, the #99 was sponsored by Fastenal, Kellogg's, UPS and Best Buy. Edwards finished 15th in points, winless, with three Top 5's and 13 Top 10's In 2013, Edwards ended his winless streak by winning in Phoenix.
Edwards won the Food City 500 at Bristol in March 2014 to lock himself into that year's Chase. However, on July 27, 2014, Roush Fenway announced that Edwards would not return to the #99 in 2015 and that sponsor Fastenal would move to Roush's #17 car to replace the departing Nationwide Insurance. This left the #99 without a sponsor or a driver for 2015, As Trevor Bayne had the AdvoCare sponsorship, the 99 became the 6 car and assumed the points from the previous year.
After a very weak start for Roush's standards, Bayne recorded his first Top 10 of the year all the way in June at the rain shortend race at Michigan International Speedway. He recorded another Top 10 at Daytona in July after being in contention at the end of the race to win.
Car 16 history
Originally the first car to make Roush Racing a multi-car stable, the 16 team debuted at the 1992 Daytona 500 with Keystone as the sponsor. Wally Dallenbach, Jr. drove the car to a fifteenth-place finish. Dallenbach, however, earned only one top-ten finish that year and finished 24th in points. 1993 proved to be a little better with Dallenbach posting four top tens. However, for 1994, the team underwent major changes. Driving duties were given to Ted Musgrave, with The Family Channel becoming the new sponsor. The car's performance improved drastically, with Musgrave notching three poles and finishing thirteenth in points. The 1995 season saw Musgrave improving six spots in points to seventh. Despite this success, Musgrave never visited victory lane in his tenure behind the wheel of the 16. Midway through 1998, Musgrave was released and replaced by rookie Kevin Lepage, who finished runner-up to Kenny Irwin, Jr in Rookie of the Year honors.
Teamed with TV Guide and Primestar, Lepage and the 16 team began 1999 with a fifth-place finish at Darlington Raceway, having a chance to win the Winston Million bonus, and a pole at the season ending race at Atlanta. Unfortunately, TV Guide did not renew their contract for the 2000 season. Car 16 ran the beginning of the season unsponsored, before ultimately signing a multi-year pact with FamilyClick. Over the course of the year, Lepage missed two races and dropped to 28th in the standings. He was quickly released. Dissastisfied with the team's performance, FamilyClick did not return as a sponsor and the team disappeared for one year, before returning in 2002.
During the 2002 season, car 16 was used to prepare 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion and eventual Busch Series champion Greg Biffle for his Rookie of the Year campaign the following year. While the team failed to qualify for several races, Biffle made a total seven starts. Biffle ran full-time as a rookie in 2003, with W. W. Grainger sponsoring the car. Biffle started 35 out of 36 races, won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, and finished runner-up to Jamie McMurray for Rookie of the Year. The next year, the car had a new primary sponsor in the National Guard, with major associate sponsorship from Subway, Jackson Hewitt, and Travelodge. Biffle opened the year with a pole at the Daytona 500. Over the 2004 season, Biffle scored wins at Michigan and Homestead, and finished 17th in points. In 2005, 3M's Post-it Brand and Charter Communications joined as part-time sponsors. 2005 was to be the most successful year for car 16 to date, as the National Guard Ford won six races, a season high, and finished runner-up in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Biffle would sign an extension to drive the #16 until at least 2008. He scored a single win in 2007 at Atlanta, and finished 14th in points.
After 2007, National Guard did not renew its contract, moving to Hendrick Motorsports and the #25. Ameriquest Mortgage, which had sponsored the majority of the 2006 Busch Series season for Roush, had signed a three-year contract to move up to Biffle's #16 Cup ride, with 3M sponsoring six races. By March, however, the company had asked to be released from the final two years of its contract, along with relinquishing naming rights to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Ameriquest was one of the biggest subprime loan providers, and the sponsorship pullout likely coincided with the Housing Bubble of 2007. Several companies including Aflac, Nintendo, Dish Network, and Jackson Hewitt picked up the slack for the remainder of the season.
It was announced on June 27, 2008, that Biffle signed a contract extension to remain at Roush-Fenway through 2011 with 3M as his major sponsor. That season, he finished third in points and won two races, but didn't re-visit victory lane in 2009. In 2010 3M returned as the primary sponsor with Red Cross as the secondary sponsor. Biffle and the 16 team got off to a good start finishing 3rd in the 2010 Daytona 500 and stayed in the top 12 in points all year. Biffle also won two races that year the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono as well as the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas leading to a sixth-place finish in the standings. Biffle struggled for most of the next year, failing to return to victory lane and finishing 16th in points. In 2012 he started the season with three straight 3rd-place finishes and a win early at Texas put him in the points lead, but he eventually gave it up to teammate Matt Kenseth.
In 2013, Roush Fenway began to struggle. However Biffle did get the 1000th win for manufacturer Ford at Michigan in June and made the Chase. In 2014, the team continued to struggle for speed, going winless and finishing 14th in points. In August 2014 it was announced that longtime sponsor 3M would leave the team for Hendrick Motorsports, and that Scotts-Miracle Gro's Ortho brand would take over primary sponsorship. Scotts, which had previously been a sponsor of Carl Edwards at Roush, made its debut at Bristol in August 2014.
