#17 & #99 to swap crews for 2013? Stenhouse crew chief? UPDATE 2: hearing that the #17 & #99 pit crews will swap for the 2013 season. Current crew chief of the #17, Jimmy Fennig could move over to the #99 Ford of Carl Edwards or go back to his position in Roush Fenway's R&D Department. Supposedly Scott Graves, who currently is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s crew chief when he drives the #6 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, will move over to the #17 Sprint Cup Series ride with Stenhouse when he moves to the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. Edwards could end up with Fenning as his crew chief, or keep Chad Norris. his current crew chief. Also, former Edwards crew chief, Bob Osbourne could return to the #99 pitbox. In September Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush said he didn't expect any crew chief changes for the team in 2013 and that Osbourne's "health is still a question mark.''(11-9-2012)
UPDATE: veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig will move to the #99 team with driver Carl Edwards. Fennig replaces Chad Norris, who filled in after Bob Osborne stepped down in July due to health concerns. Norris is expected to oversee the #60 Nationwide Series team. Scott Graves, who has been working as Edwards' team engineer, will take the reins for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s rookie campaign.(FoxSports)(11-14-2012)
UPDATE 3 Roush Fenway Racing has announced that veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig will lead Carl Edwards and the #99 Roush Fenway Sprint Cup team in its championship run in 2013. In addition, up and coming crew chief Scott Graves will lead the #17 team and defending Nationwide Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. during his rookie campaign next season. "We are excited about this change on both fronts," said team owner Jack Roush. "Pairing two highly successful veterans like Carl and Jimmy should be quite a matchup and it is our expectation based on what Jimmy has been able to accomplish with many high profile drivers, that it will provide the spark to get the #99 program and Carl back into championship form. However, we are particularly excited about teaming up Scott Graves and Ricky. Through his extensive research and development work, Scott has an excellent understanding of the new 2013 body style. In his short time as a crew chief he has demonstrated a cunning knack as a leader on the pit box and he is going to be a great match for Ricky as he makes his move upwards into the Sprint Cup ranks."(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-15-2012)
Kenseth will get a new spotter at Joe Gibbs Racing Mike Calinoff will end his long run as spotter for former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth at season's end, remaining with Roush Fenway Racing when Kenseth jumps to Joe Gibbs Racing next season. Calinoff has remained mum about his plans for 2013, but Kenseth revealed this weekend that his longtime spotter will move on. Asked via Twitter whether Calinoff will accompany him to JGR and the #20 Home Depot Toyota, Kenseth replied "No, he is a great spotter, I will miss him." Calinoff subsequently confirmed those plans, revleaing that he will spot for 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. when Stenhouse takes the wheel of Roush Fenway's #17 Ford next season. He currently serves as Stenhouse's "eye in the sky" in Nationwide Series competition, and also spots for youngster Nelson Piquet, Jr. on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.(Godfather Motorsports)(10-7-2012)
Best Buy sponsoring Stenhouse at Charlotte: Roush Fenway Racing's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will pilot the #6 Best Buy Ford in the October 13th Sprint Cup event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stenhouse, along with RFR teammate Matt Kenseth, will form a formidable pair of Best Buy Fords, with Kenseth's #17 Fusion also featuring the Best Buy blue and yellow for the event. It will mark the first time that Best Buy has sponsored two cars in a single race, with race fans treated to both the present and the future of the sport with the unique 'one-two punch' of Roush Fenway's first Sprint Cup Champion in Kenseth and its latest NASCAR Champion in the youthful Stenhouse. The race will be Stenhouse's third Sprint Cup event of the season and his fourth career Cup start.(Roush Fenway)(10-4-2012)
Rancher's Reserve and Safeway sponsoring Stenhouse, Jr.: On the heels of the announcement in Chicagoland proclaiming that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. would pilot the historic #17 Ford Fusion next year in the Sprint Cup Series, the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide champion will make his second Sprint Cup start of the 2012 season at Dover International Speedway this weekend. Earlier this season the Olive Branch, Miss. native made his debut in the famed Daytona 500 finishing 21st. He finished 11th in his Sprint Cup debut in 2011 in the Coca-Cola 600. The 2011 NASCAR Nationwide champion will pull the double-duty this weekend as he defends his title with six races remaining. The tight championship battle shows Stenhouse only four points out of the lead. Rancher's Reserve and Safeway will serve as the primary sponsors for both the #6 Ford Mustang and #6 Ford Fusion.(Roush Fenway)(9-26-2012)
Fifth Third returns to #17 to sponsor Stenhouse in 2013 UPDATE: Fifth Third Bank will sponsor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Fifth Third is sponsoring the same car it backed earlier this season, but with a different driver [Matt Kenseth]. Stenhouse will drive the #17 Fifth Third Ford Fusion next season. Fifth Third will be the primary sponsor of Stenhouse at Daytona, Michigan, Kentucky and Martinsville next year and an associate sponsor at all other Sprint Cup races in 2013. It also will be the primary sponsor of Stenhouse's #6 Ford at this year's last Sprint Cup race of the season, the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 18. Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, which owns the car, said Fifth Third is one of three main sponsors of Stenhouse and the #17 team. "We have seen Ricky develop into a NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and we're pleased to provide this opportunity for him to begin his Sprint Cup Series career next season with Fifth Third Bank, Best Buy and Zest on board," Roush said. The deal follows a Fifth Third sponsorship announced in May of Matt Kenseth driving the same #17 Fifth Third Ford Fusion for four races this summer (Business Courier ), Kenseth will leave the team after 2012 and drive the #20 Job Gibbs Racing Toyota in 2013.(9-21-2012)
UPDATE: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will run at least three Sprint Cup races for Roush Fenway Racing – Dover, Charlotte and Homestead – during the remainder of this season. "Right now, we're organized for three races with him at Dover, Charlotte and Homestead," said Jack Roush, "but if we decide his prospects for winning the Nationwide championship are improved by running more Sprint Cup races, we'll do that, and if we decide there's a sponsor that expresses interest and wants to take a look at him, or to be on board for an additional venue, we'll do that as well."(Gaston Gazette)(9-23-2012)
Stenhouse, Jr to attempt Dover race: [Chicago] capped a huge weekend for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush announced Friday that Stenhouse was going to drive the #17 Sprint Cup car for Roush-Fenway Racing on a full-time basis in 2013, and that Best Buy was going to be a primary sponsor. Stenhouse will, though, run a Cup race at Dover Sept. 30. "If we felt like running a Cup race would distract us, we wouldn't do it," Stenhouse said. "I just like track time. It doesn't matter in what type of car it is."(Chicago Sun-Times)(9-18-2012)
Roush could bring #6 car back soon: As soon as Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush secures sponsorship for his #6 Ford, he's ready to bring the car back to the Sprint Cup Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as the driver. The #6 has been in mothballs since Stenhouse drove it in the season-opening Daytona 500. "We've got the decal for the top of the roof on that 6 car all organized for Ricky," Roush said Friday night, after Stenhouse won the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race at Texas. "As soon as I can find sponsorship for it, he's good to go. The highest priority we have for this year in the meantime is to defend (Stenhouse's) championship in the Nationwide series but hopefully we can find sponsorship and run the 6 car with him next year -- and we will run some races with him in the 6 Cup car before this year is over."(NASCAR News Service)(4-15-2012)
Roush Fenway Scores Historic 300th Victory with Daytona 500 Win: Roush Fenway Racing officially kicked off it's 25th Anniversary season in grand fashion on Monday night, with #17-Matt Kenseth holding off teammate #16-Greg Biffle as the organization claimed its historic 300th NASCAR victory with its second Daytona 500 victory in the first ever night-time running of the famed event at Daytona International Speedway.
"It feels great," said Kenseth. "We even went overtime a little bit since we didn't quite go the whole distance the first time we won it. We had a really fast car all day and overcame a lot of adversity and problems with the car that we figured out. We had a great pit stop at the end that put us into position. It feels great. I wasn't expecting to win when I woke up this morning so it feels good to be sitting here."
Kenseth and Biffle combined to lead 83 of 200 laps in the race, with Kenseth taking the lead for the final time with 37 laps remaining and holding the point until the race's conclusion with a green-white-checkered finish. With the victory, Roush Fenway becomes the first team in NASCAR history to win 300 races.
"This is a special night," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "It feels great. It is very fitting that Matt won the 300th victory that we have had since we started in 1988 and (crew chief) Jimmy Fennig has been with us for most of the time and Matt has been here most of the time as well. It is great to celebrate our 300th win here with the 54th Daytona 500. This is Matt's second 500 win and that makes it special as well."(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-28-2012)
Ford Eco Boost to sponsor Stenhouse in Daytona 500: EcoBoost, the line of Ford production car engines that provides increased power and fuel efficiency while reducing emissions, is coming to NASCAR, but not under the hood. Ford is reaching out to its huge racing audience through a multi-tiered marketing campaign focused on EcoBoost beginning with this month's Daytona 500. EcoBoost, which first appeared on the NASCAR landscape as the paint scheme on the 2013 Fusion race car for its reveal in Charlotte, N.C., January 24, will serve as the primary paint scheme when defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. makes his Daytona 500 debut in the #6 Roush Fenway Ford Fusion at the end of the month. EcoBoost will also be featured for select races on the #17 Fusion of former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth throughout the 2012 Sprint Cup campaign. EcoBoost will also appear on the Mustang race cars of Stenhouse Jr. and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne for select races on the 2012 Nationwide Series schedule. "EcoBoost is one of the smart technologies from Ford that blends performance and fuel economy into one package. That's something all racers and racing fans can relate to," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "EcoBoost engines are available now, and they will be widely available on most vehicles from Ford. We want to raise awareness of EcoBoost among NASCAR fans, so they will look for it, and ask about it when they shop for their new Fords." In addition to making appearances on the track, EcoBoost will be featured as the title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series EcoBoost 300 event March 17, 2012 at Bristol Motor Speedway.(Ford Racing NASCAR), see image of the scheme on the #6 Team Schemes page.(2-15-2012)
Roush Fenway to Commemorate "25 Winning Years" in 2012: Coming off one of the strongest seasons in its quarter-decade history, Roush Fenway Racing will commemorate 2012 by celebrating its 25th Anniversary of racing at NASCAR's highest levels. Roush Fenway kicked off its "25 Winning Years" program this week on Charlotte Motor Speedway's annual media tour, where they asked media to name what it considers the top moment of the organization's celebrated 24-year racing history.
"We've had a number of critical milestones since we started in 1988," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "I looked around the room at the media tour at all the trophies we had on display and there is a great deal of emotion that comes to mind when I see each piece. Each trophy has a different story and represents a different milestone and sacrifice. From the first win with Mark Martin at Rockingham in 1989 to our 299th win last season with Trevor Bayne in Texas, they all mean something. Along the way we've won multiple championships in all three NASCAR Series, with Greg (Biffle) getting the first two and Matt Kenseth getting our first Cup championship in 2003." Since founding the company in 1988, Jack Roush has seen the organization amass a record 299 victories. Roush Fenway currently boasts 125 Sprint Cup wins and is the winningest team in both NASCAR's Nationwide and Truck Series'. To properly commemorate the season, Roush Fenway will celebrate four specific areas vital to the organization's success in 2012; performance, people, partners and innovation.(Roush Fenway Racing)(1-28-2012)
Stenhouse honored: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., of Cornelius, N.C., was selected to receive the 19th annual Gorsline Scholarship, presented by Gorsline Company of Rochester, N.Y. At the age of 23, Stenhouse won the hotly-contested 2011 Nationwide Series championship, his first, driving for Roush Fenway Racing. He was honored Sunday at the 42nd annual American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association's (AARWBA) All-America Team dinner in Indianapolis. The Gorsline Scholarship recognizes aspiring drivers and presents a program that provides tools that will assist these drivers in developing skills on and off the track to attain their professional goals. As the scholarship winner, Stenhouse will work with Dr. Jacques Dallaire, Director of Performance Prime, to create an individually-designed performance-enhancement program, courtesy of Gorsline Company. Andy Villa, Gorsline Company partner, and previous Gorsline Scholarship winners Patrick Long and Josef Newgarden accepted the award on behalf of Stenhouse at the AARWBA dinner. The Gorsline Company, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., pioneered the business of providing insurance for high-risk professionals. The company specializes in providing racing drivers and owners creative, custom-designed insurance packages and estate planning strategies.()(1-10-2012)
Stenhouse to run the Daytona 500: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who won the 2011 Nationwide Series title, will compete in the 2012 Daytona 500 in Roush Fenway Racing's #6 Ford. The team does not expect to run the unsponsored car for the full season but is locked into the first five races based on owners points from 2011 when the car was driven by David Ragan. The only race confirmed for now is the Daytona 500. The team currently does not have a sponsor for the race, team spokesman Kevin Woods said. Stenhouse will participate in the NASCAR test next week at Daytona International Speedway to prepare for the Daytona 500. Whether he runs a full Nationwide schedule in 2012 has not been solidified, Woods said.(SceneDaily)(1-6-2012)
Roush Yates teams up with Impact: Roush Yates Performance Products has reached a distribution agreement with Impact by MasterCraft Safety to create a 1,500 square foot safety center within Roush Yates Performance Products' Mooresville, N.C. retail center. This partnership will continue Roush Yates' goal of offering "one stop" shopping for drivers and pit crews throughout the racing spectrum. "We're very proud to be associated with a great company like Impact," said Roush Yates CEO Doug Yates. "This new partnership certainly broadens our reach and product offerings as a whole, which should further underscore the fact that Roush Yates Performance Products is truly a complete solution center for any racer of any caliber or series." The safety center will be staffed with personnel well versed in the intricacies of critical safety matters such as helmet fitment, custom race suit measurements, and choosing the proper restraints for specific genres of racing. "We couldn't be happier," said MasterCraft Safety president Robbie Pierce. "While our product lines are different, both Roush Yates and Impact offer premium racing products with absolutely no compromises."(Roush Yates Performance Products/Impact by MasterCraft)(12-27-2011)
Allmendinger to Penske? Ragan to the #43? Rumors floating around that A.J. Allmendinger could be headed to the #22 Penske Dodge and David Ragan to the #43 RPM Ford. If true Allmendinger moves over from the #43 RPM ride and Ragan moves from the sponsorless possibly closed up #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.(12-21-2011)
Congrats - Ragan gets engaged: David Ragan made one thing certain this offseason – his love for Jacquelyn Ann Butler. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver recently proposed to his longtime girlfriend and the two have set a 2012 wedding date of Dec. 15 at a Charlotte-area church. Butler and Ragan met Sept. 6, 2006 on the UNC Charlotte campus not far from Charlotte Motor Speedway and the two have been fixtures at the racetrack ever since. Ragan just completed his fifth full year in the Sprint Cup Series and is currently in negotiations with teams in regard to his 2012 season.(FullCircle Ventures)(12-15-2011)
David Ragan named guest of honor for ARCA Awards Banquet: David Ragan will be the Guest of Honor at Saturday's ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky. Ragan made 31 ARCA starts between 2003 and 2008, and won at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia on May 28, 2005. He made his Sprint Cup debut for Roush Fenway Racing in 2006, began racing full-time for the team in 2007, and won at historic Daytona International Speedway for the team this July. Series champion Ty Dillon, Rookie of the Year Chris Buescher, other drivers from the top 20, and the top 10 car owners will be honored Saturday in a program that also features special award winners. In an interesting connection, Ragan is a mentor to and has spotted for Buescher in ARCA competition. Ragan drove for Roulo Brothers Racing while in ARCA, preceding Buescher's tenure with the team.(ARCA)(12-9-2011)
Ragan in line for the #22 ride: been told Ragan has been released by Roush Fenway Racing and Ford to pursue other oppurtunities. Supposedly he was in line to run the #51 Chevy in 2012, but now hearing he will sign a one-year deal to run the #22 Dodge for Penske.(12-5-2011)
AND David Ragan was given his release from Roush Fenway Racing on Monday, opening the door for him to possibly replace 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch at Penske Racing. Ragan said he asked for his release Monday morning, after learning that Busch and Penske Racing had mutually agreed to split. He then talked to Penske Racing president Tim Cindric to express an interest in the vacant #22 ride. "I want to be in consideration for that car," Ragan said. Ragan said he had been disappointed when UPS informed Roush Fenway during the season that it was not returning to the #6 car as a sponsor. "Sometimes crazy things happen for a reason. I feel I've got a good shot to have a sit-down talk with the guys at Penske," Ragan said. "We haven't discussed that, but I have reached out to them and hopefully later on in the next week or two we'll have more to talk about." Although Ragan didn't have a Sprint Cup Series ride with RFR for 2012, he remained under contract until he was given the release. The move now clears him to pursue the Penske opening, as well as other potential vacancies in Sprint Cup and the Nationwide Series.
Penske Racing executive Bud Denker acknowledged that Ragan "and others" would be considered to replace Busch, whose behavior on and off the track led to the split. He did not give a timetable, but indicated it could be several weeks, as the process has just begun and sponsor Shell Pennzoil will have to approve the winning candidate.
Others drivers who might be considered include David Reutimann and Brian Vickers. Reutimann was released from Michael Waltrip Racing, while Vickers was a part of Red Bull Racing, which is folding its NASCAR operation. Denker said that Sam Hornish Jr. will not be under consideration, as Penske wants the former IndyCar Series champion to focus on a full Nationwide Series run in 2012 before returning to Cup. Hornish drove full time in the Cup Series for Penske from 2008 through 2010, recording only two top-5 finishes and never finishing better than 28th in points.(ESPN)(12-5-2011)
Blickensderfer headed to RCR? UPDATE: Drew Blickensderfer, crew chief for #6-David Ragan, is parting ways with Roush Fenway Racing and is expected to be the new crew chief on the #31 Richard Childress Chevrolet for driver Jeff Burton. An official announcement is expected this week.(FOXSports)(11-21-2011)
UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing has named Drew Blickensderfer as the crew chief for the #31 Caterpillar/Wheaties Racing team with driver Jeff Burton for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Luke Lambert, interim crew chief during the latter part of the 2011 season for the #31 team, will assume a yet-to-be announced new position at RCR. Blickensderfer begins his RCR career after nearly a decade with Roush Fenway Racing. He spent the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season leading the #6 team and has been a crew chief, in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, since 2007.(RCR)(11-28-2011)
Roush clarifies Ragan comments: Jack Roush constantly is juggling a bunch of balls but he could be excused for being a little sleep-deprived on Monday morning. So on Tuesday evening, Roush was compelled to reach out and make sure his feelings for David Ragan hadn't been misconstrued in comments that Roush made in a media briefing on Monday morning in conjunction with the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series banquet. Roush expressed his "disappointment and frustration" at Ragan not fulfilling his potential in a five-year stint driving the #6 Ford, which may come to an end if Roush Fenway Racing is unable to secure sponsorship. Tuesday night, Roush said part of the frustration came -- and he's expressed the same emotion in a variety of situations throughout his lengthy ownership tenure -- from his own failure to turn the proper keys. "I have nothing but the highest level of respect for David Ragan both as a person and a competitor," Roush said. "He has been a valuable member of the Roush Fenway family for many years, and has been a great representative of our organization. "The point referred to in my comments was aimed at my sincere disappointment that I have not been able to put the pieces together with David that would have supported the type of success that I feel he is capable. With that said we have watched David grow tremendously as a driver and much of that growth was manifested in his successes on the track this season."(NASCAR.com)(10-25-2011)
Significant layoffs at Roush: Multiple sources have confirmed significant layoffs this week at Roush Fenway Racing. According to sources, more than 100 workers were released by the team Monday and [Tuesday]. One source put the number at 125. Prior to today, the team employed about 440 people. Roush Fenway is expected to reduce its NASCAR Sprint Cup car count from four cars to three next season, with the #6 driven by David Ragan likely to be shuttered. At last report, the team is also without sponsors for the #17 of Matt Kenseth. The team may also reduce the size of its NASCAR Nationwide Series operations from three cars to one or two.(SPEED)(1-22-2011)
40% Chance the #6 and Ragan will be back in 2012, layoffs coming: David Ragan, who has driven Roush's #6 Sprint Cup car for the past five seasons and who already knew the car's current sponsor, UPS, would cut back its involvement in 2012, more than likely won't return. "My expectation right now is that I don't see having something for David next year," Roush said. "We aren't far enough along ... There are some discussions ongoing but they aren't far enough along that I would put more than a 40% chance of having something for David." Ragan's #6 program was the enigma, despite being in a position to win the Daytona 500, winning the non-points Sprint Showdown and then scoring Ragan's first points-paying victory, at Daytona in July. "David Ragan was a frustration and a disappointment for all of us," Roush said, "because he was not able to realize the potential that he had, given what his skill is and what the expectations of the sponsor were, and what the performance that was being demonstrated in the car, and what the engineering package was." Roush said he had not yet decided if the #6 -- which would be a guaranteed starter beginning the 2012 season based on its 23rd position in the final 2011 owners' standings -- would run in the Daytona 500. Roush said he hoped to put Ragan's crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, in a Nationwide program [side note - looks like Blickensderfer is headed to RCR's #31]. Roush said he has done what he can to help keep Ragan in the Sprint Cup Series. "I have tried to help David," Roush said. "[Would you] characterize what I've done as not attempting to be helpful and to do my very best for David? As far as I know Richard Petty's situation is stable, and either Ricky or Trevor will figure into the Wood Brothers' limited program.
Roush Fenway senior vice president of business operations Steve Newmark confirmed the ongoing discussions and said "the ideal would be for David to remain under the Roush Fenway umbrella. We've had some discussions with him, looking at the Nationwide level." Newmark said as of Monday RFR would field one full-time Nationwide program and another part-time effort in 2012, and whichever of Stenhouse or Bayne didn't compete full time in Nationwide would compete in the legendary #21 Ford fielded for a partial Sprint Cup schedule by Wood Brothers Racing, a Roush Fenway ally. With Edwards, who secured the 2011 Nationwide owners' championship for Roush, ceasing to run full-time in Nationwide and the status of the #6 Sprint Cup program unsure, Roush said "we've got some people that will be displaced, though those decisions haven't been finalized, so I wouldn't care to speculate." Newmark confirmed the organization would scale back but he was not in a position to cite any numbers or definite layoff dates.(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2011)
Blickensderfer headed to RCR? Drew Blickensderfer, crew chief for #6-David Ragan, is parting ways with Roush Fenway Racing and is expected to be the new crew chief on the #31 Richard Childress Chevrolet for driver Jeff Burton. An official announcement is expected this week.(FOXSports)(11-21-2011)
Different look for the #6: The roof of the #6 UPS My Choice Ford of David Ragan will be painted white and have a red number to support Coca-Cola's Arctic Home program. Polar Bears have been a part of the Coca-Cola brand for decades and this holiday season Coke is turning its iconic red cans white to help raise awareness and funds polar bear conservation efforts. For every fan that donates, Coke will match it up to $1 million (RFR)(11-10-2011)
Roush Fenway expects to have 3 teams in 2012: Roush Fenway Racing expects to shrink from four full-time Sprint Cup cars to three in 2012. "The most likely scenario is three,'' RFR president Steve Newmark said before Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. "We're still plugging away at the fourth, but we all recognize the realities that when you're this late in the season it makes it more difficult to secure that. Only the #99 car of Carl Edwards and #16 of Greg Biffle is fully sponsored for next season. The #17 of 2003 Cup champion Matt Kenseth has no sponsorship for 2012, and Newmark said "nothing is eminent'' but added RFR is prepared to run that car unsponsored if necessary. Newmark said the #6 car driven by David Ragan could run limited races but was non-committal on whether Ragan, Nationwide Series points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or Trevor Bayne -- or a combination of two or three -- would get those races. He said the plan is for Bayne, the defending Daytona 500 champion, to run a limited Cup schedule in the #21 for the Wood Brothers. Newmark said RFR hopes to field two Nationwide Series cars, with at least one of them fully sponsored. No decision has been made on who would fill those seats, although Stenhouse has been promised a ride for RFR next season.(ESPN)(10-31-2011)
Ragan wants to stay in Cup, but open to Nationwide ride: David Ragan believes he likely will compete in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 2012. For whom he will be driving, though, has yet to be determined. UPS, Ragan's current primary sponsor on the Roush Fenway Racing #6 Ford, announced earlier this week that the company would scale back it's racing program next season. Minus funding, Ragan said Saturday he isn't sure in which direction his career is headed. While he's hopeful that funding can be found that will allow him to remain at Roush Fenway, Ragan knows the odds are less than favorable. But he says he's "confident" that he will run in Cup. "With a competitive team," he said. "I'm not going to be in a back-marker car just to say I'm driving a Sprint Cup car," Ragan, who won his first Cup race at Daytona in July, said. "I'm not too proud to go back to the Nationwide Series and contend for a championship. Ragan, 25, is under contract to Roush Fenway for 2012, meaning Roush could "loan" the driver to another Ford organization next season. But he said it's not a given that he would end up with a Ford team.(Scene Daily)(10-30-2011)
UPS renews with NASCAR; Moves to associate sponsor with Edwards: UPS and NASCAR have signed a multi-year agreement for UPS to remain the sport's official logistics partner, providing critical pick-up and delivery services for race teams, vendors and suppliers at every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event throughout the season. In addition to its official partnership, UPS will continue its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing as a full-season associate sponsor of the #99 Ford, driven by Carl Edwards. The decision to continue with NASCAR in an official capacity for a 13th season and Roush Fenway Racing as a sponsor for a fourth season was driven by the positive growth UPS has enjoyed through its direct involvement in the sport. UPS also will continue its successful customer and employee hospitality activations at select events throughout the year in addition to serving as primary sponsor on the #99 Ford at Kentucky Speedway.(UPS)(10-27-2011)
New look for the #6 for rest of season: Beginning this weekend in Talladega and running through the end of the season, UPS My Choice will be featured as the primary design on David Ragan's #6 UPS Ford. UPS My Choice is a game-changing new service introduced by UPS in October that dramatically increases the likelihood of a successful package delivery on the first attempt by providing package recipients delivery alerts, specific delivery time frames, reroute options, visibility tools and electronic signature release, all by accessing ups.com through a computer or mobile phone.(Rosuh Fenway Racing)(10-19-2011)
Roush Yates Engines and Freescale Semiconductor partner on technology: Roush Yates Engines and Freescale Semiconductor announced a new partnership grounded in a shared vision for the expanding role of technology in motorsports. This partnership brings together two industry leaders in automotive and motorsports. Freescale, as one of the world's largest providers of automotive electronics, provides the processing power behind NASCAR's 2012 Sprint Cup Series switch to fuel injection and is the Official Automotive Semiconductor of NASCAR. Roush Yates is recognized as one of the premier engine manufacturers, and both of these companies have a long history in automotive and motorsports innovation. Together, Roush Yates and Freescale look to discover new ways in which technology can be used to improve the team, driver and fan experience within NASCAR and other racing series.(Roush Yates)(10-18-2011)
UPS Freight on the #6: David Ragan will run a special UPS Freight car this weekend in Charlotte. This is the second time UPS Freight will be featured on the #6 Ford this season and the new design was chosen by UPS employees. Ragan will be driving the same car that sat on the pole in Texas and finished seventh.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(10-12-2011)
Could Roush drop to three teams in 2012? UPDATE: this week Jack Roush addressed the topic of Rosuh Fenway Racing dropping from a four-car to a three-car team in a SiriusXM Satellite Radio interview. "We're looking for a sponsor for #6-David (Ragan), but right now I can't tell you who that's gonna be," Roush told host Claire B. Lang. "I'll say that I'm not real close on it. So David has not been encouraged to not talk to other teams going forward for things that they might have or an interest because right now I don't see how I'm gonna run the fourth car unless things turn dramatically." #16-Greg Biffle, #99-Carl Edwards and #17-Matt Kenseth are RFR's other Cup drivers. Roush said he expected to remain active in the Nationwide Series but more likely with two cars than three. He has self-funded in large part the programs of Trevor Bayne (who won the Daytona 500) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (who is on pace to win the Nationwide title), and even Edwards hasn't had full backing.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(10-7-2011)
UPDATE: Roush concedes that, while he is still looking for a sponsor to keep Ragan in his current ride, there are still no great prospects. And Roush says he's told Ragan to start looking for a new deal, because without major sponsorship Roush says he won't be able to run four full-time Cup teams in 2012. Speculation is that Ragan could be penciled in for a ride with Kevin Buckler [#71 TRG Ford], the sports car racer turned NASCAR team owner, and a Ford man. But Ragan himself says he's focused more on finishing this season as strongly as he can. "Right now I am not focused on 2012 just yet," Ragan says. "I think it's important for us to finish this season strong. And the stronger we can finish 2011, that will only help our chances of finding a sponsor and a package to go racing next year. Everyone at Roush Fenway is working hard at selling sponsors for us and for Matt. They have to sell some sponsorships for us to go racing next year. Jack has always done a good job of selling our race cars. Even though it's come to the last minute, we have confidence we'll be out on the track racing (next season). And hopefully we can find a partner we can announce, sooner rather than later.(MikeMulhern.net)(10-8-2011)
David Ragan not worried about future: David Ragan has lost some of the momentum he brought through the month of July. The #6 Roush Fenway Racing team scuffled through August and now sits with only a slim chance at making the Chase, despite Ragan's breakthrough win in July's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Friday, news surfaced that UPS was cutting its sponsorship back from 36 races to four to six [eight] races and may take that money over to Carl Edwards' #99 Ford or even to another team. The bad news did not shock Ragan. "I think we've known for a while that UPS was going to cut back a little bit.," Ragan told News/Talk WSB just after posting the 15th-fastest time in Sprint Cup Series Happy Hour practice. "They are still going to be involved in the sport in some way, shape, or form. Hopefully, we can do the right things and keep them around Roush Fenway in a small capacity. We knew they had a different mindset of how they want to spend some of their marketing dollars. We've had a good relationship and I hope we can keep that going - just not in the same way we have today." Despite rumors that now swirl about Ragan's future in the sponsor-lacking #6, the 25-year-old remains confident that his future is in that seat. "We've got a lot of irons in the fire. It's just a matter of which one materializes.We've got a lot of meetings with a lot of companies. It's just a matter of finding some sponsorship. We've got to fill out the 6 car with some extra races. That's what we're working on and we're positive we can get that done."(WSB Radio)(9-4-2011)
UPS to cut back NASCAR sponsorship UPDATE: UPS plans to cut back dramatically on its support of Roush Fenway Racing's #6 Ford driven by David Ragan in 2012, SportsBusiness Daily reported. Sources familiar with the company's plan said it will drop its full-season primary sponsorship of the #6 car and sponsor 4-8 races at RFR in '12. The company is in talks to shift its sponsorship to Carl Edwards, who drives the team's #99 Ford. RFR president Steve Newmark declined to comment and said the team is still in discussions with UPS. The company did not return a call seeking comment. The move will further reduce the number of sponsors paying for their logo to appear in all 36 NASCAR races. UPS was one of seven sponsors slated to be on the same NASCAR hood for all 36 Sprint Cup races. The other full-season primary sponsors are #11-FedEx [34 races, Sports Clips at Darlington, Charter Comm at Atlanta], #20-Home Depot, #48-Lowe's, #27-Menard's, #2-Miller Lite and #56-NAPA Auto Parts. (Red Bull and Furniture Row own the teams that feature their logos.) Though UPS won't renew its full-season primary sponsorship at RFR, sources said the company is expected to renew its official partnership with NASCAR. It has been the sport's official delivery company since 2000.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(9-2-2011)
UPDATE: If UPS is in talks to become part of Carl Edwards' sponsorship program next year, the driver of the #99 Ford hasn't been part of the discussions yet. Edwards was aware of Friday's Sports Business Daily story that indicated UPS, which currently sponsors David Ragan in the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, would reduce its commitment significantly next year and is talking with RFR brass about sponsoring Edwards for four to eight races. "I read it, too, and I don't know anything other than what it said," Edwards told Sporting News on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, when asked about the report. "I still don't know that it's anything more than a rumor. Nobody's come to me and said, 'Hey, here's what's happening; here's what's going on.' I wish I knew."(in ppart from the Sporting News)(9-3-2011)
Jack Roush ready to resume flying: It was a year ago when Sprint Cup car owner Jack Roush arrived at MIS with facial injuries, making his return to the series after he had crash-landed his plane in Oshkosh, Wis., the previous month. Roush, 69, enjoys flying his planes as much as he loves motor sports, and that is why he's so excited to return to piloting this week at Willow Run Airport for the first time since the crash. "I'm totally recovered," said Roush, of Livonia, wearing his trademark Panama-style hat while signing autographs. "I just got my medical back from the FAA, indicating that I'm medically sound and I'm without restriction. I have one more validation flight for the (injured) eye and I have that Tuesday. Once I get that done I can fly anything I did before. I plan to fly Tuesday." Roush suffered a ruptured left eyeball, broken jaw, damaged left cheekbone and had a compression fracture in his back from the crash. He said at the time "that everything will come back except the sight in my left eye."(Detroit News)(8-22-2011)
Tuesday testing: hearing that several drivers are testing Tuesday at Carolina Motorsports Park, including David Ragan and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a Grand AM GT car, Alex Tagliani in a Penske Dodge Nationwide car and Marcos Amborse in a Nationwide car.(8-9-2011)
Ragan Cautiously Optimistic About 2012: While #6-David Ragan is signed with Roush Fenway racing for a couple of more years, big money sponsor UPS' contract is up at the end of the season, and Ragan and the #6 team's results since pairing with the Atlanta company in 2009 have been less-than-stellar. Previous good finishes and Saturday's win give Ragan tempered optimism.
"I'm not worried about the program next year. I certainly think about it some. UPS has been a great partner of ours and will continue to be," Ragan said, before appearing on-stage before a group of fans. "They've got some decisions to make in the next couple of months. I think we're on the right path to bring those guys back; we're happy we got that win for them – that certainly helped. The Fords are the strongest they have been in a long time. Jack [Roush, owner] and I are on the same page and UPS is happy."(WSB Radio)(7-6-2011)
UPS happy with win: Well after the [#6-Ragan, UPS driver, won Coke Zero 400] victory, UPS sent a statement to the media, which is highly unusual. "We're very proud to have David Ragan as UPS Racing's brand ambassador and are excited to congratulate him on his first win," said Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president, sponsorships & events. "David has a great future ahead of him and we look forward to many more trips to Victory Lane with him."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-5-2011)
David Ragan wins at Daytona: #6-David Ragan won the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 1st career win. With the win, Ragan now moves into 17th in the drivers points and is currently in the 2nd Chase Wild Card spot. The win is the first for a UPS sponsored car since Dale Jarrett won at Talladega in Oct. 2005.
#17-Kenseth finished second followed by #20-Logano, #4-Kahne, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #27-Menard, #42-Montoya and #43-Allmendinger.
Pole Sitter #5-Martin was inovled in the first 'big one' late in the race and finished 33rd. Daytona 500 winner and outside pole sitter, #21-Bayne, wrecked on lap 5 and finished 41st.
The points leader going in to the race, #99-Edwards, wrecked early in the race and finished 37th and lost the points lead to #29-Kevin Harvick, who leads the points by 5 points.
There were 57 lead changes among 25 drivers; 6 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 115,000 same as last July.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, July 6 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Daytona Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.
For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-2-2011)
UPS honoring Ned Jarrett with special scheme at Brickyard: UPS will pay tribute to Ned Jarrett's recent induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a commemorative design on David Ragan's #6 UPS Ford at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The throwback paint scheme was unveiled at Infineon Raceway and resembles Jarrett's 1965 championship-winning Ford Galaxie. UPS sponsored Jarrett's son and current broadcast analyst Dale Jarrett from 2001 to 2008 and both father and son appeared together in one of UPS's memorable "race the truck" NASCAR commercials. During the Indianapolis race weekend, Ragan's UPS Ford will feature a classic candy apple blue base design while also paying homage to Jarrett's nickname - Gentleman Ned - along the rear quarter panel. The #6 Ford will feature retro white wheels, which will stay on the car until the team's first pit stop, and showcase the UPS logo as it appeared in 1965.(Just Marketing/UPS Racing)(6-25-2011)
see an image of the scheme on the #6 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2011)
Roush supportive of Childress: Jack Roush drew a few laughs after his team's NASCAR Nationwide victory, when he was asked his view of the fine handed down to fellow owner Richard Childress. Childress was fined $150,000 earlier this month for an altercation with Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway. Childress was upset that Busch bumped into Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap after a race. "It was pretty high," Roush said about the fine. "I guess that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of, 'Have at it, guys.' Maybe that was a boy and a man. I am not sure. Maybe that is different than the boys having at it. Kyle has been pretty rough on my cars over a period of time and for Richard to stand up for himself was OK," Roush said.(Associated Press)(6-19-2011)
Drivers test at Infineon: Sprint Cup Series drivers #00-David Reutimann, #6-David Ragan, #71-Andy Lally and #66-Michael McDowell, as well as West Series driver and Hayward native Jessica Brunelli, completed a one-day test session at Infineon Raceway on Tuesday in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 24-26. Reutimann completed approximately 50 laps around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. Reutimann will compete in his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway next weekend. He posted a best finish of 20th in 2010. Reutimann was joined at the test session by Lally, who will race the #71 entry for Petaluma-based TRG Motorsports. Lally, who has competed in Sonoma in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Series, will make his first Toyota/Save Mart 350 attempt. All four Sprint Cup Series drivers piloted late-model stock cars provided by a Northern California-based race team.(Infineon Raceway PR)(6-15-2011)
UPS On The Move? Now that Kasey Kahne has Farmers Insurance as his primary sponsor for the majority of races next season, it eliminates one of the potential candidates for the UPS sponsorship. UPS is one of the top sponsors in the sport left to make its decision on where it will be in 2012. Its contract ends this year with Roush Fenway Racing and driver #6-David Ragan. Roush Fenway still needs to sign #99-Carl Edwards, and that could result in him wearing the UPS colors next season along with Aflac, depending on how much money each company wants to fork over for the current series points leader. That wouldn't be the preferable scenario for Roush Fenway but might be the only way it can keep Edwards in the organization. Another possibility for UPS would be #33-Clint Bowyer, whose personality would be a good fit with the company. General Mills has yet to re-sign with Richard Childress Racing and Bowyer, whose contract also is up at the end of this year.(Scene Daily)(6-15-2011)
IEG will measure ROO for new Roush sponsors: Roush Fenway Racing [#'s 6,16,17,99] has hired IEG's sponsorship measurement division to provide independent, third-party return-on-objective analysis to new sponsors. The race team and sponsorship analysis company are labeling the new service RoushFenwayOnTrack. IEG has never partnered with a team or property to do similar research in the past. Roush executives hope the service enables sponsors to better evaluate the value of their sponsorships with the race team.
