Contracts: Sponsors: none; Driver: none
#99 Owners points moved to the #6 RFR Team of Trevor Bayne
current news about former #99 driver Carl Edwards at the #19 Tean News and Links page
Roush had a shot at Jeff Gordon: Fifteen years ago or so, while researching a NASCAR book, one of the people Tom Jensen interviewed was John Bickford, Jeff Gordon's stepfather and business manager. Bickford, who was the architect of Gordon's career from his early days as a kid in quarter midgets until Gordon was an established NASCAR star, had plenty of interesting stories. One of them surrounded how Gordon wound up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. After growing up racing open-wheel cars on asphalt and dirt, Gordon ran two full seasons in what's now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 1991 and '92. And while Gordon is one of the most recognizable Chevrolet drivers today, in those days he drove Ford Thunderbirds owned by Bill Davis. Naturally, Ford Motor Co. was keen to see Gordon move up to Sprint Cup in a Ford.
According to Bickford, in 1992, NASCAR team owner Jack Roush called him up and told Bickford he wanted to hire Gordon. After a brief discussion, Bickford said he was amenable to the idea of Gordon driving for Roush and he had a great young crew chief named Ray Evernham who Bickford wanted to be part of the deal. "My drivers don't get to pick their own crew chiefs," Roush told Bickford. "I do that." Whereupon Bickford said he hung up the phone, because it was a package deal. Bickford knew Gordon and Evernham already had great chemistry and would be successful together. He didn't want Gordon to have to start over with a new crew chief.
Roush called back and said there must have been a problem with the phone and Bickford said, no, he had hung up on Roush deliberately. Upon hearing that, Roush went on to explain that if he was making the expensive and potentially risky investment in a promising, but unproven young talent, he had to have the comfort level of hiring the crew chief himself. That was the way Roush always worked in the past and the way he was going to work in the future. And that's when Bickford said he hung up on Roush a second time, and when negotiations between the two officially ended.(Tom Jensen / FoxSports)(1-25-2015)
Yates Denies Rumors of Roush Fenway Buyout: Roush Yates Engines CEO Doug Yates responded yesterday (Dec 4th) to rumors that he will replace Jack Roush at the helm of Roush Fenway Racing when Roush steps down in the near future. "Jack is committed to NASCAR racing," said Yates, son of legendary NASCAR engine builder and team owner Robert Yates. "He loves two things besides his family; racing and flying airplanes. He is not planning to stop the racing part, anyway. I know that for a fact." Yates admitted, however, that he is interested in following his father into the ownership ranks one day. "It's flattering to hear my name out there (in the rumor mill) and if the right situation came along, I'd love to carry on what my dad started and what he accomplished. But right now, my focus is on building great engines for Ford Motor Company and making Ford and Roush proud. That's what I'm going to try to stick with and be focused on in the near future. Jack Roush is not going anywhere" he said, "...and one thing he's not going to do is quit before he gets (Roush Fenway Racing) back where he wants it." Yates also said Roush has been instrumental in his success as an engine builder, adding, "He's been really good to me... a lot like my dad. I've been so fortunate to learn and watch and be around him. He's taught me a lot."(Godfather Motorsports)(12-5-2014)
Changes at Roush Fenway Racing UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing is taking steps to right the ship. On Wednesday, RFR will announce the addition of respected motosports manager Mark McArdle as engineering director. McArdle will oversee all engineering for the organization and report to general manager Robbie Reiser. "My role is to provide the organization with better vision, increased levels of direction and communication to allow all the available resources to work together to find the solutions to the basic core problem of car performance," McArdle said. McArdle most recently was director of racing operations at Richard Childress Racing. He held the position since the summer of 2013 after four seasons with Furniture Row Racing in Denver. The last two years at FRR, McArdle served as an intermediary in the teams' technical alliance. He moved back to North Carolina to be closer to his family - ultimately the reason McArdle chose to leave RCR and join RFR, which cuts his commute in half. McArdle acknowledged he was grateful for the opportunity with Richard Childress and still has tremendous respect for the organization. Although McArdle will join RFR at the track this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, he only expects to be on the road 25-percent of the time in order to focus on the challenges back at the Concord, N.C.-based shop.