Car 26/17 history
The 17 car was first branded as the #26 car with Michigan native and former Bahari Racing driver Johnny Benson, Jr., the car was sponsored by General Mills and brand Chaarios. The team debuted in 1998 as Roush's first attempt at a 5th Winston Cup team (6, 16, 26, 97, 99). After failing to qualify at Daytona, the #26 debuted at North Carolina, where Benson finished 30th in the car. Benson ended the 1998 season with 3 top five finishes, 10 top ten finishes, and earned twentieth place in the championship points. In 1999, the #26 car experienced a very disappointing year. After mustering only two top-10 finishes and dropping eight spots in points, Benson quit the team to drive for Tyler Jet Motorsports. General Mills/Cheerios would also leave Roush Racing to replace STP as the primary sponsor of the famed #43 of Petty Enterprises with driver John Andretti. , With Matt Kenseth ready, he brought up DeWalt with him from the Busch Grand National Series to drive the 26. He already built a brand with him in the 17 and as DarWal Inc. ceasing operations, the 17 became avalible and the 26 became the 17 with new crew chief, Robbie Reiser
In 2000, Kenseth and the #17 started every race, won the Coca-Cola 600, and defeated favorite Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for Rookie of the Year honors. The 2001 season saw Kenseth finish 13th in points, winless and with only nine Top 10 finishes. However, the team saw marked improvement the next year, as Kenseth winning a season high 5 races in 2002,(Rockingham, Texas, Michigan, Richmond, Phoenix) ultimately reaching an 8th-place finish in points.
While winning only once in 2003, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kenseth performed remarkably consistent to win the final Winston Cup Championship by 90 points, earning Jack Roush his first Cup championship. Some say that Kenseth winning the championship with only a single win and leading the points standings for 33 consecutive weeks is the reason NASCAR switched to the new Chase for the Cup points format.
The team continued to perform in 2004, winning two races, making the Chase for the Nextel Cup, and finishing 8th in points. In 2005, Kenseth finished 7th in points after experiencing a disappointing beginning to the season. However, the second half of the year brought a resurgence of success for the car, as a win at Bristol Motor Speedway helped the team make its second consecutive Chase for the Nextel Cup. In 2006, Kenseth won 4 events, and finished second to Jimmie Johnson in the championship standings. Kenseth won the first two races of the 2009 season winning Jack Roush his first Daytona 500. Due to the slumping economy, however, Kenseth's longtime sponsor DeWalt informed Roush Fenway Racing on July 23, 2009 that they would no longer be sponsoring the #17 team for the 2010 season. Crown Royal announced they would move to the #17 in 2010 for 35 races as Valvoline sponsored the remaining 3. For 2011, Kenseth returned to victory lane at Texas, Dover and Charlotte. However, Crown Royal announced that they would not return to the #17 team, instead focusing their NASCAR efforts on the Brickyard 400 sponsorship. Despite this, Kenseth finished fourth in points.
In 2012, Kenseth's primary sponsorship was split between Best Buy, Zest Soap, and Fifth Third Bank, although the team was still forced to run several races unsponsored. Kenseth started the year strong by winning the Gatorade Duel Qualifying Race and the Daytona 500, which was also Jack Roush's 300th victory in NASCAR and his second Daytona 500 victory. It was later announced that Kenseth was leaving Roush Fenway Racing after the season, even though he had no team he was going to. Everyone was wondering how Kenseth would perform after revealing the news. Kenseth made the Chase and won two of the 10 Chase races (Talladega and Kansas). Kenseth finished seventh in the standings. It was then announced that Kenseth would be driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013.
In 2013, Kenseth was replaced by rookie Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.. Stenhouse inherited Kenseth's sponsorship, while adding primary support from Nationwide Insurance to cover the unfilled races. Stenhouse had shown promise, as he finished 12th at the Daytona 500. Through the first 17 points races, his highest finish had been 11th. He also finished second in the Sprint Showdown. Stenhouse's best finish of the entire season was a third-place finish at Talladega in October.
In 2014, the team's Best Buy sponorship was replaced by Cargill, while keeping Zest, Fifth-Third and Nationwide. Stenhouse struggled along with the rest of the Roush program. Stenhouse spend a majority of the summer working with new crew chief Mike Kelley trying to improve the chemistry of the team. The #17 suffered through a dismal season, with Stenhouse recording two top-10s, while failing to qualify once. The team finished 28th in owner points.
In 2015, Nationwide Insurance will be moving to Hendrick Motorsports. Zest, Cargill and Fifth-Third will return to the #17, while Nationwide's spot will be taken by Fastenal, moving from Roush's #99 car.
Teams Not Currently Racing
Car 60/17/06 history
The #17 car entered NASCAR's premier series at a part-time level in 1999. Matt Kenseth was the driver, DeWalt Tools was the sponsor, and Robbie Reiser served as crew chief. This was the same combination as was run on Reiser's own Busch Grand National team. Premiering at the summer Michigan race in 1999, Kenseth finished 14th. A fourth-place finish one month later at Dover proved Kenseth was ready for Cup. As the 17 took over the 26, the 6th team shut down till 2006.