Roush will pay for the service from IEG and include it in its sponsorship packages alongside assets such as driver appearances, production days and show car programs. Sponsors will be able to hold independent meetings with IEG to define their objectives and develop measurement tools to track their sponsorship's performance. IEG will share the results with the partner. Four of Roush's major NASCAR Sprint Cup partners were up for renewal this season. 3M [#16 ]is the only one to renew to date, and IEG measurement services weren't included in the deal. The team remains in negotiations with Diageo's Crown Royal [#17], Aflac [#99] and UPS [#6].(Sports Business Journal)(6-13-2011)
Roush Fenway to Host Annual Spring Fan Day Event: Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, David Ragan, Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. & Jack Roush are scheduled to sign autographs as part of Roush Fenway Racing's 2011 Fan Day event on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at its corporate headquarters in Concord, North Carolina. Fans are invited to participate in an array of activities that kick off with autograph sessions by all seven Roush Fenway drivers and legendary team owner Jack Roush. In addition, Sirius NASCAR Radio will broadcast live on site and Roush Fenway will host its second annual fan tweet up at the event, featuring RickyvsTrevor.com. Autograph sessions are as follows:
11:30am -- Trevor Bayne, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jack Roush
12:30pm -- Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan
Tickets for both autograph sessions are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis beginning at 8:00am/et on the day of the event. In addition to the above activities, fans will be able to tour the Roush Fenway museum, shop in the store and peruse a variety of displays from Aflac, Scotts, Kellogg's, Avon and Blackwell Angus. There will also be live music performed by Luke Kauffman, as well as food and drink vendors so fans are encouraged to make a day of the festivities. Roush Fenway Racing address is; 4600 Roush Place, Concord, NC. For more information, visit the Roush Fenway Racing website.(5-14-2011)
Pole is Ragan's first in 153 starts: 102 is the number of starts #78-Regan Smith will have in the Cup series when he takes the green flag on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, making him the full-time active Cup driver with the most starts without a pole in the Sprint Cup Series. #6-David Ragan had the most starts among active Cup regulars without a pole until he grabbed the poled Friday for Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500, which will be his 153rd Cup start.(Sporting News)(4-9-2011)
UPS Freight for Ragan at Texas: Ragan will drive the UPS Freight Ford in Texas. It will be the first race this season that Freight has appeared on the #6.(Roush Fenway)(4-7-2011)
Part owner of Roush Fenway changes name: The parent company that owned the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC and half of Roush Fenway Racing has changed its name to Fenway Sports Group. The umbrella group owned primarily by John W. Henry and Tom Werner was formerly known as New England Sports Ventures. Company officials said it was assuming a new corporate name to better reflect its reach into NASCAR and English Premier League soccer. Fenway Sports Group had been the name of NESV's marketing arm. It will now go by Fenway Sports Management.(Associated Press)(3-23-2011)
Ragan to visit Shriners Hospitals for Children: David Ragan named Shriners Hospitals for Children his charity of choice in 2008 and has continued to support their great cause over the years in everything that he does. One highlight of Ragan's relationship with the Shriners is getting a chance to visit the different hospitals and get a firsthand look at the innovative medical advances that the Shriners are doing to help children in need. On his way out to Auto Club Speedway on Thursday, March 24th Ragan will make a stop in Los Angeles to visit with the children at the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Ragan will take a tour and spend the afternoon participating in a racing-themed day with the children and their families. Ragan has started the process to become a Shriner himself and though he hasn't officially been inducted he has done a lot with the organization over the years.(Roush Fenway Racing)(3-22-2011)
Valvoline renews oil partnership with Roush Fenway: Roush Fenway Racing and Valvoline, two organizations with long histories of excellence in automotive performance, announced an extension of their NASCAR partnership. Valvoline, the leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive products, will continue to be the exclusive motor oil provider for Roush Fenway Racing and all of its NASCAR entries. Valvoline and Roush Fenway Racing are used to finding victory lane in NASCAR competition. In 14 seasons as the team's official motor oil, Valvoline has played an integral role in 46 Roush Fenway Sprint Cup Series victories. In 2011, the relationship continues into its 15th season.(Roush Fenway)(3-3-2011)
Raybestos signs on with Roush Fenway Racing: Roush Fenway Racing announced a multi-year marketing partnership with Raybestos that will see its four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams run Raybestos brake packages, beginning with short track and road course events in 2011. While Raybestos has provided Roush Fenway with brakes for many of its 291 NASCAR wins and five NASCAR championships, 2011 marks the beginning of a larger technical and marketing partnership. "We had a very successful test with the Raybestos brakes last year, and the feedback from all of our drivers was very positive," said team owner Jack Roush. "This is the first time as an organization that we've designated a single supplier to meet all of our needs - and I think that speaks volumes about the quality products that Raybestos is producing." Roush Fenway will run Raybestos Sprint Cup short track and road course brake packages, including Raybestos legendary high-friction racing brake pads. The ultra-lightweight aluminum alloy Raybestos six-piston calipers are the stiffest and lightest calipers available in NASCAR.(RFR)(3-2-2011)
Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include an annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)
Ragan signed thru 2014: some previous reports had #6-David Ragan of Roush Fenway Racing as a free agent after this season. According to Roush Fenway Racing, the UPS sponsorship is up at the end of 2011, however, Ragan's contract extends throught 2014 (FoxSports)(2-4-2011)
Edwards wants to move forward with contract renewal: UPDATE: Name your price. That's what Carl Edwards is in position to do as the highest-profile free agent in Sprint Cup racing. That notion, however, runs contrary to Edwards' desire to wrap up contract talks quickly and decisively, the way he did in 2008 when he announced an agreement with owner Jack Roush on May 2, put contract questions to rest and concentrated on driving the #99 Ford. "I'd like to be able to get it done, so that we can just keep focused on winning, and that's the most important thing," Edwards told Sporting News on Wednesday during a Sprint Cup media tour stop at the Roush Fenway hangar at Concord airport. Doubtless Edwards will test the market, and he'll choose his next ride - or decide to stay at Roush Fenway - based on the situation he believes will provide the best opportunity for success.(Sporting News)(1-28-2011)
UPDATE: Team co-owner Jack Roush did not mince words when it came his driver lineup beyond 2011. Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and David Ragan are all up for renewal. Roush "expects" all three drivers to return. "Preliminary discussions are underway with David, with Carl and with Greg and last year we made a decision going forward with Matt," Roush said. "But Jack Roush is not front-line when negotiating with the drivers. I try to keep my focus and my attention on the drivers not based on competitive, commercial interest but on the things that we can do cooperatively to improve our competition prospects on the racetrack. "The fact is I don't know what the windows are for negotiations for our drivers, I don't need to know because Steve Newman and the other people in his area are looking into that. When I need to sign something or make an approval for an agreement that's on the table, they'll bring it to me. Until then I'm blissfully ignorant of what's going (on)." With mediocre results, Ragan's future will be predicated on performance.(Fox Sports)(1-28-2011)
Roush adjusting to life with one eye: Jack Roush took a good ribbing at the end of last season about being "one-eyed Jack." Well, now he in a way is back to two eyes. Roush lost the vision in his left eye in a July 27 plane crash. He had a prosthetic eye put in around Thanksgiving. "My prosthetic eye is doing very well," Roush said Thursday during the Sprint Media Tour. "I haven't had any infection from it, I haven't had any problem of any kind with it. Nine days ago, I had some cosmetic surgery so I've still got a little swelling for that," Roush said. "I've had no complication at all from any of the surgeries I had. I sleep well. My corrected vision with my reading glasses is 20/15 and I've adjusted to having one eye as well as [I could]."(Scene Daily)(1-28-2011)
Roush Fenway partners with Navistar: Roush Fenway Racing has announced a multi-year organization-wide partnership with Navistar. The agreement will see all Roush Fenway haulers transported to all tests and races behind Navistar's International LoneStar Series Diesel Trucks.(Roush Fenway Racing)(1-27-2011)
Roush Fenway Racing names new President: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Steve Newmark has been named president of its multi-car racing organization. Newmark will succeed Geoff Smith in the position; Smith is retiring at the end of December after serving in the role for the previous 13 years. Newmark, who previously was a shareholder at the law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson, joined the organization as senior vice president of business operations in April. He brings an innovative skill set and fresh approach, highlighted by extensive NASCAR and outside sports and entertainment experience, to the position. “We are excited about Steve coming on board as our president,” said Roush Fenway owner Jack Roush. “Steve has a solid background working in all areas of sports and brings new ideas and insight into our organization. Importantly, he has been part of the Roush Fenway family for many years, beginning as outside counsel and then as head of our business operations this year. Geoff Smith did an outstanding job of running the business affairs of our company for the past 20 years and we could not have done this without him. Geoff’s leadership has set the bar high and we believe that Steve is the right person to ensure that we remain a leader in the marketplace and in the garage. Since his arrival, I’ve been extremely pleased with his business acumen, work ethic and his desire to engage in all aspects of our business. We are certainly excited to move forward with Steve at the helm.”(Roush Fenway Racing)(12-20-2010)
Roush cuts jobs: ith its Nationwide program contracting and the need for fabricators shrinking, Roush Fenway Racing has decided to lay off as many as 60 employees, a source close to the situation told Sporting News. Roush will run three Nationwide teams next year, full-time entries for #60-Carl Edwards and #16-Trevor Bayne and what the company hopes will be a full-time ride for 2010 series rookie of the year #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., pending sponsorship. Roush ran four full-time Nationwide cars in 2010. In addition, with Roush affiliate Richard Petty Motorsports contracting from four teams to two next year, Roush is overstaffed when it comes to building the cars it supplies to RPM.(Sporting News), other teams that have laid off employee's recently include Richard Petty Motorsports and Penske Racing.(12-4-2010)
No major changes planned at Roush: While only two of his four teams made it to victory lane in 2010 and accounted for just four of the season’s 36 race wins, team co-owner Jack Roush says he doesn’t anticipate wholesale changes within the Roush Fenway Racing organization during the offseason. That doesn’t mean there won’t be movement, but it’s unlikely there will be major changes involving all four of the organization’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. “We’re re-evaluating everybody’s job, from crew chiefs to engineers to tire changers for all four of our programs,” Roush said Tuesday while attending the Raybestos Rookie of the Year awards luncheon at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We’ll certainly build on the strength we have had, but if we have a weakness or see an opportunity … again, promoting from within whenever possible and generally that is our trademark. We will be looking for ways to improve ourselves.” Roush Fenway Racing fields Sprint Cup teams for four drivers – #16-Greg Biffle, #99-Carl Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-David Ragan. Biffle, Edwards and Kenseth qualified for NASCAR’s Chase For The Sprint Cup while Ragan finished 24th in points.
Kenseth's team was one of two for Roush Fenway that had notable personnel changes take place during the season. After starting the year with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer, Todd Parrott was named crew chief following the Daytona 500. In June, veteran Jimmy Fennig replaced Parrott. Ragan finished outside the top 20 in points for the second consecutive year after finishing 13th in 2008. His team also saw a change in crew chiefs during the year as Blickensderfer returned to the top of the pit box in September, replacing Donnie Wingo. There could be changes to members of the pit crews. As for his organization’s Nationwide Series program, Roush said he hopes to field three teams in 2011 – for Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne.(SceneDaily)(11-28-2010)
Some Spotters on the move: Silly season is just starting for NASCAR spotters.
Keith Barnwell goes from #1-Jamie McMurray to spotting for #56-Martin Truex Jr.
Lorin Ranier goes from the #6 Ford of David Ragan to the #1 team and McMurray.
Brett Griffin, fomerly Elliott Sadler's sponsor on the #19 RPM team that will close, replaces Rocky Ryan as the spotter for the #31
Chevy of Jeff Burton and is expected to continue his spotter duties with Elliott Sadler in the Nationwide Series.
Rocky Ryan could be a possible replacement for Ranier on the #6 car with David Ragan.
Kevin Hamlin started spotting for #33-Clint Bowyer at Texas in November.(FoxSports)(11-19-2010)
Edwards wins with FR9 Engine, will run all races in 2011: Carl Edwards’ Ford Fusion has been on an impressive winning streak, earning front row starting positions and capturing the win in the last two Nationwide Series races. Edward’s also qualified on the pole during this week’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway and swept the weekend by winning the Kobalt Tools 500. Edwards drives the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion powered by Roush Yates’ new FR9 engine. The FR9 is the first Ford purpose-built race engine ever engineered and produced at Roush Yates Engines in Mooresville, NC. The new Ford engine has been integrated slowly into the Sprint Cup Series throughout the second half of the 2010 season with help from Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports’ cars racing the engine intermittently. It has been a remarkable learning period for the FR9, with a total of 5 poles and 3 wins, including Edwards’ win this weekend that required both horsepower and efficient fuel mileage to beat Championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. “The new FR9 engine that Ford helped us with certainly was a factor today,” said Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing. “The fact that we were able to save gas and still have enough speed to maintain position on the race track was all very good. I’m thrilled to be in Victory Lane this weekend.” Even though a Championship is out of reach for Ford this year, the FR9 engine has shown an impressive increase in performance and reliability throughout the second half of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. These improvements bring enthusiasm to the Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines camps, as they plan to run the FR9 in all Ford cars for the full 2011 Sprint Cup Season.
“I’m excited to be running the FR9 in all Fords for the entire 2011 Sprint Cup Season and soon to come for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series,” said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Carl’s win at Phoenix is just another testament to the power Roush Yates’ FR9 engine is capable of. Everyone at the engine shop has been working hard to get this engine just right, and we are extremely proud of Roush Fenway Racing and their accomplishments with it this year. I look forward to watching the FR9 race at Ford Championship weekend next week at Homestead, as well as the 2011 Sprint Cup Season.”(Roush Yates Engines)(11-15-2010)
Love of Logistics on the #6 at Dega: UPS will bring its love of logistics to NASCAR as the company spotlights its newest advertising and communications campaign, "We Love Logistics," on the #6 UPS Ford piloted by David Ragan during this weekend's Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. UPS launched the global campaign last month, but the Talladega race will mark the debut of 'We Love Logistics' iconography and messaging on the race car and in other elements of the company's racing program. The broader campaign focuses on UPS's unique ability to help companies of any size harness the power of logistics to drive growth, improve efficiencies and enhance customer relationships. But logistics also plays an important role in motorsports. The dedicated logistics paint scheme in Talladega is a completely new look for the shipping leader. The addition of blue and green to the traditional brown and gold look on the car is symbolic of the multiple services UPS can provide customers.(Just Marketing / UPS PR)see an image of the car on my #6 team paint schemes page.(10-27-2010)
United Way on the #6 at Charlotte: UPS will feature the United Way logo in a special design this weekend in Charlotte on the #6 Ford that David Ragan will drive. The tribute to the charitable organization follows a United Way announcement earlier this summer that UPS had become the first corporate donor ever to surpass $1 billion in contributions to United Way. David Ragan’s fire suit and helmet from the weekend will be available for auction beginning Friday, October 15 at www.liveunited.org/thanksUPS.(RFR)(10-13-2010)
Bayne could make Sprint Cup debut at Texas: Roush Fenway Racing is working on having Trevor Bayne make his Sprint Cup debut next month, most likely at Texas Motor Speedway. Bayne possibly could end up in the #21 Ford of Wood Brothers Racing, although Roush Fenway could field a fifth car for Bayne since he is a rookie. By running Texas, the 19-year-old Bayne would be in a good position for approval for the 2011 Daytona 500. He is approved for any Cup race the remainder of this year except for Talladega. “I know if I were to run the Cup race next year [at Daytona], it would be something I would have to be approved for,” Bayne said Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in California. “That would be a process that could include that, but I don’t know what the ultimate plan is yet. We have talked about running a Roush car at Texas, but I don’t know [what will happen].” Bayne is ninth in the Nationwide Series standings. He signed with Roush Fenway last week after starting the year with Diamond-Waltrip Racing. He will run the rest of the Nationwide Series season for Roush Fenway and full time in 2011 with likely select Cup races.(SceneDaily)(10-9-2010)
Wingo replaced as Ragan's crew chief? UPDATES: Hearing that Donnie Wingo is no longer the crew chief for #6-David Ragan and that Drew Blickensderfer moves up from Roush's Nationwide program as Carl Edwards crew chief, with Mike Beam taking over there. No word on Wingo's plans.(9-21-2010)
UPDATE: Jack Roush has promoted Drew Blickensderfer once again. Blickensderfer will return to the Sprint Cup Series this time on top of the #6 UPS Ford pitbox for driver David Ragan, sources told FOXSports.com. Most recently Blickensderfer was crew chief for Carl Edwards and the #60 in the Nationwide Series. Blickensderfer replaces Donnie Wingo, who joined the organization in 2008 as Jamie McMurray's crew chief. He was reassigned to Ragan's team at the end of last season. Veteran Mike Beam is expected to replace Blickensderfer atop the box for the #60 Nationwide Series team.(Fox Sports)(9-22-2010)
UPDATE 2: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Drew Blickensderfer will take over as crew chief on the #6 Sprint Cup team with driver David Ragan effective immediately. Mike Beam will replace Blickensderfer as crew chief of the #60 Nationwide Team, with driver Carl Edwards. Beam had previously served as competition director of Roush Fenway's Nationwide program. With the move Blickensderfer returns to the Sprint Cup series where he served as Matt Kenseth's crew chief in 2009, leading the #17 Sprint Cup team to two victories, including the famed Daytona 500. In addition to wins in the Sprint Cup Series at Daytona and California, Blickensderfer boasts 12 wins in the Nationwide Series. In 2008 he guided Edwards' team to a Nationwide Series runner-up finish and in 2006 he helped Danny O'Quinn Jr. capture the Nationwide Raybestos Rookie Award. Beam, a 30-year NASCAR veteran, has served at Roush Fenway as a crew chief in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series. He most recently served as director of competition for Roush Fenway's Nationwide program.(Roush Fenway)(9-22-2010)
Roush Fenway Remains a Leader in Sustainablity: Its no secret that Roush Fenway Racing recycles 96 percent of every race car but it’s their continued efforts to become more sustainable that is really paying off for the environment. In 2009 the team recycled 65 tons of plastics, metal and paper and implemented small but impactful changes across all its facilities. These efforts helped the team meet its goal of an overall 10 percent improvement in indoor air quality; reduction of water consumption; increase in waste reduction and recycling; and improvement in energy usage over the last year.
In total the team recycled 26,660 pounds of plastic in 2009, up from 12,427 pounds in 2008. The increased number reflects a company-wide education and an increase in the number of items that were recycled beyond drink bottles. The team also recycled 11,335 pounds of paper, down from 19,628 pounds the year before in part because of the efforts to either not print documents or use auto-duplexing.
Additionally, the team has switched to biodegradable soy-based products where practical (instead of harmful chemical degreasers); eliminated Styrofoam cups; switched from 400w bulbs to 360w bulbs; mandated a managed forestry content for all paper, envelopes, etc.; and added additional occupancy sensors in the race and fabrication shops to reduce energy consumption. The effort doesn’t stop at the shop though, Roush Fenway is extending its efforts beyond the race team as well.
Roush Fenway is a participant in the Cabarrus Sustainability Council, a joint effort between the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce and Cabarrus Economic Development that works to promote sustainability through public and private collaborations. Just this week, the Council announced a partnership between local school systems, the business community and local government to bring a comprehensive recycling program to local schools beginning this school year.(RFR)(8-29-2010)
NTSB issues preliminary report on Roush crash: The National Transportation Safety Board issued its preliminary report on Jack Roush's plane crash that happened last month at Oshkosh, Wis. The report does not assign blame for the incident but does provide a few more details of what happened. In the report, it states that Roush's "airplane appeared to overshoot the runway centerline during this turn (a left turn for the runway) and then level its wings momentarily before entering a slight right bank simultaneously as the nose of the airplane pitched up. The airplane then turned left toward the runway centerline and began a descent. During this descent, the airplane's pitch appeared to increase until the airplane entered a right bank and struck the grass area west of the runway in a nose down, right wing low attitude.'' The report -- remember this is a preliminary report, a final one will come later -- did not mention the traffic "conflict'' he encountered upon landing that he said contributed to the incident. Such details are likely to be examined in the final report. The preliminary report stated that air traffic controllers were interviewed, amateur video was reviewed, the NTSB spent two days examining the plane before giving it back to Roush and found "no preimpact malfunctions or anomalies'' in the on-scene inspections of the "airframe structure, flight control systems, or two turbo-fan engines.'' The report also states that "several non-volatile memory devices were removed from the airplane and were retained for future download. A cockpit voice recorder was recovered and shipped to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division in Washington, D.C. for readout."(Hampton Roads)(8-15-2010)
Jack Roush back at the track: NASCAR team owner Jack Roush was back at the racetrack Friday, having permanently lost vision in his left eye but otherwise feeling lucky to survive yet another plane crash. And yes, he expects to fly again. Roush, who crashed his jet just over two weeks ago while trying to land at an air show in Wisconsin, said he ruptured his left eyeball in the crash and doesn't expect to ever be able to see out of it again. "Everything will come back, except for the eye," he told reporters at Michigan International Speedway. Roush then joked that he uses his right eye to examine spark plugs anyway. Wearing sunglasses and his trademark Panama-style hat, Roush was present on pit road for qualifying. He had left the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., earlier this week. In addition to his eye injury, Roush said he broke his jaw, sustained a compression fracture in his back and hurt his left cheek.(Associated Press)(8-13-2010)
Roush released from hospital: Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and chairman of ROUSH Enterprises, was released from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., yesterday. “I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and concern I have received the past two weeks,” Roush said. “Our teams and drivers have not missed a beat in my absence, and I am proud of the effort they have put forth. I look forward to rejoining them at the track soon.” It has not yet been determined when Roush will return to the race track.(Roush Fenway PR)(8-12-2010)
Roush hopes to make it to Michigan: Angelique Chengelis reported on ESPN's NASCAR Now Sunday morning that team owner Jack Roush is hoping to be at the Michigan race next weekend. He continues to recover from his airplace accident at the Mayo Clinic and his attendance at the track will depend on his progress this week.(8-8-2010)
Decals on Roush cars: To show support for the boss, Jack Roush, who was injured in a airplance accident this past week, all the Roush Fenway Racing stock cars competing this weekend will sport a special decal. This can be seen on the four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars at Pocono Raceway as well as the NASCAR Nationwide Series entries at Iowa Speedway.(roushperformance.com
Roush has more surgery; no word when back to the track: Multi-team owner Jack Roush had another surgery Saturday and a time frame for him to return to the race track has not been determined, Roush Fenway Racing General Manager Robbie Reiser said Sunday. Roush was involved in a plane crash Tuesday at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. The Roush Fenway Racing co-owner was able to walk away from the crash but pictures showed a bloodied face. Reiser said he was unsure of the full extent of the injuries. Roush, 68, is being treated for facial injuries at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., according to the team. “I know there was a surgery done yesterday, but most of it is an evaluation of what they’re going to do and I think you’ll see a lot of updates coming this week,” Reiser said prior to the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. “It’s going to be a while [before he returns]. They’ve got some work to do there. They haven’t really discussed that with us right now.” Reiser’s role will increase some with Roush in the hospital. Roush typically visits the race shop each Tuesday and then is at the track on the weekend. “Jack’s a big part of our company and has been for a long, long time,” Reiser said. “Whenever something like this happens, everybody has to pick up a little bit and help along. Jack has always taken care of a lot of stuff we have had at the race track, so I am here for him not being here.” Roush called Reiser on Friday and they talked about the organization’s performance – as it still looks for that first Cup win of the season.(more at SceneDaily)(8-1-2010)
Thursday update about Jack Roush's condition: Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and chairman of ROUSH Enterprises, was transferred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Wednesday evening. Following surgery Tuesday night related to the facial damage sustained in the accident, he remains in serious, but stable condition. Roush was injured in a plane accident at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisc., on Tuesday. He will continue to be treated at Mayo Clinic for his facial injuries. The Roush organization would like to thank the physicians and staff at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wisc., for the care and treatment provided during his stay. Roush Fenway Racing would also like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and well wishes. Those wishing to make a charitable donation in the name of Jack Roush are encouraged to contribute to Speedway Children’s Charities at www.speedwaycharities.org. Please identify your contribution as “Jack Roush” in the notes section (Roush Fenway Racing)(7-29-2010)
Roush suffers minor injuries in plane crash UPDATE 2: NASCAR team owner Jack Roush was in serious but stable condition after walking away from a plane crash at Whitman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. on Tuesday night. "There are injuries. Possible surgery," Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith said in a text message to The Associated Press. "But he walked out of the plane." Smith said Roush's injuries include facial lacerations. Roush was flying his private jet, a Beechcraft Premier 1A from Detroit. The jet made hard contact on landing and cracked the fuselage. Brenda Strickland, a friend of Roush's, also was on board the plane. NASCAR journalist Bob Margolis, who is writing a book about Roush's life, was told that Roush and Strickland were not seriously hurt. "Jack got out and had some blood on his face," Margolis said. "Apparently he bumped his head. They both were taken to a local hospital for observation, but I've been told they are OK." Roush, an aviation buff, was attending the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture in Oshkosh this week.
In a statement on the EAA website, officials said a Beechcraft Premier business jet registered to Roush Fenway Racing, LLC was involved in a landing accident at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The accident occurred at approximately 6:15 pm/ct, the statement said. According to the EAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and Winnebago County Sheriff's Department confirmed that two occupants on board were Roush and Strickland of Plymouth, Mich. "Each exited the aircraft following the accident," the statement said. "Both were transported to local hospitals, with Roush in serious but stable condition and Strickland with non-life threatening injuries. The NTSB is leading the investigation into the accident."(ESPN, see an image of the plane at avweb.com)(7-27-2019)
UPDATE: Jack Roush, co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and chairman of ROUSH® Enterprises, has been hospitalized following a plane accident at Wittman Air Field in OshKosh, Wisc. Roush, in town for the annual EAA AirVenture show, was landing his Hawker Beechcraft Premier jet when the accident occurred. He was transported to a local hospital. Dr. Kevin Wasco, the attending physician, says that Roush is in serious but stable condition. His injuries are not life threatening.(Roush Racing)(7-28-2010)
UPDATE 2: Jack Roush remains hospitalized in serious, but stable condition following a plane accident at Wittman Air Field in Oshkosh, Wisc., yesterday. He is currently under observation for facial injuries sustained in the accident. His passenger, Brenda Stricklin, was treated and released from a Wisconsin hospital this afternoon. The entire Roush organization would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and well wishes. Those wishing to make a charitable donation in the name of Jack Roush are encouraged to contribute to Speedway Children’s Charities at www.speedwaycharities.org. Please identify your contribution as “Jack Roush” in the notes section.(Roush Fenway Racing)(7-28-2010)
Roush Fenway Hits One Million-Mile Mark in Sprint Cup: On February 14, 1988 Jack Roush launched into his first official foray into the big-time world of NASCAR racing. The day would be a short one - lasting just under 50 of the scheduled 500 miles of the world's biggest race. It was a humble beginning for what would grow into one of the most successful organizations in professional sports. Today - almost 25 years later - Roush Fenway Racing has covered over one million miles in Sprint Cup action, enough miles to cover the Earth 40 times over. The miles were turned by 16 different Cup drivers over a 23-plus year period. During that span, Roush Fenway has fielded 2,688 Sprint Cup entries, captured 116 wins, while collecting 632 top fives, 1102 top 10s and 65 poles. The organization has churned 768,810 laps, leading 32,754 laps along the way, while capturing two championships and finishing the season top two on nine occasions.(RFR PR)(7-23-2010)
Tire test at Bristol: NASCAR drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #11-Denny Hamlin, #82-Scott Speed and #6-David Ragan participated in a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Bristol Motor Speedway in preparation for the August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race.(BMS)(6-30-2010)
Ragan helps guide Mustang to 1457 laps on tank of gas: The 2011 Ford Mustang, which made history when it became the first car ever to deliver more than 30 mpg and 305 horsepower, has set a new record by running 1,457 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway while averaging 48.5 mpg. The Mustang 1,000 Lap Challenge was designed to demonstrate that a stock production Mustang V-6 could run 1,000 laps and 533 miles on a single of tank of fuel. With the aid of fuel efficient driving techniques by Ford engineers, the Mustang far surpassed its goal of 1,000 laps. The Challenge team, which included NASCAR star David Ragan and four Ford Mustang engineers, completed the challenge in 17 hours and 40 minutes, showing off the 2011 Mustang V-6’s class-leading fuel economy by averaging 48.5 mpg over the course of the 776.5 miles logged during the Challenge. That distance is more than the two complete NASCAR Sprint Cup events that take place in Bristol every year. Ragan pushed the Mustang past the 1,000-lap mark at 7:26 p.m., 12 hours and 26 minutes into the Challenge, but the car wasn’t close to being out of fuel. Mustang engineer Seong Park was behind the wheel when it finally came to a halt (on the backstretch) of the famed NASCAR track at 12:41 a.m. local time. Other Mustang Challenge team drivers included Tom Barnes, Jonathan Mehl, Carl Ek, who along with Park each took one-hour driving stints during the event, which took place at the world’s fastest half-mile track. More than 51,000 consumers registered their guesses for the event at www.mustang1000lapchallenge.com. One lucky consumer that correctly guessed 1,457 laps will be randomly drawn from all correct entries and will win their own 2011 Mustang V-6.(Ford)(6-24-2010)
Ragan & Conway to test at Infineon: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #6-David Ragan and #34-Kevin Conway will take part in a half-day test session next week at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 18-20. Ragan and Conway will test the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course on Tuesday, June 8, in late-model stock cars provided by a Northern California-based race team. Conway will be coached by road-course veteran Chris Cook, who has also worked with NASCAR drivers Joey Logano and Los Gatos' AJ Allmendinger, among others. Ragan has posted a best finish of 24th (2008) in three starts at Infineon Raceway; this will mark Conway's first race in Sonoma. For special ticket packages to the Toyota/Save Mart 350, including Kasey's Korner, the 24 Special and the Jimmie Johnson 4-Pack, call 800-870-RACE or visit infineonraceway.com.(6-5-2010)
Ragan and UPS stay with Roush thru 2011: While rumors swirl that David Ragan and sponsor UPS might be on the move, Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith said he expects the #6 Ford to have the same driver and sponsor in 2011 as it does now. UPS has a contract through 2011 with Roush Fenway and Ragan has a contract that includes options for 2011.(SceneDaily)(5-31-2010)
Roush Fenway Racing spring Fan Day: Roush Fenway Racing is scheduled to host their spring Fan Day event on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at their headquarters in Concord, N.C. Fans are invited to Roush Fenway to participate in activities that will include two autograph sessions, with the first session starting at 11:30 a.m. featuring Roush Fenway Racing drivers Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Colin Braun. The second autograph session will start at 12:30 and feature Jack Roush, David Ragan, and Matt Kenseth. A limited number of tickets for each session will be handed out at 8:00 a.m. that morning. To qualify for an autograph ticket, fans must bring two non-perishable items or a monetary donation to help support our local Cabarrus County food pantries. There will be sponsor displays and food vendors for fans to enjoy outside and the Roush Fenway museum (with new displays) and store will be open for fans to peruse and shop. The Roush Fenway Racing store and museum will be open with special extended hours during the May and October race weeks. For times and more info see roushfenway.com.(5-4-2010)
Jack Roush to be Honored with Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award: On Friday, March 12 Jack Roush will receive the highest compliment in the hot rod world as he will be presented with the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony takes place during the grand opening breakfast of the 12th Annual HotRod & Restoration Trade Show in front of nearly one thousand attendees at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. "Being named a recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award is obviously a tremendous distinction and something completely unexpected," Roush said. "I remember Robert (Petersen) always being a great ambassador for the auto industry and hot rods. It is an honor to be mentioned among the many legendary names who have received this award in the past." The Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award has been presented annually since 2002. Previous recipients include Wally Parks (NHRA), Carroll Shelby, George Barris, Vic Edelbrock, the Ford family, Alex Xydias (So-Cal Speed Shop), and "Speedy" Bill Smith (Speedway Motors).(Roush Fenway)(3-10-2010)
Ragan to take flight: David Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS Ford, will fly with the Thunderbirds Thursday, February 25th at Nellis Airforce Base.(RFR)(2-24-2010)
Roush Fenway Fords to Carry Special Decal: Roush Fenway’s race cars will each carry a special decal honoring the life and cause of Olympic medalist skier and multiple sclerosis (MS) advocate, Jimmie Heuga, in this Sunday’s Daytona 500 race at Daytona International Speedway. Heuga passed away Monday at the age of 66 in Colorado; 46 years to the day that he won his bronze medal in the 1964 Winter Olympics. Heuga, a college skiing teammate of Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith at the University of Colorado, was a bronze medalist in the 1964 Olympic games, but will most be remembered for founding ‘Can Do Multiple Sclerosis’ (formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis) a national nonprofit organization that has served as a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs for people with MS and their support partners. Heuga became one of the first two Americans -- along with teammate Billy Kidd -- to win an Olympic medal in Alpine skiing. He was diagnosed with MS in 1970 at the age of 26, but refused to succumb to the neurological disease. He instead became a champion for others suffering from the disease, and his campaign to demonstrate that MS did not necessarily mean a life of inactivity is credited with helping to change the mindset about MS and exercise. For more information on the ‘Can Do Multiple Sclerosis’ organization, visit: www.mscando.org.(RFR)(2-14-2010)
Bill Elliott to run #6 car in Shootout? Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that talks are underway to put former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott behind the wheel of Roush-Fenway Racing’s #6 UPS Ford in the February 6 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Elliott ran a partial schedule with Wood Brothers Racing in 2009, and is expected to do so again this season beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500. The Woods have no plans to compete in the Bud Shootout, however, leaving Elliott free to drive for another team. Ragan is not eligible for the race, while Elliott qualifies as a former Sprint Cup, Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400 and Budweiser Shootout champion. Negotiations are reportedly in their preliminary stages, awaiting the approval of sponsor UPS. A call to Roush-Fenway Racing in search of comment was not immediately returned this afternoon. (Sirius Speedway)(1-6-2010)
NOTE: as of Feb 1, 2010, no word if Elliott will run the #6 Ford, the #21 Wood Brothers Team does not plan to run the event.(2-1-2010)
Jack Roush to Be Inducted Into NMPA Hall of Fame: Jack Roush will be one of four honorees to be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame this Saturday night in Concord, North Carolina. Roger Penske, Rusty Wallace and Robert Yates will also be welcomed into the NMPA Hall of Fame this weekend. "Jack Roush's induction to the NMPA Hall of Fame is a well deserved honor for a man who has impacted not only NASCAR but racing with his innovations and ingenuity throughout his career,” remarked Dustin Long, President, National Motorsports Press Association. “It will truly be an honor to be welcomed to the list of NMPA Hall of Fame inductees,” said Roush. “The role of the media who cover NASCAR has certainly evolved over the years but I think we would all agree that now more than ever the job of informing the world about our great sport is of tremendous importance. I know the members of the NMPA are among those who care the most about both the history and the future of our sport so I consider this induction into their Hall of Fame a most cherished honor.”(RFR)(1-14-2010)
Menard to run full Nationwide season: Roush Fenway will field four full-time teams in the 2010 Nationwide Series -- including a #98 Ford for Paul Menard, who races for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Cup Series -- and RFR president Geoff Smith said Wednesday that the stable sold has more than 75% of the sponsorship of its eight-car fleet in NASCAR's two top national series. Menard will run his first complete schedule since 2006, when he finished sixth in the championship for the second consecutive season before stepping into the Cup Series full time. That car is fully sponsored by the Menards home improvement store chain and a variety of partners.