RFR has also hired Kevin Kidd as its Sprint Cup team manager. Kidd, who currently oversees the #20 Nationwide Series team for Joe Gibbs Racing, earned an engineering degree at Virginia Tech. He also worked with McArdle as the race engineer on the #19 at Evernham Motorsports. Kidd's role will be similar to Eric Peterson, who was Roush Fenway's operations manager before overseeing the Nationwide Series program.(Motorsport)(11-5-2014)
UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing has announced the hiring of two industry veterans to senior positions in its competition group. Mark McArdle will oversee engineering for the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) teams. Kevin Kidd will serve as NSCS team manager, supervising at-track operations beginning next season for an organization that has placed multiple cars in the 'Chase' in all 10 seasons of the format's existence. "I'm confident that having Mark and Kevin in these two key positions will make our organization even stronger next season," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "Mark has a pedigree in racing that spans multiple platforms and speaks for itself in terms of results. He has a reputation not only for success, but as a great manager and motivator. Kevin is recognized in the garage as one of the brightest minds in our sport. He has acquired invaluable experience working with both veteran and young drivers, and will be a great asset to our Sprint Cup program week in and week out at the race track. We look forward to bringing both Mark and Kevin on board and welcoming them into the fold."
McArdle, a successful veteran of IndyCar and NASCAR racing, has been named engineering director and will directly oversee Roush Fenway's engineering efforts. A renowned engine builder, McArdle boasts three victories in the famed Indianapolis 500 with Penske Racing in 1991, 1993 and 1994, having worked with a litany of open-wheel legends including Ricky Mears, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr. and Michael Andretti. McArdle has spent the last 15 years working in NASCAR, having served in high-level positions with Roush Yates Engines, Evernham Motorsports, Furniture Row Racing and most recently as director of racing operation at Richard Childress Racing.
"Roush Fenway Racing has a tradition and history of success like none other in motorsports, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it," said McArdle. "I've always had a very deep respect for Jack Roush and his entire organization, and know that the expectation for him, his drivers, teams and sponsors is to win races and championships at every level. I look forward to becoming part of that winning tradition, and to continuing it in 2015 and beyond."
Kevin Kidd has been named NSCS team manager. He will join Roush Fenway after having served as the crew chief for the No. 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series team at Joe Gibbs Racing since 2010. During that time he guided his teams to nearly 90 top-10 finishes in 167 starts with veteran drivers such as Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, as well as a host of developmental drivers. "Roush Fenway is a perennial 'Chase' contender with three extremely talented drivers in the 2015 line-up," said Kidd. "All of the right resources are in position to place all three of those drivers into the 'Chase' next season, and that will be our goal. I've had a great deal of experience working with both veterans and younger drivers, and this organization has a great mix of that with Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne. I look forward to the opportunity to work with each of them, their teams and everyone at Roush Fenway." Kidd will move into his new role at the conclusion of the 2014 season.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-6-2014)
Fennig to step down as crew chief at end of season UPDATE: With all the changes taking place at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2015 season, it appears veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig may be in his final year calling shots on the pit box. Currently serving as crew chief for #99-Carl Edwards -- who will move on to Joe Gibbs Racing next season -- Fennig indicated he would likely take a behind-the-scenes role with the team once the season comes to a conclusion. Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Fennig said he will have to wait and see what team owner Jack Roush has in store for him next year, but added that he will most likely not be atop the pit box after the 2014 season. Saying it would ultimately be his decision when to walk away, Fennig indicated he would most likely work with the research-and-development arm of Roush Fenway Racing. Jack Roush said of Fennig's future: "We don't have a plan yet," Jack Roush said of Fennig's future. "We haven't heard definitively from Jimmy what his plans are, but he may be thinking about retirement. We're just not sure." Trevor Bayne is making his move to a full-time ride in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015 and does not yet have a crew chief in place, so that is a possible spot for Fennig if he decides to continue working in a crew chief role. Edwards said Friday that he did not know what Fennig's plans were at the end of the season.(FoxSports)(8-23-2014)
UPDATE: ESPN's Allen Bestwick reported during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday evening that Fennig confirmed that this will be his last season as a crew chief and he is talking to Roush Fenway Racing about a job in the shop for 2015.(9-1-2014)
Edwards to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that Carl Edwards will join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will sponsor Edwards in the #19 Toyota Camry for 17 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with JGR expanding its operations to include a fourth team. "This is one of the biggest days in Joe Gibbs Racing's history," said Joe Gibbs, founder and owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "To be able to bring a driver the caliber of Carl Edwards on board to launch our fourth team is just a thrill. But we also have the opportunity to announce a new partner in ARRIS that will not only sponsor Carl, but also share a vision with Carlos Slim Domit and Escuderia TELMEX to develop Mexican and Latin American drivers in NASCAR. We are excited to have Daniel Suarez as part of that program and look forward to watching his development in the NASCAR Nationwide Series next season."