The team reappeared as the 06 car. The 06 attempted eleven races during the 2006 season to prepare Roush Racing's development drivers for future Cup careers. Todd Kluever was originally the sole driver, but was replaced with David Ragan for five out of eleven races. The team debuted with Kluever behind the wheel at Chicagoland Speedway on July 9 with sponsorship from 3M. Kluever also drove the car at Michigan International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway, and attempted to start races at California Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway. David Ragan ran the #06 at Dover International Speedway in September 2006 and Martinsville Speedway, and missed the second 2006 race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Car 6 history
The first 6 car began as Roush Racing's original foray into NASCAR, debuting at the 1988 Daytona 500 as the #6 Stroh's Light-sponsored Ford. With then-short-track-driver Mark Martin at the wheel and future NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton as crew chief, the team finished 41st after experiencing an engine failure after 19 laps. However, performance quickly improved, with Martin winning a pole position later in the season and achieving ten top ten finishes. With a year of experience under their belt, Roush and Martin went on a tear in 1989, winning six poles, earning eighteen top-10 finishes and winning for the first time at North Carolina Speedway. The team finished third place in championship points.
Garnering new sponsorship from Folgers in 1990, Martin won three each of races and pole positions, as well as finishing in the top 10 in all but six races. Martin held the points lead for a majority of the season, but lost momentum in the final races. In the end, the team lost the championship to Dale Earnhardt by 26 points. Interestingly, Martin would have won the championship had he not been docked 46 points in the second race of the season following a rules violation. Regardless, the team hoped to carry the momentum into 1991. Disappointingly, Martin finished sixth in points, and didn't win until the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
In 1992, Valvoline joined to sponsor the car, but the team's position in points still did not improve. Finally, they recaptured the magic of before in 1993, as Martin notched five victories and finished third in points. 1994 found Martin and the #6 team finishing runner-up to Earnhardt in points once again . In 1995, Martin defeated former teammate Wally Dallenbach, Jr. to win at Watkins Glen and won the most money of his career at that time, $1,893,519. However, the team's performance slumped sharply in 1996, as Martin did not visit victory lane. He would win again 1997, with an additional four victories and finishing third in championship points. In 1998, Martin and the #6 team had their most dominant season yet, winning seven times, but finished second in points yet again, this time to Jeff Gordon. The 1998 season was marked with a black spot when Martin's father Julian died in an aviation accident. Although 1999 saw Martin winning only twice, he finished in the top-10 in 26 out of 34 races.
After winning only one race in 2000, primary sponsor Valvoline left for MB2 Motorsports, and Pfizer and Viagra became the team's new financial backers. In addition, throughout the season Martin served as co-owner/mentor of rookie driver Matt Kenseth. However, Martin failed to win again, and ended up 12th in points; this was his lowest finish since 1988. The team won only one race in 2002 but was narrowly defeated by Tony Stewart for the championship. 2003 was another season of lackluster performance for the team, as they still didn't visit victory lane, and finished 17th in the final standings. 2004 brought improved performance, with a victory at Dover and a fourth-place finish in points. Prior to beginning the 2005 season, Martin stated that 2005 would be his last year in full-time Cup competition. The team conducted a Salute to You farewell tour to his fans highlighting many of Martin's career accomplishments. Martin finished fourth in points and went to victory lane once, along with achieving 19 Top 10 finishes. Due to contract issues, Roush was left without a driver for car #6 in 2006. After learning of the situation, Martin announced his return to car #6 for one more year. The team extended the Salute to You tour after modifying its paint schemes to reflect the team's new sponsor, Automobile Association of America. Martin went winless, but had seven Top 5's and 15 Top 10's en route to a ninth-place points finish in his final year for Roush. He would on to Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. part-time for 2007 and 2008, then did run several more full seasons for Hendrick Motorsports and two partial seasons with MWR, Gibbs, and Stewart Haas, retiring for good after 2013. Martin earned 35 of his 40 career wins in Roush's number 6.
Todd Kluever was originally scheduled to drive the 6 car in 2007, running several races in the 06 Cup car in anticipation, but due to lackluster performance in the Busch Series, Roush Racing decided to put Truck Series driver David Ragan in the car full-time. He had three top-tens and finished 23rd in points. The following season, he had fourteen top-ten finishes and finished 13th in the points standings.
AAA left the #6 team after the 2008 season for Penske Racing, with the United Parcel Service becoming the sponsor for Ragan's car for 2009. Ragan only had two top-ten finishes and finished 27th. The next year, the team started off on a mixed note by nearly winning the 2011 Daytona 500, only to be penalized for an early lane change. The team then won at Daytona in July, their first since 2005. Despite the victory, UPS left the 6 team and moved to an associate sponsor for the #99 team. Jack Roush announced that RFR would not field the 6 team in 2012, forcing the team to reassign or lay off nearly 100 employees. David Ragan moved to Front Row Motorsports' 34 car, and crew chief Drew Blickensderfer moved to Richard Childress Racing.
After being Roush Fenway's flagship since 1988, the team became a part-time R&D team in 2012. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. drove at the Daytona 500 with crew chief Chad Norris, qualifying 8th in time trials. He started 20th in the race and finished 21st. Without sponsorship, the team planned to close down after the Daytona 500, with Jack Roush selling the team's top-35 owner points to former RFR crew chief Frank Stoddard and his FAS Lane Racing team. However, Stenhouse did race in the #6 car in three more races at Dover, Charlotte and Homestead in the fall.
The #6 car did not run in 2013. In the fall of 2014, it was announced that 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne will drive the car full-time in 2015, with Xfinity Series sponsor Advocare covering the full season. In preparation, Bayne attempted the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte in the 6 car (in addition to his part-time ride with Wood Brothers Racing), but posted the 38th fastest time and failed to qualify, Roush Fenway's first DNQ since 2006.