Smith said RFR's other three Nationwide programs had varying sponsorship gaps. Former series champion Carl Edwards will again compete full time in both Cup and Nationwide, running a #60 Ford sponsored by Fastenal and Copart in the secondary series. Smith said Edwards' car has "four open races." Colin Braun and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will run full schedules as rookie of the year candidates in the #16 and #6 cars. Braun's car has 18 races with Con-way Freight and two more with 3M, leaving 15 of the series' 35 races unsponsored. Stenhouse has 18 races with CitiFinancial backing, leaving "the remainder for sale," Smith said. Biffle is part of a previously announced deal to run a partial Nationwide schedule for Baker Curb Racing, but "at this point in time David Ragan, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle are not doing Nationwide races with us."(NASCAR.com)(1-14-2010)
Roush Racing helps out NC Auto Racing HOF: For many, being able to give to others during this holiday season will be a difficult task. But it is not always the gift of tangible goods or money that can mean the most to its recipient. A recent event took place at the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville, NC. On Thursday, November 19th, the NC Auto Racing HOF mailbox on Knob Hill Road was struck and destroyed by a customer. One of the museum's volunteers, an 80-year-old man, went outside to try to resurrect the mailbox. Watching him struggle with this task from across the street was someone from Roush Fenway Racing, who dispatched a group of their shop workers to come over and help. They poured cement for the new post, fabricated the mailbox, and installed it on the same day. All of this was done without their being asked to do so, and without any payment whatsoever. Replacing a mail box doesn't seem like a big expense but to small non-profit organizations like the Hall of Fame, it has an impact.(NCARHOF)(11-25-2009)
Wingo named Ragan's crew chief: Roush Fenway Racing announced that Donnie Wingo has been named crew chief of the #6 UPS team with driver David Ragan. Wingo joined Roush Fenway at the beginning of the 2009 season as crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the #26 team. The duo most recently captured a win earlier this month at Talladega and Wingo is looking to build on that momentum with Ragan heading into the 2010 season.
"It's an honor to have the opportunity to work with David Ragan next season as well as our sponsor UPS,” said Wingo. “UPS has been a great sponsor in NASCAR for years and I'm truly looking forward to the chance to get the #6 Ford the finishes it deserves. I'm glad to remain with Roush Fenway Racing because I believe in the success we'll be able to achieve in 2010."
“Roush Fenway is looking to build the strongest possible teams and sometimes we do that by restructuring personnel,” said owner Jack Roush. “Jimmy Fennig’s experience and judgement are impeccable so we made the decision to re-assign him to head up our testing operations to try and make that department stronger. The requirement for us to reduce from five to four Sprint Cup teams allowed us to move Donnie Wingo to the #6 to fill that void. I think Donnie brings a wealth of experience to our organization having won races for multiple teams including our organization and we are anxious to see if he can challenge David Ragan and help him to realize the potential he showed in 2008. I think these moves will help our organization overall and we’re hopeful that David and Donnie will together take UPS and the #6 Ford to victory lane in 2010.” Former #6 UPS crew chief Jimmy Fennig will continue at Roush Fenway Racing by overseeing the team’s R&D testing efforts.(RFR)(11-24-2009)
Roush's Smith not retiring: Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith has decided to delay his retirement. Smith said because of tough economic times and the merger between partner Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports that he will stay on at least through the 2010 season. Smith is handling a lot of the paperwork in the merger that he said is agreed to on all major issues and should be announced soon. He also plays a major role in bringing sponsors to the cars for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Smith has yet to wrap up a full season of sponsorship for the #17 of Matt Kenseth.(see more at ESPN Insiders)(11-17-2009)
New Ford engine to run at Homestead: Ford will run its new engine next week at Homestead, said Doug Hervey, who oversees Ford's North American racing operations. The plan is for #6-David Ragan to run the car at Homestead, Hervey said. It will be the second race for the engine. The restrictor-plate version was run at Talladega with Ragan and #17-Matt Kenseth. This will be the first time the unrestricted version has run in competition.(Roanoke Times)(11-17-2009)
Wingo to stay at Roush UPDATE Fennig? #26 Crew chief Donnie Wingo appears to be headed back to Roush Fenway Racing next season in a capacity still to be determined. Wingo's future with the organization has been uncertain since it was revealed in late July that driver Jamie McMurray's #26 team would go away and sponsor Crown Royal would move to Roush driver Matt Kenseth's team next year.
The breakup of McMurray's team is part of a downsizing by Roush Fenway to conform to NASCAR's new four-car limit set to take effect in 2010. Asked on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway if there would be a place for Wingo next season at Roush Fenway, team co-owner Jack Roush said, "The answer to that is yes." Wingo later backed up his boss' assertion. "I don't think the plan is finalized for next year but we have spoken and he says he's got a place for me there next year and I'm real happy about that," he said. "It's where I want to be right now and I hope I can end my career here. ... I'm just looking forward to whatever they have for me in the future, whatever I can do to help."(SceneDaily), on SPEED's Happy Hour coverage, it was mentioned at Jimmy Fennig, crew chief of the #6 Ford of David Ragan with Roush Fenway Racing, will go to Roush's R&D area and Donnie Wingo will become the crew chief of the #6 team.(11-8-2009)
UPDATE: #6-David Ragan doesn't expect Jimmy Fennig to be his crew chief in 2010. "Yeah, I would say there will be some change in the crew chief role,'' Ragan said on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "As far as who and when and all that stuff, that's to be determined. We still feel like we don't want to lose focus on the last two races and start planning for 2010 too early. As soon as the checkered flag falls on Homestead all of our thoughts will be on 2010 and preparing a stronger team.'' Ragan said Fennig, who has been at Roush Fenway Racing for 13 years, wants to head up an R&D department for the organization. "He's been a teacher and crew chief and mentor and really taught me a lot the last couple of years,'' said Ragan, in his third full season in the Sprint Cup series. "Ninety percent of what I know today I learned from Jimmy Fennig. A lot of things are changing at Roush Fenway. I'm sure right after Homestead, Jack [Roush] and [general manager Robbie Reiser] will make those decisions.'' Fennig said he is waiting for management to tell him what he will be doing next season.(ESPN)(11-14-2009)
#6 car to support Boys and Girls Clubs: The #6 UPS Ford of David Ragan will carry a special Boys and Girls Clubs of America design in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The UPS Foundation and BGCA launched a program - Road Code- this year to help teach teens across the country the importance of safe driving. On Nov. 5, NASCAR driver David Ragan will unveil his newly designed UPS-sponsored race car which sports a Boys & Girls Club logo and the handprints of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas members who participate in the UPS Road Code safe driving program. These Club teens were on hand to assist Ragan in presenting his new Ford Fusion car and to enjoy watching a racing demonstration in Dallas. The Salt Lake City UPS Freight Center will be the featured Maximum Center at Texas Motor Speedway. The center will have its three-letter alpha code, SLC, on the wing of the #6 UPS Ford.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-4-2009)
150 Talladega starts for Roush: Roush Fenway will make its 150th Sprint Cup start at Talladega this weekend. Talladega is the eighth track in 2009 that the team has accomplished this feat. The first seven were Bristol, Charlotte, Daytona, Dover, Martinsville, Michigan, Pocono and Richmond.(Roush Fenway PR)(11-1-2009)
Roush to visit RPM: Jack Roush is scheduled to take a tour of the Richard Petty Motorsports facility on Wednesday.
Other managers from Roush Fenway Racing will join Rosuh on the tour of the Statesville, N.C., shop. There have been ongoing talks since before September of a merger between Yates Racing, a sister organization of Roush Fenway, and RPM. Regardless of whether RPM merges with Yates, majority team owner George Gillett has said his team will be running Fords in 2010. Given that Roush is the principal supplier of Ford engines, RPM will be working directly with RFR in one form or another.(FoxSports), see an image of a real #9 Budweiser Ford for 2010 on my #9 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2009)
Are NASCAR Drivers smarter than a 5th grader?: Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hosts the all-new half-hour version of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" The fast-paced game show, where knowledge of grade-school level questions is tested, welcomes NASCAR drivers #55-Michael Waltrip, #6-David Ragan, #99-Carl Edwards, #2-Kurt Busch and #11-Denny Hamlin. On October 6, Michael Waltrip will be in the classroom to play the game to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. He’ll also be joined by Roush Racing’s David Ragan. The special back-to-back episodes will premiere on MyNetworkTV (8:00pm/et/pt). On October 26, NASCAR week kicks off on the new nationally-syndicated edition of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" Michael Waltrip, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, and Denny Hamlin are among the contestants playing the game for their charities. Check your local listings for exact air time.(10-5-2009)
Roush keeping an eye on the Henrick cars in question: Car owner Jack Roush [#'s 6,16,17,26,99 Ford's] says he understands that the two cars in question [Hendrick Motorsports #5 and #48 Chevy's] were in fact slightly "out of tolerance," in being off-set a bit to the right (which would help in aerodynamics in corner handling), although Roush said the specific 'miss' was probably too slight to be of any significant advantage. "I've been fined a lot of times for a lot of different things…and if the cars were out of tolerance by a quarter of an inch, which is what I've heard…well, the rest of the garage is held to a much tighter tolerance than that," Roush said. "So we'll see what NASCAR ultimately does about it."(mikemulhern.net)(10-5-2009)
Different look for Ragan's #6 at Kansas: For the second and final time this season, UPS Freight will be featured on the #6 Ford that David Ragan drives. Ragan ran the same design earlier this season at Richmond im May. The Wichita North Center (SLIC - 6720) in the Kansas District was selected as the UPS Maximum Center featured on Ragan’s car at Kansas Speedway. The center’s 6720 SLIC number will be featured on the wing of the #6 UPS Freight Ford.(RFR), see images of the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page.(9-30-2009)
Crew chief changes at Roush? UPDATE: There is supposedly a meeting planned at Roush Fenway Racing featuring General Manager Robbie Reiser and representatives from Ford. Could crew chief changes be in RFR's future? One rumor circulating NHMS Sunday morning had veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig connecting with former Roush racer Jeff Burton at RCR. Not so, Fennig said. "After 13 years with Jack, my goal is to retire from Roush Racing," Fennig said. "But I'm getting too old to be on the road." Another scenario places Fennig in a research and development role. Fennig says testing suits him just fine.(FoxSports)(9-21-2009)
UPDATE: Car owner Jack Roush says that any personnel moves among his non-Chase teams will be made after the season since he's focused on the championship with Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. "I will re-evaluate every person and every position on every team this winter as I do every year,'' Roush said. He said he would make a change on a Chase team immediately if it could help that team contend for the championship.(Roanoke Times)(9-27-2009)
Ragan to make 100th career start: #6-David Ragan will make his 100th Cup series start Saturday night at Richmond Inyernational Raceway in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. His best finish at Richmond came in the fall of his rookie year in 2007 where he qualified eighth and finished third.(RFR)(9-12-2009)
Roush's Smith talks about 2010 plans: Sunday on "The SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show", SIRIUS XM's Claire B. Lang spoke with Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith about the possible changes to the team's roster of drivers before next season.
Geoff Smith: "If you're asking about our team plans for 2010, we're settled that Carl Edwards and Aflac, Greg Biffle with 3M, and David Ragan with UPS will be staying put and that sponsorship is going to kind of determine whether or not the #17 or the #26 are going to have to be the teams we shut down and move, if we can."
Smith: "There are difficulties. You just can't assume that a team can transfer intact just because you want it to. There are sponsors that get to vote as to what organization they're going to sponsor. So we have to work through that, which is what I've been saying. I expect, now that the DeWalt cloud has been removed, we're going to move very quickly to lock in the sponsorship and then that sponsorship will determine [whether] the #17 stays or goes."
Host, Claire B. Lang: "Meaning that we could see a past champion, Matt Kenseth, moving?"
Smith: "It all depends on the sponsorships. Our objective is to keep both of those teams (the #17 and the #26) in the Ford Motor Company community. We're hoping that we don't have to keep one and then lose one out of the Ford community entirely. So if we can keep them both in the [Ford] community by shuffling the #17 we would do that. Pretty unlikely that Matt Kenseth or the #17 will move at this point."
(SIRIUS NASCAR Radio)(7-27-2009)
Ragan the odd man out at Roush? UPDATE nope? Who will be the odd man out at Roush Fenway Racing? According to published reports, Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith is putting together a sponsor package that would keep #26-Jamie McMurray in the fold. McMurray, whose contract expires after this season, has been speculated as the most likely to be moved to satellite team, Yates Racing, to get Roush to four teams. If McMurray stays then #6-David Ragan becomes the top candidate to leave because #17-Matt Kenseth, #99-Carl Edwards and #16-Greg Biffle signed new deals within the last year. A decision on restructuring should come by September at the latest. Roush has until the end of this season to move from five to four teams as NASCAR mandated when it put a cap on teams.(ESPN Insider)(7-21-2009)
UPDATE: With #99-Carl Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth and #16-Greg Biffle all signed to long term contracts, multiple sources say that #6-David Ragan will be the fourth driver at the team next year. "Absolutely, I can confirm that David Ragan will be driving for UPS in the #6 Roush Fenway car," said Zak Brown, CEO of Just Marketing International, which handles the UPS marketing account. According to NASCAR rules, RFR has to downsize from five to four teams by the end of this year. #26-Jamie McMurray, the fifth driver at RFR, is likely headed across the street from the Roush shop to Yates Racing, which is a satellite organization of RFR. However, another option appears to be a reunion with former boss Chip Ganassi.(FoxSports)(7-25-2009)
Testing at Road Atlanta: Hearing that drivers testing at Road Atlanta today include #99-Carl Edwards, #6-David Ragan, #16-Colin Braun (subbing for Greg Biffle), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #12-David Stremme, #13-Max Papis and Boris Said (in John Wes Townley's #09 Nationwide Series Ford which he will run at Watkins Glen).(7-21-2009)
AND: told #7-Robby Gordon was also at the track.(7-21-2009)
- Roush looking for first Chicago win: Chicagoland is one of two tracks on the current Sprint Cup schedule that a Roush Fenway entry has not won at. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the other.(Roush Fenway PR(7-9-2009)
- Latest on Roush Fenway Racing having to trim a team: The five-car stable of Roush Fenway Racing (#16-Greg Biffle, #99-Carl Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth, #6-David Ragan, #26-Jamie McMurray) must be trimmed to four vehicles for the 2010 season. According to Brian Corcoran, executive vice president of Fenway Sports Group, a decision should take place by August because of sponsorship obligations. An alternative is for one of the drivers (most likely Ragan or McMurray) to switch to Yates Racing, the current home of #96-Bobby Labonte and #98-Paul Menard. Roush has an existing partnership with Yates. “Should be an interesting 45 days,’’ Corcoran said. Corcoran also noted that Roush is still in discussions with DeWalt, the primary sponsor of Kenseth’s #17 Ford. Currently, DeWalt may not have the funds to continue primary sponsorship of the #17 next season.(Boston Globe)(6-29-2009)
- What's up with Roush's five teams? Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith on the team cutting from five teams to four after this season (as mandated by NASCAR to meet its four-car limit): “We’re still messing with the sponsorship pieces,’’ Smith said. “We’re still not sure how it’s going to lay out. We thought we’d be done by now but we’re not.’’ One of the teams will move to Yates next year, Smith said. Smith also was asked about the status of signing Jamie McMurray to a contract extension: “Jamie wants to stay. We’d like him to stay. We’re hoping we can have sponsorship around Jamie before he has to decide how much longer he can wait. We’ve been working together. Hopefully we’ll have that worked out pretty quickly before he has to turn his attention to the marketplace.’’(Virginia Pilot)(6-22-2009)
- Danica to Roush? Danica Patrick will be in a Jack Roush NASCAR Ford next season, bank on it. Well, don't bet the ranch, but there is a growing sense that that is the momentum on the issue, if the sexy Indy-car star does make the leap into stock car racing, as she has hinted. And in the NASCAR garage here at Infineon Raceway Roush himself pondered the Danica option Friday. Patrick herself has been talking around the NASCAR possibility for several weeks now but insists she won't be making any announcement of where she'll be racing next season until this fall [after the IRL's finale in Oct]. Last weekend Geoff Smith, head of Roush Fenway Racing, talked about the Danica Patrick option. What does Roush himself think about her as NASCAR stocker? "I don't know enough about her to know how much time she'd have to spend in the Nationwide series or Truck series," Roush said. "I'd say, as a minimum, two years in the Nationwide series would be required…and at the same time she could run six or seven Cup races, to maintain her rookie status. It just depends on how badly she wants it," Roush says of any Patrick move into NASCAR. Patrick has some big advantages, Roush points out: "I don't know of any problems with Danica Patrick. If a female is going to make it in NASCAR in the foreseeable future, it will be Danica Patrick.(mikemulhern.net)(6-20-2009)
- Chris Andrews helping out #6 team: In an effort to improve communication between driver David Ragan and the engineering support group at Roush Fenway Racing, Chris Andrews will be working with the #6 UPS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team for the next five weeks. Andrews, RFR's Engineering Manager, has been with the organization for almost three years and will assess what changes may be necessary to benefit the team's performance. Jimmy Fennig will continue to call the races for the #6 UPS Ford and be involved in on-track activities throughout the weekend.(Roush Fenway PR)(6-12-2009)
- Congrats to Justin "Tweek" Hines of the #6 UPS Roush Racing team and wife Carrie as they welcomed Isabelle Marie Hines into the world on April 21, 2009.(5-7-2009)
- UPS Unveils new scheme for Richmond: NASCAR fans will see a different look for the #6 UPS Ford this weekend when David Ragan hits the track at Richmond International Raceway for the Russ Friedman 400 presented by Crown Royal. Taking a break from the traditional brown UPS paint scheme, Ragan’s car will feature a special UPS Freight design to promote the Richmond, Va.-based division of UPS. The design incorporates the gray of UPS Freight with new brown and gold trim using a unique paint formula that includes crushed glass to make the vehicle sparkle. UPS Freight offers a wide range of ground freight shipping options for customers who need to ship anything from a single oversized package to a heavy pallet or full truckload of freight across North America, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To kick off the Richmond race weekend, Ragan will make a special appearance at the UPS Freight headquarters today to spend time with local UPS employees. UPS Freight employs nearly 2,000 people in the Richmond area and roughly 17,000 total around the country. In addition to the special UPS Freight paint scheme, the UPS Freight Charlotte Service Center will be featured on the wing of Ragan’s #6 Ford as part of UPS’s ‘Maximum Center’ program. UPS launched the program this year to recognize UPS operating facilities for accomplishments in service, safety and performance.(UPS Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page.(4-30-2009)
- Roush Fenway Racing increases pledge to be more sustainable: It’s been 40 years since Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day and on this day of ecological awareness, Roush Fenway Racing is upping their pledge to promote more sustainable operations and better environmental management. Always a leader in the sport of NASCAR on and off track, Roush Fenway has been working with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to reinforce its position as a leader in environmental stewardship in the industry.
Through the team’s current efforts, they recycle almost 96% of every race car. In 2008, the team recycled over 66 tons of waste
(plastic, paper and metal); reduced the overall amount of waste produced by more than 11 tons; reduced storm water run off by 1.51M gallons; and saved 2.10M gallons of water by not using potable water for irrigation.
As a next step, Roush Fenway Racing pledges to meet or exceed its corporate environmental target of an overall 10% improvement in indoor air quality; reduction of water consumption; increase in waste reduction and recycling; and improvement in energy usage over the next 18 months. The team has commissioned an independent energy audit through Electricities and the Carolina Consulting Group in cooperation with the City of Concord (N.C.) to further identify opportunities to reduce its power consumption. These efforts are applauded by the NRDC.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(4-22-2009)
- Pit road shakeups for Roush? Could there be a few shakeups in the pit crews at Roush Fenway Racing? Officials haven't said anything, but co-owner Jack Roush spent a lot of time in meetings this past week trying to figure out why his teams are having so much trouble on pit road. That usually means changes for the man known as "Cat in the Hat." Carl Edwards went from first to 11th after a crucial mistake on his final pit stop with about 30 laps remaining in Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. Greg Biffle believes pit road mistakes, at least one by him, has cost him a shot at two wins this season. Even Matt Kenseth had problems at Texas. He was second coming onto pit road on lap 252, but left in 15th after a lug nut problem on the right rear tire. Nobody is publicly blaming anybody as Kyle Busch did in a Nationwide Series race last month when a pit road mistake cost him a victory. But there are concerns.(ESPN Insider)(4-10-2009)
UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards said small changes made this week to his Sprint Cup pit crew were designed to help his #99 team be able to compete for the Cup title this year. Edwards said Friday at Nashville Superspeedway that one crew member was replaced, and a team spokesman said it was front tire changer Corey Quick.(Scene Daily)(4-11-2009)
- UPS Reveals New NASCAR Ad Campaign: #6-David Ragan won’t be racing the “big brown truck” this year, but he will be learning what it takes to be a UPS driver in a humorous new television advertising campaign UPS launches this weekend as part of its revamped racing program. The four-spot series, which was produced by The Martin Agency, will feature Ragan competing with UPS drivers in various extreme physical challenges to determine who will earn the title of “Maximum Driver.” The first spot will be broadcast on FOX on Sunday, April 5, during the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, but a special preview will be available on Friday afternoon, April 3, at www.racing.ups.com. Ragan made his UPS Racing debut at the Daytona 500 in February, at which time a new television ad introducing him to the UPS team began running that featured Ragan driving his No. 6 Ford Fusion through UPS corporate headquarters. The “Maximum Driver” series will go beyond the introduction, with Ragan facing several unique and potentially harrowing challenges as he goes toe-to-toe with some of UPS’s elite delivery professionals. The “Maximum Driver” campaign follows UPS’s immensely popular “Race the Truck” commercials featuring NASCAR legend Dale Jarrett, who represented UPS Racing for nearly eight years. After the Samsung 500, the three remaining spots will be revealed sequentially throughout the 2009 racing season.(UPS Racing)(4-2-2009)
- Kvapil done with Yates Racing? Next week's race at Bristol Motor Speedway may be #28-Travis Kvapil's last for Yates Racing this season. Sources close to the organization say Kvapil's crew has been told they will not run the next two Sprint Cup events at Martinsville and Texas, and that unless sponsorship comes along they won't run the rest of the year. The team pieced together sponsorship for the first five races hoping Kvapil would do well enough to garner more attention. Things were looking up after he finished second in the second race at California. Then he failed to qualify for the Las Vegas race and a failed engine last week at Atlanta left him 42nd with a car capable of finishing in the top 20. He's 39th in owner points with little chance of being in the top 35 guaranteed a spot in the field after Bristol. On anther front, Roush Fenway Racing has not replaced the entire crew of David Ragan's team as another driver suggested last week. Ragan has had a rough start, ranked 22nd in points, but the team is confident in crew chief Jimmy Fennig.(ESPN Insider)(3-14-2009)
- Ragan To Make Modified Debut: While some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are taking this weekend off to rest and relax, David Ragan is going to keep racing. Ragan, driver of the #6 UPS Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, has entered to run the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season opener Sunday, March 15 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C. Ragan will drive for Darrel Krentz’s No. 15 in the Spring Classic 150.(localracing.nascar.com
- Roush Fenway looking for sponsors: Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith should only be negotiating to renew the one NASCAR Sprint Cup sponsorship he has open – the #17 Ford and DeWalt – for 2010. But Smith’s organization is working on helping nearly all of its Cup sponsors (#26-Crown Royal, #16-3M and #99-Aflac) find other companies willing to pony up the money to buy some races for 2010 and beyond even though they have contracts obligating them for the entire season. Smith said the companies have requested help, and it’s imperative in these economic times that the organization find more sponsors willing to share some of the costs. DeWalt, whose contract is up after the 2009 season, has also indicated it wants a partner. The only sponsor that has not requested a partner is UPS [for #6 David Ragan]. A new sponsor could be on one of those cars by the end of 2009 if there is a commitment for future years, Smith said.
Even though Roush Fenway can have only four Cup teams next year, it also is responsible for sponsorship for Yates Racing, so it is continuing to court companies to sponsor Cup teams. On an initial call, Smith said the organization will offer anything open in its portfolio. The one thing his company won’t do is to stagger sponsorships on a car because the organization has to commit to a salary for the driver and needs the sponsorship to back it up. Smith said that car owners must realize that they need to spend money on sales. He said he has “a whole team” making cold calls about sponsorship.(SceneDaily)(3-9-2009)
- Roush could tie record: Even if #17-Matt Kenseth fails to win Sunday, his four Roush Fenway Racing teammates could help match another Cup Series record. Only two owners / teams have won the first three races of a season. Owner Peter DePaolo's team won the first three races of 1957 (two wins by Marvin Panch, one by Fireball Roberts) and Petty Enterprises won the first three races in 1963 (two wins by Jim Paschal, one by Richard Petty).(NASCAR.com)(2-28-2009)
- Roush Fenway Racing Pledges 'Green': With the country under new leadership and the start of a new race season upon us, Roush Fenway Racing announces their pledge to sustainability and environmental protection. Always a leader in the sport of NASCAR on and off track, Roush Fenway Racing will continue current environmental initiatives and look into new initiatives to “go green” in 2009. There are many aspects of the sport which will not change in the immediate future when it comes to environmental impact. However, the environment is a topic that’s important to many of our sponsor partners as well as the world, so in an effort to be good stewards of the planet, Roush Fenway Racing continues to seek ways to be environmentally conscious from materials in their daily operations, to the expansion and construction of facilities. Roush Fenway Racing currently recycles oil, solvent, steel, tires, aluminum, paper and plastic bottles and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ian Prince, Roush Fenway’s LEED certified person on staff, oversees the operations of Roush Fenway’s 25-acre campus with three buildings totaling over 190,000 Sq. ft. All the building have innovated LEED building design features including (but not limited to) solar shades on southern exposure to reduce solar heat gain and glare, reducing the amount of artificial building cooling required; interior lighting controlled by individual occupancy and photoelectric sensors to reduce electrical usage; motion activated plumbing fixtures to reduce potable water use; and rain and storm water run off captured and contained for landscape irrigation reducing the need for potable water. As a point of interest, Roush Fenway uses no city water they have their own wells and storm water reclamation. In addition, Roush Fenway has proposed an emission reduction program to LED retrofit the shop Metal Halide lighting resulting in a 530 Megawatt savings of electricity each year. The use of Building Integrated
Photovoltaic laminates that will produce 13,710kWh per year of electricity for 20 years to be sold back to the utilities companies is also being proposed. But that’s not where the effort ends. Roush Fenway Racing Sprint Cup standouts Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle
are purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) as part of their commitment to sustainability and environmental protection.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(1-25-2009)
- Ragan 4th in Late Model race: #6-David Ragan finished fourth in Sunday's 100 lap Late Model race at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga.. John Wes Townley, a 2009 Raybestos rookie of the year candidate in the Nationwide Series, finished fifth.(1-12-2009)
- Laid off Roush Fenway crewman sues team: A former Roush Fenway Racing fabricator and over-the-wall crew member is suing the team for money he alleges he is owed for being laid off prior to the completion of his three-year contract. Nick Bailey, signed a three-year deal in October 2006 to run through the 2009 season, according to the complaint and portions of his contract filed recently in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte. He initially worked in the Truck shop at Roush as well as on the pit crew for the No. 16 Nationwide team. He was then transferred to Roush’s ARCA team in April 2008. At the time he was laid off Nov. 10 , 2008, his base salary was $1,050 per week, according to the complaint. He also was eligible for bonuses depending on the performance of the team and the pit crew. Bailey is asking for $63,000 – his salary from Nov. 10, 2008 through Dec. 31, 2009 – and for whatever bonuses it is determined he deserves. Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith confirmed that Bailey had been laid off as part of a reduction in the company work force but declined further comment.(SceneDaily)(12-12-2008)
- No major layoffs at Roush: Jack [ROush] said he would have to "displace" half a dozen employees involved with his test program as a result of NASCAR banning testing at its sanctioned tracks in 2009. But his core staff -- those involved with his Sprint Cup and Nationwide team operations at his race shop in Concord, N.C. -- "will remain intact," he said.(Detroit Free Press)(11-21-2008)
- Roush: No plans to build test track: Back in the day, NASCAR team owner Jack Roush had contemplated building his own test track. On Saturday, the day after NASCAR had announced that it was banning all testing on the tracks it sanctions, Roush was asked if he had revived the idea. “I have neither the money nor the inclination to build a test track,” Roush said. Roush also said he has no intention of circumventing NASCAR’s ban. “If we could organize a situation where all the established teams could hold hands and resolve not to test outside of the NASCAR mandated or approved testing, not go to the skid pads, not go to Canada, not go to Pikes Peak or any of the places they are checking on,” he said, “I’d be happier with that than to skirt around.” Roush said, however, that if other teams started skirting, he would be forced to as well.(Kansas City Star)(11-20-2008)
- Roush's #6 & AMS to honor soldier: Roush Fenway Racing will honor Sgt. William P. Rudd this weekend by placing a decal in honor of his memory on the #6 AAA Ford Fusion at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Additionally, Atlanta Motor Speedway has donated 200 tickets for members of Sgt. Rudd’s unit to attend Sunday’s Sprint Cup event. Sgt. Rudd died on October 5, 2008 while on combat patrol in Mosul, Iraq. This was the same raid in which U.S. soldiers killed the alleged #2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Qaswarah. Sgt. Rudd, originally from Madisonville, Ky., joined the Army on October 2, 2003 and was a member of the U.S. Army Rangers, an elite special operations troop. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Benning, Ga. and had previously been deployed twice to Afghanistan and five times to Iraq. His story was told to Jack Roush by Roush’s friend Don Bowles who also hails from Madisonville, Ky. Instantly, Roush knew he wanted to not only honor the fallen soldier, but celebrate the homecoming of his unit. In his five years of service, Sgt. Rudd was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He is expected posthumously to receive the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(10-25-2008)
- Ford re-ups with Roush BUT no support for Trucks: Ford Racing has reinforced the importance of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series to the manufacturer under tough economic times by reaching a five-year deal to remain with Roush Fenway Racing. BUT Ford will pull its financial support in the Craftsman Truck Series beginning next season. Team owner Jack Roush assured that Ford has not pulled support from the Cup program. "Ford has made us a commitment for five years going into the future that we feel is adequate to our needs for the support that comes from manufacturers," Roush said before Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. Roush has been with Ford since he got into NASCAR in 1988. His organization owns five of the eight Cup teams currently funded by the manufacturer and has an alliance with two more at Yates Racing. The single-car team [#21] of the Wood Brothers is the only other one that runs fulltime in NASCAR's premiere series, although Yates plans to expand to three teams [#28,#38 and Paul Menard] in 2009. The withdrawal of financial support in the Truck Series was purely an economical decision. It is the second big hit for that series, which lost Dodge support earlier this year. Unlike Dodge, Ford will continue to provide technical support and engineering. "We remain positive about the performance of our teams and their dedication to the company during these challenging times," said Brian Wolfe, the director of Ford Racing Technology.(ESPN.com)(10-19-2008)
- Special Helmet for Ragan at Kansas: In honor of his charity of choice, Shriners Hospitals for Children, #6-David Ragan is going to wear a specially designed helmet this weekend in Kansas. The helmet portrays the children the Shriners have been able to assist at their 22 hospitals with high-quality medical care at no charge. Ragan will wear the helmet for the Sprint Cup race this Sunday in Kansas, and then again in the 2008 season finale for the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Toledo Speedway on Oct. 12. In that race, he will also drive a race car with a special Shriners Hospitals for Children paint scheme. Ragan will autograph the helmet which will be auctioned off to benefit the Shriners Hospitals following the Oct. 12 race.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(9-25-2008)
- David Ragan, Ken Schrader enter Toledo's ARCA race: Ken Schrader and David Ragan have entered the ARCA Re/Max Series Hantz Group 200, set for Oct. 12 at Toledo Speedway. The race will determine the 2008 series champion. Schrader has four wins at Toledo (1997, 2004, 2005 and 2006). Nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel and Formula One veteran Scott Speed, who drives the Red Bull Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing, also are entered. With three events remaining, Speed has a 90-point lead in points over Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(Detroit Free Press)(9-25-2008)
- UPS to announce team Friday; Ragan and Roush: hearing that UPS will announce Friday, what team and driver they will sponsor in 2009. Rumor has it that David Ragan will be sponsored by UPS in the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 2009.
AND On Friday, September 12, UPS will launch a new era in our NASCAR partnership when we [UPS} announce the sponsorship of a new driver and team for the 2009 racing season. UPS’s eight-year partnership with NASCAR has netted us significant growth opportunities and increased brand awareness. Due to the success of the partnership, UPS also will remain the Official Express Delivery Company of NASCAR. An exclusive employee preview of the announcement will be available on UPSers.com at 5pm/et, Thursday, September 11. Friday morning at 9:30am/et, a press conference introducing the new driver and team will be held at the New Hampshire Speedway.
AND II: from the UPSers site: "Well now it’s time to really put the pedal to the metal with the NASCAR sponsorship and UPS’s growth strategy. And what better way to do that than partner with one of NASCAR’s premier teams, Roush Fenway Racing. Like UPS, they have a really strong brand awareness. There’s a new number, number six, that’s my favorite number. And – and this is really cool, there’s a new driver, David Ragan." The new video will be posted sometime Friday at racing.ups.com
OFFICIAL: Launching a new era in its relationship with NASCAR, UPS today announced it would join Roush Fenway Racing for the 2009 campaign and rely on driving standout David Ragan to push the colors of “Big Brown” into Victory Lane. Ragan will race the #6 UPS Ford Fusion next season in a significantly revitalized UPS motorsports program. UPS has signed a multi-year deal with Roush Fenway Racing and Ragan. The agreement represents a return to Ford Motor Co. and an opportunity to establish long-term stability for UPS’s racing program. Ragan and Roush Fenway Racing will be supported by UPS with a variety of new programs, to be fully announced in coming weeks, including an entirely new advertising campaign. The 2009 Sprint Cup Series season will mark the ninth season of primary sponsorship for UPS and the 10th year as the Official Delivery Company of NASCAR. UPS became the official express delivery company of NASCAR in 2000 and a year later, joined Robert Yates Racing and NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett to campaign the #88 UPS Ford Taurus as a full sponsor. In 2007, UPS followed its driver when Jarrett joined Michael Waltrip Racing to race the Toyota Camry. Earlier this season, Jarrett retired and the #44 UPS Camry is being driven for the remainder of this season by David Reutimann.(UPS Site)(9-12-2008)
- Roush Fenway's Ragan in running for UPS sponsorship: UPDATE: done deal? UPS was linked to Roush Fenway Racing three months ago when the organization was looking for sponsorship for Carl Edwards. Aflac ended up sponsoring Edwards, but Roush Fenway Racing still might land UPS as the organization still needs a sponsor for David Ragan. Talks with UPS are continuing as UPS has not committed to a team in 2009, Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith confirmed. Michael Waltrip Racing is not expected to retain UPS, and Roush Fenway needs a sponsor to replace AAA for Ragan. "We are a candidate," Smith said in an email. "We don't know at this time whether or not we will win. … Of course it would be fantastic to be associated with UPS." UPS has been linked to several drivers and organizations. Gillett Evernham Motorsports still needs a sponsor for its # 10 car and has not committed yet to current driver Patrick Carpentier. Stewart-Haas Racing still needs a sponsor for Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Inc. still needs sponsorship for its # 01 car, driven this year by Regan Smtih. Yates Racing still needs sponsors for its drivers as well.(SceneDaily.com)(8-16-2008)
UPDATE: UPS has reportedly reached to a multiyear agreement with Roush-Fenway Racing to sponsor David Ragan and the #6 Ford next season, with an official announcement expected within the next two weeks. UPS will leave Michael Waltrip Racing at the end of the 2008 campaign, after backing Dale Jarrett and David Reutimann for the last two years. Ragan is in his second year of Sprint Cup competition, and ranks as one of NASCAR’s most improved drivers.(Motorsports Soapbox)(9-2-2008)
- New Hire by Roush Fenway Racing: Fenway Sports Group (FSG), a premier sports marketing agency that specializes in representation, sponsorship sales, event marketing and strategic marketing consulting, announced it has appointed Brian Corcoran as Executive Vice President, Business Development & Motorsports. Corcoran will oversee day-to-day operations for FSG's NASCAR division which includes Roush Fenway Racing and Yates Racing. He is tasked with identifying and developing new sponsor and revenue opportunities for both teams. Corcoran comes to FSG after spending the last six years as Managing Director, Corporate Marketing for NASCAR. He was instrumental in securing Nextel Communications as the entitlement partner of the Nextel Cup Series and Nationwide Insurance as lead sponsor of NASCAR's secondary circuit which is often compared to Triple-A baseball. Corcoran also played key roles in securing new sponsors, including Enterprise, Office Depot, AMD, TISSOT, AutoZone and Domino's Pizza. In February 2007, FSG purchased 50 percent stake in Roush Racing, one of NASCAR's largest and most successful teams, to form Roush Fenway Racing (RFR). The team fields five cars in the Sprint Cup Series and currently has three drivers, Carl Edwards (2nd), Greg Biffle (7th) and Matt Kenseth (10th) in the Chase for the Cup and four drivers in the top 13 in Cup standings with David Ragan currently in 13th place. This merger marked the first time that owners of a professional franchise in one of the four major leagues have partnered with a NASCAR team. Through RFR, FSG also provides marketing and sponsorship services to Yates Racing.(PR)(8-25-2008)
- Roush's Smith to retire? Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith is putting plans in place to retire after the 2009 season.