A Missouri native, Edwards is currently eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with two wins, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes thus far this season. Over the course of his 11-year career, he has won a total of 23 races with 106 top-five and 182 top-10 finishes. In addition to his 23 Sprint Cup Series wins, he has also compiled 38 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and won the championship in 2007. His highest finish in the Sprint Cup Series season was in 2011 when he was runner-up to Tony Stewart based on a tiebreaker.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(8-19-2014)
Mark Martin returns to Roush...as a coach UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announces that legendary NASCAR driver Mark Martin is returning to the race team where he excelled behind the wheel for almost 20 years - this time as the team's driver development coach. Martin was the first driver hired by team owner Jack Roush when he founded his NASCAR operation in 1988. The two went on to become one of the most successful duos in sports history, accumulating 83 NASCAR wins, four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship runner-up finishes, and building Roush Fenway into the winningest team in NASCAR history.
"I'm excited to return to Roush Fenway Racing, as it feels like I'm going home to where I belong," said Martin. "I was fortunate to help build this team from the beginning and it's very humbling to be a part of Jack's team again. When Jack first hired me in 1988 we didn't talk about salary or benefits or perks, we talked about testing, tires and putting the right personnel into place to win on the track. That commitment is what stood out to me then and it's still what stands out to me today."
Martin piloted Roush Fenway's flagship #6 Ford from 1988 until 2006. During that time he accumulated 35 NSCS victories. At the end of his tenure at Roush Fenway he held a record five prestigious IROC (International Race of Champions) Championships and a then record 47 NASCAR Nationwide Series wins. For his career Martin posted 96 career NASCAR victories.(Roush Fenway Racing)(7-31-2014)
UPDATE: Mark Martin is back working for Jack Roush. As a driver coach, not as a driver. The 55-year-old Martin has enjoyed his time away from the track this season. He has spent the last two years driving in most, but not all, of the Cup races. "I don't ever flip on the TV and wish I was there," Martin said in a phone interview Friday morning. "I am happy where I am at. It's probably less (of an urge) than I even expected to get back into a racecar." While at Roush Fenway Racing from 1988-2006, Martin earned 35 of his 40 career Cup wins and four of his five career runnerup finishes in the standings. Since then, he has run five part-time seasons and three full-time seasons. He has 882 Cup starts, and it appears he's not all that interested in 883. "You know me well enough to know that I'm not going to say (never)," Martin said. "But I'll just tell you I have no interest at this time. I have no interest in even practicing a car or testing a car at this time.(Sporting News)(8-2-2014)
Ford Racing Statement on Carl Edwards Departure: Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing - "Carl Edwards has been a part of the Ford family for a decade, and it will certainly be tough to see him leave Ford and Roush Fenway Racing. During Carl's time with Roush, he has represented Ford Motor Company with the utmost class, both on and off the track. We at Ford Racing did everything to facilitate keeping Carl a part of the Ford Racing & Roush Fenway family, but in the end that option did not come to fruition. While we are disappointed in his decision to leave Roush Fenway Racing, we certainly want to extend our appreciation for Carl's contributions winning races and a NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in a Ford, and especially for his outreach to Ford fans. That said, with this decision out of the way, our plan for 2014 has not changed. We will go forward strongly with our stated goal of securing a NASCAR championship for Ford."(Ford Racing)(7-27-2014)
Roush Fenway Racing Announces 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Lineup: Roush Fenway Racing's 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) lineup will consist of three teams anchored by two-time NASCAR champion Greg Biffle. Biffle, driver of the #16 Ford and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Ford and also a two-time NASCAR champion will be joined by Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne in the #6 Ford. The lineup features a veteran perennial 'Chase' contender in Biffle - who is currently competing to become the first driver to win a championship at all three of NACAR's premiere series - as well as two of the sport's most promising up and coming drivers.