Car 97/26 history
The most recent #26 car raced for the first time at the 1993 fall event at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the #97. Sponsored by Kleenex and owned by Greg Pollex, Chad Little was the driver. Little and Pollex ran part-time for four years with various sponsorships until 1997, when they ran full-time with backing from John Deere. However, after experiencing financial and performance struggles, Roush bought the team three-quarters of the way through the season. Little qualified for 27 out of 32 races that year. The team returned in 1998, with the car changing to the Ford nameplate from Pontiac.
Despite missing the spring Atlanta race, Little finished a career-best second at the Texas 500 and finished 15th in points. After that, the performance of the team slipped, and midway through 2000 it was announced that Little would leave the team. For the remainder of the season, Kurt Busch, a Roush Craftsman Truck Series driver, began running races for the team. The #97 car, like the #16 car in 2000, started the 2001 season unsponsored (especially since John Deere bowed out after the 2000 season), but soon found sponsorships from Rubbermaid and Sharpie. Busch's rookie year in the Winston Cup Series was unspectacular save for a pole at Darlington. The team finished 27th in points, with only six Top 10 finishes. In 2002, Busch grabbed headlines after battling with Jimmy Spencer for a win at Bristol. This sparked a rivalry between the two drivers that lasted for the following years. However, the 2002 season marked a coming-of-age for the team, which won four times (including 3 of the final five races and the season finale at Homestead) and finished third in the championship points. Busch drove the #97 to victory lane 4 times in 2003, along with 14 Top 10 finishes. The team was riding in the top 10 for most of the season, but late season struggles brought the team an 11th-place points finish. 2004 was the defining year of team #97. Winning three times, earning 21 top ten finishes, and clinching a pole, Busch won the first Chase for the Cup Championship. In 2005, he won three times and finished tenth in points.
Midway through the 2005 season, Busch shocked many in the NASCAR community when he announced that he would be leaving Roush Racing and replacing the retiring Rusty Wallace in the #2, owned by Penske Racing. On November 7, 2005 it was announced that Busch had been released from contractual obligations at Roush and would leave the team at the end of the season. In November 2005, Busch was cited for reckless driving in an area close to Phoenix International Raceway. Although no action was taken by NASCAR, Roush Racing suspended Busch for the remainder of the 2005 season. Kenny Wallace took his place for the final two races of the season. Busch moved to Penske Racing in 2006.
On November 16, 2005, it was officially announced that the #97 car would be renumbered to the #26 (last used by Roush in 1999) for the 2006 season. After originally being signed to replace Mark Martin in the 6 car, Jamie McMurray became the 26 car's new driver, with sponsorship from Crown Royal, Smirnoff Ice, and Irwin Industrial Tools. He had seven top-ten finishes and finished 25th in points in his first year with the team. For 2007, the season hit its peak when McMurray edged out Kyle Busch by 0.005 seconds to win the Pepsi 400. McMurray would end 2007 with one win, three top fives, and nine top tens along with a 17th-place finish in points. 2008 was mostly the same for the #26, but improving one spot to 16th thanks to four top fives in the final six races of the season. 2009 was the final season for the #26 team because of a new NASCAR rule that will limit Roush Fenway Racing to four cars. Crown Royal will sponsor the #17 team in 2010 after DeWalt terminated its sponsorship due the economic downturn.
In January 2010, Vermont businessman Bill Jenkins purchased the team's points. The new #26 team was called Latitude 43 Motorsports, after the cleaning products company Jenkins owns.
Car #1 history
The number 1 started as the number 06 Ford Fusion when first raced in the Hershey's Kissables 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2006. Todd Kluever piloted the car, with sponsorship from 3M, for the entire 2006 season, earning four top-ten finishes and one pole. Mike Kelley, the former car chief on championship car 97, was the crew chief. For 2007, Mark Martin drove the 06 machine, with sponsorship from Dish Network at Daytona International Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. This team did not return in 2008.
On October 30, 2014, Roush Fenway announced that veteran Elliott Sadler would drive the #1 car in 2015, bringing sponsor OneMain Financial from Joe Gibbs Racing. This marked Sadler's reunion with former owner and engine builder Doug Yates, and his fourth stint with manufacturer Ford.
Car #6 history
The car now known as the 6 car debuted at Daytona in 1997 as the 9 car. Jeff Burton drove the Track Gear sponsored Ford Taurus to a 40th-place finish. During the 1997 season, Robbie Crouch, Musgrave, and Rob Wilson drove the #9 on limited schedules, with a best finish coming from Crouch at Loudon. Over the next six years, Burton drove to 16 wins with additional sponsorships from Northern Light and Febreze, among others. After Burton left Roush Racing midway through 2004, Mark Martin returned to the Busch Series, posting four top-10s in five starts. In 2005, Martin ran five races and won twice. The car switched to the #6 in 2006, after a number switch with Evernham Motorsports, and ran a part-time schedule sponsored by Ameriquest. In 2007, David Ragan drove the car full-time in 2007 using the #06 owner's points, with sponsorship coming from the Discount Tire Company. After a 5th-place finish in points, Ragan was named Rookie of the Year. After running full-time in 2008, Ragan went to part-time and won the 2009 Aaron's 312 for his first Nationwide series victory as well as a win at Bristol. Rookie Erik Darnell filled out the rest of the schedule with Northern Tool and Equipment sponsoring. He won a pole and had two top-fives, but was unable to return the next season due to a lack of funding.