"More than likely," Smith said before Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway. "That's what we're building for. We've been systematically elevating the responsibilities of several key people, training and training." Smith runs the business and marketing side of Roush Fenway. He has been instrumental in putting together one of the top sponsorship programs in the garage.
He'll be 63 when his contract expires after next season. "I've done this for a lot of years," Smith said. "I owe my wife time together before we're dead."(ESPN.com)(8-18-2008)
- Ragan to return to #6 in 2009: Roush Fenway Racing officials confirmed Sunday that David Ragan will be back behind the wheel of the #6 Ford next season. Sponsor negotiations to replace AAA on the #6 are awaiting the completion of Stewart’s deal, though team sources confirmed that Office Depot will not be back at Roush Fenway Racing next season.(SPEEDtv)(7-6-2008)
- Red Sox scheme for Ragan at NHMS UPDATE: #6-David Ragan will run at AAA Insurance/Boston Red Sox scheme at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. See the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page.(6-24-2008)
UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that two Ford Fusions bearing the Boston Red Sox marks will compete at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon, N.H. on Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29. The #6 AAA/Red Sox Ford Fusion driven by Roush Fenway Racing’s David Ragan, will compete in NASCAR’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Race on Sunday, June 29 and the #60 Under Armour/Red Sox Ford Fusion driven by Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards will race in the Nationwide Camping World RV Sales 200 presented by RVs.com on Saturday, June 28. This announcement marks an evolution of last year’s successful cross-sports promotional program between NASCAR and Major League Baseball (MLB) that featured Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards racing a special #99 Red Sox/Lumber Liquidators/Gillette Ford in 2007’s Sprint Cup Series’ LENOX Industrial Tools 300. As Red Sox sponsors, AAA Southern New England and Under Armour had a special opportunity to utilize Boston Red Sox marks for marketing and promotional activation at this weekend’s NASCAR races in Loudon through a regional sponsorship agreement with Roush Fenway Racing. These rights allow the two companies to leverage their association with the team to feature the Red Sox mark on the #6 and #60 cars. In addition to being featured on the Roush Fenway Racing entries, the sponsors will activate their sponsorship by tapping into Roush Fenway Racing’s public relations and marketing services to reach a broader audience of NASCAR fans. AAA Southern New England is leveraging its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing and the Red Sox to increase visibility for its safe-driving programs, generate exposure for its new AAA mobile navigational application and to connect with Red Sox Nation and NASCAR fans throughout its New England territory. Earlier this week, AAA Southern New England launched a program designed to capitalize on the synergy between the Red Sox and Roush Fenway Racing fan base with the “Races & Bases” online sweepstakes. This integrated promotion provides one lucky fan with the opportunity to watch a Red Sox game with #6 driver Ragan and attend the September race at NHMS. Nationally, AAA is the primary sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing’s #6 car and the official auto insurance for International Speedway Corp. tracks.(Roush Racing) See the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page(6-26-2008)
- Roush Fenway hopes to have drivers locked in soon for ’09: Roush Fenway Racing hopes to soon solidify its current driver lineup in the same positions for 2009, team president Geoff Smith said Sunday at Infineon Raceway. The first item would be locking in #16-Greg Biffle, who said Friday he expects to complete the deal this week. As far as #6-David Ragan, Smith also was optimistic. “We’re working through a final contract now with a sponsor, and unless Tony Stewart puts a wheel under us [in his sponsorship quest], it should be over very shortly,” Smith said. The team’s other three drivers – #99-Carl Edwards, #26-Jamie McMurray and #17-Matt Kenseth – are already signed for next season. Roush Fenway Racing can have five teams in 2009 but will have to cut down to four for the 2010 season.(SceneDaily.com)(6-23-2008)
- Ragan on TV show tonight: Roush Fenway Racing’s #6-David Ragan will appear on the Travel Channel series, “Lawerence of America,” Tuesday, June 10th at 11pm/et. The series is new to the Travel Channel and features Lawerence immersing himself in American culture. In the episode Lawerence will spend some time with Ragan and see what
racing is all about. The two team up to drive some go-karts to give Lawerence a feel of what it’s like to be behind the wheel. "It was fun filming the show with Lawrence last fall,” said Ragan. “I think he learned a lot and it will be a great way to hopefully introduce the sport to some new fans to the sport. We had a good time at the go-kart track, but next time we’ll go the big track and see how he does.”(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-10-2008)
- Ragan has blood type on his uniform: David Ragan has an “O+” by the name on his uniform, designating his blood type. Drivers occasionally put their blood type on their firesuits in case they are in an accident and are rushed to a hospital. Ragan said his suit maker Sabelt asked him for his blood type before it started making suits for him this year. The Roush Fenway Racing driver isn’t the first driver in NASCAR to have his blood type on the uniform but it is fairly rare to have that.(SceneDaily.com)(4-20-2008)
- Dunkin' Donuts teams up with Fenway Sports: As it expands nationally, Dunkin' Donuts is teaming up with a high-powered group of local sports marketers to bring in new customers. Dunkin’ now has 5,500 stores, but plans to triple that number over the next two decades, targeting markets like Dallas, Cleveland and Nashville that are outside its Northeast base. The Canton-based chain has hired Fenway Sports Group to help devise a national sports marketing campaign. That could mean rolling out Dunkin' ads featuring sports stars in some of its new markets across the country, said Mark Lev, executive vice president at Fenway Sports Group. The Dunkin' deal is a major coup for FSG, which has been building a broad portfolio of deals ranging from a 50% stake in a top NASCAR race team to consulting deals with a range of companies.(Boston Herald)(4-15-2008)
- RFR working on driver contracts: Greg Biffle’s contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing is nearly complete, and the team is working on extensions for David Ragan and Carl Edwards. Using Biffle’s words from earlier in the week, Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith said that the contract with Biffle is 90% along. He said the fact that Biffle is running second in points has not accelerated the deal. “We wanted to get it done over the winter,” Smith said Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. “We like to get them done so they don’t become a distraction of the team in terms of the race season.” The contracts for Edwards and Ragan, as well as those with the companies sponsoring [AAA announced they would leave at the end of 2008] their cars, end after the season is over. Smith indicated that the team would like to sign the sponsor and driver at the same time. He said the team also is working with a sponsor to finalize the Biffle deal. “For us, there’s a money equation that has to be met,” Smith said. “The sponsor has to pay [a certain amount] in order for us to pay the driver and so forth. We close all of that out at the same time.” Smith doesn’t anticipate having trouble finding sponsorship for Edwards. His organization currently is looking for sponsorship for the two Yates Racing cars. “It’s pretty early,” Smith said about the sponsor search. “Carl Edwards, even in this down economy, he’s the hottest property in the garage. We’ve got all the sponsorship we can handle for him. David, and Travis [Kvapil] and David Gilliland, they’re all in the mix. We’re hoping the economic climate improves here shortly and typically May and June are big months for significant prospects to come forward for us. We’re about to find out if that’s true.”(SceneDaily)(3-31-2008)
- Roush Fenway Racing doesn't plan any legal action against MWR: Roush Fenway Racing doesn't plan to take legal action against Michael Waltrip Racing for what it characterized as the theft of a sway bar unless there is evidence that the piece has been duplicated. Team president Geoff Smith said the issue would not have surfaced at all had Toyota general manager Lee White not insinuated that Roush's team of Carl Edwards intentionally cheated at Las Vegas.(see full story at ESPN.com), so lets hope this whole thing is over.(3-30-2008)
- MWR had [Roush] part, says it was a mistake UPDATE: Michael Waltrip confirmed Friday afternoon that it was his team that Jack Roush was alluding to when saying a Toyota team had stolen a sway bar from Roush Fenway Racing at Dover last September. “It was a mistake,” Waltrip said. “Look at the back of these toolboxes. There are sway bars, there’s jack handles, and it wound up in our possession. We called them and said, ‘We want to give this back.’ ”(full story atSceneDaily)
MORE: Michael Waltrip acknowledged on Saturday that his team had the sway bar that team owner Jack Roush accused a Toyota team of stealing last season. But Waltrip insisted that it wasn't a theft, that the bar accidentally wound up at his shop after the September race at Dover and that nobody realized it belonged to Roush Fenway Racing until that organization called to inquire about it in January. "Accidents happen, mistakes happen," Waltrip said. "If you look inside this garage area today there's over 70 racing vehicles in here and stuff gets slung everywhere ... I could see why he would be upset. He feels like he was wronged and he's mad about it." Roush said the sway bar was specially designed by Roush Fenway for his cars. He said they were larger than the old bars, unable to fit in the toolbox slot and were put underneath the box instead. Roush said a member of a Toyota team -- which turned out to be David Reutimann's #00 car -- parked next to him at Dover, then walked over and took the piece. "I don't know what makes him tick," Waltrip said of Roush. "But I do know that no one went to his toolbox and swiped his bar." Waltrip said he had no knowledge that the piece was sandblasted to hide its identity and that somebody from his team called a vendor to have it duplicated as Roush alleged. "I don't have knowledge of any of that," he said. "I heard it was painted blue and when we figured out that it wasn't ours then it was set off to the side and eventually returned."(ESPN.com)(3-29-2008)
- NASCAR won't intervene in Roush dispute with Toyota team: NASCAR officials say they will not intervene in the dispute between Roush Fenway Racing and an unspecified Toyota team that allegedly took a part from the Ford organization. Team owner Jack Roush is asking NASCAR for “relief” on the issue, but NASCAR Vice President of Competition strongly dismissed that idea on Friday. “If they’ve got issues with each other or other teams, then they’ve got to talk to those other teams,” Pemberton said. “I didn’t take a part or a piece, all right? Nobody in this [NASCAR] trailer took a part or a piece. We know Jack said that, and apparently some other team acknowledged having a part or a piece. Those people need to work their deal out.” Roush said a Toyota team took a sway bar home from a September race at Dover last season. If that’s true, Pemberton said, “Then shame on a team that has that person working for them. If you’ve got a guy that takes a part or a piece from another team, then, in my opinion, I wouldn’t have a guy like that work for me,” he said. Still, that doesn’t mean NASCAR is going to do anything about it. “[The teams] have to work together,” he said. “We’re not going to build walls in here. We’re not going to separate everything. We’re going to run this garage area just like it’s been run. If you have issues, then you've got to work it out.”(SceneDaily)(3-29-2008)
- Latest on the 'stolen' Roush "proprietary part" UPDATE MWR: Jack Roush said on Friday that a Toyota team stole a sway bar made specifically for Roush Fenway Racing from one of his Sprint Cup teams last season at Dover. "A theft did occur," the co-owner of Roush Fenway said during practice at Martinsville Speedway. "The part was recovered ... We are still considering what if any legal action to seek." One of Roush's options is asking for a restraining order to guarantee the team in question does not duplicate the bar, which has been determined legal by NASCAR, for a competitive advantage. "It's lawyer time," Roush said. Roush made his first comments since he was quoted in ESPN The Magazine as saying a proprietary part was found missing from his inventory and discovered with a Toyota team. He discounted comments made by Jim Aust, the president of Toyota Racing Development, that a valve spring was found during a teardown inspection, identified as belonging to Roush and returned. Roush said the theft occurred in the garage area at Dover in September , where the only Toyota teams in the field belonged to Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull.
Lee White, the general manager of TRD, said his organization launched a full investigation into the allegation when Roush's allegations were published in ESPN The Magazine.
He said a valve spring that did not belong to Toyota ended up at TRD's California location after the California race, that it was reported to NASCAR and returned. Roush said he became aware of the theft in early January when the vendor that produced the product for Roush Fenway was contacted by the Toyota team in question about duplicating the bar.
Roush said he's had several discussions with NASCAR officials about the situation. He was alarmed when Robin Pemberton, the vice president of competition for the series, said disappearing parts are a common occurrence and the teams needed to work it out amongst themselves. Roush said there is something fundamentally wrong if NASCAR doesn't intercede, reminding the governing body has no problem reacting when somebody uses an illegal part -- on purpose or not. Roush, noting he has been in the business 22 years, and said this is the first time he's heard of such a situation. He declined to respond to a question in which Michael Waltrip Racing was insinuated as the Toyota team. "I don't substantiate," he said. Waltrip declined to comment until he heard how the question was posed and the way Roush responded.(see full story at ESPN.com), see past news about this on the #17 Team News and Links page.(3-28-2008)
- Roush Says Toyota Team Stole "Proprietary Part" UPDATE 2: ESPN the Magazine has an interesting and potentially explosive quote from Roush Fenway Racing co-owner Jack Roush as part of its 10th Anniversary issue, which is on newsstands this week. Two weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the magazine quotes Roush as saying, “We had a proprietary Roush Fenway part go missing from one of my race teams, and we recovered it from a Toyota team. I’m not going to say which team it is, but we are considering legal action, or getting NASCAR involved.” If Roush’s allegations prove to be true, this could become NASCAR’s version of the recent spy scandal that rocked Formula One racing, in which the McLaren-Mercedes team was caught with confidential, proprietary test information belonging to rival Ferrari. We contacted Roush Fenway Racing today in search of further information – including team was involved and the specific part in question -- and we [SIRIUS Speedway w/ Dave Moody] hope to have a statement from them later today.(Motorsports Soapbox)(3-25-2008)
UPDATE: Jack Roush, co-owner of Ford-based Roush Fenway Racing, leveled another serious accusation at nemesis Toyota at Atlanta Motor Speedway -- one that took nearly three weeks to surface. No one from either RFR or Toyota was willing to comment on Tuesday, but no one was denying Roush told a reporter from ESPN The Magazine on March 7 that a Toyota team had been in possession of an RFR team part.(ESPN)(3-26-2008)
UPDATE 2: Toyota officials on Wednesday identified the Roush Fenway Racing part that owner Jack Roush said was found in a Toyota team's possession during a Sprint Cup post-race teardown as a spring. Jim Aust, the president and chief executive officer of Toyota Racing Development, said once the part was found to belong to RFR that it was returned. He was uncertain how the part, discovered on a table with other Toyota parts, got there or from which team it came. "I don't understand the whole procedure when a teardown happens," said Aust, referring to a post-race process in which several cars are broken down by NASCAR inspectors. "The only thing I know is it wound up with parts we had and [which were] returned to Roush. "It's unfortunate it happened the way it did. It wasn't anything intentional. There's no reason to be done intentional. I have no idea how it happened to begin with." Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith said the part in question was not a spring, but he would not elaborate. No one at RFR has identified which Toyota team had the part. "Jack is the only one to talk to at this time and he presently doesn't want to make any additional comments," Smith said.(ESPN.com)(3-26-2008)
- CitiFinancial sponsoring Roush: CitiFinancial will be the primary sponsor on a variety of Roush Fenway Racing entries in all 35 Nationwide Series events in 2008. The sponsorship is part of Citi's new multifaceted, strategic marketing partnership with Roush Fenway Racing. As part of the relationship, CitiFinancial will tap into Roush Fenway's all-star driver lineup to pilot the CitiFinancial Ford. In addition, Citi will become a major associate sponsor on all Roush Fenway Racing teams, including the Sprint Cup Series entries of #16-Greg Biffle, #99-Carl Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth, #26-Jamie McMurray, and #6-David Ragan.(Roush Fenway PR)(1-19-2008)
- AAA leaves NASCAR and #6 team after 2008: AAA's national motorsports sponsorships will hit the end of the road after the 2008 season. The primary sponsor on Roush Fenway Racing's #6 Ford [David Ragan] and the official auto insurance for International Speedway Corp. tracks, AAA has decided that it will not renew those deals at the end of this season. AAA's exit at ISC could open the door for Nationwide Insurance, the new title sponsor of NASCAR's No. 2 circuit, formerly known as the Busch Series. ISC tracks are the site for 19 of NASCAR's 36 Sprint Cup events. Sources say that ISC has reached out to Nationwide and possibly other insurance companies in an effort to fill that category beginning in 2009. Nationwide owns status as the official insurance company at Speedway Motorsports Inc. tracks. AAA's status as the official auto club and auto insurance of the Indianapolis 500 also will end after this season. AAA made its decision this early in the year based on deadlines that were in its agreements.(SportsBusiness Journal/SceneDaily.com)(1-8-2008)
- Roush Fenway Racing announces new GM - Robbie Reiser: Roush Fenway Racing announced Thursday that championship crew chief, Robbie Reiser, has been appointed General Manager of Roush Fenway Racing’s Nextel Cup team operations. “This is a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to the next phase of my racing career,” Reiser said. “If it’s anywhere near as fun, competitive, and successful as the previous phase, then we’re going to be in good shape. It wasn’t an easy decision to stop being the crew chief of the #17 team, but now I get to work with all of our Cup teams and help improve our performance as a whole. I’m looking forward to the new challenge.” Reiser replaces Max Jones and steps into the GM role with well over 20 years of racing experience under his belt. Roush Fenway Racing is expected to name other crew changes to the #17 Ford team in the upcoming weeks.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(11-15-2007)
- Doug Yates and Max Jones join forces: Yates Racing announced Thursday that Max Jones, long-time general manager for Roush Fenway Racing and former road-racing driver has joined Yates Racing as a co-owner and will also assume the role of General Manager . Jones, a native of Long Beach, Calif., joins Yates Racing after serving as general manager for Roush Fenway Racing’s Cup program in 2007. “We’re thrilled to have someone as respected as Max join Yates Racing,” said Yates Racing owner, Doug Yates. “With his experience in the sport and working with such a large and successful organization as Roush Fenway Racing for so many years, he will immediately step in and improve our race operations. As we continue to improve and restructure in preparation for a successful 2008 season, having someone with Max’s experience and credibility only accelerates the process of getting Yates Racing back to where it needs to be and that’s competing for wins and championships on a weekly basis.” Jones will add his experience to one of the most successful operations in motorsports. Since venturing into NASCAR’s Cup series in 1989, Yates Racing has recorded 57 wins, 269 top fives, and 427 top-10 finishes, including the Cup
series championship in 1999.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(11-15-2007)
- Special AAA Scheme at Homestead: #6-David Ragan will carry extra colors on his car during the Nextel Cup Series season finale at Homestead. Ragan, driver of the #6 AAA Ford Fusion, commemorates AAA's longstanding partnership with The Hertz Corporation with a special addition to his car. Hertz will be featured on the rear deck lid and back of the #6 Ford at Homestead. The logo placement highlights an additional AAA member benefit that is in effect this November: AAA members can receive a free tank of gas when they rent a Fun, Green or Prestige Collection vehicle from Hertz for a 3-day weekend or minimum 5-day week. It marks the first time Hertz has participated in a Nextel Cup Series event. Hertz is
AAA's preferred car rental company. For more information on AAA member benefits with Hertz, visit AAA.com/Hertz.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(11-14-2007)
- Ragan to promote safety: When David Ragan signed on with AAA to drive the #6 Nextel Cup Series car in 2007, his sponsor had big plans for him to help promote safe driving from coast to coast. This weekend, while in New Hampshire for the Sylvania 300, Ragan along with his mother, Beverly Ragan, will be doing just that. The mother and son duo will be producing a public service announcement for the Maine Department of Transportation encouraging young drivers and their parents to come to an agreement, and an understanding, about the laws and expectations that the state of Maine has put forth for all drivers on the roads.(Roush Fenway Racing)(9-13-2007)
- Braun to make stock car debut in ARCA for Roush: Colin Braun, driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion, will make his Roush Fenway Racing debut in Friday night's ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Gateway International Speedway. Braun recently signed long-term contracts with Roush Fenway Racing and Ford Racing.(Ford Racing PR)(8-29-2007)
- Roush to sell off one team, then help: In 2010, Roush Fenway Racing will have to shrink from five cars to four, but Jack Roush already has a plan in mind: Sell the fifth car to a group of investors as what he called "seed corn" for an investor-controlled four-car team owned and funded by a group outside of Roush but fueled with Roush crews and technology.
"It shouldn't go without notice that we are unabated in our effort to find and identify new drivers and to build our crews and teams with outsiders to the extent that we can and advance them through the programs as they get experience," Roush said. "We're on a track to be able to help somebody come in and provide the technology and the manpower to get them started."(Ford Racing)(8-18-2007)
- Roush COT Testing in Full Swing: Entering this weekend's USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicago, Ford and Roush finally look like a match for the Chevys. "The big thing that has helped us with the Car of Tomorrow is we now have a test team," [Jack] Roush said. "We are doing the things I thought we weren't going to be allowed to do when NASCAR told us we couldn't take tires from the racetrack because they didn't want us to test. I thought they would put teeth in that, but they didn't. We got behind. But five weeks ago I hired six people and dedicated a tractor-trailer [for testing]. We've been to Iowa, Milwaukee four times in the last month, and Road Atlanta and VIR [Virginia International Raceway]." Roush's three 2007 victories have come with NASCAR's current car, and the Chicagoland race also will feature the current car. But if Roush Fenway is going to compete with the Chevy teams for the championship, it will have to have a strong COT program. "We're not caught up yet," Roush said. "But we're certainly on the path, and we'll be heard from more before the year is over."(Tampa Tribune)(7-13-2007)
- New York Investors Looking for Cup Teams: The buzz in the garage in New Hampshire is that at least two New York-based investment banking firms have been making the rounds among Nextel Cup teams, looking to invest in one or more teams, eventually taking a race team public with a stock offering. So far, there have been no takers among the NASCAR team owners. At least one of the investment firms has talked with multiple teams in the garage, including Robert Yates Racing [#38 & #88], Dale Earnhardt, Inc. [#1, #8, #15] and Roush Fenway Racing [#6, #16, #17, #26, #99], multiple sources said. The idea has been for the companies to make cash investments of upwards of $50 million in a team and then at some point sell their interests, perhaps by public stock offering. “We looked at their business plan and it didn’t make sense to us,” said Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith, who confirmed his team had been contacted by a New York-based investment fund that he did not identify by name. Robert Yates talked extensively with the potential investors and reached the same conclusion. “You sit in a room with about 20 bankers and you spend about 18 hours in there with them and you realize that they didn’t contribute anything to the gross national product except maybe going to the bathroom,” said Yates, who also has entertained merger and/or partnership offers from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Robby Gordon Motorsports and Hall of Fame Racing, among others, before deciding to go it alone. Another team principal who spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday morning at New Hampshire, said the team he works with was approached by investors, but chose not to get involved with them, either. “They had a ton of money, but they didn’t know anything at all about racing,” he said, adding the team was not in need of a cash infusion and would only consider an outside investor if that investor could add significant value to the team.(SPEEDtv.com)(7-2-2007)
- Roush: Aflac deal could be sign of things to come: Jack Roush says that his team's new partnership with Aflac could highlight how future sponsorships will work in the sport. The company is sponsoring eight Nextel Cup races as primary sponsor for #16-Greg Biffle this season. It is also sponsoring four Busch Series races with drivers Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray. It's a business move that gives the company access to four of the organization's drivers. "The time may be waning when a new sponsor could come into our business and understand how to make their marketing program be configured in order to give them the value for a full schedule," Roush said Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I think that the way that Aflac is coming in with a limited schedule, with some races in the Busch as well as the Cup side with multiple drivers I think is a prudent way to do it."(SceneDaily.com)(6-16-2007)
- Roush not interested in Busch: His ride gone for next season and then his agent, #5-Kyle Busch faces more changes.
He'll search for a new ride and could be barred from some Hendrick Motorsports team meetings [as Brian Vickers was in 2006] even as he tries to make the title chase. Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. replaces him next year, Busch wouldn't mope about his situation Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I'm interested in talking to ... whoever's got an open seat," Busch said before qualifying third for Sunday's race. "Let's sit down. Let's have dinner." Many owners are expected to answer, but not Jack Roush, for whom Busch drove before moving to Hendrick in 2003. "I am not interested in Kyle Busch," Roush said. "I've been there and I've done that."(Roanoke Times)(6-16-2007)
- Roush to test COT more: Ford team-owner Jack Roush [#6,16,17,26,99] will use B.F. Goodrich and/or Hoosier tires to test his Car of Tomorrow fleet on non-Nextel Cup tracks in coming months. The team owner believes Roush Fenway Racing is slightly behind rivals that are skirting the spirit of NASCAR’s testing policies. By rule, Cup teams are limited to a handful of closely-monitored official tests. Teams must test together at the same Cup venue, and on Goodyear Eagles. But several organizations have gotten around that limit by using Goodrich and/or Hoosiers for unofficial testing at outside tracks. “NASCAR wanted to start everybody in the Car of Tomorrow on an even basis, with [the same] four or five tests,” Roush said at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “Well, the teams that have been successful—the Hendrick organization, the Gibbs organization and the Childress organization—have tested their cars multiple times a week. They’ve gone to tracks outside NASCAR’s control with tires that were not from Goodyear. Right now, Goodyear is sitting on millions of dollars worth of tires that are growing obsolete and hard in their warehouses. Teams have gotten around NASCAR’s policy by buying other people’s tires and testing at tracks that aren’t on the Nextel Cup schedule. I got behind on that; I didn’t do that. But two weeks ago I hired six people and dedicated a tractor-trailer, and I’ve gone public. ‘OK, I’m getting in the testing game, too.’ If you don’t want us to test, have us sign something in the application. Something that says, ‘We agree we won’t test with Goodyears or anybody else’s tires, except for the tracks that NASCAR approves.’ But they didn’t do that; they left the door open and we got behind… but we’re going to catch up.” Strictly speaking, there’s nothing illegal about what the Hendrick, Gibbs and Childress teams are doing. Jeff Gordon, who’s won two CoT races—teammate Jimmie Johnson has won two and Kyle Busch the other—said Hendrick Motorsports shouldn’t apologize for its CoT success. “If the Roush teams aren’t doing that, then that’s their mistake,” the series points-leader said. “We’re doing everything we can to be competitive and we’re not doing anything wrong. It’s definitely playing a role in helping us get to where we are.”(Ford Racing)(5-29-2007)
- Roush, Red Sox Plan New England Bash: The first major collaboration to come from the partnership between Fenway Sports Group and the former Roush Racing will take place next month in Boston and New Hampshire with an event called Roush Fenway Days. Roush Fenway Racing will have two days of activities at Fenway Park June 28-29, culminating with a baseball game between The Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers on June 29th. “We’re having our midyear sponsor summit there, followed by the game,” said Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith. “We’re having our big racing displays and event displays, like you would here at a racetrack, surround the park and be somewhat in the park. People get to participate in batting practice and there will be a big P.R. rollout inside the park with the drivers and players and so forth.” From there, Smith said, the action will move to New Hampshire International Speedway, site of the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 NASCAR Nextel Cup race July 1. “I think you’ll see one of our cars with a special paint scheme and some special guests,” said Smith. “It’ll integrate NASCAR and the whole Fenway Red Sox experience kind of all in one big weekend.” Smith also said the team is close to announcing a title sponsor to the event.(SPEEDtv.com)(5-28-2007)
- Carl Edwards' Busch Win is Roush Fenway's 350th Overall: Carl Edwards drove the #60 Dish Network Ford home to his second Busch Series win of the 2007 season in Nashville over the weekend and at the same time, hit a milestone for Roush Fenway Racing. Edwards' second consecutive win gave Roush Fenway their 350th overall win. Of the 350 wins Jack Roush has obtained, 234 of them have been wins in NASCAR's three elite series (Nextel Cup - 101; Busch Series - 90; Craftsman Truck Series - 43). Of the 101 Nextel Cup wins, 96 of them have been point races while the other five have come from wins in the Bud Shootout (1), The Winston (1), The Winston Open (1) and the Nextel All-Star Challenge (2). In the Busch and Truck Series, Roush Fenway's 90 and 43 wins respectively, make Roush the most winning owner of any other owner in both of those series. In addition to the 234 wins, Roush has also collected 116 road racing victories bringing Roush Fenway Racing's win column total to 350.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-9-2007)
- Roush Not Gloating Over Toyota's Woes: After all the buildup from Detroit rivals about the Toyota monster crushing NASCAR competition, the season so far has seen quite the opposite, with most Toyota teams struggling just to make the fields. But [Jack] Roush isn't backing away from his quite vocal worries. "I'm not going to gloat over what's happened, or take any glee in it," Roush said, "because it's hard to start a new program, around new people and new drivers and a new manufacturer. And this year's hardware issues (like the car of tomorrow) make it triple tough. I didn't expect Toyota to be a factor early on. But the comments I've made were not based on what I looked for in the first half of 2007, or even all of 2007, but rather 2008, 2009 and beyond will be a very good time for Toyota, if they continue to have the money they now have available to get the people and technologies. Toyota will get it right ... and they will put the rest of us in the back, unless NASCAR is vigilant in its effort to protect against unlimited amounts of money coming into this sport and buying everything of value from the existing teams. If Toyota can do that, there will be an upset the likes of which we have never seen. Right now the good news for the established teams is that the good drivers have all been under contract, and the good crew chiefs and the best crewmen have not been willing to take a chance on an upstart team or a new program. But as time goes on, as the Toyota teams get their legs under them and start to consistently qualify, the more those people who have the talents to make a difference in the programs will be inclined to consider the generous offers they've made- offers that will escalate as time goes on."(Winston-Salem Journal)(4-8-2007)
- Roush Fenway must lose team by 2010: Roush Fenway Racing will have to decrease its number of Nextel Cup teams from five to four by the start of the 2010 season, team president Geoff Smith said Saturday. NASCAR announced in 2005 that it would limit organizations to four fulltime Cup teams and that it would work with Roush to get down from four to five. Originally, the agreement was that once Roush lost a sponsor and driver at the same time, it would have to get down to four. "That [original discussion] triggered a loop that made the shrinkage date unpredictable, so it was [changed to] very simply, when the 2010 season starts, you'll have four," Smith said. "We have to be at four at the start of 2010, regardless of what happens to us in the interim, if we lose a driver, lose a sponsor."
Smith indicated that his contracts are solid through the 2009 season. He also said in the perfect world, Roush would sell one of the teams. "We've got three more years to sell one of our teams off," Smith said. "Hopefully, we can retain some business with that sale."(SceneDaily.com)(3-24-2007)
- AAA Travel scheme at Talladega: #6-David Ragan is scheduled to run a AAA Travel paint scheme at Talladega on April 29, 2007. See an image on my #6 Team Schemes page.(3-4-2007)
- AAA Insurance scheme: #6-David Ragan is scheduled to run a AAA Insurance paint scheme at Dover in June [also ran it at California] and some other races in 2007. See an image on my #6 Team Schemes page.(3-1-2007)
- AAA SYCS scheme: #6-David Ragan is scheduled to run a AAA Show Your Card and Save (SYCS) Special at the Phoenix race in April and other select other races during the 2007 Nextel Cup Season. See an image on my #6 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2007)
- Roush Fenway Racing owner gives MLB player a...Toyota: [Boston Red Sox slugger David] Ortiz got his own present Wednesday morning. Arriving at the Red Sox minor league facility for his physical, Ortiz was greeted with a Toyota Tundra pickup, courtesy of owner John W. Henry......why is this of interest? Red Sox owner John Henry is Jack Roush's new partner at Roush-Fenway Racing, they run Ford Fusion's and Jack Roush has spoken out against Toyota's involvement in NASCAR.....oops.(Heads up at Motorsports Soapbox, full article at the Hartford Courant)(2-26-2007)
- Gulf Oil shows interest in Roush-Fenway: Roush Racing's 50-50 partnership with John Henry's Fenway Sports Group, finally announced last week at Daytona International Speedway, might show an immediate return. One of the Boston Red Sox's longtime partners, Gulf Oil, has expressed an interest in a sponsorship position with Roush. Gulf, a Fenway Sports Group client based in Chelsea, Mass., distributes motor fuels and lubricants in about 2,600 branded gas stations, with a footprint that extends from Ohio to the east and Delaware to the north. The company's 65-foot logo is painted on the left-field wall at Fenway Park. "NASCAR really never made sense for us before because it is a national play and we're a regional company," said Richard Dery, Gulf's vice president of branded marketing and sales. "A race at Daytona doesn't do us a lot of good, but a race at Loudon, N.H. -- that could be a really fun day." Dery said his discussions with Roush have involved sponsorships for select races in Gulf's footprint, primarily the July 1 Lenox 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Gulf also could become the official motor oil of Roush Fenway Racing. Fenway Sports Group and the Red Sox are sister companies, both owned by John Henry, who said he hoped the partnership with Roush would vault FSG into a prominent position in sports marketing.(Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service)(2-23-2007)
- Roush Racing & Fenway Sports Group partner up: Today, during Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Fla., Roush Racing and Fenway Sports Group (FSG) announced the formation of Roush Fenway Racing. Under the agreement, FSG will purchase 50% of
Roush Racing to form the new entity. Jack Roush will continue to manage the competitive operations of the race teams and Geoff Smith will continue as president to oversee business activities. FSG will support Roush Fenway Racing’s marketing and sales activities by using their experience, network of relationships, and powerful demographic base to add value to Roush Fenway Racing sponsors and help Roush Fenway Racing maintain an unsurpassed position among NASCAR teams on and off the track.
“This partnership will bring a whole new perspective to our business,” said Jack Roush. “There is a lot of hard work that goes into being successful in sport. John Henry and FSG understand what it takes. Anybody that has watched the Red Sox has been impressed with their tenacity and their ability to prevail after all the frustration. To be able to have someone to bounce ideas and strategies off of will be fun. Everyone at Roush Racing is excited to welcome our new partner and we look forward to our success together.”
“This is an unprecedented partnership of two extremely successful organizations with proven track records for winning in their respective businesses and sports,” said Mike Dee, chief operating officer of the Boston Red Sox and president of Fenway Sports Group. “We believe in NASCAR and like its long-term business future and are thrilled to be a part of this exciting and growing industry.”
The new Roush Fenway Racing logo will make its track debut at Daytona International Speedway beginning Thursday, February 15 during the Gatorade 150 qualifying races. All of Roush Fenway Racing’s 13 teams will be competing throughout the weekend.
Off the track, the Roush Fenway Racing focus will be to continue to service its world-class sponsorship base which includes such great companies as; DeWalt Power Tools, Diageo (Crown Royal), AAA, Office Depot, Ameriquest Mortgage Company, 3M, Ford Motor Company, Northern Tool + Equipment, Dish Network, Discount Tire and Coca Cola, whose sponsorships Roush supports with public relations, licensing, event marketing and account management services.