"I have had the privilege of fielding entries for the world's best race car drivers in NASCAR for nearly 30 years, and feel quite fortunate to have an opportunity to do that again next year," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We have always prided ourselves in developing talent at Roush Fenway, and our 2015 line-up is a testament to the success of our organization in that respect. Greg Biffle is one of the most purely talented racers I've ever seen behind the wheel of a car, and his experience combined with the raw natural abilities, enthusiasm and desire in both Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne have me very excited for the future. Although we still have a lot to accomplish this year, both John Henry and I are looking forward to going to the track in 2015 with this blend of veteran leadership and youthful potential."
Biffle, who has 746 NASCAR starts, first joined Roush Fenway in 1998, and earned the organization its first NASCAR championships in the NASCAR Truck Series in 2000 and in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) in 2002. He has qualified for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup in five of the last six seasons; with a runner-up finish in 2005. Of his 55 NASCAR wins, 19 came in the NSCS, including Ford's 1,000th NASCAR victory last year.
"I don't have the words for what Jack Roush has meant to my career," said Biffle. "During our 16 years together, we have won multiple championships and numerous races on every level. I am as excited about what the future holds for me here as I am about what we have been able to accomplish in the past. Our goal remains to run up front, win races and become the sports' first triple-crown winner by having a championship in all three series. I know that we have the right ownership, the right team, the right resources and the right manufacturer to get that done here here at Roush Fenway."
Stenhouse joined Roush Fenway in 2008, going on to win back-to-back NNS championships in 2011 and 2012. In addition, he captured NASCAR rookie honors in NNS and NSCS in 2010 and 2013, respectively. Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 Champion, joined Roush Fenway in 2010 and has competed full-time in the NNS, while also running a limited NSCS schedule with Wood Brothers Racing. He will make the transition to full-time NSCS racing with AdvoCare as his primary partner on Roush Fenway's iconic #6 Ford.
#99-Carl Edwards will not be with the team for the 2015 season. "I will always be thankful for Carl's contribution and the role he played in many Roush Fenway wins and championships," said Roush. "We wish him well for the future. In the meantime, we are excited about continuing our quest for a championship with Carl and the #99 team in 2014."(RFR), rumors have Edwards going to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015, but nothing is expected to be announced until September 2014.(7-27-2014)
Fastenal to Serve as Primary Partner for Stenhouse in 2015: Roush Fenway Racing announced that long-time partner Fastenal will team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., serving as the anchor sponsor on the #17 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) for a multi-year agreement beginning next season. Fastenal first joined with Roush Fenway in 2010 and has served as a primary partner for multiple Roush Fenway teams and drivers in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and NSCS. "Fastenal is a first class partner and we are extremely pleased to have them team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the #17 team starting next year," said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. "Ricky has accomplished a great deal in a short time, and continues to improve each week. We have very high expectations for his success in the future and I'm thrilled that Fastenal will be a part of that."
Stenhouse, who earned NSCS rookie of the year honors in 2013, will move into his third full-season of Sprint Cup competition in 2015. Considered one of the most talented up-and-coming drivers on the circuit, Stenhouse posted back-to-back NNS championships in 2011 and 2012.
Fastenal is currently in its third season as a primary partner on the #99 NSCS entry driven by Carl Edwards, and was the primary partner on the #60 NNS team that captured the owner's championship in 2011. Fastenal has also served in a limited role as a primary partner for the #16 and #17 NSCS teams the past two seasons.