In 2010, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. drove the #6 Ford with Citifinancial as the primary sponsor. After crashing out of a few early events along with rookie teammate Colin Braun, Roush temporarily benched Stenhouse after he failed to qualify at Nashville in April. The 6 was driven by Brian Ickler at Kentucky, and by Billy Johnson at Watkins Glen. When veteran Mike Kelley took over the pit box, Stenhouse responded with a 3rd-place finish at the fall race at Daytona. The team rallied back to claim Rookie of the Year honors. The next year Cargill Meat Solutions sponsored the team for a few races as Citi had left for Kevin Harvick Incorporated. With fresh momentum, and most of the Cup drivers running limited schedules, Stenhouse swept both Iowa races for his first two Nationwide Series victories, and held off former Cup driver Elliott Sadler for the Nationwide Series championship. Stenhouse would beat Sadler again in 2012 for his second consecutive championship.
For 2013, former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who had been sidelined in recent years due to illness and lack of sponsorship, drove the car full-time. Cargill returned to the team, along with Valvoline and Ford EcoBoost. In 2014, Advocare moved from Richard Childress Racing to sponsor the entire season. Bayne earned a pole at Iowa, along with 21 top ten finishes to finish 6th in driver points (the #6 finished 10th in owners points). Bayne will move up to the Sprint Cup Series in 2015 with Advocare.
In December 2014, it was reported that Camping World Truck Series driver and Drive for Diversity graduate Darrell Wallace Jr. had asked for and was granted release from his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Later it was revealed that he had signed a deal to drive in Roush Fenway's #6 for 2015, with Chad Norris as his crew chief. Due to lack of sponsorship, Ford EcoBoost and Roush Performance have appeared as placeholders on the car, as the brands have done on teammate Chris Buescher's #60 car.
Car #16 history
The #16 car made its Busch Series debut at Daytona in 2006. Greg Biffle drove the Ameriquest car in 20 races, winning once at California Speedway. For 2007, Biffle shared driving duties of the 3M Ford Fusion with Todd Kluever. For 2008, Citifinancial and 3M will be the sponsors on the car, with Biffle, Jamie McMurray, and Colin Braun sharing the driving duties. Biffle drove most of the races, Mcmurray drove at Atlanta, Texas, and Phoenix. Colin Braun drove with two pole wins at Mexico City and O'Reilly Raceway Park. Braun, Kenseth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Biffle drove the car in 2009, with Biffle winning twice and Kenseth once. Braun moved up to the ride full-time in 2010 with Con-way as sponsor for 18 races. However Braun struggled, crashing out of several races, and was replaced by Matt Kenseth at Richmond, Darlington and Atlanta. Brian Ickler drove four races, Erik Darnell drove 3 races, and Trevor Bayne drove a single race.
For 2011, Braun was released and was replaced by Trevor Bayne. After 8 races, Bayne was hospitalized for various illnesses, and Roush drivers Chris Buescher and Kevin Swindell filled in for him. Bayne returned later in the season, and scored his first win at Texas in the fall. Bayne's crew moved over to RFR's #60 to run a limited schedule, and the 16 team shut down for 2012. For 2013, the #16 car was resurrected with Chris Buescher and Billy Johnson driving part-time with Ford EcoBoost, and Ryan Reed driving a limited schedule with Lilly Diabetes/Drive To Stop Diabetes sponsorship. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ran at Texas with Sprint Cup Series sponsor Zest.
Buescher moved to the #60 car for 2014, and Ryan Reed drove the #16 full-time with Lilly and the ADA, running for Rookie of the Year. Reed scored only one top ten finish, a fourth at Daytona in July, finishing ninth in driver points while the #16 finished 14th in owner points. Reed returned to the #16 for 2015, and won the first race of the season at Daytona, which was also his first career win. Reed was pushed by teammate Buescher past leader Brad Keselowski on the final lap to take the victory.
Car #17 history
The 17 car debuted in 1994 at Darlington with driver/owner Robbie Reiser driving the unsponsored car to 35th after a crash. Reiser ran part-time for a few years. He hired Tim Bender to drive the car in 1997. After Bender was injured, Reiser decided to hire fellow Wisconsinite Matt Kenseth to replace him. Kenseth had seven Top 10 finishes and ended the year 22nd in points. His substitution duty was impressive enough to get him a ride in Reiser's car for the next season. Kenseth won his first race at North Carolina in 1998. Driving with new sponsorship from Lycos, he won three races and finished second in points to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. DeWalt Tools became the sponsor in 1999, with Kenseth getting an additional four wins and a third-place finish in points. The team actually was not part of Roush Racing until 2002; Reiser, the team owner, ran Chevrolets through the 2001 season and since then, the 17 car has run part-time with a variety of different sponsors, with Kenseth at least co-driving each time. In 2006, the car ran on a limited basis with sponsorships from Ameriquest and Pennzoil. That year, Kenseth won three races. In 2007, the 17 car carried sponsorships from Arby's, Dish Network, and Weyerhauser and Kenseth continued driving it, along with Danny O'Quinn, and Michel Jourdain, Jr.. The car took two wins at California and Texas. Still in the car, Kenseth finishing 10th in points despite competing only 23 races. For 2008, the car's sponsorship was expected to be the same, with Citigroup coming on board for a few races. In 2009, Kenseth raced it in the Camping World 300 at Daytona with a sponsorship form Ritz. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was tapped to drive the car in the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte in October with Save-A-Lot as the main sponsor. The team did not run again until Kansas in October 2010, when Trevor Bayne drove it in six of the remaining 7 races of the 2010 season after he left from Michael Waltrip Racing. The team shut down again for 2011.