Geoff Smith summed up the overall goal by saying, “We wholeheartedly believe that the addition of FSG, and the incorporation of its expertise and demographic power will insure that Roush Fenway Racing will indefinitely preserve our pre-eminent position among NASCAR teams both on and off the track.” FSG’s core strengths include property representation and acquisitions, entertainment marketing, sponsorships and consulting services. For more information please visit FenwaySportsGroup.com.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(2-14-2007)
- Cup races for Kvapil? Travis Kvapil, the 2003 Craftsman Truck Series champion, is back in the Truck Series this year after a brief, frustrating stint in Nextel Cup. Kvapil is now driving for Roush Racing and is expected to contend for the NCTS title this year. He also could end up doing a few Busch and/or Cup races for Roush this season, too. “I said to him (Roush Racing President Geoff Smith), ‘What am I going to do with all my off-weekends?’ And he said, ‘Hopefully, we can find something to run you part-time, if we can find a sponsor, you can run some races here and there. If nothing else, you can come along and be a part of it.’ I told him anytime he’s ready for me, I’m ready, but there’s nothing set in stone and no promises made or anything like that. First things first, is go out and win races and win the (NCTS) championship.”(SpeedTV.com)(2-10-2007)
- Fenway Sports Group/Roush deal completed, announced the 14th: A group of investors led by Boston Red Sox owner John Henry has completed a deal to buy a 50% stake in the Roush Racing NASCAR team, a person familiar with the negotiations said Friday. Although team owner Jack Roush is selling half of the team to the Fenway Sports Group, Roush will continue to run the team's competitive operations, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. Both parties have scheduled a Feb. 14 news conference at Jackie Robinson Ballpark [105 E. Orange Ave., Daytona Beach], a minor league facility near Daytona International Speedway. Roush, who was wearing his trademark fedora as he supervised his drivers at Daytona International Speedway on Friday evening, declined comment.(Associated Press)
also Roush Racing announced a major announcement with Roush Racing and Fenway Sports Group (FSG) executives; Red Sox
players and Roush Racing drivers on Wednesday, February 14 at 5:30pm/et(Roush Racing PR)(2-10-2007)
- Millikan released and home in NC: Former Cup driver, Joe Millikan, who was injured in a multi-vehicle accident outside of El Paso, TX on Wednesday, was released from Thomason Hospital on Friday afternoon. Millikan returned home to North Carolina on Saturday, February 3. Millikan was one of two Roush Racing employees injured when the #6 Nextel Cup transporter was involved in an accident returning home from a test session in Las Vegas, Nev. Justin Grebe, the driver of the transporter, was treated, released and returned home to North Carolina on January 31.(Roush Racing PR), see the intial news and past updates in next post.(2-5-2007)
- #6 Hauler involved in wreck in Texas UPDATE 4 former Cup driver injured: A NASCAR hauler carrying the #6 Roush Racing AAA Ford Fusion was involved in a multi-vehicle wreck 85 miles east of El Paso mid-morning Wednesday, according to Border Patrol officials. The accident occurred just after 9:00ammt [11:00am/et] at mile marker 102 on Interstate 10, near the Border Patrol check point outside the community of Sierra Blanca. Truck driver Jesse Bear, tells ABC-7 the tractor-trailer struck a motor home in the rear. According to ABC-7 reporter Darren Hunt, the front part of the rig's cab was completely torn off. The NASCAR hauler, owned by Roush Racing, was only transporting the AAA-sponsored racecar. Driver David Ragan was not involved in the wreck. Bear adds there were "a few other vehicles in the wreck, but everything was crushed together." Crews diverted eastbound traffic from the Interstate to an access road as crews cleaned up the scene. According to Border Patrol agents at the checkpoint, the hauler struck a motor home, which then struck another 18 wheeler, that then struck a 2nd tractor trailer. Emergency radio transmissions indicated that at least one person was rushed to Thomason Hospital with serious injuries. Emergency officials add there were 3 other persons transported to local hospitals. Emergency crews with Culberson County, Hudspeth County, and Ft. Hancock all responded to the scene of the accident. Law enforcement officials tell ABC-7 accidents of this type are not unusual for the checkpoint, as drivers aren't expecting to have to stop quickly, just off the interstate.(updated from kvia.com)
UPDATE: Roush Racing can confirm that the #6 Nextel Cup transporter was involved in a multi-vehicle accident with injuries in Sierra Blanca, TX in route from Las Vegas, NV to Concord, N.C. They will provide additional details as they become available.(Roush Racing PR)(1-31-2007)
UPDATE 2: A driver of a tractor-trailer with the NASCAR logo was critically injured in a traffic collision at the Border Patrol checkpoint in Sierra Blanca today, a Texas Department of Public Safety Official said. Joe Millikan, the driver of the NASCAR tractor trailer, was taken by ambulance to Thomason Hospital. Three other people, including Millikan's driving partner, suffered nonlife-threatening injuries. They also were taken to Thomason. Their names were not available, DPS dispatcher Julian Najera said. The cause of the crash has not been determined. Officials were also unable to say what vehicle the other victims were traveling in.(El Paso Times)
UPDATE 3: Two Roush Racing employees were injured in a multi-vehicle accident 85 miles east of El Paso, Texas yesterday morning. Justin Grebe, the driver of the #6 Roush Racing Nextel Cup transporter was treated and released from Thomason Hospital. Driving partner Joe Millikan, a passenger, is in stable condition in the Thomason Hospital intensive care unit. The two were returning to Concord, N.C. from a test in Las Vegas, Nev. According to local news reports, two other people also were taken to Thomason Hospital after suffering non life-threatening injuries. The cause of the crash has not been determined. Roush Racing will provide additional details as they become available.(Roush Racing PR)
Millikan ran in 80 Cup races from 1974 to 1986, with 10 top-fives, 38 top-10s and one career pole. His best season was in 1979 with 20 top-10s in 31 starts [his only full season], finishing 6th in points and was 2nd in the rookie race to the late Dale Earnhardt. His best finish was a 2nd at the March 1979 Rockingham race in the #72-Hayes Jewelers Chevy.(racing-reference.info)(2-1-2007)
UPDATE 4: have not seen anything official, but told that Millikan was released from the hospital on Saturday, Feb 3rd.(2-4-2007)
- Ragan to test at Infineon Raceway UPDATE: #6-David Ragan will make his first-ever visit to Infineon Raceway on Friday, working with instructors from the Jim Russell Racing Schools. Ragan, who has limited road-racing experience, has never traversed the
twists and turns of Infineon Raceway's 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. He'll be coached by Mark Wolocatiuk, the lead instructor of the Jim Russell Racing Schools. Wolocatiuk has coached NASCAR drivers like Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears and Bill Elliott, over the years. The Jim Russell Racing Schools has been based at Infineon Raceway since 1996. "I'm definitely looking forward to the road courses," said Ragan, whose limited experience on road courses includes Legends Cars testing in Atlanta and Virginia. "You've got guys like Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon who are veterans and they make it look easy. I just want to get some track time and become familiar with it so I'm better prepared when we come out there in June." Ragan (AAA Ford Fusion) will drive the serpentine circuit in one of the school's open-wheel cars, and there is the possibility of testing an American Speed Association stock car. Ragan, who drives for Roush Racing, will also receive plenty of classroom instruction. "We're really hoping to get David familiar with the track," Wolocatiuk said. "The elevation changes and off-camber nature of Infineon Raceway will be important for him to understand and deal with in a heavy and high-horsepowered stock car." Ragan will test on Friday, and then get some additional seat time on Saturday. The Nextel Cup Series visits Infineon Raceway June 22-24 for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. For tickets, call 800-870-RACE or visit www.infineonraceway.com.(Infineon Raceway PR)(2-2-2007)
UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards and #6-David Ragan spent Friday afternoon testing the twists and turns of Infineon Raceway
in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Nextel Cup Series race, June 22-24. It was the first time on the road course for Ragan, while Edwards has two starts in Sonoma, including a career-best finish of sixth place in 2006. Both piloted American Speed Association (ASA) stock cars supplied by Pioneer Motorsports out of Lake Oroville. The drivers were coached by Mark Wolocatiuk, lead instructor at the Jim Russell Racing Schools, which is based at Infineon Raceway. Edwards and Ragan, a rookie, each completed around 40 laps over the serpentine circuit. Both drive for Roush Racing. Ragan has limited road-racing experience, while Edwards placed 38th in his rookie season at Infineon Raceway in 2005 and sixth last year after starting 20th.(Infineon Raceway PR)(2-3-2007)
- Roush-Red Sox partnership not a done deal yet: While addressing the media last week in Charlotte, NASCAR team owner Jack Roush spoke as if the pending sale of a portion of his racing organization to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, and Henry's Fenway Sports Group, was effectively complete. It isn't. In fact, it could be a while. It's one of the most elaborate transactions Roush Racing president Geoff Smith has ever seen. "The deal is not done," Smith told ESPN.com Tuesday. "It's a really complex transaction with more separate contracts than anything I've ever seen." More than 50, in fact, Smith said. "There are lawyers engaged around the clock, basically, trying to work through all the details of all these documents," Smith said. "So that's why nobody wants to talk exactly, because the deal's not done." Both parties remain committed, though, Smith said. "We both want it to be done and want to be in business together, and are hoping we can agree on everything necessary to close in a short period of time," Smith said.
He doesn't have a timetable. "We've been saying that for two full months, maybe three full months now," he said. "That's how long it's been going on." Smith is uncertain how many individuals are working on the project of the Fenway Sports Group side, but said no less than seven Roush Racing employees, including a pair of lead lawyers and three senior financial executives, are working on Roush's behalf full time. Then there are multiple folks weighing in on a part-time basis, such as Smith. Smith also said the speculated dollar figure involved in the sale -- $50 million -- is inaccurate. And he isn't giving any hints as to what it is, either. "No, they are not accurate," Smith said. "I never comment one way or another about any numbers, any money, but I've read a couple different numbers and I'm like, 'Well, that's people hypothesizing.' "There are people making assumptions about what our revenue is and what our profitability is, and they're trying to figure out what [team owner] Richard Childress sold his interest [to a group of investors] for, or what someone else is looking for, then coming up with a number."
Asked for comment on the status of the deal Monday, Fenway Sports Group chose instead to respond via e-mail statement from FSG president Mike Dee: "As we have previously stated, Fenway Sports Group is in discussions with Roush Racing. While we continue to explore this opportunity, there is nothing new to report at this time."(more at ESPN.com)(1-31-2007)
- Ragan to run ARCA race at Daytona: Roush Racing has paired NASCAR Nextel Cup Rookie driver of the #6 AAA Ford, David Ragan with Roulo Bros. Racing to run the 2007 Daytona ARCA Race on February 10th at Daytona International Speedway.
Ragan, who competed in his first Nextel Cup race at Dover last fall, will be running full time Cup and Busch Series schedules in 2007, with AAA and Discount Tire respectively as full time sponsors. He is eager to get as much seat time as possible going into the start of the season. Brothers Gary and Rusty Roulo, who serve as crew chief and car chief respectively, are no strangers to the ARCA Series. With 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series wins under their belt and a roster of past drivers including Darrell Waltrip, Ken Schrader, Jimmy Spencer, Dick Trickle, David Green and many others, experience is one thing that their team is not lacking. Over the past two seasons, Roulo Bros. Racing has worked with several of Roush Racing's development drivers including Ragan, Erik Darnell, Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
and Peter Shepherd.(Roush Racing PR)(1-29-2007)
- Negotiations progressing between Roush and Red Sox owner UPDATE 2: The negotiations in the sale of a portion of Roush Racing to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry's Fenway Sports Group are progressing well, Roush Racing President Geoff Smith said Saturday. Many of the major points have been agreed upon since the negotiations began in earnest in September. "The big principal points, that's all buttoned up," Smith said. "I think by the first of the year, we'll [know]. We're going along pretty fast. By Daytona for sure." One of those pieces involves what percentage of the racing organization the Fenway Sports Group will own. Jack Roush will not relinquish control of the team. "We have been open to being all the way up to equal [partners], but not more than equal [for them],"(SceneDaily.com)(11-19-2006)
UPDATE: the [Red] Sox deal for a half-interest in Roush Racing, the class of NASCAR racing, is done. Reported price: $62 million. Formal announcement to follow.(at the bottom of a Boston Globe article)(1-5-2007)
UPDATE 2: Jack Roush says his deal with the Fenway Sports Group is not complete, but his Roush Racing team has scheduled a "BIG" announcement Feb. 14 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach. That would be an appropriate place for Roush to announce that he has partnered with FSG, the marketing arm of Boston Red Sox owner John Henry. Roush said the contracts are in the hands of the lawyers, and he would expect a decision by the end of March. He indicated that there could be a name change to the team. FSG has been negotiating with Roush for about the last five or six months. Roush said FSG's ownership role could be anywhere from 25 to 50%.(SceneDaily.com)(1-24-2007)
- Ragan Cleared to run Daytona; Allmendinger & Whitt to be 'observed': Roush Racing's David Ragan, whom owner Jack Roush named as Mark Martin's replacement this Nextel Cup season in the #6 AAA Ford, has been approved to compete in the Nextel Cup Series events of Speedweeks 2007 at Daytona International Speedway. Two Nextel Cup rookies #72-Brandon Whitt and #84-A.J. Allmendinger will come to Speedweeks with "observation" approval. They must also participate in the final session of Cup testing Jan. 15-17.(NASCAR.com)(1-9-2007)
- Ragan not cleared yet by NASCAR: David Ragan has not raced in a Nextel Cup event since NASCAR held him out of the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month, but he still could race in the season-opening Daytona 500 next year. Ragan is set to replace Mark Martin in the #6 AAA Ford Roush Racing entry next year. The rookie has failed to qualify for Nextel Cup races at Texas and Homestead since his rough outing at Martinsville that led to NASCAR keeping him out of the car for a week. A decision from NASCAR on whether it would hold Ragan out of the 2007 season opener could come this week, but that scenario seems unlikely.(SceneDaily.com)(11-21-2006)
- Martin Voted Busch Series' Greatest Driver: Mark Martin has been ranked #1 among the "25 Greatest NASCAR Busch Series Drivers" in internet polls on NASCAR.COM and NASCARMedia.com in conjunction with the season-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the NASCAR Busch Series and its association with series sponsor Anheuser-Busch. Martin, the all-time series leader in wins (47) and Busch Poles (30) despite never having run a full season throughout his 220 starts, received the most votes in both polls, which allowed fans and media to rank their top 25 selections from a list of 41 nominees. The series' first two-time champion, Sam Ard, finished second in the NASCARMedia.com poll; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in third, another multiple champion; Jack Ingram, the first series champion in 1982 (he won again in '85) in fourth and Dale Earnhardt, who won the first NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona in 1982, in fifth.(NASCAR PR)(11-16-2006)
- Special AAA for Martin at Homestead: The #6 AAA Ford Fusion will run a special paint scheme this weekend to commemorate the final run of Martin behind the wheel of the car he has driven since 1988. The AAA car will be colored in a predominately black scheme when it takes to the track this Friday for what will be Martin's last Nextel Cup weekend in the car.(Roush Racing PR)(11-14-2006)
- Latest on Red Sox owner buying into Roush: Geoff Smith, the head of Roush Racing, said that the proposed merger with Red Sox owner John Henry's Fenway Sports Group is proceeding nicely, and if the deal is completed it should be by early February.
Jack Roush and Smith are negotiating a sale of as much as 50% of Roush Racing to Henry and his company. "It's still progressing, and progressing positively toward closing," Smith said of the negotiations. "It's pretty straightforward on how it's proceeding. Lawyers are looking at documents, accountants are working on plans for operational adjustments that need to take place. All those practical things are in motion. People are out in the garage verifying how certain things work. I would expect by the time we show up in February at Daytona there will either be a deal in place or there won't be a deal at all."(Winston Salem Journal)(11-13-2006)
- Biffle and Tryson To Team Up For 2007 Season; Fennig to the #6 UPDATE 2 McMurray?: Veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will be paired with Greg Biffle, driver of the Roush Racing #16 Nextel Cup Ford Fusion [no sponsor mentions, so far 3M has been announced] for the 2007 season. Tryson has been the crew chief for veteran driver Mark Martin for the past three seasons. Tryson is one of only three crew chiefs to lead his team to a position in the Chase for the Nextel Cup every year since its inception in 2004 and looks to continue that record with Biffle. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Greg in 2007,” said Tryson. “Obviously our top priority for next season is getting Greg back in the Chase. He’s a great driver and I hope to continue my personal streak of making the Chase with him.”
“I’m looking forward to the 2007 season and working with Pat Tryson,” said Biffle. “I haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time with Pat but he’s had a good record with Mark in making the Chase three years in a row, so hopefully we won’t stop his streak next year.”(Roush Racing PR), no word on who will replace Tryson on the #6 Ford that rookie David Ragan will drive, other sponsors of the #16 car or plans for #16 crew chief Doug Richert.(11-10-2006)
UPDATE: In a series of moves at Roush Racing, Jimmy Fennig will serve as rookie #6-David Ragan's Nextel Cup Series crew chief next season, with Pat Tryson moving over to lead #16-Greg Biffle's team. Doug Richert, Biffle's current crew chief, said Friday that he's not yet sure what he'll be doing next season. Richert offered no specifics about his future. "Not real sure," he said. "There's a lot of stuff going on, but nothing certain."(SceneDaily.com)(11-10-2006)
UPDATE 2: That leaves only Jamie McMurray without an assigned crew chief for 2007 yet. One tantalizing option for that ride could be Matt Borland, who’s sitting out the final two races of 2007 and might be leaving Penske Racing South. “I heard a rumor that he packed up his stuff and left,” Roush said of Borland. “If he were on the street, I’d be very interested in talking to him. If he’s under contract, I have no interest in him.”(SpeedTV.com)(11-11-2006)
- New Nextel Cup GM for Roush: Max Jones, who has led the Craftsman Truck and Busch series programs at Roush Racing the past two years, was named general manager of the Nextel Cup program yesterday.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-6-2006)
- Looks like Martin to run for Wood Brothers in Truck Series: #6-Mark Martin still doesn't know what his limited Craftsman Truck Series schedule will look like next year, but he said Friday that Wood Brothers/JTG Racing is working to secure the sponsorship.
"We're waiting on the Woods to come up with a sponsor," Martin said. "... I can't give you answers [yet], but I don't expect things not to work out. They're looking to secure the sponsorship and we're looking at Daytona to be the first one." The team currently runs two full-time truck teams with #21-Bobby East and #20-Marcos Ambrose. It has committed to run a truck for Stacy Compton next year, with the driver or drivers for the other truck still being determined. It is expected that rookie Kelly Bires will compete at least part-time in the second truck.(SceneDaily.com)(11-4-2006)
- Martin plans to run some Truck races in 2007..for Ford: Mark Martin said Thursday that he probably will drive in five to 10 races in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2007 in a Ford. He said he also probably will run five to 10 races in the Busch Series, driving a Chevrolet. Martin is driving the #01 Chevrolet for MB2 Motorsports [Ginn Racing] in 20 Nextel Cup races next season. Martin has raced in the truck series 11 times this season, winning five of them.(Dallas Morning News)(10-27-2006)
- Crew Chief Changes Planned at Roush Racing: Jack Roush confirmed Sunday that a multi-team, crew chief shakeup is in the works in his five-team Nextel Cup operation [#'s6,16,17,26,99], but he said he hasn't decided which crew chiefs to pair with which drivers, though veteran Jimmy Fennig "might be a good choice" for David Ragan [in the #6] next season. Will Wally Brown be back as #99-Carl Edwards' crew chief? "That's one of our dream-team packages," Roush said. "Wally Brown is one of my heroes; he's done a great job. But his dad, in Pennsylvania, isn't doing well, and Wally is missing his dad, and we've been talking, and Wally may have a change in venue, and in his career. If we lose Wally, it would be a huge loss."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-23-2006)
- Ragan to run four more races in #06 this season: Roush Racing announced that they will field David Ragan in four of the final five Nextel Cup Series races in 2006. Ragan will pilot the #06 Ford Fusion in an effort to get a head start on the 2007 season, when he will become the driver of the #6 AAA Ford Fusion. Ragan is entered for this weekend's Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. In addition, Ragan will also be behind the wheel of the #06 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29, Texas Motor Speedway on November 5, and the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17. "I'm looking forward to making the most of this opportunity to race in the Nextel Cup Series this year," said Ragan. "This will be a great chance for me to gain some additional seat time and experience before coming over here full-time in 2007. We had a great test in Homestead earlier this week, and I think any additional time I can get behind the wheel of these cars is just going to be that much more of a help to me. It's going to take some time to get familiar with the feel of these cars, and getting the opportunity to do it now is going to be a big benefit for next year." Ragan made his Nextel Cup debut in September at Dover International Speedway, finishing 42nd after being involved in an accident. Ragan will perform double duty for the balance of 2006, as he will continue to compete in the Craftsman Truck series. To date, Ragan has made 15 truck starts in the 2006 season. He has scored one top-five and six top-10 finishes, and one pole at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Ragan has also made three starts for Roush Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series this season, recording finishes of 41st at California Speedway, 23rd at Dover and 36th at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(Roush Racing PR), no sponsor mnetioned, Todd Kluever was supposed to run at Texas and Phoenix, looks like Texas is out with Ragan in the car, no work on Phoenix.(10-18-2006)
- Martin still may race Ford truck in 2007? UPDATE: Even though he is leaving Roush Racing and Ford after 19 years to drive an MB2 Motorsports [Ginn Racing] Chevy part-time next season in the Nextel Cup Series, Mark Martin has asked Ford if he can continue his plans to drive Roush’s #6 Ford F-150 in some Craftsman Truck Series races next year. Martin planned to drive that truck in 2007, at least until the MB2 Chevy deal came up. Ford’s racing boss, Dan Davis, said no decision has been made from Ford’s end so far. “I didn’t give him (Martin) an answer yet and we haven’t actually decided what to do yet,” Davis said Friday. “Maybe we need to get over the initial hurt of this whole thing and try to look at it in hard, cold business terms and that’s what I would really like to do and be unemotional about it. Hopefully, as a team at Ford we’ll sit down and try to figure out what to do.”(SpeedTV.com)(10-14-2006)
UPDATE: Davis said a slim chance exists that Martin could still drive Roush's NCTS entry in 2007. "He asked me that and I said, 'Mark, man, wow. You've sort of...my life at Ford headquarters is not real good right now because of your little deal here, so you're asking me something that's real hard,'" Davis said. "I didn't give him an answer yet and we haven't actually decided what to do yet. Maybe we need to get over the initial hurt of this whole thing and try to look at it in hard, cold business terms and that's what I would really like to do and be unemotional about it. Hopefully as a team at Ford, we'll sit down and try to figure out what to do."(Ford Racing)(10-14-2006)
- Ragan named to drive the #6 AAA Ford in 2007: Roush Racing today announced that David Ragan will be the full-time driver of the team's flagship #6 AAA Ford Fusion in 2007. The #6 has been the foundation of the Roush Racing stable, dating back
to Jack Roush's beginning into NASCAR's premier series in 1988. "We are very pleased to have David Ragan going into the #6 AAA Ford Fusion next season," said Jack Roush. "David is a driver with outstanding talent and as a result of his actions he is the young man I selected to fill the seat. The #6 is obviously a special car to me personally and this organization and we are confident in David's ability to step up and get the job done." Ragan currently shares the #6 Scotts Ford with Mark Martin [in the Truck Series] and also pilots the #50 Roush Racing Ford [in the Truck Series]. Ragan started his first career Nextel Cup race at Dover three weeks ago. He is set to make four more starts in the Nextel Cup Series in 2006 and will make his first start in the #6 AAA Ford in next season's famed Daytona 500. "This is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to racing on behalf of AAA's millions of loyal members in 2007. Obviously, I've got big shoes to fill and quite a legacy to follow, but I look forward to the challenge and the next chapter of the #6 race team," said Ragan. "AAA has great confidence in Jack Roush and his entire organization, including their selection of David Ragan as the promising new driver of the #6 AAA car," said Kristin Warfield, director AAA Motorsports. We look forward to cheering David on as he competes in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing for the first time, and to introducing him to our members and other race fans at tracks and special appearances throughout the coming year." Ragan has one pole and six top-10 finishes in 15 starts in the Craftsman Truck
Series in 2006. He will make his next Cup start at Martinsville Speedway on October 22nd.(Roush Racing PR)(10-11-2006)
- Martin to MB2 Motorsports in 2007..in a Chevy UPDATE 3 Official: hearing that Mark Martin will announced his 2007 plans on Friday morning [Oct 6th] at Talladega....however, hearing part of his 2007 plans include running some 2007 Nextel Cup races in the #01 Chevy [MB2 is NOT changing to Fords] with MB2 Motorsports....the sponsor would NOT be the U.S. Army. Supposedly #01 driver, Joe Nemechek would move to a different car number for MB2 Motorsports.
From Two Weeks Ago: hearing that Regan Smith, currently driving the #35 McDonald's Ford for Team Rensi in the Busch Series, will go to Ginn Motorsports [#01-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin] in 2007 to run a Cup/Busch schedule.(9-19-2006)
UPDATE: nascar.com has something posted on this: Mark Martin will drive the #01 Chevrolet part time for the 2007 Nextel Cup season, multiple sources close to MB2 Motorsports told NASCAR.COM on Thursday. It is believed that Martin will run 22 races for the team. Busch Series driver Regan Smith will drive the remaining 14 Cup races, the sources said.(10-5-2006)
UPDATE 2: Team owner Jack Roush, who has fielded a Ford for Martin in NASCAR's top series since 1988, is expected to make the announcement Friday at 10:30am/et at Talladega Superspeedway. MB2 general manager Jay Frye has scheduled a news conference for later Friday morning at the Talladega track. Martin reportedly will share the ride in the #01 Chevrolet with rookie Regan Smith, a 23-year-old regular in the Busch Series, a source told The Associated Press. Joe Nemechek, currently racing in the #01, will remain with MB2, but will move to a third team entry, while Sterling Marlin will stay in the team's #14 Chevy. Roush team president Geoff Smith said several weeks ago that the team would definitely not field a Cup car for Martin in 2007 and that it was close to completing a deal with Martin to drive a Roush truck. But that deal apparently fell apart after the MB2 ride became available. The source said it was unclear if Martin might also drive in the truck series in 2007, along with the MB2 ride.(ESPN.com)(10-6-2006)
OFFICIAL: Mark Martin announced today that he will continue in the Nextel Cup Series next season, driving the #01 MB2 Motorsports Chevy on a limited basis in 2007. “I consider Mark Martin a personal friend and over the last 20 years we have had a fantastic relationship professionally and personally,” Roush said. “Mark will always hold a special place in my heart and a special place in Roush Racing, and I truly wish him all the best in his future plans.”
“Jack Roush and I have enjoyed a very special relationship for the past 20 years,” said Martin. “Jack afforded me the opportunity to chase my dreams, and there is no way to put in words what he has meant to me, my life and my career. The deal to come back with Roush in the #6 with AAA really worked out great and gave me one of the best and most rewarding years of my career, AAA has been great to work with and it’s really been awesome to work on such important issues. I’m really glad I was able to come back a year and help those guys and Jack out, and we are going to do everything we can to keep chasing after that Nextel Cup for the next seven races.”
"When Mark finally reconciled his somewhat conflicting desires, he settled on staying in Cup and running a 20-race schedule. We had no way of accommodating that desire since all of our Cup programs were previously committed," said Roush Racing president Geoff Smith. And, NASCAR team limits prevented Roush Racing from putting together an additional team for Mark, so in the end Mark had to move on - in order to stay in the Cup series. He's meant a great deal to this organization and we certainly wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do down the road." Martin reiterated that his focus over the next seven races will remain on the “Chase” for the Nextel Cup Championship. “Our focus is on winning this championship,” Martin said. “I’ve been fighting this fight in the #6 car for 19 years now, and we aren’t about to give up anytime soon. It’s the complete focus of our attention, and we’ll fight down to the very end for it.”(Roush Racing Site/PR)(10-6-2006)
- More Villeneuve Rumors...Roush discussions, Yates? Rumors have been circulating for weeks that Jacques Villeneuve, a former F1 champion is ready to give stock cars a try. The Villeneuve story heated up with news that the Canadian driver has been in contact with Roush Racing. Asked if the 35-year-old Villeneuve could be in a Roush entry in 2007, team owner Jack Roush said, "That's a possibility. I know we're in discussions. He came to see us in Detroit and he's been in Charlotte and had discussions around our program and what he can do and the rate of which he could get up to speed, if he's got the stomach for it, and if we can find the sponsorship for it, that's certainly a possibility." Efforts to reach Villeneuve and his agent, Craig Pollock, for comment were not successful. The Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport reported earlier this week that Villeneuve already has signed a deal with Roush Racing and will move back to Canada from his current base in Europe. When contacted by ESPN, Roush Racing said the story is not true and that Villeneuve has not signed with them. There were reports Friday that Villeneuve has also been in contact with Robert Yates Racing about the opening in the #88 Ford. Dale Jarrett will leave Yates at the end of the season for a ride with Michael Waltrip's new Toyota team. But Yates officials were not available for comment.(ESPN.com/AP), see the initial rumors and more on the Drivers Looking/Rumored page.(10-7-2006)
- Villeneuve to Roush Racing? UPDATE 2 DENIED: [note: the verbage is odd as it was translated thru google.com] First Juan Pablo Montoya, now also Jacques Villeneuve. NASCAR 2007 receives to open arms the former-pilots of F.1. Of the Columbian already one knew, inasmuch as after the liberatoria of the McLaren a Dodge of the Ganassi team has already tried the slid week, while the news that regards the Canadian is recent. Villeneuve has defined in fact an agreement with the structure of Jack Rousch [should be Roush], one of largest and competitive of the series, for the next season. The team, that it represents the official square of Ford, has conquered the title it NASCAR with Matt Kenseth in the 2003 and Kurt Busch in 2004. And at the moment it lines up 5 cars very, than they will be reduced to four in 2007 [actually not until 2009/2010 range]. One will be for the formerones of F.1. With annexed and connected of marketing: the series in fact from the next year will land also in Canada, just to Montreal where Jacques would go to living with the moglie and the son in arrival.(the verbage is odd as it was translated thru google.com from La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italian to English)(10-3-2006)
UPDATE: nothing new, just more in English: According to reports in the Italian press, Jacques Villeneuve has already signed a deal with Jack Roush to race for the Roush Racing outfit in NASCAR next season. Even before his departure from F1 this summer, the French/Canadian had made clear his interest in the series.(Planet-F1.com) and According to websites, grandprix.com and planet-f1.com, Villeneuve has signed on with Roush Racing and will compete on the Busch circuit next season.(sportsnet.ca)
UPDATE 2 - Denied: Another Formula One driver is reportedly making the leap to NASCAR next year. Jacques Villeneuve has signed a deal with Roush Racing and will move back to Canada from his current base in Europe, according to a report in the Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport. When contacted by ESPN, Roush Racing said the story is not true and that Villeneuve has not signed with them. However, according to a report on TSN of Canada's Web site, reporters for La Presse spotted Villeneuve and his wife Tuesday in Montreal. When asked about the Italian report, Villeneuve smiled and said, "I'm retired." Villeneuve also said "they're only rumors" when asked if he was moving to Montreal but didn't deny the report. If Villeneuve were to sign with Roush Racing, he would likely take the opening left by Mark Martin, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the season. Roush also has six cars in the Busch Series, but Villeneuve has said that if he were to run in NASCAR, it would likely be at the Nextel Cup level.(ESPN.com)(10-4-2006)
- More on the Roush Racing/Fenway Sports Group 'deal': Team owner Jack Roush said there is not yet an offer on the table from John Henry's Fenway Sports Group as the entity discusses buying into Roush Racing with team President Geoff Smith. Roush said Friday that he's not sure when the sides will next talk but added that's not out of the ordinary. "I don't do the money very well," Roush said with a smile at Dover International Speedway. "Right now, there are discussions going on. There's not a deal on the table. There may not be a deal that makes it to the table. What do I think the chances are that John Henry will become an investor in the Roush organization? On one day it looks like the glass is a little more than half full; on other days it looks like it's definitely [less] than half full. And I don't get a report every day on what's going on." Roush said talks are sometimes conducted via email, but added that several members of FSG were at the team's North Carolina shops prior to the race at New Hampshire. If an agreement is reached, Roush said he wouldn't sell more than 50 percent of the organization to Henry's FSG, which is a separate entity from the partnership that owns the Boston Red Sox. And he said this simply isn't a way to get around NASCAR's ownership rules, which will eventually limit him to fielding four full-time Nextel Cup Series teams. If an agreement were reached, Henry would be an investor in Roush Racing, not fielding teams under the Fenway Sports Group umbrella as a separate entity. "Our plan is to operate four NASCAR stock car racing teams past this decade," Roush said. "We think if I can spread my base and do an expanded marketing and sponsorship involvement program that would have a component of interest in the Northeast that we'd be stronger through that." Anyone thinking this is Roush's way of preparing to retire is mistaken according to the owner. "For anybody that thinks Jack is looking for a way to get off stage now, or in the foreseeable future or that retirement's my plan, just hide and watch [me]," he said. "I'm not going to retire. I'm not trying to back away from the races. I'm not trying to put somebody between me and the race teams. One of my challenges my managers have on the race teams is, 'How do we get Jack out of the way so we can do what we need to do.'"(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2006)
- Latest on Martin's plans..back in 2008? Mark Martin says he's working to secure sponsorship so he can compete in the #60 No Fear Racing Ford for 10-12 Nextel Cup races in 2007. And he's not ruling out the possibility of returning to the series full time in 2008. For next season, however, Martin plans to compete full time in the Craftsman Truck Series for Roush Racing, though he does not have a contract yet. No Fear, owned by driver Boris Said, crew chief Frank Stoddard and businessman Mark Simo, has competed in four races with Said this season. The team has a business partnership with Roush Racing. As far as the possibility of competing for Robert Yates Racing next season, Martin says that is "unlikely at this point in time." He says that his heart simply isn't into competing full time in the Cup series for another year. "I really do want to do a limited Cup schedule to complement their truck program that they're going to offer me," Martin said. "That's where we are today." Martin added that there have been more opportunities come up than he would have ever expected for him. He says he keeps reminding himself of one simple fact: "What is it that I want to do? I've got to keep my eye on that target and do what I want to do and not what someone else wants me to do." Martin says he's eyeing those 13 weekends off in the truck series and hopes to combine his seasons to include chances to win in both series. "I would do Nextel Cup if somebody could offer me 13 weekends off more than what I have this year," he said. Asked about the amount of money being offered some drivers and if he had a magic number, Martin quipped, "Not a realistic one." But he's not ruling out full-time Cup racing forever. "I can do this truck thing, and I get a chance to catch my breath. I would say that there is a good chance that I'd come back full time in '08," he said. "I don't know what I want to do, and I'll never know until I get a break. I haven't had a day off, I don't feel like, in 19 years. Yes I've had a day off, but I haven't missed a test, I haven't missed a practice day or a qualifying day or a race day in 19 years, and every year I do more and more and more to stay competitive."(SceneDaily.com)(9-22-2006)
- Boston Red Sox owner in talks to buy part of Roush: While Roush Racing president Geoff Smith isn't sure where discussions with Boston Red Sox owner John Henry and his Fenway Sports Group will lead, he doesn't envision a scenario in which Jack Roush would relinquish control of the operation. Negotiations have been ongoing throughout the summer, Smith said late Tuesday afternoon. He's not sure what percentage of the team - which competes in all three of NASCAR's national series - could be sold, if any, but expects one thing to remain the same. "I can't see Jack Roush giving up control of Roush Racing," Smith said. "I don't see that as an outcome." Roush and Henry, who heads the NESV partnership, have been friends for several years, sparking occasional rumors that Henry was looking to buy into Roush Racing. In the past, though, Smith said the two sides were just discussing marketing possibilities, not a sale. The two were seen together on Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway and Roush Racing released a statement Tuesday that confirmed discussions about selling an interest in the team were ongoing.(in part from the SceneDaily.com)
AND: According to multiple executives briefed on the negotiations, Fenway Sports Group is in talks to buy as much as 50 percent of privately held Roush Racing, the class of NASCAR, for something north of $50 million. No deal is imminent, these executives cautioned, and the negotiations, which have started and stopped before, could still falter. Both the Fenway Sports Group and Roush Racing confirmed the talks, but both said there is no agreement. Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, called the Red Sox unit "attractive partners" because of its marketing capabilities, particularly in the Northeast. Said Mike Dee, president of Fenway Sports Group: "If these discussions are fruitful, we will be happy to talk about them."(in part from the Boston Globe)
AND II: “Roush Racing confirms,” said Geoff Smith president of Roush Racing, “It has entered into discussions to sell an interest in Roush Racing to Fenway Sports Group, Boston. Should these discussions ultimately materialize into a definitive agreement Roush Racing will provide further information on the topic.”(Roush Racing PR)(9-19-2006)
- RYR one car team in 2007? UPDATE 2 Nope..looks like Martin; BUT can't run both?.... Robert Yates Racing co-owner Doug Yates told reporters in Richmond, Va., his team could shrink from two cars to one if sponsorship isn't found for its #88 [currently driven by Dale Jarrett with UPS as the sponsor](USA Today sidebar)(9-15-2006)
UPDATE: Despite recent dire predictions that he may have to shutter his #88 Ford team next year for lack of a sponsor, car owner Robert Yates told SPEEDTV.com on Saturday that he’s close to inking a deal for next season — and he hopes the driver of the #88 in 2007 will be Mark Martin. “From my side, we’re getting pretty optimistic,” Yates said following “Happy Hour” practice for the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. “We’re given and getting some good (sponsor) opportunities … I think it’s going to happen, and I’m anxious and I’m happy that we’re getting the cars better. … I think it’s all going to end up on the positive. I think I may have a job for a while longer.” Last week at Richmond, Yates said he might have to close the #88 team down next year, because he didn’t have a sponsor, but events of the last few days have changed his mind about 2007. Asked if things had changed in the last week, Yates said, “Big time,” adding, “I turned upbeat this week.” Asked how close he was to a sponsor deal, Yates said, “It could happen this week. The sooner, the better, but I want to make sure we get our cars right. We’re gaining on that quite a bit. It needs to happen. Right now, I’m very optimistic that we’ll be in good shape and good to go for another season.” The team owner said he wanted a veteran driver and that could mean Mark Martin, who Yates’s son, Doug, has talked to about moving over from Roush Racing. “I know Doug has talked to him … he’s interested,” said Yates. “That’s the feedback I get. I haven’t talked one on one with him.” Martin said Friday he hadn’t talked to Yates but left the door open for options outside of Roush next year.(Speedtv.com)(9-16-2006)
UPDATE 2 - can't do Cup full-time? Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said Mark Martin's Truck Series contract that is in the final stages of preparation will not allow him to run a full Nextel Cup schedule in 2007. "You can't do both," Smith said emphatically before Sunday's Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Smith said Martin's best option for a partial Cup schedule if that's what he desires will be in the #60 team that Roush Racing manages with Boris Said. He smiled when told that Robert Yates continues to put Martin on his wish list to drive the #88 next season.(NASCAR.com)(9-18-2006)
- Martin waiting on Roush contract for Truck ride UPDATE almost done, rookies vie for #6 gig: #6-Mark Martin said Friday that he’s still waiting for Roush Racing to give him a contract for his Craftsman Truck Series ride for next season, but until he gets it, he’s keeping his Nextel Cup options open. The only thing he knows for sure he won’t do next year is drive the Roush #6 Cup car he’s manned since 1988. And that may be the reason his NCTS deal isn’t done. Todd Kluever, the heir apparent for the #6 Roush Ford Fusion, has struggled mightily in the Busch Series this year, leading to rumors that he might not move up to that ride next year. And that, in turn, has fueled speculation that Roush would try to get Martin to stay another year in the Cup car. Nothing Martin said Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway quashed those rumors. “It is my intention to drive the #6 truck (in 2007),” Martin said. “We just don’t have it done yet. … I’m not worried about it. We’ve had this planned for over a year now. They (Roush) didn’t present me with a contract a year ago because they knew they were going to talk me into driving the #6 car, I think. I think they haven’t proceeded very quickly on this truck thing this year, because they knew something else might happen. I know (Roush Racing President) Geoff Smith and I’m not saying he’s manipulative or anything like that, but he’s pretty smart.” Until the deal’s done, though, Martin hasn’t closed any doors. “I would imagine if they’d present me with a contract, I’d sign it, then that would be it,” Martin said of the Roush truck deal. “But they haven’t yet. Some details still aren’t worked out yet on it. In the meantime, there are some very interesting opportunities.”(Speedtv.com)(9-15-2006)
UPDATE: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said he has reached a verbal agreement with Mark Martin and his sponsors for Martin to drive Roush’s #6 Truck Series entry full-time next season. Smith also said Martin’s replacement in the #6 Cup car would come from among four Roush prospects: Todd Kluever, Erik Darnell, Danny O’Quinn or David Ragan. Kluever was the anointed choice but has lost his locked-in status on the basis of a disappointing showing in the Busch Series this year. “The plan for almost two years has been to have Mark be the flagship driver for our truck program,” Smith said Sunday morning at New Hampshire International Speedway. “… There were some open business issues involving a sponsor and Ford that we had to get out of the way. From Mark’s point of view, they might be getting out of the way a little slower than they should have. From my point of view, they probably got out of the way in a more typical fashion. On a handshake basis, those details are out of the way and now I have to get the paperwork done,” said Smith. “I think it’s a formality now.”