"We appreciate everything Carl has done and wish him nothing but the best," said Fastenal President Lee Hein. "That said, we're looking forward to continuing our partnership with Roush Fenway Racing as the anchor sponsor of the #17. We already have a strong relationship with Ricky, and we're 100% confident that he'll do a great job representing our company on and off the track."
"As a driver, I'm thrilled to have Fastenal on board for next season," said Stenhouse. "I grew up working in a race shop, helping my dad build cars and racing engines. I appreciate the chance to work with a partner like Fastenal that plays such an important role in building our race cars and helping us win on the track. I've had the opportunity to work with them in the past and meet a lot of the men and women that are part of the 'Blue Team.' I look forward to representing them on the racetrack, and to taking them to victory lane."(RFR)(7-27-2014)
Edwards wins at Sonoma: #99-Carl Edwards won the Toyota / SaveMart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway for his 2nd win of 2014, his 1st win at Sonoma, his first road course win and his 23rd career win.
#24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., pole sitter #1-McMurray, #27-Menard, #5-Kahne, #48-Johnson, #9-Ambrose, #16-Biffle and #15-Bowyer.
#47-Allmendinger led the most laps with 35 of 110, but got involved in a wreck late in the race and finished 37th.
#24-Gordon (1 win) keeps the points lead after finishing 2nd and extends his points lead over #48-Johnson to 20 points.
#48-Johnson leads the Chase Grid with three wins, 2nd in points. #88-Earnhardt Jr. is second with 2 wins, 3rd in points then #99-Edwards 2 & 6th; #22-Logano 2 & 7th and #4-Harvick 2 and 9th.
There were 11 lead changes among 9 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 19 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 76.583mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Sonoma Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Sonoma Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Sonoma Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-22-2014)
Roush Fenway Racing makes a change: Release of long-time Roush Fenway Racing lead engineer Chip Bolin signals change in direction for NASCAR powerhouse Chip Bolin and Roush Fenway Racing have parted ways. Roush Fenway Racing confirmed on Thursday morning that Bolin had been released. Bolin, 40, joined RFR in 1998 along with Bob Osborne to start the company's engineering department following an internship with Andy Petree Racing. The North, S.C.-native has worked in a variety of roles at RFR over the years including as both crew chief and team engineer. His first season was 1999, the same year Matt Kenseth and Robbie Reiser (now GM). Bolin became the #17 team engineer in 2001 and was an integral part of Kenseth's 2003 Sprint Cup championship. At the end of 2007 season when Reiser transitioned into a management role, Bolin was named crew chief for Kenseth's team. Bolin's release comes at a time when both of Roush's top drivers have contracts up for renewal. While Biffle insists it's his intent to remain with the organization, there has been a rash of speculation surrounding Edwards' plans.(Motorsport)(5-15-2014)
UPS to end NASCAR involvement after 2014: UPS notified NASCAR and Roush Fenway Racing that it plans to end its sponsorship of the sport and team following the '14 Sprint Cup season. The move comes after UPS in 2012 dropped its full-season primary sponsorship of the #6 Cup entry then driven by David Ragan. The company has shifted its focus over the last several years from NASCAR to college sports, signing one of the first national sponsorships with IMG College. UPS signed a four-year, $100M deal with 68 colleges in August '11. UPS is the latest in a series of blue-chip sponsors to end their official NASCAR agreements, including PNG and DirecTV. Meanwhile, NASCAR added HP and Sherwin-Williams as sponsors this year. NASCAR Chief Sales Officer Jim O'Connell in a statement said, "UPS has been a fantastic partner to NASCAR over the last decade-and-a-half. As we celebrate its long and successful tenure, we also welcome seven new companies to the family of Official NASCAR Partners." UPS PR Dir Susan Rosenberg added in a statement, "UPS has enjoyed tremendous success through its partnership with NASCAR, including sponsorships at the league, team and track level. The business-to-business opportunities provided within NASCAR have proven valuable to UPS and have helped achieve desired results and accomplished the goals we set forth. The UPS decision to exit NASCAR is strictly a business decision to align with new business priorities."(Sports Business Daily)(12-24-2013)
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, March 28, 2015, 1:00 pm/et
FoxSports2 (FS2) 2:30pm/et
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