Car #26 history
The number 26 Ford debuted as the #50 at Daytona in 2006. Danny O'Quinn was the driver, with primary sponsorship from World Financial Group and Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, members of the Aegon group, after beginning the season with sponsorship from Roush Racing only. Drew Blickensderfer was the crew chief. O'Quinn had five top-ten finishes and was named Rookie of the Year despite being replaced by David Ragan for two races. The team switched to the #26 for 2007, with Greg Biffle driving at Daytona with Oreo sponsorship. Jamie McMurray then drove the car for the majority of the season sponsored by Dish Network, finishing in the top-ten three times. Todd Kluever drove twice with a best finish of nineteenth. This team did not return in 2008.
Car #60 history
The centerpiece and original car of Roush Racing's Busch operation debuted at the opening race of the 1992 Busch Series season at Daytona. Mark Martin was driving with Winn-Dixie as sponsor, finishing sixth in that race. For the next several years, this was Martin's personal Busch car and he won enough races to surpass Jack Ingram as the all-time leader of wins in the Busch Series (since surpassed by Kyle Busch). During this time, he and several other Winston Cup drivers came under steep controversy for running the Busch Series as well as Cup. These drivers earned the nickname "Buschwackers."
After the 2000 season, Martin abbreviated his Busch Series schedule, and Winn-Dixie left NASCAR as a sponsor. His replacement was one of Roush's Truck Series drivers Greg Biffle, who brought sponsor W.W. Grainger with him. Biffle had a phenomenal rookie season, winning five times and even leading the championship standings at one point in the season before falling to Kevin Harvick. Biffle returned in 2002, winning four more times and the championship by a wide margin before moving on to Winston Cup, bringing Grainger with him. Roush hired Hollywood stuntman Stanton Barrett, who to that point was a journeyman driver, to drive the #60 for 2003 with OdoBan sponsoring. Despite winning two consecutive poles, the car lost its sponsor and folded before the end of the season. Charter Communications began sponsoring the car in 2004 and Biffle returned to drive the car full-time, winning five times and placing third in the series points standings.
In 2005, Busch Series rookie and Cup Series regular Carl Edwards moved into the 60 car, winning five races en route to finishing third in points, and earning Rookie of the Year honors. Edwards returned to drive the Ameriquest-sponsored Ford for a full-time schedule in 2006, winning four more times and was runner-up for the championship. Edwards continued to pilot the car in 2007, with rotating sponsorship from Scotts, World Financial Group, and others. Edwards and the #60 team went on to win the 2007 Busch Grand National Series Championship by a very wide margin over David Reutimann. In 2008 he won five races and finished second in points behind Clint Bowyer in the inaugural Nationwide Series season. Edwards finished second in points again in 2009, finishing behind Kyle Busch. In 2010, Edwards ran for the Nationwide Series Championship again with co-sponsorship from Fastenal and Copart. Despite winning at Road America Gateway, and Texas, Edwards finished runner-up to Brad Keselowski. Edwards drove the #60 again in 2011 with only half of the season sponsored by Fastenal. Despite being unable to compete for the drivers championship, as well as missing Road America, Edwards scored a career-high eight wins in 2011 and won the Owners Championship for Jack Roush. With the departure of crew chief Mike Beam to Kyle Busch Motorsports, Edwards announced that he would not contest the Nationwide Series owners championship the next season.
In 2012, Trevor Bayne's #16 crew moved over to the #60 and ran the first five races with the intent of running the full season. They ended up being sidelined by a lack of sponsorship. Later in 2012, the 60 returned with Edwards at Watkins Glen with Subway sponsoring. Edwards would subsequently win the race. At Montreal, the car was fielded for Roush road course driver Billy Johnson, who finished 8th. The team returned with Bayne at Bristol with backing from the Pat Summit Foundation, as well as one start by Travis Pastrana at the fall Richmond race with Ford EcoBoost. Pastrana would drive the No. 60 for the full season in 2013. While he often showed speed, Pastrana struggled in his transition from Rally cars to heavier stock cars. On November 11, 2013, Pastrana announced that he will not race in NASCAR in 2014.
ARCA champion Chris Buescher drove the #60 in 2014 and competed for the Rookie of the Year award against a strong rookie class. After failing to qualify at Daytona, Buscher had a solid rookie season in spite of Roush Fenway's struggles as an organization. Buescher finishied 9th at Las Vegas, 7th at Richmond, 2nd at Talladega, 9th at Charlotte, 11th at Dover, 10th at Michigan, and 12th at the July Daytona race. Buescher finished fifth at New Hampshire to earn a spot in the second Nationwide Dash 4 Cash race at Chicagoland; he would finish 8th at Chicago and 11th at Indianapolis. Fastenal returned to sponsor the 60 at Iowa, where Buescher finished 14th. Cup sponsors Kellogg's and Cheez-It sponsored the car at Watkins Glen. Buescher scored his first career victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200, the third rookie to win season and the only win for Roush in the Nationwide Series in 2014. Buescher would finish 7th in points with 14 top tens, and the #60 would finish 11th in owners points.