As for the #6 AAA Cup car that Martin is vacating, Smith said, “The #6 Cup car will be driven by one of our rookies next year. That was our plan from the get-go and that plan will stay in place. The only thing that’s changed at all about the plan … is that we have more of a luxury of being able to put three more rookies in our program and make it an evaluation process involving four drivers instead of just Todd Kluever.” Smith said the winner from among the four rookies would get the Cup ride full-time. It will not rotate among the drivers. “We’ll just pick one and that will be it.” The apparent deal with Martin opens the door for the veteran to do a 10-12 race deal with another Cup team next year, perhaps with [#88] Yates' or Boris Said’s #60 Ford team.(Speedtv.com)(9-17-2006)
- Martin says he will NOT drive the #6 in 2007 UPDATE 2 to the #88? UPDATE 3 Denied: Mark Martin on Friday said that he will not drive the #6 Roush Racing Ford in 2007. "I'm not worried about next year, but I will tell you this: there never has been -- ever -- a consideration for me to drive the 6 car in 2007," Martin said. "Everybody's in this frenzy about what I'm going to do in 2007 -- it's just not important right now," Martin said. "What's here in front of me is what's important to me. I've tried to help these guys and keep the ship on track, and if we don't produce then so be it. I've never once this year thought or considered driving it again in '07. I've driven it 19 years. That's enough for the 6 car and me."(see full report at NASCAR.com)(9-1-2006)
UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin's farewell tour will be extended yet another year when he drives the #88 Ford next year for Robert Yates Racing. Martin originally said last year would be his final as a full-time driver in the Nextel Cup Series, but he changed his mind to return to his familiar #6 Ford at Roush Racing this season. Now it appears he will keep going, but for a new team. Three different sources close to Ford Racing said Martin will take over for Dale Jarrett at Yates after Jarrett moves into a new Toyota Camry at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007, Morris News Service has learned. Martin said Friday he won't drive the #6 Ford at Roush next year - a ride he's had since the 1988 season - and most people believed that meant he finally planned to start his planned retirement. Robby Gordon confirmed this week he attempted to buy half of Robert Yates Racing recently, but the deal apparently fell through in the last couple weeks. Sources close to Yates confirmed Sunday that Martin - apparently with support of Jack Roush - also tried to buy Yates during the summer. Negotiations went so far that Yates had an inventory completed to show the exact worth of his racing operation. Robert Yates Racing said they would make an announcement on a new driver in about a week. They've already hinted it would be a veteran racer.(Athens Banner-Herald)(9-5-2006)
UPDATE 2 - sponsors: hearing McDonald's and Citi-Financial will be the sponsors for Martin and the #88 Ford in 2007, not sure if as co-primaries or some other arrangement.(9-6-2006)
UPDATE 3: Benny Ertel, who is Mark Martin's business manager, went Internet surfing Wednesday morning and found some interesting "fiction" on various racing Web sites. The stories indicated Martin would be buying into Robert Yates Racing and the veteran would drive the #88 Ford, which will be abandoned by Dale Jarrett at season's end. "Wishful thinking," Ertel said. "I read that online. There's no truth to it. I can't say Robert wouldn't want Mark in his car. They may come at him hard when we get to Richmond. I don't know. I know we haven't talked to Robert Yates; (or) to my knowledge, nobody at Yates Racing."(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(9-7-2006)
- Martin talks more about 2007; to the #60: #6-Mark Martin said Friday that he has absolutely no worries about the 2007 racing season, but did not rule out the possibility of driving a Nextel Cup car for someone other than Jack Roush next year, at least on a partial schedule. Martin, who has been with Roush since 1988, expects to field a Craftsman Truck Series Ford for the team next season, but he could also drive a part-time Cup schedule for a different team. “I’m going to kind of wait and see what materializes here, see what looks exciting, I guess,” Martin said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Asked point blank if he could drive in the Cup series for someone other than Roush next season, Martin said, “There’s certain scenarios that might bring that around. I’m interested in a limited schedule, and obviously I’d love to do that with Jack, but that would kind of mess up the #6 car. I wish they didn’t have a limitation on teams.” The #6 car, of course, is the Roush Racing Ford Fusion that Martin will be vacating after the 2006 season. Martin and Roush have enjoyed phenomenal success together, with the driver earning all 35 of his Cup victories behind the wheel of Roush Fords. He has finished second in Cup points four times. Martin is an enviable position, as he has enjoyed great success with Roush’s trucks this season, winning four races in just eight starts, including Wednesday night’s tilt at Bristol Motor Speedway. “That truck’s an awful lot of fun,” Martin said Friday. But the shortage of talent in the Cup series and a wave of start-up teams makes him highly sought after. “I’m not worried about it,” Martin said of next season. “I really got a Chase to try to make, and once we do that I’ve got to focus … I’ve got it the best in the world. I have nothing to worry about in 2007. Nothing.”(Speed Channel)
MORE: One tantalizing—and unconfirmed—rumor making the rounds in the garage was that Martin’s part-time Cup ride could be with Boris Said’s #60 Ford team.(Ford Racing)(8-26-2006)
- Kluever confident he will be in the #6 Cup Ford in 2007 UPDATE: Despite a steep learning curve, Todd Kluever is confident with his talent and job security as he prepares to take over Mark Martin's Nextel Cup Series seat in the #6 Roush Racing Ford next season. Martin, 47, is expected to run a full NASCAR Trucks Series slate in 2007. But since Kluever hasn't run well, it has been rumored the 20-year veteran will stick around Cup another season. Another possible scenario that has been floated is that Martin will run a 12-race Cup schedule and will run full-time in the Trucks Series, giving Kluever an additional season of experience in Busch. Kluever said in a telephone interview Tuesday that team owner Jack Roush has not indicated to him that he is dissatisfied with his results. "The rumors are just that - they're speculation," said Kluever, who spent one season in Trucks before moving to Busch this year. "In all honesty, and I've talked to Mark about this, I'm worried about this weekend. I'm not really worried about next year. I'm very realistic, I live for the weekend. Rumors are rumors and if I go out and win the Busch race this weekend, they all seem to disappear. ... The plans are still that I will be driving the #6 (Cup) car next year."(in part from the Capital Times)(8-18-2006)
UPDATE: Jack Roush isn't convinced that Todd Kluever is ready to slide into Mark Martin's seat in the #6 car next season.
"We need to see how he does in these [Nextel] Cup races and see what our sponsors say,'' Roush said after watching Kluever qualify 38th for Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway. The outcome could have an affect on whether Martin, 47, runs a part-time or fullt-ime schedule in NASCAR's premier series next season. Martin is going under the assumption Kluever will be in the 6 and he'll be running a part-time schedule, although Roush said he wouldn't hesitate to put any of his veteran drivers in the car if Kluever isn't ready. Martin said there have been no discussions with Roush about him staying in the 6. "The 6 car is set right now,'' he said before qualifying 14th. "Todd's going to drive the car. ... The whole plan for 2006 has been to work as hard as we could to get Todd ready to take over the 6 car. We're still doing that.''(NASCAR.com)(8-19-2006)
- once again...Martin has no ownership plans UPDATE 2007 plans: #6-Mark Martin's racing future remains unresolved, but he is eliminating one possible option for 2007 - he won't own a Nextel Cup race team. Martin said Friday that he shot down that idea floated by Jack Roush, his current team owner who will soon be restricted to four race cars. "Jack would like me to own two teams - own one and drive one," Martin said in the Watkins Glen International garage area. "I just don't have that much left in me," he continued. "I'm a fighter, and I've got a lot of fire and desire. If I wanted to, I could do that." But Martin, who has yet to sign a Craftsman Truck Series contract with Ford for next season, doesn't want the responsibility and hassle that comes with team ownership. "I would be miserable," Martin said. "I would work right down to my knees. That's not what I want for my future. I want some time. I want some friends. I want to be there for family and friends. I want to do some other things and still race. I can do that with the truck series, and we'll see what works out from there." Martin's ideal racing schedule would be a full-time Craftsman Truck Series ride complimented by up to a dozen Nextel Cup races. He can't do that with Roush. Martin said Busch Series driver Todd Kluever will drive the #6 entry full-time next season. Martin left the door open for any number of scenarios in 2007, including a full-time Cup ride. "I'm not going to say I won't do a full schedule, because it could happen, but I don't see it," Martin said. Martin said the rumor about racing a Cup car with Robert Yates Racing has no merit. The two men made a joke about a union after hearing about the speculation. "It was just a joke," Martin said of his conversation with Yates. "I said, 'How much am I supposed to give you [to drive your car]?"(SceneDaily.com)(8-12-2006)
UPDATE: on Speed Channel's NASCAR Raceday, Mark Martin was asked about his 2007 plans, Martin said it is highly unlikely that he will be back full-time in Cup next season and WILL drive the full 2007 Craftsman Truck Series schedule AND is working on a deal for run 12 companion Cup races, but is looking for a car and sponsor. Martin said the truck team is fully sponsored.(Speed Channel's NASCAR Raceday)(8-13-2006)
- Martin back in the #6 in 2007? UPDATE 2: hearing it is possible that Mark Martin may drive yet another full season in the #6 Ford for Roush Racing, seems the team doesn't think Roush Racing Busch Series driver Todd Kluever is quite ready for a full-time ride in the Nextel Cup Series.(8-5-2006)
UPDATE: Roush Racing’s Nextel Cup lineup for 2007 is set, a high-ranking source within the team told eam Ford Racing Sunday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the last detail to be worked out a multiple sponsorship package for one car.
The plan right now at Roush remains for Mark Martin to drive a Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2007, though that could change.(Ford Racing)(8-7-2006)
UPDATE 2: #6-Mark Martin has talked about racing in some Cup races next season although he's scheduled to compete full time in the Truck series next year. Todd Kluever is scheduled to take over Martin's Cup ride next year. So, if Martin runs in select Cup races, whom will it be with? Roush Racing is above the NASCAR-maximum four teams per organization. Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, said an option could be to have Martin drive for Boris Said's #60 team. Said receives support from Roush Racing. Smith said he does not see Yates as an option, although it's a fellow Ford team. Another option, though, could be for Martin to return full time and give Kluever another year of seasoning in the Busch series or give Roush another year to find a replacement.(Roanoke Times)(8-10-2006)
- Ford Re-evaluating their plans: Roush Racing and Ford officials say they are re-evaluating their plans in the face of a) the Toyota challenge, b) the debacle at Robert Yates Racing, and c) the failure of some young recruits to pan out, thus leaving holes open at Yates's and, possibly, Roush's. Sources say Roush and/or Ford have offered Mark Martin $8m to stay yet another year in the No. 6 car. Martin, who had planned to retire after 2005, stayed one more year to help Roush plug a gap after the departure of Kurt Busch last summer. Meanwhile, Todd Kluever, Roush's top gong show tryout racing the past three years in Trucks, has not shown the kind of progress expected, and newcomers Stephen Leicht (Yates), David Gilliland (Yates) and Danny O'Quinn are not considered ready for big-time competition. If Ford adds a team in 2007 (assuming it can plug the holes at Yates's), it likely will be under the Wood Brothers banner, with Jon Wood at the wheel and Ken Schrader minding the #21 one more year. That, of course, will depend on the Woods finding financing.(Speed Channel)(8-7-2006)
- No Speculations for Martin's 2007 Plans: #6-Mark Martin refuses to answer any questions about where, if anywhere, he could be running a partial Nextel Cup schedule next year. He's a longtime Ford driver. Robert Yates Racing is a longtime Ford team. Yates and Roush Racing, which Martin has driven for in his entire Cup career, work together on motors. Yates needs drivers for next season. So ... could one of those Yates drivers be Martin? Martin said he didn't think so. "A bunch of people need drivers right now, not just Yates," Martin said. "We'll have to see what happens. We probably won't get into that until October or November, probably November most likely. I'm not going to answer any questions. I'm not going to go there. It's not something on my radar screen. I've got more important things to think about than what I am going to do next year right now."(SceneDaily.com)(7-22-2006)
- Roush helping RYR: Car owner Jack Roush is offering what help he can to revive Robert Yates Racing. #38-Elliott Sadler drove a chassis last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway that Yates purchased from Roush. Robert Yates Racing, a Ford team like Roush, has struggled this season with most of its woes on tracks 1.5 miles and longer. Sadler ran well in practice but struggled in the race and finished 29th. "I do have great empathy and sympathy for Robert [Yates] and Doug [Yates] and I wish them well,'' Roush said Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway. "I don't want to see them lose those sponsors and to lose their viability. That's not what I want.''(Roanoke Times)(7-15-2006)
- 600th Consecutive Start for Martin: #6-Mark Martin will make his 600th consecutive Cup start this weekend when the green flag drops on Sunday at New Hampshire International Speedway. The run is currently the longest running streak in NASCAR and the fifth longest of all-time. Ironically, Martin made his 500th consecutive start in 2003 at New Hampshire in September. Martin's streak dates back to Feb. 14, 1988 when he first teamed with Jack Roush in the Daytona 500. Martin ran his first Cup race in 1981, running a
total of five races, while winning two poles and earning a pair of top-10 finishes. The following year he ran a full season. Martin was unable to find adequate sponsorship and ran only a handful of Cup races from 1983-87, before hooking up with Roush in 1988. During that span Martin and Roush have finished inside the top-10 of the final point standings 15 times, including four runner-up finishes and 12 top-five finishes.(Roush Racing PR)(7-11-2006)
- Martin could return to Cup part-time in 2007: #6-Mark Martin, who was expected to retire from racing full-time in Nextel Cup after this year, says that he hasn't determined his schedule for next season yet and could be interested in running more Nextel Cup races. Martin originally planned to retire from full-time Cup competition in 2005, but after Kurt Busch announced plans to leave Roush Racing at the end of 2006, team owner Jack Roush asked Martin to forego his plans and return for a 19th year with the Ford Cup team. Busch eventually left Roush at the end of the 2005 season. This season Martin has been quiet about his 2007 plans, saying that he's learned to never rule out anything after announcing and then changing his plans in 2005. Martin, who is currently sixth in the Cup point standings, has plans to race full time in the Craftsman Truck Series next year. Asked about his goals for his final season during a teleconference from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Martin offered a surprising answer Monday. "I haven't made the final determination on what [the] 2007 race schedule is going to look like for me," he said. "Roush Racing hasn't presented me with the truck contract yet, although if they would have I would have signed it and that would be done. I know what they're doing and so I would consider doing a limited Cup schedule if it was with the right team and if I did so, to answer your question, the Brickyard would be on that, the Daytona 500 would be on that, races like Michigan and Dover and some of those races that might be in conjunction with the truck racing or whatever."(SceneDaily.com)(7-11-2006)
- Kluever to Run Full Cup/Busch Schedule in 2007?: In 2007, Kluever will take over the #6 Ford that's currently driven by Mark Martin. Like many of his peers, the Roush Racing driver also will compete full time in the Busch Series next season. Team owner Jack Roush has told Kluever he has no issue with using a substitute on non-companion weekends when it's tough with travel. Kluever will have his hands full as a rookie in the Nextel Cup Series next season, but he also wants to devote as much time as possible to his Busch campaign.(Capital Times)(6-24-2006)
- Jack Roush Honored by Ford: Jack Roush received the highest honor Ford Motor Company can bestow on anyone in racing when he was presented with the Spirit of Ford Award in front of approximately 450 employees at Ford World Headquarters Thursday. Edsel B. Ford II made the presentation during a pep rally involving many of Ford's NASCAR drivers who will be competing in the Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck Series races at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. Roush was hired as an engineer at Ford in 1964, but got the racing bug when he joined a group called 'The Fastbacks' two years later. The group was made up of Ford employees who competed in drag racing on weekends. Since then, Roush has won championships in all three of NASCAR's top divisions, including back-to-back Nextel Cup titles in 2003 and 2004. In addition, he has three Pro Stock drag racing championships, 24 road racing titles and 10 consecutive victories in the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. The Spirit of Ford Award goes to a person who has made significant contributions on and off the track to the sport of auto racing. Other stock car recipients of the Spirit of Ford Award include: Bud Moore, the Wood Brothers, Junie Donlavey, Bill Elliott, Richard Petty, the France family, and Ned Jarrett.(Ford Racing)(6-16-2006)
- Martin non-commitial about crew changes: Roush Racing’s #6-Mark Martin was noncommittal about the possibilities of any changes in his pit crew. They have made costly mistakes in several races this season, including last week at Dover, when a dropped lug nut cost Martin a chance to win. He finished ninth instead. “I don’t know,” Martin said of the possibility of crew changes. “We’ve had some disappointments on pit road, but I don’t know.” (Ford Racing)(6-10-2006)
- Martin and Yates? UPDATE denied: hearing Mark Martin, driver of the #6 AAA Ford for Roush Racing may buy or buy into Robert Yates Racing in some form, would it be a Roush satellite operation? Would it get around NASCAR's new ownership rules? Martin is already listed as the owner of the #17 Roush Racing Ford that Matt Kenseth drives and has been quoted that he has no interest in owing a Cup team.(6-5-2006)
UPDATE: Mark Martin says he knows nothing about a recent Internet report that has him possibly buying Robert Yates Racing or buying into the organization. "I don't know where that came from," Martin said Friday at Pocono Raceway. "There hasn't been any discussions about it." Martin, who is running his last full-time season in Nextel Cup, says he currently has no interest in owning a Cup team outright. Martin owns an interest in the #17 Roush Racing team of Matt Kenseth. "I learned last year to never say 'never,' and I have said never would I own one of these teams," he said. "At the same time, would I think about it? I don't know. I can tell you this much, there has been no discussion and no thought from me at all. That is not on my radar screen. I'm really focused on the AAA car and trying to make this Chase and make a run for the championship and do a good job and meet all my obligations and have some fun with the fans. I'm not really worried about all that other stuff."(SceneDaily.com)(6-9-2006)
- Forbes: Roush Most Valuable: Forbes magazine says Roush Racing is currently the most valuable organization in NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch series competition, with a net worth the publication estimates at $218 million. In its June 5 edition, Forbes says Roush's five Cup and six Busch entries have lined up sponsorship estimated at $108 million this year and have earned $8.3 million on the track this season. Hendrick Motorsports ranks second with a value of $146 million for four Cup and two Busch entries. Forbes calculates the team's sponsorships are producing $77 million revenue this year. Joe Gibbs Racing ranks third ($103 million), followed by Richard Childress Racing ($100 million) and Chip Ganassi Racing ($79 million).(SceneDaily.com)(5-25-2006)
- Martin to return for 2007 All-Star Race: Though he plans to retire from Nextel cup competition after this season, 2005 Challenge champion Mark Martin said he plans to participate in next year's Challenge.(USA Today)(5-21-2006)
- Special AAA scheme: AAA, 2006 sponsor of Roush Racing's #6 Ford driven by Nextel Cup veteran Mark Martin, announced it will introduce a special paint scheme highlighting AAA's insurance products the weekend of the "Neighborhood Excellence 400" at the Dover International Speedway in June. Weekend events also include the "AAA Insurance 200" NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. The special AAA design also may be used selectively at other NEXTEL Cup events throughout the 2006 season. It features a dominant, dark blue background and chrome lettering while maintaining key elements of the traditional AAA #6 paint scheme.(AAA), see an image of the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page, supposedly it will run at Indy also.(5-9-2006)
- Martin part-time Cup in 2007? UPDATE denies part-time Cup sched rumor: #6-Mark Martin is hedging on his vow to not return to Nextel Cup in any part-time capacity after moving to a full-time Craftsman Truck Series ride next year. He now says if the right opportunity presents itself, he might consider doing Cup races that run in conjunction with truck events.(Tampa Tribune)(4-14-2006)
UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin, who was at Lowe’s Motor Speedway to help promote the upcoming NASCAR All-Star race at the 1.5-mile track, said Tuesday that he has no plans to run a partial Nextel Cup schedule in 2007 and that he’d likely only drive a Cup car if a Roush Racing teammate is injured and unable to drive. “I’ve got to be careful about saying ‘never,’ but there may be a situation where I fill-in or whatever,” said Martin. “I’m just not going to say it couldn’t happen. … There is some wiggle room and I just can’t say ‘never,’ but there’s no plans.”(Speed Channel)(4-19-2006)
- Martin's Museum Grand Opening Apr 14-15: Mark Martin will hold the grand opening for his all new Ford dealership, Mark Martin Ford-Mercury, and museum this weekend (Friday and Saturday) in Batesville, Arkansas. The dealership and museum officially opened on Feb. 27th. The grand opening is being officially presented by Coke. In addition to the normal artifacts on display in the museum, other items of interest that will be on display at this weekend’s grand opening are the Nextel Experience that travels to each NASCAR Nextel Cup race, The winning Scotts Ford F-150 from the Daytona Truck race direct from Victory Lane, the #6 AAA Nextel
Cup Ford Fusion, AAA simulators where fans can race each other, the AAA booth and tent display and Coca-Cola booths as well. Martin’s #6 Ameriquest Busch car and hauler will also be on display and there will be live remotes with radio stations as well. The state-of-the art museum features several of Martin’s past cars, including the #6 Viagra Coca-Cola 600 win car, the ’90 Folgers Thunderbird, the #60 Win Dixie Busch car, Martin’s 2005 IROC car that he used to win his record fifth championship, and the ’89 Strohs Thunderbird. Each car is a part of a display that includes hi-tech mantrons that tell the story of each piece of history.(Roush Racing)(4-13-2006)
- Martin/Hamlin make up: After the race a week ago in Martinsville, rookie #11-Denny Hamlin blamed #6-Mark Martin for a wreck and claimed basically that the 47-year-old veteran had been wrecking him all year. It all seemed rather shocking since Martin is almost universally praised by fellow drivers for his clean driving style. “We talked on Tuesday,” said Hamlin. “It kind of settles our differences, I guess you could say. I asked him what I could do differently to avoid that from happening, and I basically told him where he did me wrong. We agreed on everything when it was all said and done. I’m glad it’s over with and we can move on. He admitted to things that he did and I admitted to things that I did in the past. It’s just one of those things where you learn. We haven’t raced with each other that much. With time it’s going to fix itself. We’ve got to learn each other’s driving styles and move on. I’m the last driver that wants to start anything with anybody. I spent all last year just trying to get respect from these guys and let them know that I can race with them without controversy, without getting into them. I felt like it was time to stand up for what I thought was right and wrong. I felt good after talking to him because I felt like he understood where I was coming from …”
Martin was predictably magnanimous. “It shouldn’t matter if you’re a rookie or not,” he said, “and Denny shouldn’t be treated on the race track differently from me. Denny and I have had a conversation since, and I made it clear to Denny that everything that I’ve done to him on the race track I would have done to Rusty Wallace, who I respect as much or more than anyone in the garage, or Dale Jarrett. My point was, ‘Don’t bring up the rookie thing again,’ because he’s done a fabulous job. He’s been incredibly competitive and respectful and fair on the race track, and the rub that we have had came from he and I not knowing each other’s style.”(Gaston Gazette)(4-9-2006)
- Too Many Cautions? If you think too many caution flags interrupt NASCAR action these days, you're not alone. #6-Mark Martin believes excess cautions not only diminish the racing on the track but creates more conflict. "We have 10 times more cautions than we used to," Martin said. "If a drink bottle or a spring rubber falls out on the track, we have a caution flag. We used to run over starters and alternators and all kinds of stuff. We'd hit them and knock them out of the way and we could keep racing. But things have changed. We have a lot of debris cautions." As Martin points out, the cautions enable the field to pack in behind the leader, increasing the likelihood of contact — and more cautions. "Every time we pack the cars up, we have another caution," Martin says. "Then the kids get excited, run over one another and we have another one. It seems that 10-15 laps is all we can go, typically. I don't feel like we get a chance to race anymore. We run short little 10-lap bursts for 500 or 400 miles. It's not a chance to really get out there and do your business. And it's tough on the cars. They get wrecked a lot." NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said it all boils down to safety. "Perhaps we look at it a little differently than they did years ago. Perhaps they did run over some things years ago. We don't want to have anything on the racetrack at all that could pose a safety threat to drivers or the spectators." Sunday's race produced 16 cautions (only one for debris on the track) and meant 87 of the 500 laps were run under yellow. That wasn't as disruptive as the 19 cautions last October at Martinsville Speedway.(USA Today)(4-6-2006)
- Martin adds seven more truck races to schedule: Mark Martin and Roush Racing have decided to add an additional seven races to Martin's 2006 Truck Series schedule. Martin, who boasts two victories in the first three races of the season, will now run a total of 14 races in the Scotts Miracle-Gro Ford F-150 this season. Martin was originally scheduled to run only seven events in the truck, but will now add races at both Martinsville events, Dover, Bristol, Loudon, Talladega and Phoenix, bringing his total to 14. Roush newcomer David Ragan will also increase his schedule, adding events in the #50 Ford F-150. Ragan will drive the # 6 Scotts Ford in the other 11 races of 2006, when Martin is not competing. Roush will enter Ragan in additional events to allow him more seat time and experience. Ragan made his first start of 2006 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, and will compete in the #50 again at Martinsville Speedway on April 1.(Roush Racing PR)(3-28-2006)
- Kingsport mayor to give Martin key to the city: Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips will present the key to the Model City to NASCAR driver Mark Martin today - officially proclaimed "Mark Martin Day" by the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen earlier this week. The key to the city presentation will come during a larger ceremony this afternoon as Food City honors Martin, driver of Roush Racing's #6 Ford Fusion, sponsored by AAA. It marks the first time Kingsport has given a key to the city to a NASCAR driver, said Kingsport Community Relations Officer Dave Light. Key to the city presentations are not common in Kingsport, he said. Allison David, marketing events coordinator for Food City, said the practice has been a yearly event for Family Race Night events in Bristol each August. "Both Bristol, Tennessee, and Bristol, Virginia, have done it every year for whomever we honor," David said. "We're excited that Kingsport is participating and that Mayor Phillips himself is going to make the presentation." Food City suggested Martin for the honor because he is retiring this year, David said. Light said the keys given out by Kingsport are ordered special made by the city, and they are basically 6-inch metal skeleton keys with the city seal on them. "It makes a nice keepsake and memento," Light said. "They're normally given to non-residents who through their activities and contributions - philanthropic or business or political or whatever - have benefited the city and its citizens. Mark Martin races very cleanly and represents very good principles of good sportsmanship and good citizenship. He is well-liked and can serve as a good role model for the young people of our region."(Kingsport Times-News)(3-23-2006)
- Martins's Museum/Dealershop scheduled to open: Roush Racing’s Mark Martin will open his all new Ford dealership, Mark Martin Ford-Mercury, and museum on Monday, Feb. 27th in Batesville, Arkansas. Martin started construction on the state of the art facility over a year ago and is pleased with the fruition of his work. “It’s just an awesome thing to be able to bring back all of these cars and trophies to the place where it all started and the place that I consider ‘home,’ said Martin. “We have a lot of stuff on display at the museum and I hope that all of the fans will get a chance to come out and share in all of the memories with us. Growing up I couldn’t wait to get out of Batesville and go out and see what I could do,” added Martin. “I went off seeking my fame and fortune and I was fortunate to work with a lot of great people and have a lot of success. Now it’s time to bring all of that back home where it belongs to Batesville.” The state-of-the art museum features several of Martin’s past cars, including the #6 Viagra Coca-Cola 600 win car, the ’90 Folgers Thunderbird, the #60 Win Dixie Busch car, Martin’s 2005 IROC car that he used to win his record fifth championship, and the ’89 Strohs Thunderbird. Each car is a part of a display that includes hi-tech mantrons that tell the story of each piece of history. The museum also has on display a variety of other memorabilia, including several of Martin’s past race helmets and historic firesuits. There are also several personal photo books on display that chronicle Martin’s early success, as well as thousands of pictures and newspaper articles that show Martin shows Martins climb from local dirt track sensation to NASCAR legend.(Roush Racing PR)(2-26-2006)
- Tryson back to work: Pat Tryson, crew chief for Mark Martin’s #6 AAA Roush Racing Ford Fusion, had his appendix removed last week after suffering an attack of appendicitis. Tryson was back at the track this week, a little sore, but mostly back up to speed.(Ford Racing)(2-13-2006)
- Roush signs developmental driver: Roush Racing announced that it has signed 19 year-old Canadian Peter Shepherd to a driver development contract. Shepherd will run select ARCA races in 2006 as a part of Roush Racing's driver development program.
Shepherd was selected as one of the 25 finalists for Roush Racing's Driver X competition in 2005, and was quick to impress. Following a stellar performance at Martinsville, Shepherd advanced to the second round of the competition at Darlington, where he continued to make an impression on team owner Jack Roush. Shepherd was able to impress not only on the track, but in the boardroom as well. During the filming of Roush Racing: Driver X, Shepherd participated in a comprehensive series of marketing and PR evaluations, scoring at the top of the list. Roush Racing is currently seeking sponsorship for Shepherd's 2006 campaign. Roush Racing will team with the Roulo Brothers to field Shepherd's #39 entry in selected 2006 ARCA events. Longtime ARCA Series and NASCAR competitors, the Roulo's have fielded cars for such drivers as Ken Schrader and Rich Bickle. In 2005, they fielded a car in six events for Roush driver Erik Darnell as a part
of the Roush Racing Driver Development program.(Roush Racing PR)(2-3-2006)
- Martin to run limited CTS sched, starts at Daytona: Mark Martin will kick off his 2006 Craftsman Truck Series schedule in the series’ season opening Daytona 250 on Friday, Feb. 17. Martin, who plans to run a limited schedule in both the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series in 2006, will compete in four races over Daytona Speedweeks, including the Budweiser Shootout, the IROC season opener, the Craftsman Truck opener and the famed Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. It will mark Martin’s fourth career start in the truck series, his second consecutive; he finished eighth in the ’05 series finale at Homestead. Martin won at North Wilkesboro in 1996 in his second career truck series start, and finished third in his first start at Richmond that same year. This will be Martin’s first venture in the series at Daytona, although he did take part in a truck at Daytona with teammate David Ragan two weeks ago.
“I’m excited to get out there in the truck,” said Martin, who plans to go full-time in the series in 2007. “We had a chance to test the truck at Daytona a couple of weeks ago and I really had a ball out there. I’ve been excited about the Truck Series for a while now, and I can’t wait to get out there in the #6 Ford and see what we can do against the competition. The truck is really fast and Mike Beam and the entire #6 crew have really put together an awesome team for David (Ragan) and myself for 2006 and we are really looking forward to sharing the Ford for 2006.” Martin will run a limited number of Truck races in 2006, sharing the seat with up and comer David Ragan. Martin will be in the seat for the first three races of 2006 at Daytona, Fontana and Atlanta before handing over the reigns to Ragan at Martinsville. Martin is currently scheduled to make seven starts in the #6 Ford.(Roush Racing PR)(1-31-2006)
- Roush and NASCAR agree on downsizing: Five-Team Owner [#'s 6,16,17,26,99] Jack Roush said he and NASCAR have agreed on the basics of how to get his Nextel Cup team down to four cars, which was mandated by the sanctioning body late last season. “We will go back to four teams, but it’s not immediate,” Roush said. “There is a cap of four [Cup teams]. I will comply with that when I’m past my commitments I have with drivers and sponsors. We’ve finally got an understanding of what is possible and what we can do.” Roush would not speculate on when his team might go back to four cars, but said his existing commitments expire between 2009 and 2011.(Ford Racing)(1-25-2006)
Jack Roush, Mark Martin, Garry Hill
Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson
- Hill presents artwork to Martin: One perk of winning the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway is that Mooresville-based artist Garry Hill does a commemorative painting of each year's key moment, and the members of the winning team get prints of the limited edition work. Hill unveiled the 2005 painting showing Mark Martin celebrating his victory in that race on Monday. "That's probably the most meaningful victory of my career, and just because I'm getting old and it's hard to remember the other ones," Martin joked.(Thatsracin)(1-24-2006)
- Martin to be featured in AAA teen driver safety announcements: Jack Roush will join AAA officials in previewing its new 2006 NEXTEL Cup race car sponsorship in Detroit's Cobo Center, at the AAA Motorsports exhibit in Michigan Hall in the lower level on Tuesday, January 10th. AAA has signed a contract with Roush Racing to sponsor the #6 Ford Fusion, driven by Mark Martin, at NEXTEL Cup Series races in 2006. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the #6 AAA Ford racecar will be on display, as well as a racing simulator for media members to test their driving skills in a virtual experience of roaring around the track at over 200 miles per hour. In addition to announcing the new AAA-Roush sponsorship, AAA officials will discuss the Auto Club's plans to advocate for improved teen driver safety and will preview a series of public service announcements featuring Mark Martin.(GMR PR)(1-6-2006)
- Roush Crew Chiefs all back in 2006: Roush Racing President Geoff Smith said Sunday that the team has re-signed all of five of its crew chiefs for 2006, although it has some unfilled crew vacancies remaining. Roush is one of the few teams that had no midseason crew chief turnover and return of its five team leaders should help the organization get off to a strong start next season.(Speed Channel)(11-21-2005)
- Martin to run final throw-back scheme of 2005 at Phoenix: Mark Martin will run a Retro-1981 paint scheme this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The Retro ‘81 scheme is the fourth and final retro-scheme that Martin will run during the 2005 “Salute To You” season. The Retro ‘81 design is the scheme that Martin ran on his first Winston Cup race car in 1981. “It’s really been a long time since I’ve seen that car,” said Martin. “I know just like the other cars it will bring back a lot of memories of those early days. It was a really cool looking car back then, so I think everyone will enjoy seeing it again this weekend. It’s been really neat running all of the retro schemes this season. These cars really span the majority of my career and they bring back a whole lot of memories,” added Martin. “We’ve had a lot of success and been through a lot of battles over the years and it has been a lot of fun to revisit that with these paint schemes this year. We were able to get the win in the Retro ’93 car in the All-Star at Charlotte and we had a really good run in the Retro ’90 car at Indy, so hopefully we can keep that going and close it out strong with this car at Phoenix.” Martin ran the Retro ’81 scheme in his Winston Cup debut at North Wilkesboro Speedway on April 5, 1981 where he stared fifth and finished 27th. The car went on to win two poles and earn Martin’s first career top 10 and top-five finishes in Cup racing. The car will still be sponsored by Viagra*, but will feature the Retro ‘81 scheme.