Car #98 history
As part of the breakup of Yates Racing following the 2009 season, Jack Roush purchased the #98 Nationwide Series team. Paul Menard continued to drive for the team with sponsorship from Menards. Menard and his sponsor moved to Richard Childress Racing for 2011 so the team shut down.
Camping World Truck Series
Truck #09 history
The 09 truck began running in 2005 as a research and development entry for Ford. Bobby East attempted a few races in the truck (then #33) but failed to qualify. Mark Martin made the team's first qualification at the Ford 200, where he started 14th and finished 8th with sponsorship from Stonebridge Life Insurance.
After Martin's strong start to the 2006 season, his original limited schedule was expanded. Roush decided to run another part-time team for rookie David Ragan to fill out his original schedule. Ragan took the #50 to a 22nd-place finish at Atlanta, but struggled in his next few starts in both the #50 and the #6. After crashing the #6 in practice for the Mansfield race, he was replaced for the weekend. Carl Edwards ran the #50 at the Dover race, and Ragan returned at the Texas race. Ragan's best finish in the 50 came at Atlanta where he finished sixth. Peter Shepherd and Michel Jourdain, Jr. also drove the 50 on a part-time basis during the season with sponsorship from PurposeMoney.com. Edwards drove the truck for the first two races of the season unsponsored, when it was announced T. J. Bell would drive the truck for fifteen races, bringing sponsorship from Heathcliff's Cat Litter. Development drivers Peter Shepherd and Danny O'Quinn, Jr. also drove the #50 truck with sponsorship from Northern Tool and Equipment. Joey Clanton began the 2008 season driving the #09 full-time in 2008 with Zaxby's sponsoring, but after the season-opening race, he was released. Travis Kvapil returned to Roush and shared this ride with Bobby East, and Jon Wes Townley for the rest of the season. Roush shut down the #09 team after the 2008 season.
Truck #6 history
The #6 truck debuted at Heartland Park Topeka in 1996 as #99. It was sponsored by Exide Batteries and driven to an eighth-place finish by Jeff Burton. Posting three top tens in four races that year, he shared the ride with Mark Martin, who won at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The next year, Chuck Bown was hired to drive full-time, and posted thirteen top tens and finished ninth in points. The rotating doors moved again, and Joe Ruttman was driving this truck in 1998, winning once and finishing 3rd in points. Mike Bliss was next to tackle the ride, and he performed decently, winning at Martinsville but only finishing 9th in points. When Bliss left for an ill-fated rookie year in Winston Cup, Kurt Busch was named the new driver. Busch won four times and finished second to teammate Biffle in the championship, easily winning Rookie of the Year.
Both Busch and Exide exited after that season, and rookie Nathan Haseleu took over with Eldon the new sponsor. Despite posting four top ten finishes in the first twelve races of the season, Hasleau was waived and replaced by Kurt's younger brother Kyle for a limited run. Despite being 16 years old, Busch had two top tens and was scheduled to go full-time in 2002, before NASCAR announced all drivers in its top series must be age 18. Biffle and Tim Woods III also drive the 99 in limited runs during 2001. After Tim Fedewa ran the season-opener in the truck, the team took the rest of 2002 off, the truck returned in 2003 with Carl Edwards driving; although the United States Navy was the truck's original sponsor, they left the team midway through the year and Edwards ran largely unsponsored until Superchips came on to sponsor him. Edwards won three races and the Rookie of the Year title. He repeated his win total in 2004 and moved up to fourth in points, and following Jeff Burton's departure from Roush Racing he began splitting time between the Truck Series and the Nextel Cup Series.
When he moved up to Nextel Cup for 2005, Roush hired a former Cup driver, Ricky Craven to take his place. Despite posting seven top tens and winning at Martinsville, Roush and Craven announced they would not be back together in 2006. Instead, the truck switched to #6, and was shared by NEXTEL Cup veteran Mark Martin and rookie David Ragan. The #6 truck's new sponsor was Scotts, and the truck, piloted by Martin, won the first two races of the 2006 season. Martin then decided to race more races than he originally intended, and he only skipped races without a corresponding Nextel Cup event. Auggie Vidovich II drove for the Mansfield race after Ragan crashed the truck in practice, finishing 19th. Ragan shared the truck with Martin for the balance of the season and had six top-tens and one pole in the 6 truck. Martin had the most success in the truck, winning five races. Overall, the team finished 2nd in the owner's points. 2003 NCTS Champion Travis Kvapil returned to the Truck Series in 2007, and won four races en route to a sixth-place finish in points. As Kvapil heads back to the Sprint Cup Series with Yates Racing, former Rolex Sports Car Series driver Colin Braun took Kvapil's place in the 6 truck with sponsorship from Con-way. In his rookie season, Braun had three top-fives and finished 13th in points, winning Rookie of the Year. In 2009, he won at Michigan and finished 5th in points. With moving Braun to the Nationwide Series for the 2010 season, Roush shut down this team and ended its Truck program. He later sold the remaining Trucks to Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch for him to start his own Truck Team.
Truck #99 history
The original truck in Roush's stable which debuted in 1995 at the Heartland Park Topeka road course. It was #61 and driven to a fourth-place finish by Todd Bodine. Bodine had two more top ten runs at Richmond and Mesa Marin Raceway before Ted Musgrave drove to a fourth-place finish at Phoenix. In 1996, the car switched to #80 and Joe Ruttman was at the wheel, nailing down sixteen top-10s and finishing 4th in points. In 1997, with sponsorship from LCI, Ruttman won five times and finished 3rd in points. After running one race with the truck in 1998, the truck switched to #50 and Ruttman took over another ride with the team and he was replaced by rookie Greg Biffle, whom Roush hired under the recommendation of Benny Parsons. Although he failed to win, Biffle won four poles and finished eighth in points.
Biffle would go on to set the trucks on fire in 1999, when he won nine times, and was in contention for the championship for much of the season before finally losing to Jack Sprague. His 2000 season was less dominant with only five wins, but he was able to win the championship by 230 points over teammate Kurt Busch. In 2001, Roush hired an unknown modified driver named Chuck Hossfeld to take Biffle's place as he was moving up to the Busch Series. Hossfeld struggled in his rookie year, and soon he was released, with a rotation of drivers including Jon Wood and Biffle himself in the driver's seat. Wood's audition was impressive enough to earn him a full-time run in 2002, and he posted twelve top ten finishes in the U.S. Navy sponsored truck and finished 12th in points in his first full year. Wood had two wins the next year, and finished 15th in points in 2004 before moving on. In 2005, Todd Kluever piloted the World Financial Group truck to six top five and twelve top ten finishes in his rookie season. Erik Darnell piloted the newly renumbered truck full-time in 2006 with at first Woolrich, but eventually Northern Tool and Equipment as sponsor to a 2006 Rookie of the Year title. 2007 brought about Darnell's first win at Kansas, but inconsistency put the team 12th at season's end. 2008 would be the 99's final season in the Truck Series, as the team was being moved up for a part-time schedule in the Nationwide Series. Darnell captured one win at Michigan by only .005 seconds over eventual champion Johnny Benson. This team was shut down after the 2008 season.
Perhaps Roush Racing's most famous partnership is with fellow Ford team Yates Racing. In 2004, the two teams announced a program to combine their engine divisions, a move which greatly improved the power of both organizations' engines. By 2006, most Ford teams were using the Roush Yates engines, including long-time Ford team Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.
Yates has purchased at least one Roush chassis, and may be moving towards adopting Roush's car designs. Jack Roush has also stated that Roush Racing would not court RYR's sponsors when their contracts were up. As well as Yates Racing, Roush Yates also supplied motors for Hall of Fame Racing for the 2009 season.
Tim Brown partnership
In 2005, nine-time Pro Bowl NFL wide receiver Tim Brown announced that he intended to start his own NASCAR team, most likely #81, and receive equipment from Roush Racing. Brown also stated that he will let Roush select his driver. The series the team will run will depend on how much sponsorship money the team gets.
Brown has said that his team will most likely not enter NASCAR until 2007, but as of October 2006, no further announcements have been made about the status of this partnership. If it does happen, it will likely be an arrangement similar to the affiliation deal with No Fear Racing.
No Fear Racing
In 2006, SoBe No Fear energy drink announced that it was forming a new team to run full-time in 2007, with a car driven by road racing specialist Boris Said. It was also announced that this new team would be affiliated with Roush Racing. This allows Roush to sell No Fear Racing cars and equipment, as well as help them with engineering. In return, Said is tutoring Roush's younger drivers on road course racing. The team began running a limited schedule with the Sonoma road course in 2006.
Starting with the 2007 season, Robby Gordon switched from Chevrolet to Ford vehicles after signing a contract with Ford Racing. He leased engines from the Roush/Yates engine program through the 2007 season, until he switched to Gillett Evernham engines and a Dodge Charger.
Roush Fenway, in collaboration with Roush-Yates Engines, supplies most of the Fords in the Sprint Cup Series with technical support and engines. In 2010 Front Row Motorsports signed with Ford and Roush Fenway Racing to receive technical support and engines. Roush supplies support to Team Penske, Richard Petty Motorsports, Leavine Family Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Premium Motorsports, and FAS Lane Racing. As of 2015, Roush supplies engines and chassis to 7 Sprint Cup Teams.
Creation of Roush Fenway Racing
Mike Dee, president of the Fenway Sports Group was quoted as saying, "Although there have been many instances of cross ownership in the world of professional sports, this partnership marks the first time that owners of a professional franchise in one of the four major leagues have crossed over into the world of NASCAR."
Current management will remain in place at Roush Fenway Racing, with Jack Roush handling all competitive operations and Geoff Smith will continue as Roush Racing president to handle business activities.
Roush became involved in the aerospace industry in the 2010s. In April 2015, United Launch Alliance announced that they were contracting with Roush Racing to produce the lightweight internal combustion engine to be used to power the long-life on orbit system of the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage to be flown in the 2020s as the second stage of the Vulcan launch vehicle.
The Gong Show
Roush Racing hires many of its developmental drivers through an elimination style of testing entitled The Gong Show. The process begins when Roush solicits applications from thousands of drivers from all levels. They are then put through a series of tests, gauging not only driving skills, but also public relations talent and personality traits. Eventually, the field is narrowed down to an elite group who are allowed to race Roush vehicles, often Craftsman Truck Series trucks, in an attempt to assess driving ability. Those with the fastest times progress, and ultimately the best are awarded with a contract to drive for Roush in the Craftsman Truck Series or Busch Series. In 2005, the process was documented in the Discovery Channel television series Roush Racing: Driver X, which followed the stories of those involved in the 2005 Gong Show.
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