Races – 5; Highlights – Martin’s first ever Winston Cup paint scheme…Won the poles (Martin’s career first) at both Nashville (6/11/81) and Richmond (9/13/81)…Scored Martin’s first career top-10 with a seventh-place finish at Richmond on Sept. 13, 1981 and his first top-five with a third-place run at Martinsville on Sept. 7, 1981.(Roush Racing), seee an image of the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page.(11-8-2005)
- #6 sponsor? AAA? Georgia Pacific? UPDATE it's AAA: haven't heard anything concrete on who will be Mark Martins new sponsor on the #6 Roush Racing Ford in 2006, a few that have been rumored include AAA, who have sponsored the #99 Roush Ford of Carl Edwards in a few races this season; and Georgia Pacific has been rumored, as they are leaving the #45 Dodge of Petty Enterprises. Georgia Pacific will also hold a press conference at Atlanta this weekend but AAA seems to be the front runner in the rumor mill.(10-26-2006)
UPDATE: AAA will become the primary sponsor of Roush Racing’s flagship #6 Nextel Cup Ford starting in 2006. In addition, veteran driver Mark Martin will extend his ‘Salute To You’ Tour and return to pilot the car for one more year in 2006, with Todd Kluever set to take over the reigns from Martin in 2007, Roush Racing announced today. “AAA is very pleased to be associated with the winning team of Roush Racing and Mark Martin. With the growing popularity of NASCAR, AAA is excited about its ability to contribute to the success of a sport that has captured the imagination and loyalty of tens of millions of fans, including many AAA members,” said AAA President Robert Darbelnet. With more than 48 million members in the United States and Canada , AAA is North America ’s largest motor club and membership organization. The not-for-profit association is best known for its legendary roadside assistance, comprehensive leisure travel and information services and its support of improved traffic safety and other consumer issues.
“I’m real excited about AAA coming in with us,” said team owner Jack Roush. As one of the most well known and respected names in the country, “I think AAA can do a lot for the sport and be a cornerstone of our sponsorship group for years to come.”
“It’s great to be partnered up with AAA,” said Martin. “They have a fantastic organization and a great reputation. My wife and I are both AAA members. I’m excited about the services they provide to many of our fans and I am looking forward to working with AAA.” Martin has finished second in the Nextel Cup standings on four occasions and is in the hunt this season for a run at the championship, currently sitting in seventh position as one of the 10 drivers eligible to win the chase. “Mark Martin has built a solid reputation as gentleman and winner on and off the racetrack,” said Darbelnet. “He is someone in whom AAA has confidence when speaking about the advantages of membership and AAA’s extensive highway safety activities.”
In 2006, Martin will drive the #6 AAA Ford Fusion and then give way to Kluever in 2007. During the 2005 Nextel Cup Series, the AAA Auto Club Group was a primary sponsor of Carl Edwards’ #99 car. This experience gave AAA valuable first-hand knowledge of the benefits of participating in NASCAR with the Roush Racing team “I’m very excited to work with AAA,” said Kluever. “It’s great to see them move into a full-time sponsorship with Mark and the No. 6 car next year and then with me in 2007. It’s a dream come true for me and it’s great to have people here at Roush Racing and AAA that believe in me and I’m very excited about the opportunity. I consider the No. 6 car to be one of the top-five most legendary cars in NASCAR history. I don’t think that anybody will be able to replace Mark Martin. He has big shoes to fill, but I’ll do my best to try. It’s just very exciting to be in that No. 6 car and to be partnered with a great organization like AAA.”(Roush Racing), see an image of the car on my 2006 #6 Team Schemes page.(10-27-2005)
- Roush states his case with five-page document: Roush Racing issued a five-page statement on the value of multi-car teams Saturday, combating NASCAR's challenge of limiting ownership. NASCAR chairman Brian France and NASCAR president Mike Helton both said last week that series officials are putting together regulations to limit how many teams one car owner can have. Series officials have talked of dropping that number to four and, possibly, three later. Roush Racing has five teams, while Hendrick Motorsports has four.
The Roush paper, written by team president Geoff Smith, contends that "potential team restrictions represent a certain significant loss to every owner.''(Roanoke Times)(10-16-2005)
- Martin part-time in 2006? from a Larry McReynolds column at FoxSports - it appears that Martin will run a good portion of the 2006 Nextel Cup schedule, but not the full schedule. He may share the ride and mentor Todd Kluever in some races in the #6 car; don't see Jack Roush throwing Kluever in that car and running the full schedule with him next year. That's the reason that you're looking at Martin possibly running a good portion of the schedule and phasing Kluever into some races.(FoxSports)(10-14-2005)
- Martin wins WIX Award: Drivers Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr. won the WIX Filters Lap Leader Awards during the Oct. 8-9, 2005 NASCAR racing weekend. Martin's WIX Filters Lap Leader Award win in racing at Kansas Speedway was his first award of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season. For his performance at Kansas, Truex Jr. took home the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award for the 13th time in the Busch Series this year. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series did not compete this weekend. The WIX Filters Lap Leader Award is presented to the driver who leads the most laps during each race in NASCAR's NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck racing series. The award includes a cash prize presented to the winning driver during a ceremony before the next race and an
end-of-year payout and trophy for the driver who earns the most WIX Filters Lap Leader awards over the course of the entire season. Cash
awards for the end-of-year honor are: $75,000 for the NEXTEL Cup Series; $20,000 for the Busch Series; and, $10,000 for the Craftsman Truck Series.
In order to be eligible for the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award for a single event, drivers and teams in each series must run the WIX Filters
decal on the front fender and use WIX oil or air filters in their vehicles. Additionally, for any year-end payout, teams must run the
decal on the front fender for every race they participate in, with an allowance for one race, and they must always use WIX oil or air filters.
New for 2005, WIX has introduced the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award contest, enabling fans to be a part of the action. The online contest
encourages fans to pit their knowledge against one another and against celebrity prognosticator John Roberts, host of NASCAR This Morning and NASCAR Victory Lane, in a weekly competition to predict which drivers will win the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award in each race. Fans who participate in the online contest will compete for prizes including an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas Speedway for the 2006 NEXTEL Cup race. Fans can sign up for the contest, make picks and try to beat Roberts by visiting www.wixlapleader.com. Detailed contest rules and prize information are provided on the Web site.WIX Filters' Internet address is www.wixfilters.com.(10-13-2005)
- Kluever to the #6 in 2007, McMurray to #97: on Speed Channel's Trackside at Kansas City, multi-team owner [#'s 6,16,1,97,99] when asked about drivers for the future, said Todd Kluever, his Truck Series driver (who is moving to the Busch Series in 2006) would probably be in the #6 Ford in 2007 and Jamie McMurray would be in the #97 in 2007. No word on who would be in the #97 if Kurt Busch gets his release to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge for 2006, he signed for 2007. Roush also said Mark Martin will be in the #6 Ford in 2006.(10-7-2005)
- More on McMurray/Busch moving on in 2006: #42-Jamie McMurray said leaving Chip Ganassi Racing a year early to join [#6] Roush Racing remains a possibility. "If people above me get things worked out and it happens, I'd rather be at Roush Racing next year because that's where my future is," said McMurray, who has a year left at Ganassi and signed with Roush for 2007. "It's going to be tough to stay with a team that you know you're not going to be with the following year." This week, #97-Kurt Busch affirmed #2-Rusty Wallace's comment at Dover that lawyers are working to move up Busch's departure from Roush Racing to Penske Racing South by a year.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-1-2005)
- Partypoker as a sponsor? hearing partypoker.net could sponsor a third Yates car for 2006 team or take over as the sponsor on the #6 Roush Racing Ford.(9-27-2005)
- Martin still to run Truck Series in 2006: Mark Martin's future is finally coming into focus and that includes another stint behind the wheel of the #6 Roush Racing Ford. Martin started the 2005 season thinking this would be his last year as a full-time Nextel Cup driver. Those plans changed in midstream when car owner Jack Roush signed Jamie McMurray to fill Martin's position. There was only one hitch. McMurray won't drive the #6 until 2007. Chip Ganassi keeps saying he will hold McMurray to his driving contract, which expires at the end of the 2006 season. Since the beginning of summer, Roush has been chasing Martin to stay put for one more campaign. Martin said he will continue with his grand scheme to form a full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team under the Roush Racing umbrella. He plans to make his debut run in the truck at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. "The first truck is finished," he reported last week. "I sat in it on Monday." Martin, who has secured the #6 for truck competition next season [Kevin Harvick Inc rus Hornaday in the #6 this year], said he will make at least seven truck starts in addition to his hustling, bustling Nextel Cup schedule in 2006. Another driver, or drivers, will occupy the seat of the #6 Ford to fill out the remainder of the schedule. If Martin's long-range plans work this time, he will be a full-time NCTS driver beginning in 2007.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(9-25-2005)
- Holy Stolen Car: Roush Racing's "Batman Begins" Showcar stolen from Hotel in Ohio. Stolen on Saturday, Sept. 17th from Holiday Inn Express, 13300 Reynoldsburg-Baltimore, Pickerington, OH 43147. Stolen was the 2002 Ford F-350 hauler, NC Tag: AB 8527,
VIN #: 1FTWX32F32EB11091, IFTA #: 126832, Mileage: ~154,000 and Trailer, a 2003 Featherlite with NC Tag BN 29266, VIN #: 4FGL028293C058099 and the #6 'wrapped' as "Batman Begins" Ford showcar, Chassis #: RK-209 with engine and full running gear. Contact Officer Corey Flanagan of the Pickerington Police Department, 614 575 6911 if have any info about the theft. So...where was Batman?(9-20-2005)
- McMurray in the #97 instead of #6? UPDATE: here is a new one....from the Tampa Tribune: When Jamie McMurray [#42 Texaco driver] joins Roush Racing in 2007, he may drive [Kurt] Busch's #97 Ford rather than Martin's #6 Ford as originally planned, Roush said. McMurray is scheduled to join Roush in 2007, after his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing expires. Busch is leaving no later than 2007 to take over Rusty Wallace's #2 Miller Lite Dodge at Penske Racing South in 2007. Busch's contract with Roush runs through next year.(Tampa Tribune), if so, what is the point of Martin staying another year?(9-13-2005)
UPDATE: Jack Roush confirmed on Sunday that Jamie McMurray, who is slated to move from Chip Ganassi Racing to Roush Racing in 2007, might wind up in the #97 Ford, which is being vacated by Kurt Busch. McMurray originally was pegged as the driver to take over the #6 Ford driven by Mark Martin. "Yes, there is a possibility of that," Roush said. "We're having discussions right now with sponsors and have several things on the table." Roush said he's close to finalizing his 2006 plans.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-19-2005)
- Looks like Martin will be back in the #6 in 2006: It isn't much of a surprise, but it looks like Mark Martin's retirement from Nextel Cup Series is going to be postponed for a year. In the afterglow of a victory in Thursday night's IROC race at Richmond, Martin said it appears he will be back in Jack Roush's #6 Ford next season, after all. "It really looks like I'm going to be in the 6 car next year," Martin said. "It's looking more and more like that all the time." Martin said he had planned to spend next season driving a handful of Busch Series races, as well as racing for his own new team in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. But things got complicated recently when Roush signed Jamie McMurray away from Chip Ganassi Racing. McMurray signed for 2007, with the hope that he or Roush could convince Ganassi not to pick up his option for 2006. Ganassi has refused to let McMurray go next season, though, apparently leaving Roush a driver short. Instead of trying to find an interim driver, Roush has begged Martin, who came to the Cup Series with Roush in 1988, to help him out and stay on for one more year. Apparently, Martin has indeed decided to continue in the #6 through 2006.(ESPN.com/AP)(9-9-2005)
- Martin wins IROC race at Richmond, close to title #5: Kurt Busch dominated Round Three of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday night, but it was Mark Martin – aided by three cautions in the final five laps – that provided him with enough to edge out Busch in one of the closest finishes in the series’ 115-race history. On a restart with two laps remaining, Busch, the 2003 IROC titlist, tried valiantly to hold his Roush Racing teammate, before Martin coaxed the nose of his IROC car through the start/finish line a mere .021 seconds ahead of him. Martin’s series’ best 13th-career victory clinches the 2005 series points title when he starts the last race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29, giving him a record-breaking fifth IROC Series crown and the $1 million first-place purse. Matt Kenseth, who started in the eighth position and was in the middle of the pack for much of the race, made a late charge to finish third. IRL IndyCar driver Buddy Rice turned in a strong performance and claimed fourth, followed by NASCAR Busch Series driver Martin Truex Jr. Pole-sitter Scott Pruett rebounded from on track incidents in the first two races registering a solid sixth, followed by World of Outlaws drivers Danny Lasoski (seventh) and Steve Kinser (eighth). Rounding out positions nine through 12 were: Max Papis, Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, and Bobby Hamilton.(IROC PR), see more on my 2005 IROC Page.(9-9-2005)
- #6 Sponsor for 2006 to be announced: Geoff Smith, who runs Roush Racing for Jack Roush, said he is ready to announce a sponsor for the Mark Martin-Jamie McMurray car to replace Viagra.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-22-2005)
- Rusty and Martin to be honored at MIS on Sunday: When the green flag drops for the GFS Marketplace 400 on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, two drivers who have accomplished so much on the 2-mile oval, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin, will be saying their final good-byes and racing in their final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races at MIS [well....maybe not Martin]. Wallace and Martin are no strangers to success at MIS with a combined 15 victories between the two of them. Wallace has seven wins (5 Cup, 1 IROC, 1 ASA) and Martin eight (4 Cup, 2 Busch, 1 IROC, 1 ASA) at MIS, making them two of the most successful drivers in track history. Both
drivers will be looking for one last victory at MIS in Wallace's 'Rusty's Last Call' and Martin's 'Salute To You' campaigns. At approximately 2:00pm/et MIS will honor Wallace and Martin during pre-race ceremonies prior to the GFS Marketplace 400. Both drivers will be presented a framed photo collage of memorable wins at MIS by track President Brett Shelton and have a chance to address the MIS crowd and thank them for all of their support during their two annual stops in the Irish Hills. Both drivers will then ride separate trucks to give an opportunity for one last salute to the great MIS fans. In addition, fans will also get a chance to see Wallace appear in MIS' all-inclusive Victory Lane Club prior to the GFS Marketplace 400 on August 21. Wallace will perform question and answer sessions for fans who have purchased the Fan Hospitality package. Guests who wish to purchase fan hospitality packages or already have tickets and would like to upgrade to a fan hospitality package are encouraged to contact the ticket office at (800) 354-1010.(MIS PR)(8-18-2005)
- Martin's special orange/white scheme at Phoenix instead: RacingOne is hearing that #6-Mark Martin will conclude his "Salute to You" tour [should it still be called that?] at Homestead-Miami Speedway with his standard Viagra paint scheme. The special 1981 orange and white paint scheme that Mark was originally slated to run at Homestead will now run at Phoenix Int'l Raceway. This car will resemble the same car he made his first Cup Series start in. The switch was said to be made because of a scheduling change from Martin's sponsor Pfizer.(RacingOne), see the image of the car on my #6 Team Schemes page.(7-23-2005)
- Ganassi Racing to pick up McMurray's option UPDATE 2 more: from a Q&A at USA Today:
Q.) Will Chip Ganassi's team let Jamie McMurray out of his contract for next season?
A:) No. Team co-owner Felix Sabates said Thursday that the team would pick up its option on McMurray's contract for next season and expected him to honor it. "There never was any question on our part," Sabates said. Sabates said McMurray would remain in the No. 42 car with sponsorship from Havoline next year. Ganassi hasn't announced its full driver lineup for next season; Casey Mears' fate is still up in the air, and the team might expand to four cars in an attempt to keep up with the Roush and Hendrick superteams. "We've talked about it, but right now we don't have anything in concrete," Sabates said.(USA Today)(7-22-2005)
UPDATE: It looks more and more like Mark Martin will be back in the #6-car next season. When car owner Felix Sabatas told USA Today the team would pick up its option on Jamie McMurray's contract for 2006 Mark Martin's reaction was "That's what I
would do if I was them. You know Jamie is probably the most sought after driver in the cup garage...we're fortunate enough to have him signed up for '07...that's where we're at...we'll see what happens and if it's '07 then it's '07 and I'll drive the car" in '06.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(7-22-2005)
UPDATE 2: Chip Ganassi Racing has exercised the option in Jamie McMurray's contract that will keep McMurray in the No. 42 Dodge for the 2006 Nextel Cup Series season, a team source said Friday. "The option for Jamie is exercised," said Tyler Epp, Ganassi team manager. "Unless something tragic happens, he will be in the #42 next year driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates." Sources close to McMurray said Friday that he is unhappy with the decision, and that McMurray is legally unable to discuss the matter at this time. Mark Martin, whom McMurray will replace in the No. 6 Ford in 2007, isn't ready to completely accept the viability of the team's stance. Are you going to take and say that is concrete, or take that and say that's what they say today?" Martin said. "I've been given indication he'll be at Chip's next year. It's Chip's option. There's been no indication otherwise. That's not new news. That's exactly what Chip said when Jamie told him what he was going to do."(NASCAR.com)(7-23-2005)
- Craven NOT to the #6, will stay in the Truck Series: Ricky Craven won't replace Mark Martin in the No. 6 Viagra Ford for Roush Racing next year. Team owner Jack Roush indicated Friday that Craven will be back in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next season and that he is hopeful he can convince Martin to return for one more season in the No. 6 car before Jamie McMurray assumes the ride for 2007. Craven is in the first year of a two-year deal. The 46-year-old Martin had announced his intention to retire from the Nextel Cup series to run in the truck series next year. "Ricky's future is and really has been in the truck series in my world," said Roush. "Mark has agreed to come back in 2006 if I need him for the 6 car. Ricky was on the short list but he wasn't the only choice I had for the 6 car for 2006. I had to look at Ricky's progress and had to look at a number of things to make that final decision. But right now [it] looks like it's off the table. Mark has said he's coming back," said Roush. Craven said that he was "a little disappointed" that he won't be in the No. 6 car next year but he completely supports Martin and that if Martin returns, it would be an "excellent announcement" for Roush Racing. "That would be pretty exciting. He's a pillar of the sport. He could win the points championship this year and if he does, he should come back and defend his title," said Craven. Roush said he has been satisfied with Craven despite Craven's recent struggles that have seen him fall from a close second in the points race to a distant fifth. Craven said he enjoys racing for Roush and still has a burning desire to return to the Nextel Cup ranks some day.(Bangor Daily News)(7-17-2005)
- Martin could return to the #6 in 2006 MORE: Mark Martin continues to mull over whether he will stay on as driver of the #6 Ford as a favor to car owner Jack Roush. As reported last Wed, Jamie McMurray will take over that ride in 2007. Roush has a list of drivers they’re talking with about a 2006 deal. Martin says the whole team is on him hard to stay. “The first time the question was asked I laughed at ‘em and of course I said no. But, for many of us the six-car will always be my car, and Jamie McMurray is my choice to take the car over. When it first came up it was gonna be fine for me for them to find someone to fill the gap but they’ve been working on me pretty hard about the guilt of how that would be letting my team down and that’s why I’m considering it…because of my 18 years with Jack Roush and because of the team giving me everything they’ve got. If I turn my back on it, that will be for selfish reasons. It’s not what I wanna do, I think everybody knows that. 18 months is a whole lot longer than 6 months.” Martin says there arguments for both sides. “One side you could say I told them two years ago…and then you could come back and say, yeah, and Jamie McMurray was the guy you wanted. And I say yeah, Jamie’s the guy I wanted, Jamie’s the guy you guys wanted and we got him and that feels good. My greatest hope would be he could be in it in 2006. I know that Chip (Ganassi) says otherwise, but Chip has an option, and as far as I know he hasn’t exercised that option yet. I don’t mean to cause any problems but all I’m saying is there’s both sides and the perfect scenario would be if Jamie would drive it in 2006. If he doesn’t I would consider doing it rather than having to try to put together a one year race driver deal that would be tough from a marketing stand point and a team standpoint. My hope is to deliver Jamie a championship team. All I know is that when Jamie sits down in that thing they’re gonna see an immediate performance improvement over me, so, I’m anxious for them to get their hands on him as soon as possible."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(7-14-2005)
MORE Mark Martin has said yes to another year behind the wheel for Jack Roush, and is willing to race the Nextel Cup tour another year, instead of retiring as planned in November. "Mark has agreed to drive for us again if Jamie McMurray is not available, and we don't expect Jamie to be," Roush said. "Mark said he would consider that if we thought the team was in jeopardy, and I do - to keep everybody in place and functioning. So, based on what Mark has told me, I expect Mark to be back in this car next year."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)
- Mikey to Toyota? Roush? Ganassi? Waltrip is headed eventually to the Toyota camp - along with Eury Jr., according to one Detroit source very close to the situation - in what is reported to be a top-dollar project. "Toyota has offered Michael and Tony Jr. so much money they can't turn it down," the source said. Waltrip has been eyed for a Toyota ride for more than a year, in part because older brother Darrell runs a Toyota team on the Craftsman Truck Series. NASCAR has been pushing Toyota to step up its presence in the sport, for the added marketing punch that would provide. And Waltrip could give Toyota quick credibility. Toyota isn't expected to field a Cup team until 2007, although a Busch team is a possibility in 2006. Toyota does have a formidable presence in the truck series. The Toyota option? "I don't even know when that's a possibility, and I need a job for next year," Waltrip replied. Roush said that Waltrip has talked with him about a ride: "And Michael is on the list, along with Sterling Marlin, Ricky Craven, Jamie - and Mark." Waltrip has also inquired about openings at Chip Ganassi's, according to sources. Waltrip declined to be specific. "We've just had talks," he said. "We've talked to a lot of people about next year. There are no real offers, just people interested. I've got a lot of options. There are some things in the works. Making this announcement will probably complicate that, before it comes clear. I'm just looking forward to getting into the best situation possible."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)
- NAPA to the #6? hearing NAPA is talking with Roush Racing about being a sponsor on the #6 Ford in 2006, no idea if Michael Waltrip would do a one-year stint in the #6.(7-15-2005)
- Owners spat over McMurray, Roush for sale?: Car owners Felix Sabates [#39,#40,#41,#42] and Jack Roush [#6,#16,#17,#97,#99] had a brief spat in the garage after Sunday’s race. At issue was Roush’s signing of Jamie McMurray to drive for him, beginning in 2007. Roush signed McMurray this week. McMurray’s team, owned by Chip Ganassi and Sabates, has a one-year option on McMurray for next season and is expected to exercise that. After the race, Sabates saw Roush and commented about the move. “I just said it was a great, great move hiring Jamie, so he’ll have a stable of great drivers, so when he sells the company, he’ll get a bunch of money,” Sabates said. “He’s been trying to sell it.” Roush responded to Sabates: “I’m not for sale, pal.” Roush walked away from Sabates soon after that comment.(News and Record)(7-12-2005)
- Roush trying to keep Martin in the #6 for 2006: Jack Roush asked Mark Martin if he would consider taking one for the team--"an encore tour"--if Jamie McMurray were unavailable in 2006 to drive the #6 Ford. Roush was beaming ear to ear when he said, "He didn't tell me no."(Sporting News)(7-11-2005)
- So would Sterling Marlin take the #6 ride for a year? Actually Roush has more - conversations with Sterling Marlin, possibly to take Martin's ride for 2006. "Jack and I have talked a little, but I don't know anything," Marlin said. "I need to know something pretty quick, and I've got some meetings next week. We'll see how it shakes out." So would Marlin be willing to take just a one-year deal? "Yeah, if you look at what those guys are doing - it would be hard to give up the opportunity to win a championship," Marlin said.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-9-2005)
- More on McMurray signing with Roush: [Jamie] McMurray, who drives for Chip Ganassi [#42 Dodge], has just signed a multiyear contact to drive for Jack Roush beginning in 2007 [in the #6 Ford]. That surprising move is so legally ticklish that McMurray yesterday dodged reporters and refused to answer questions, issuing a brief statement only after it was cleared by his attorneys. McMurray's move has sparked numerous questions, including the thorny legal issue of whether it's OK to sign a contract to drive for somebody else while still under a contract. The sticky issue of "interfering" with a driver under contract has been debated, on and off, for more than 10 years, since driver contracts became the norm in NASCAR. Two NASCAR team owners, who asked not to be named, both said they felt that there was a significant potential for legal action over the move. But Roush quickly dismissed any such legal questions, saying that the issues had been thoroughly scrutinized: "We have had discussions, being fully aware of what his contract is. We don't intend to interfere with his contract in any way. We don't intend to talk about our sponsors or his sponsors, which would be one of the things to be concerned about. We only have interest in him getting in our car when he has fulfilled his commitments to Chip, whatever they are. We won't stand in the way of anything. And we're not interesting in any discussions of a buyout or anything else that might be an inducement for Chip to release him." Roush said that it's possible McMurray might even join Roush Racing for the 2006 season, though Ganassi, in a news release, said he wants to keep McMurray through the end of 2006.
"He is not under contract for 2006 until Chip elects or chooses not to take his option going forward in September," Roush said. "This 2005 year for Jamie is the first year of two one-year extensions which were at Chip's option. Chip is obliged to let him know if he wants him to drive in 2006. And lacking an indication of that, he is released. It isn't clear what Chip will do. I haven't had any conversations with him. I don't think he's indicated to Jamie what he's going to do."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-9-2005)
- McMurray to the #6?.....in 2007? UPDATE 2: hearing that Jamie McMurray, current driver of the #42 Texaco Dodge for Chip Ganassi, has signed a multi-year agreement with Roush Racing to drive the #6 Ford beginning in 2007. Hmm...so who drives the #6 in 2006?(7-6-2005)
UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today that it will part ways with driver Jamie McMurray following the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season. "Jamie's made a decision to go in another direction after we've both fulfilled the commitment that we made to each other in 2002," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "We didn't do a good job of conveying to Jamie where this team is headed, but we expect a lot of success with Jamie the rest of this year and next year, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors beyond that.” Team owner Felix Sabates added, “This is a total team sport and the Texaco/Havoline team will continue to stay focused on making the Chase and running for the Championship this season, next season and well into the future."
(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(7-7-2005)
UPDATE 2: Roush Racing President Geoff Smith says they got the man who was at the top of their wish list of drivers to replace Mark Martin in the #6-car. Jamie McMurray will part ways with Chip Ganassi after next season to pilot what is now the
Viagra Ford. “He was at the top that’s for sure, but we didn’t know whether it was going to be available and when and so we were able to work through it and we’re good to go in 2007." If McMurray is released from his contract with the 42-car at the end of this season it would free him to join Roush next year; however Smith isn’t counting on that. “We’re not planning on that at all at this time. The message he’s conveyed to us is that he’s expecting to stay in the #42-car all next year. We’re not planning on any scenario other than that one." So, who takes over for Mark Martin in 2006? Smith said, “There have been so many balls in the air that we’ve been juggling between drivers and sponsors and when this came up we could do this for 2007 that’s now triggered us into a whole new round of assessment about what we’re going to do for 2006. We hope in a very short period of time we’ll have our 2006 solution figured out."(PRN's Garage Pass), Ricky Craven is one driver rumored as a driver for the #6 for one year.(7-7-2005)
AND from Roush Racing: Roush Racing announced today that it has signed Jamie McMurray to a multi-year contract to drive its #6 NASCAR Nextel Cup entry commencing with the 2007 season. No decision has been made with regard to the driver of the #6 for the 2006 season.(Roush Racing PR)
- Martin and Wallace honored at Daytona: #6-Mark Martin and #2-Rusty Wallace were honored Saturday night before their final race at Daytona International Speedway. The retiring NASCAR stars were given framed photos of the first cars they drove at Daytona in 1982 and greeted with a standing ovation during the drivers meeting before the Pepsi 400. The photos also contained head shots that Martin said reminded him of "Starsky and Hutch." "You got me beat with the mustache, but I've got the hair," Wallace said.(ESPN.com/AP)(7-3-2005)
- Roush 2006 lineup complete.....almost: Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, said Friday that the Roush lineup for 2006 is all but complete, with sponsors and drivers for four of its five Nextel Cup cars showing no major changes. DeWalt will return to Matt Kenseth's #17, National Guard/Subway/etc. to Greg Biffle's #16, Rubbermaid/Smirnoff and others with Kurt Busch's #97, and all races accounted for with Carl Edwards's #99. The million-dollar question, of course, has been who will take over for retiring veteran Mark Martin in the flagship #6. Sponsor Pfizer will leave after this season, as has been known for weeks, but Smith said the sponsor issue is more a matter of placing the right company with the right driver. Smith continues to hint that Jon Wood, still under contract with Roush while driving on loan in the Busch Series, could be the front-runner for the job. "We have at least one sponsor who is very interested in Jon," Smith said. Smith also dismissed reports that Valvoline, one-time primary sponsor of Martin and the #6, could return as sponsor of Martin's Roush-backed Craftsman Truck effort next season. Smith said Roush Racing has a company-wide supplier agreement with Quaker State [Pennzoil], and that such a nostalgic coupling would not be possible.(Ford Racing)(6-18-2005)
- Triple for Martin at Homestead: Mark Martin says he plans to run the season finales in Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series at Homestead in November. Martin plans to move to the Truck series after this season, pending sponsorship.(Roanoke Times)(6-15-2005)
- Marlin to the #6? Sterling Marlin [#40 Dodge] is having discussions with Jack Roush about the possibility of replacing Mark Martin next year in the #6 Ford.(Gaston Gazette), also have heard that Marlin could go to the #21 Wood Brothers Ford with Ricky Rudd moving over to the #6.(6-12-2005)
- Martin says he will run Trucks full-time in 2006, he and Rusty will NOT share a ride: #6-Mark Martin's final season on the Nextel Cup probably won't be his last on the NASCAR circuit if Roush Racing obtains a sponsor for him in the Craftsman Truck Series.
"I'm excited about 2006 racing a Jack Roush truck in the Truck Series full time," Martin said Friday at Dover International Speedway.
Martin ruled out a return to the Nextel Cup next season, saying he would not be sharing a ride with the retiring Rusty Wallace or any other driver. He prefers to picture himself in somewhat of a development role for Roush, his car owner since 1988. Martin likes the Truck schedule, which would give him an additional 13 weeks off to spend with his family. But he plans to approach the competition with the same desire that has made him one of the great racers of his time.(ESPN.com/AP)(6-4-2005)
- Craven doesn't expect to replace Martin: Craftsman Truck Series racer Ricky Craven was at Texas Motor Speedeay Tuesday, testing for the Chex 400 race on June 10. Tuesday also was his 39th birthday. The former Nextel Cup driver joined Roush Racing this year with hopes of getting back to Cup racing. But he doesn't think he will be selected to replace the retiring Mark Martin next season in the #6 Viagra Ford. "I think that's very remote," he said. "At 39, I'm sort of the end of the scale for what teams are looking for. I totally focused on this truck team and winning the championship this season." Martin is ending his Cup career but not his racing career. Craven expects Martin to join him in the truck series as a teammate next year.(Dallas Morning News)(5-27-2000)
UPDATE: Ricky Craven remains firmly focused on winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points championship for Roush Racing but admitted he now feels his chances of replacing Mark Martin in the #6 Ford in the Nextel Cup series next season are "remote." Martin is retiring from full-time Nextel Cup racing to run in the Truck series. "The reason I think it's remote is I turned 39 years old a couple of days [May 24] ago and that is clearly not the trend," said Craven. "I'm not trying to talk myself out of a job but I'm realistic. Roush Racing is evaluating the opportunity and the drivers and that's exactly what they should be doing. I have made it clear I'm interested in racing Cup cars with Roush Racing. I still feel I've got several good years ahead of me and that my best years are still ahead of me," he added. "I won two [Cup] races the last four years and I'm determined to succeed again. I certainly have no reservations whatsoever that I can compete at the top of my game the next two, three, four years."
There was some speculation Procter and Gamble/Tide was interested in hooking up with Craven in a Roush car next season. However, they will have one year left on their contract with PPI Motorsports after this season. "I haven't had any discussions with them," said Craven. He said he has no interest in speculating on the future.(Bangor Daily News)(5-28-2005)
- Looks like Rusty declines to team up with Martin: Could Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace — both of whom are in their last full seasons in Nextel Cup — share time together next season behind the wheel of one of Jack Roush’s Ford Nextel Cup cars? It’s a long shot, the principals involved said Thursday, but not impossible. Martin said Thursday he’s contemplating doing a split Cup season next year in a Roush Ford. “If you could share a full schedule with the #6 car with another top driver, that’s never been done before,” said Martin. “Selling that to a sponsor, it would take the right sponsor and it would take a lot of things.” Martin’s car owner, Jack Roush, said the odd were not good that it would happen and the more realistic option is that Martin ends up in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in a Roush Ford F-150. “If you ask me to put odds on that (a part-time Cup deal for Martin next year), I’d say the chances of that are pretty slim, between a 1 and a 30 percent probability,” Roush said. “He’d have to reach an accommodation with Rusty (Wallace) or with another driver and I’d have to put together a sponsor package that would be attractive on a year-to-year basis to fund it at a level of a championship program. I’m not saying I couldn’t do it, but it’s going to be a challenge.”
“They’d like me to do that and right now my decision is not to do anything like that,” added Wallace. “Although that’s a very, very attractive offer and it does make a lot of sense.”(Speed Channel)(5-27-2005)
- #6 has sponsor, not ready on a driver: Geoff Smith, Roush Racing's general manager says of the #6 Ford ride that is open for 2006 [Martin retiring] "For Mark's ride, we have sponsorship ready and waiting for us to announce our driver, but we're not quite ready on the driver side." Smith says that Roush's operation has been doing its homework, finding out who is under contract and who is reasonably available. "We don't want to get entangled in other people's contracts," Smith said. "All we want to do is ask 'Are you under contract or not, and if you're not, do you have any interest in engaging in discussion? When you look at the row of drivers here, there are some drivers we don't feel would fit into our program, and there are other drivers who would fit but who aren't available. So we're not quite sure where we sit. One of the reasons we hired Ricky Craven (driving now for Roush's #99 truck operation) was to see if he could do it. One of the reasons we worked so hard to put Jon Wood (Eddie Wood's son) in a [#47] Busch program this year was to watch him as well. Both of those guys are still on our radar screen for possible selection. And we think both of those would do fine." The Wood option comes as Ricky Rudd, the Wood brothers' current driver, debates with himself about racing another year or retiring at the end of this season. "We just didn't want to settle on any one person until we were sure," Smith said. "I'm more sure about what the garage territory looks like than Jack, but it's Jack's job to make the inquiries, not mine. We wouldn't have any issue right now with filling Mark's seat except that we had to move Carl [Edwards] up early (when Jeff Burton left last summer)," Smith said. "We've got Ricky and Jon and three other young candidates behind them under contract that we're grooming, the most obvious being Todd Kluever (in the truck series)."(Winston Salem Journal)(5-26-2005)
- Martin to be honored: #6-Mark Martin will be inducted into Lowe's Motor Speedway's prestigious Court of Legends prior to CTC Pole Night qualifying. Martin is also featured and honored on the ticket for CTC Pole Night. "It's a great honor," said Martin. "In my opinion Lowe's Motor Speedway is the greatest place on earth to race and I think a lot of the speedway and the people who have made it what it is. It's a great compliment to know that they think enough of me to do this and I'm honored by the recognition. We've had some great runs and great wins at Lowe's and hopefully we aren't done just yet." Martin will join NASCAR legends such as Richard Petty, Junior Johnson and Darrell Waltrip as his handprints and racing shoe print are cemented in the Court of Legends walkway leading to Lowe's Motor Speedway's main entrance. Speedway officials will also present Martin with a special framed edition of the CTC Pole Night collectible ticket featuring his likeness and detailing his accomplishments at the track. The ceremony will feature Martin and Lowe’s Motor Speedway president and general manager H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler and will be held at the Avenue of Flags leading to the second floor of the Smith Tower at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(Roush Racing)(5-26-2005)
- Martin still retiring, Roush looks to blow folks minds UPDATE: Nextel All-Star Challenge winner Mark Martin told Sirius Speedway (MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio) host Dave Moody that his plans for 2006 have not changed as a result of last weekend's win, but that Roush Racing is working on a deal that would "absolutely blow everyone's mind. As of now, my plan is to run the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next season in one of Jack's trucks, but they're working on a sponsorship deal that could change things quite a bit. It's a real longshot to happen, but if it did, it would be totally different than anything we have ever done before. People will be blown away when they hear about it. It will absolutely blow everyone's mind. I'm not putting a lot of stock in it, though, because it probably won't
happen. My plan is to spend 2006 running a truck and spending more time with my family."(Sirius Speedway - MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio)(5-23-2005)
UPDATE: Mark Martin with Claire B. Lang on XM Satellite NASCAR Radio's "Dialed In" talks in detail about his plans for the future.....
Mark: Well, there's this far-fetched idea that someone has, to take two let's say "retiring" drivers [Rusty Wallace?] and split a season. You understand what I'm saying?
Mark: When I first looked at scaling back to do, let's say, 12 or 16 races, that's a great idea. Except the problem is is that you can't make that work. The team can't work. You can't have a top-notch crew chief and a top-notch team and get a sponsor that can afford to make that work. The only way you can do it is a full-time deal. And so the only way that you could see a possibility to make a deal work would be to run a full-time car with two drivers.
Claire: I've heard that brought up by the fans before, like two or three drivers doing it, they love that idea. Would it be a driver currently retired or one that's already stepped down?
Mark: Look (laughing) I told you I already gave you all I can give you.
Claire: (laughing) You did.
Mark: It's far-fetched. I really know what I really want to do is I really want to do this truck thing. But you know there's all kinds of crazy ideas out there, and that's one of them, but you know I expect I don't have a deal signed yet with Jack and with a sponsor on the truck but that's obviously not going to be any problem. That's where our focus is right now.
Claire: If you were to do this other wild deal, and there'll probably be other wild deals coming up, too, then would that mean you couldn't do the NASCAR Craftsman
Truck Series, that you'd have to choose? And is part-time racing something that is intriguing to you?
Mark: No, uh, first of all, that's something crazy that ..
Claire: But it's a cool idea.
Mark: It's a cool idea. Its really hard to find a sponsor that would, you know, sponsor multiple drivers for a full schedule and do it right. And then it's also hard to find the right drivers and everything. But, you know it is an idea. I'll say again, my focus is on getting this truck thing put together. That's what I want to do, and that is very real, and that's what we're working on and I expect to be doing that.(5-24-2005)
- Martin wins the Nextel All-Star Challenge: #6-Mark Martin, in his final Nextel Cup season, won the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Martin also won segment 1 and was strong all night, leading 24 laps. It is the 2nd win in the All-Star race for Martin [also in 1998], Martin said if they field a car for him in 2006, he'd run it in the All-Star race. Martin is the oldest driver to ever win the event. Finishing 2nd was #38-Elliott Sadler, followed by #25-Brian Vickers [the Nextel Open winner], #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson. Wrecks and problems left 11 drivers on the lead lap at the end, with three of them damaged. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was never a factor and was involved in the 'Big One' when #20-Stewart got into #01-Nemechek, who turned into #29-Harvick. Some bad blood between Harvick and Nemechek boiled over, with Harvick firing his HANS at the windshield of Nemechek and words between the two a few times, Ten cars were involved in the wreck, with 7 retiring right after the wreck. #12-Newman got loose on the Segment 3 restart and slid backwards into the wall and collected his 'teammate' #2-Rusty Wallace, who had no place to go. See my All-Star Challenge Page for the Nextel Open results, Each segment results and starting lineup for each segment.
See reults on my Nextel Open/Nextel All-Star Challenge Results page.(5-21-2005)
- Martin to run special scheme at Challenge: Mark Martin and the Viagra* (sildenafil citrate) Racing Team will take another stroll down memory lane during this weekend’s Nextel All-Star Challenge, with Martin’s No. 6 Viagra* Ford featuring a special Retro ’93 paint scheme for Saturday night’s Nextel All-Star event. The retro scheme is the second of four the team will run during this year’s “Salute To You” Tour. The team ran a Retro ’89 scheme earlier this year at Texas.(Roush Racing), see image of the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2004)
- Tide to Roush? UPDATE: hearing that Tide could be the new sponsor for the #6 Roush Racing Ford in 2006, leaving the #32 PPI Motorsports team [Bobby Hamilton Jr. driver] at the end of the season. Mark Martin currently drives the #6 and is retiring from full-time Nextel Cup racing after 2005 [supposedly going full-time Truck Series racing] and Pfizer/Viagra is in it's fifth year of sponsoring the #6 team. As rumored, Ricky Craven could be reunited with Tide and take the wheel of the #6 Ford in 2006. Craven ran the Tide colors from 2001 thru late 2004 with PPI Motorsports.(5-17-2005)
UPDATE: been told the Roush part of this is not true, that Tide plans to honor their contract thru 2006.(5-17-2005)
- NASCAR Fan to Win Chance to "Begin the Batman Begins 400 at MIS": Gotham City will meet the Motor City when the Batmobile takes to the track at Michigan International Speedway for the Batman Begins 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on June 19. Warner Bros. Consumer Products, on behalf of DC Comics, and Michigan International Speedway announced that one lucky fan will
win the chance of a lifetime to drop the green flag to start the race by entering the "Begin the Batman Begins 400 at MIS" promotion. The promotion will run from May 23-June 6. The announcement was made today at Richmond International Raceway by NASCAR star Mark Martin, who will pilot a Batman Begins-themed Ford in the Batman Begins 400, and MIS President Brett Shelton. The Batman Begins 400 marks the first time a major motion picture has served as the entitlement sponsor of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event. Batman Begins, the highly anticipated film from Warner Bros., opens worldwide on June 15.
The "Begin the Batman Begins 400 at MIS" program will offer one fan, chosen at random, the opportunity to not only wave the green flag to start the Batman Begins 400, but also receive a VIP racing experience at MIS. Fans can enter the program online at www.begintherace.com.
Roush Racing legend Mark Martin will get a little extra Batman power to help him get to Victory Lane, as his Ford will feature a special
Batman Begins paint scheme for the race. Martin's fellow Roush Racing driver, Ricky Craven, will also be sporting a Batman Begins scheme during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on June 18.
Fans can still purchase tickets to the Batman Begins 400 by calling MIS at 1-800-354-1010 or logging on to www.MISpeedway.com.(Alan Taylor Communications)(5-15-2005)
- Batman Returns with Martin, to sponsor MIS Race UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin will run a 'Batman Begins' scheme at the June Michigan race. See the scheme on my #6 Team Schemes page.(4-22-2005)
UPDATE: NASCAR, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and International Speedway Corporation announced that Batman Begins*, the highly anticipated film from Warner Bros. Pictures, will take center stage at Michigan International Speedway on June 19 for the running of the NASCAR Nextel Cup "Batman Begins 400." The film opens worldwide on June 15. Roush Racing legend Mark Martin will get a little extra Batman power to help him get to Victory Lane, as his Ford will feature a special Batman Begins paint scheme for the race. Martin's fellow Roush Racing driver, Ricky Craven, will also be sporting a Batman Begins scheme during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on June 18. Race fans will have a front-row seat for a one-of-a-kind celebration of the film's launch when the Batmobile from the film leads the pack of 43 race cars off of pit road to start the battle for the checkered flag.
Besides the on-track action that fans will be able to enjoy during the weekend, the newly redesigned fan area behind the main grandstand at Michigan International Speedway will incorporate the Batman Begins Fan Zone, which will feature the Batmobile from the film, Mark Martin's Batman Begins themed car, the Ricky Craven truck, and the fantasy and event cars that are part of the weekend's Batman action. The Batman Begins Fan Zone will also include other activities and exclusive merchandise based on the film and the Batman Begins 400. While this is the first time a major motion picture is serving as the title sponsor of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, it is not the first time Warner Bros. Consumer Products has been involved with NASCAR or Michigan International Speedway. Just last August, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics partnered with Michigan International Speedway for the highly successful Justice League Racing Weekend Presented by Hot Wheels, as some of NASCAR's top drivers piloted cars emblazoned with the familiar heroes of the Justice League. Fans can still purchase tickets to the Batman Begins 400 by calling MIS at 1-800-354-1010 or logging on to www.MISpeedway.com.(Alan Taylor Communications)(4-28-2005)
- 'Reverse' scheme for Martin: For the first time of the "Salute Tour," #6-Mark Martin and the Viagra* Team will run the special 'reverse' night scheme this weekend at Phoenix, in this year's first night race of the season.(Roush Racing)(4-19-2005)
- More on possible #6 Drivers UPDATE 2:: Geoff Smith, the manager of Jack Roush's racing operation, must fill Mark Martin's seat when Martin retires at the end of this season, and he must also sign a new sponsor for that team. Martin was a proven product when Smith did his five-year, $60 million deal with Pfizer. But how many companies would be willing to risk making a deal like that for a little-known racer? And the price tag is now closer to $20 million a year to run a NASCAR team. "One of the reasons we hired Ricky Craven for the Truck series is there's the sense Ricky has never gotten the right break with first-rate equipment, so he is very hungry to prove he's got it in him to be successful. And he is a great guy, very compatible with our guys." Sterling Marlin is one name driver whose 2006 contract is up in the air. And Ryan Newman, NASCAR's premier qualifier, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for another ride, as has Michael Waltrip.(in part from the Winston Salem Journal)
UPDATE: Virtually everywhere Ricky Craven goes, fans continually ask whether he'll be back in Nextel Cup racing soon. He already has turned down one marginal opportunity this season and instead chose stay with Roush, as he feels it's the best place for him to be at this point in his career. There indeed will be opportunities with Roush at the Cup level, as Mark Martin is retiring at the end of this season. Craven delicately sidesteps rumors that he may replace Martin in the Roush-owned #6 Ford or take over for Carl Edwards in the #99 if Edwards is tabbed to replace Martin next year. "Jack and I have had conversations, but our primary conversation and objective is to battle for the championship in the 99 truck," Craven said. "I still think there's an opportunity for me [to go back to Cup], but that's all predicated on us meeting our goals this year. ... If [that] happens, then I'll have made a pretty good argument for a year in a Roush Cup car. That's really only as far as it goes."(Yahoo Sports)(4-14-2005)
UPDATE 2: Several NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams tested at Gateway International Speedway near St. Louis, Mo., Wednesday [4/13] in preparation for the Truck Series race there on April 30th. KFNS - kfns.com) motorsports reporter Brandon Mudd talked to Ricky Craven, driver of the #99 SuperChips Ford, who was among those testing there. Craven said there has been talk of his possible future in the #6 Ford that will be vacant at the end of the season with Nextel Cup veteran Mark Martin’s retirement. “I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t interest me and I’m not going to tell you that there hasn’t been some conversation, but it is so premature that it just doesn’t get any consideration. (Right now) I’m all about this Truck Series, all about the next 21 races.” Craven went on to say, despite what happens with that potential opening, he’s still paying close attention to Martin. “I’m watching Mark for other reasons. It’s primarily because I’m a big believer in Mark Martin and his career and his abilities and he’s going to battle down to the wire for this (Nextel Cup) title. He deserves it and I’m pulling for him.”(KFNS.com)(4-15-2005)
- Martin going for the Triple at Texas: #6-Mark Martin will be looking for the triple crown this weekend at Texas, running in the IROC, Busch and Nextel Cup races. Martin won in the IROC series in the first race of the season at Daytona and he'll be looking for his record extending 13th win in an IROC car. In addtion, Martin wil run Saturday's Busch race where he'll be looking for his third straight victory and record extending 48th series win. All in all Martin has boasted four wins at Texas, winning once in the Cup car and three in the Busch Series. Mark Martin will make his final run at the Nextel Cup title in 2005. Martin has dubbed 2005 as his "Salute to You" tour, a year in which he hopes to take the time to thank each and everyone that he feels played a role in his success, including team members, fans, NASCAR and the media.
GET A BRICK: and plans for a Mark Martin museum that will be housed in Batesville, Arkansas, at the sight of his brand new Ford Dealership, scheduled to open Spring 2006. Martin plans to house each of his NASCAR trophies, select race cars and several other items he collected along his journey since leaving Arkansas in the late 70's. In order to share his return home with his fans, Martin has decided to start "The Road Home" brick program. Now fans can share in and be a part of Martin's effort to give back to the place he truly considers home. More info at markmartinmerchandise.com.(4-12-2005)
- Newman to Roush? There are reports that Jack Roush may be interested in Penske's #12-Ryan Newman for the #6 ride [to be vacated by Mark Martin], or perhaps even Newman and his crew chief Matt Borland, too.(Winston Salem Journal), a thought comes to mind....Not Bloody Likely.(4-4-2005)
- So who to the #6 car in 2006? UPDATE: Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Roush Racing Ford, is no longer is slated to replace Mark Martin [retires from Cup at end of 2005] in the No. 6 after this season. "It's pretty obvious he's found a home in the 99," [Roush Racing president Geoff] Smith says. "We're going to have to fill the 6 with someone else, and we don't know who that someone else might be." Smith says they will look at current Roush truck series driver Ricky Craven, a former Cup veteran, for the ride. But he expects other drivers in the garage to be interested: "That's a fantastic ride that's going to be available."(USA Today)(3-22-2005)
UPDATE: "I'm hoping by the first part of May we'll have a better handle on who's going to drive," Smith explained. So is Ricky Craven is a candidate, as was recently reported? "Ricky is a candidate," Smith said. "Jack (Roush) feels that Ricky has something in him left to show people, but he's only one candidate at one point in time. We'll have to see how the season unfolds a little bit before we end up designating somebody."
But Smith said Wednesday that Pfizer, the sponsor of Martin's Ford since 2001, likely won't return to the hood of the No. 6 in 2006. "We're not expecting them to return in a capacity as primary sponsor after this year," Smith said. "As of this moment in time, there hasn't been any expression of continuing on in a primary sponsorship, although there have been some discussions about continuing an endorsement arrangement with Mark." Not to worry. The #6 won't be tooling around the track stark-white like the #99 did last year. According to Smith, several sponsors are standing in line, the rarest of luxuries for Nextel Cup Series teams these days.(see full column at NASCAR.com)(3-31-2005)
- 10,000 fans show up at Martin's dealership, full-time Trucks in 2006: More than 10,000 NASCAR fans descended on star driver Mark Martin's hometown over the weekend as he hosted defending Nextel Cup champ Kurt Busch and circuit veteran Rusty Wallace at his new Ford dealership. The fans lined up with pieces of Martin's #6 memorabilia hoping for a signature. When he saw the size of the crowd -- some fans came from as far as California, Louisiana and Wisconsin -- Martin said he was a bit apprehensive. The event, called Mark Martin Days, was on Friday and Saturday. Next season, Martin said he will join the Craftsman Truck Series for a full schedule and spend more time in Batesville. "I think that's the most important thing, that people realize just how hard I work for the success," Martin said. "It hasn't come easy and I've had a lot of competition. I've had to work harder than most to be there."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP)(3-28-2005)
- Martin to run retro schemes in 2005 UPDATE 2: #6-Mark Martin, running his final Cup season in 2005, will run some retro schemes in 2005, the 'Folgers red' at Michigan in June, the 'Strohs blue' at Las Vegas and 'Valvoline colors' at the 2nd California race, all with Viagra as the sponsor, and also a Kraft scheme at the 2005 Budweiser Shootout, see the schemes on my #6 Team Paint Schemes page.(12-25-2004)
UPDATE: The retro schemes will run as planned. They are slated to run at Texas, The Nextel All-Star, Indy and Homestead.(3-30-2005)
UPDATE 2: As a part of the Mark Martin’s ‘Salute to You’ program in 2005, his No. 6 Viagra* (sildenafil citrate) Ford will feature four retro-paint schemes during the course of the celebration season. The program will highlight Martin’s first Cup paint scheme that ran on his car during his first Winston Cup race in 1981. It will also highlight his first paint scheme in a Roush car, the Retro ’89 scheme ran in 1888 and 1989 and was the paint scheme on Martin’s car during his first Winston Cup win at Rockingham in 1989. The retro-90 scheme ran in ’90 and ’91 and saw a fierce battle between Martin and the late Dale Earnhardt for the 1990 Cup Championship. The Retro ’93 car represents one of the strongest eras in Martin’s career, a time when he won 13 races and 11 poles in a four-year span.
Each of the four cars will still be sponsored by Viagra*, but will feature the four different schemes.
RETRO ’81 PAINT SCHEME – WILL RUN AT HOMESTEAD (11/20/05)
Races – 5
Highlights – Martin’s first ever Winston Cup paint scheme…Won the poles (Martin’s career first) at both Nashville (6/11/81) and Richmond (9/13/81)…Scored Martin’s first career top-10 with a seventh-place finish at Richmond on Sept. 13, 1981 and his first top-five with a third-place run at Martinsville on Sept. 7, 1981.
RETRO ’89 [old Strohs blue]– WILL RUN AT TEXAS (4/17/05)
Races – Two seasons
Highlights – Martin’s first cup paint scheme with Roush Racing…Ran on the car in 1988 and ‘89. ..Registered 17 top-five and 28 top-10’s…Was on the car for Martin’s first career Winston Cup win on Oct. 22, 1989 at Rockingham…Finished third in the points in 1989.
RETRO ’90 [old Folgers red] – WILL RUN AT THE BRICKYARD 500 (8/7/05)
Races – Two season
Highlights – Ran on the car in 1990 and 91…Finished second in the points in ’90…Scored 30 top-top five and 40 top-10 finishes, eight
poles and four wins in that two year span…Won at Richmond on 2/25/90…Won at Michigan on 8/19/90…Won at North Wilkesboro on
9/30/90…Won at Atlanta on 11/17/91.
RETRO ’93 [old Valvoline colors]- WILL RUN AT THE NEXTEL ALL-STAR CHALLENGE (5/21/05)
Seasons – 1992-95
Highlights – Ran for four seasons…Finished top-six in the points all four year including three top-five finishes and a second place in
1994...Garnered 50 top-five and 78 top-10 finishes…Had 11 poles and won 13 times…Won at Martinsville (5/26/92), Charlotte (10/11/92), Watkins Glen (8/8/93), Michigan (8/15/93), Bristol (8/28/93), Darlington (11/5/93), Phoenix (10/31/93), Watkins Glen (8/14/94), Atlanta (11/13/94), Talladega (5/30/95), Watkins Glen (8/13/95), North Wilkesboro (10/1/95) and Charlotte (10/8/95).(Roush Racing), images on my #6 Team Schemes page.(3-30-2005)
- Mark Martin's Official 'Salute to You' Tour Website now open: Mark Martin’s“Salute to You” Tour, which roared to life on the track with back-to-back top-10 finishes in the first two races of the season, has come to life on the Internet. The official Web site of Mark Martin’s “Salute to You” Tour is now online at www.markmartinsalute.com. Featuring race news, vintage photos, a career timeline, exclusive merchandise and more, the site celebrates the career of one of NASCAR’s most beloved drivers, who retires from full-time Nextel Cup competition this year. Martin himself delivers a special video message to visitors when they arrive at the site. The site will serve as the new home of the official Mark Martin fan club. Current fan club members can use their existing fan club log in name and password to access the “Salute to You” site. Fan club membership
is free by registering at www.roushracing.com.(Roush Racing PR)(3-7-2005)
- Construction Begins on Martin Museum: The construction equipment is out in Batesville, Arkansas this morning as crews begin building Nextel racing star Mark Martin's museum. The Batesville native opened a Ford dealership in his hometown last year with plans to build a museum next door to hold all of his racing memorabilia. Crowds lined the street in the town the day the dealership opened. Martin is also building a home nearby. The 46-year-old racer is retiring from full-time Nextel Cup competition after this season. He finished sixth this past weekend in the Daytona 500. Officials at the dealership said the museum will house many of Martin's trophies and several of his cherished race cars, uniforms and other mementos. But the trophies will only be from the second half of his career. Martin said that his early awards went into the trash on one of his many moves with his wife.(kait8.com/AP)(2-22-2005)
- Martin wins IROC race at Daytona, now all-time wins leader: Four -time Crown Royal IROC champion Mark Martin held off Martin Truex Jr., and Bobby Hamilton to win the 2005 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The win puts Martin at the top of the charts with the most wins in IROC history. For more info and full results, see IROCracing.com.(2-18-2005)
- New Season of 'NASCAR DRIVERS: 360' return: The FX network has placed a second season order of seven episodes for "NASCAR Drivers: 360." The show, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday lives of NASCAR drivers, premieres May 13 at 10:30 ET. Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Kenny Wallace, Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace will be featured during the seven-week run.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-18-2005)
- Roush and Red Sox rumor resurfaces: Roush Racing executives have been working with their counterparts in the Boston Red Sox front office on ways to tap into the New England fan market. Possible alliances include a Red Sox paint scheme and Roush-themed television shows on the team's regional cable network. "I'm hoping to find out a way to affiliate our teams more closely with the Red Sox," Roush Racing President Geoff Smith said. Smith said Red Sox majority owner John Henry is a "semiprofessional" computer race car driver, playing the same sophisticated online racing simulator game that drivers such as Earnhardt play when they aren't racing. The Roush team brought Henry to a race at New Hampshire International Speedway last year, leading to rumors Roush would sell a stake in his team to Henry. But Smith said beyond the two teams' marketing plans, "there is nothing on the table." Smith doesn't rule out the team possibly entering a partnership.(USA Today)(2-18-2005)
- Martin the best man: Mark Martin will be looking to get into victory lane on a number of occasions during this year’s Daytona Speedweeks, but he is assured of a least one trip to Gatorade Victory Lane. Martin, who kicks off his “Salute To You” Tour this weekend, will serve as the honorary Best Man at the wedding of Survivor Vanuatu Islands winner Chris Daugherty to Lorie Groves. The wedding is being held in Gatorade Victory lane on Sunday morning at Daytona International Speedway. “Now those are some real NASCAR fans,” said Martin. “They wanted to get married at Daytona and I was asked if I could attend. We figured why not, so we are going to go over there and help them out a little. It’s a good way to kind of dive into the “Salute” Tour. I understand they are pretty big fans of mine, so hopefully this will be a good way to say thanks. It takes a lot of desire to win on that show and I can sure appreciate that,” added Martin. “Nobody understands sacrifice and commitment more than the people in this NASCAR garage, so it’s a fitting combination.” Survivor is one of the top reality series on television and Daugherty, a highway construction worker from South Vienna, Ohio, was the winner of the ninth installment of the show.(Roush Racing PR)(2-13-2005)
- Martin may race Cup in 2006..if Mark Martin, who drives the #6 Viagra Ford and is retiring from Nextel Cup racing after the 2005 season, said he may run the 2006 Budweiser Shootout and/or the 2006 Nextel Challenge All-Star race...if eligible.(Speed Channel's NASCAR Live show)(2-11-2005)
- Martin may start a Truck Series team: Mark Martin hinted on Monday that he is leaning towards fielding his own trucks in the Craftsman Truck Series, a decision that would keep him closer to home in 2006. Martin has long said that he plans on making the Craftsman Truck Series a part of his post-Nextel Cup life. His current employer, Roush Racing, fields two full-time trucks and could easily make room for whatever schedule Martin plans to run in 2006. "I am looking very hard at the Craftsman Truck Series next year," Martin said. "Initially, the talks were to be a part of Roush." Martin stressed that if he starts a team, it would be for his own family's use.(NASCAR.com)(2-1-2005)
- IROC 2005 UPDATE 2 the drivers: there will be an announcement at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, Jan. 19th to announce the 2005 IROC [International Race of Champions - www.irocracing.com] drivers and new paint schemes for the four race 2005 season. Expect 5-6 Nextel Cup drivers, the Busch Champ [Truex Jr.], Truck Series champ [Hamilton] a few IRL, WoO drivers nad maybe a surprise or two. The 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series will feature 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars. The 2005 driver field will consist of seven drivers who captured their respective series championship in 2004 [Busch, Truex Jr., Hamilton, Kanan, Kinser, Kenseth (IROC) and ?]. This year's Crown Royal IROC Series champion will take home a $1 million first-place purse. Also for info on 2004, see my 2004 IROC page.(1-17-2005)
UPDATE the drivers: the following drivers will run the 2005 IROC Series:
Matt Kenseth - NASCAR Nextel Cup (2004 Crown Royal IROC champion)
Kurt Busch - NASCAR Nextel Cup (2004 Series champion)
Mark Martin - NASCAR Nextel Cup (4-time Crown Royal IROC champion)
Sebastien Bourdais - CHAMP CAR (2004 Series champion)
Bobby Hamilton NASCAR - Craftsman Truck (2004 Series champion)
Steve Kinser - World of Outlaws (2004 Series champion)
Max Papis - Grand American Road Racing (2004 Series co-champion)
Scott Pruett - Grand American Road Racing (2004 Series co-champion)
Martin Truex Jr. - NASCAR Busch Series (2004 Series champion)
Helio Castroneves - IRL IndyCar Series (2-time Indianapolis 500 champion)
Buddy Rice - IRL IndyCar Series (2004 Indianapolis 500 champion)
Danny Lasoski - World of Outlaws (2001 Series champion)(1-18-2005)
UPDATE 2: Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) officials have announced the driver field for the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series. The invitational series will feature 12 champion drivers from different forms of auto racing, including seven drivers who won their respective series titles in 2004. The Crown Royal IROC Series will kick off its 29th season on Friday, February 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Following the season opener, the series will shift to Texas Motor Speedway (April 15), followed by Richmond International Raceway (September 8) and conclude at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (October 29).(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(1-19-2005)
IMAGE: see an image of the 2005 IROC car on my 2005 Paint Schemes page.(1-20-2005)
- #6 looking for a driver and sponsor for 2006: Since Mark Martin's sponsorship contract with Pfizer's Viagra is up at the end of this season, Roush and team president Geoff Smith are looking for both a new driver and a new sponsor. Carl Edwards was slated for that [#6 Ford] ride, but Edwards wound up in another Roush car when Jeff Burton left last summer to join Richard Childress. "We're hoping to get some of our associate sponsors to step up to a full car sponsorship," Smith said.(Winston Salem Journal)
AND Martin's plans? Mar Martin still doesn't have firm plans for 2006, but he said they probably won't include a part-time Nextel Cup schedule. Martin, like Rusty Wallace, is doing a retirement tour this year. But he plans to continue racing in some capacity. ``I still say again that there are no plans for Nextel Cup racing for the obvious fact that if you really sit and analyze it, to have what you would call a short program or a limited program, you would also have to have limited people,'' Martin said. ``You couldn't possibly have the quality of car that I drive today, and I'm not going to do it like that. `I didn't say it never would happen for a lot of reasons. Someone could get injured. I'm not going to say never.'' Martin repeated his interest in the Craftsman Truck series, which is becoming something of a seniors circuit for NASCAR veterans.(Tampa Tribune)(1-20-2005)
- Changes at Roush: hearing that Mike Janow, the engineer on the #97 Roush Racing Ford and Nextel Cup Champ Kurt Busch has moved over to Mark Martin in the #6. Journeyman engineer Mark Catania is now the engineer for Kurt Busch in 2005.(1-17-2005)
- Martin to run retro schemes in 2005: #6-Mark Martin, running his final Cup season in 2005, will run some retro schemes in 2005, the 'Folgers red' at Michigan in June, the 'Strohs blue' at Las Vegas and 'Valvoline colors' at the 2nd California race, all with Viagra as the sponsor, and also a Kraft scheme at the 2005 Budweiser Shootout, see the schemes on my #6 Team Paint Schemes page.(12-25-2004)
- Mark Martin in a Reality Show? Garage sources told TFR today that Mark Martin is in final negotiations to participate in the racing reality show, NASCAR 360 [FX]. The show, which will come during the final year of his fulltime commitment to securing a Cup championship, will follow Martin around as he works his daily routine. The details are still very fluid at this stage of the discussions, but Martin apparently is rev’ed up about the proposition to share with his fans some of the behind the scenes stuff he’ll be doing as he winds down what many call a driver’s driver career. (Team Ford Racing)(11-13-2004)
- Martin finished 5th in ASA race: Mark Martin, a former ASA champion making his first series start since 1996, had to start in the rear because qualifying was rained out and the race was started by owner points. But he raced his way to the front of the pack and ran as high as third late in the 150 and finished 5th in the World Financial Group. 150 ASA race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday. Mike Garvey [who has made a few Cup attempts this year] overcame an early flat to win the race. Former CTS driver, Bryan Reffner finished second ahead of Butch Miller, Wade Day and Mark Martin. Defending series champion Kevin Cywinski finished ninth and claimed his third title by 10 points over Reffner.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution), there was NO TV coverage, also see more about the race at 51sportsracing.com.(10-30-2004)
- Martin to do a triple at Atlanta UPDATE: As if competing for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship wasn't enough, Mark Martin announced today that he will compete in three races during the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Martin will return to his roots on Friday, Oct. 29, competing in the ASA 150 for Atlanta-based World Financial Group, with associate sponsorship from longtime AMS sponsor Gresham & Associates. Martin, 45, began his racing career in the American Speed Association (ASA), logging 143 starts, which produced 22 race wins and four titles. Martin will continue logging miles during the Oct. 30 Aaron's 312 Busch Series race in his #9 Roush Racing Ford sponsored by Cottman Transmissions. First on the all-time Busch Series win list, Martin already has three victories and two pole positions in Atlanta Busch Series events. On Sunday, Oct. 31, Martin will return to his #6 Viagra Ford for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, the seventh of 10 races in the Chase for
the NEXTEL Cup. The only race that Martin will miss all weekend at Atlanta is the Crown Royal IROC season championship. "But I'll be working on my champion's invite for next year," Martin said with an impish grin. Martin is scheduled to test at Atlanta on Monday, Oct. 18.(AMS PR)(10-5-2004)
UPDATE: Mark Martin will make a return to the series where he won four championships from 1978-86. Martin cut his teeth in the American Speed Association Series, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1978, before moving on to multiple championships in the
series and eventually making a name for himself as one of NASCAR’s all-time elite drivers. Martin will take a break from his hectic NASCAR schedule and make a return to his roots when he drives the World Financial #6 Ford in ASA at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 29. It will mark Martin’s first time in an ASA race since 1996. “We are all excited and pumped up about running the ASA car in
Atlanta. We will be doing the triple that weekend with the ASA race on Friday, the Busch race Saturday and the Cup race on Sunday. That will be a busy weekend for sure. I have a great affinity for this series. It’s a world-class series with world-class drivers that put on an extremely competitive show and I think they’ll really put a show on at both Lowe’s and Atlanta.” Martin’s last run in ASA came on Sept. 2, 1996 where he ran to a top-10 finish at the Minnesota State Fair. Martin has finished inside the top 10 in 66 percent of the 143 ASA races he has started. Martin’s sponsor for the race will be World Financial Group, Inc. (WFG). World Financial Group is an independent marketing company whose affiliates offer life insurance and a broad array of financial products and services.(Roush Racing PR)(10-26-2004)
- So who drives the #6 in 2006? after Mark Martin leaves Cup racing in 2005, who will replace him as the driver? Jon Wood, the son of Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood, is among the drivers being considered as Mark Martin’s replacement for the #6 Roush Racing Nextel Cup entry in 2006. Martin, 45, announced on Thursday that the 2005 season would be his last running a full Nextel Cup schedule. Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said the organization isn’t close to naming a replacement, but mentioned Wood as a possibility. Smith also said Wood, who drives for Roush Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series [#50 Ford], would be allowed to pursue an opportunity to drive in the Busch Series for another Ford team that he declined to name [ST Motorsports, see story on my Busch Series site]. That would allow the organization to evaluate Wood and at the same time keep him under contract with Roush. Wood’s truck ride is without a sponsor. “We’re very much keeping an eye on Jon,” Smith said. “We’ve got a lot of money invested in Jon we haven’t recouped yet.” Smith also acknowledged that Martin could team with another driver and split the Cup schedule in 2006. He said Martin would not run a part-time schedule alone because it would be difficult to put together a first-class team not competing for a championship. Smith said the most likely scenario now is that Martin will drive a full-time schedule in the truck series.(The State)
AND Jack Roush said the driver and sponsor status of the #6 Viagra Ford is uncertain after Mark Martin's 2005 retirement. One candidate is Jon Wood, who has struggled to a 15th-place ranking while racing an unsponsored Roush Racing entry in the Craftsman Truck Series this season. Roush is allowing Wood to test with other Busch teams but still would be interested in bringing the Stuart, Va., native back into the fold if he leaves.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-17-2004)
- Roush to be honored in his hometown: Adams County [Ohio] native Jack Roush will again be honored at his hometown of Manchester, OH on Sunday, Oct. 17. A full day of activities are being planned with a cruise-in, auto parade, food, games, raffles and split the pot. All proceeds will benefit the Manchester Christmas Light Fund. The events start at noon with a home-cooked meal with Roush at the community building. Also at noon, a fall festival honoring Jack will start at the River Barn on U.S. 52 where all the activities of the day will be held. At that time, there will be a gospel lunch, a cruise-in and games for the children. Line-up for the automobile parade, with Roush as Grand Marshall, is at 1 p.m. at Brown Hill Road. The parade will proceed down Jack Roush Way, west on U.S. 52 to the Riverbarn.
The first annual Jack Roush Car Show will be held at the Riverbarn beginning at 8 a.m. with judging at 10:30 a.m. and trophies awarded at 11:15 a.m. Free dash plaques will be awarded to all show cars. Entry fee is $10.
After the grand parade, Roush will host an autograph signing until 4 p.m. An auction, featuring many special race items, will begin at 3 p.m., at which time the winners of the car show will be announced as well as raffle winners.(People's Defender)(10-16-2004)
- Mark Martin Announcement, done in Full-time Cup after 2005: at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday, Oct 14th at 1:30pm/et. Bill Weber hosted. On the stage: NASCAR's Mike Helton, Roush Racing's owner Jack Roush, Mark Martin and Mark's wife Arlene. Roush talked first about his history with Martin. Roush then announced that 2005 would be the last seasson for Martin in the #6 Viagra Taurus. Martin said he was not retiring, but 2005 would be he last season going for the Nextel Cup. Martin says the tour will be called "Salute to You" tour and he plans to race something in 2006, not sure what, and mentioned the Truck Series. See the Roush Racing site for Mark Martin to Make Final Run for NEXTEL Cup in '05 and Jack and the Roush Stable comment on the Impact of Mark Martin on Their Careers(10-14-2004)
- Martin Tests In-Car Caution Lights: A question about NASCAR's failure to implement the in-car caution-light system. Martin just tested a similar system in an ASA car he'll run at Charlotte this month, an audible system. "It goes right through your radio and goes 'Beep-beep-beep' every time the yellow flag comes out," Martin said. "That's nice. I've been very critical of NASCAR for not going with that system. I've heard that they're concerned people could tamper with that system, because there are smarter people with more money here than in ASA, and if someone could make yours go beep-beep-beep, they could change the outcome. That sounds about ridiculous. Now there are a lot of smart people in this garage, but I don't see people being that underhanded. That would be pretty mean. That radio caution system is really good, because then everybody knows when there's an accident. When you see an accident you can't let off; you have to wait for the caution, and that's not great. We see accidents from time to time and have to look around to see if everybody else is backing off. Because you can't see a yellow light (on the track wall) when you're racing and you've got 30 cars around you." The cost of such an in-car caution light system is cheap at $400, for the safety edge it could provide.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-10-2004)
- Next win for Roush is #300: Roush Racing is going after its 300th victory this weekend in Kansas City. Founded in 1984, Roush Racing has 299 victories in NASCAR’s NEXTEL Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series, and road
course events (IMSA, SCCA)(Roush Racing PR)(10-6-2004)
- Martin has no plans to retire....at end of 2004: Mark Martin is 45 years old. Mark Martin finished second in the MBNA America 400 on Sunday after winning at Dover in June. Mark Martin is fifth in the Nextel Cup points standings. And Mark Martin is not going anywhere, even if he wins his first points title this season. "About the only way I'd consider retiring is if I finished 40th in the points," Martin said after his 17th top-five finish in his 37th Cup start at Dover. "It's a good thing to be challenging to win. If I had a year like last year ... I was pretty miserable. We have some things to sort out over the next four to six weeks, but retirement's not what I'm sorting out. I know a lot of people are speculating that, but that's not exactly it."(Delaware News Journal)(9-27-2004)
- Tryson takes the Wiper Award at California: Internet voters have selected Pat Tryson as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race after his driver, Mark Martin, led the most laps and finished third in Sunday night's Pop Secret 500 at California Speedway. Tony Eury Sr. remains in first place in the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief Challenge with six wins in the contest for a $10,000 prize at the end of the season.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(9-8-2004)
- Martin to test 2005 tires at Lowe's: #6-Mark Martin has the early part of his week scoped out doing work for the industry. That work will come in the form of a Goodyear tire test on Tuesday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The test won’t do Martin or the rest of the Ford teams a lot of good for this year’s car configuration as the tires that Martin will test are for the 2005 season, done in a car built to 2005 specification—the test Taurus will have a spoiler that’s an inch shorter than what he’ll be running tomorrow evening. There was no word on who besides Martin will be at the test, but given his ability to dial in a car and maximize tire use it’d be difficult to think of a better candidate for the mission.(Team Ford Racing), good chance this will get rained out and postponed.(9-5-2004)
- Martin to retire after 2005 season? UPDATE: Sources told the Observer that Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Viagra/Pfizer Ford, may also make 2005 his final season, at least on a full-time basis.(ThatsRacin.com), hearing that if it is, good chance Martin will run in the Truck Series in 2006.
AND Mark Martin and crew chief Pat Tryson are cranking up for a championship run in 2005, which will be the last year of his current contract with Pfizer. "I've been talking to every crewman to make sure he's going to be with us next season," Martin said. And 2006? Martin, 45, could run a limited schedule.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-22-2004)
UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin, 45, has told team owner Jack Roush he would like next year to be his last. “I’m trying to talk him out of it,” Roush said. “The way he’s driving and the way the team is I’d like to have two more years after next year. I’d like to go to ’07.”(The State)(8-29-2004)
- Martin to run Burton's planned Busch races: Mark Martin, who made his return to the NASCAR Busch Series this weekend at Michigan International Speedway after four years away from the series, has picked up three additional races. Martin originally was scheduled to drive a limited Busch schedule this season in conjunction with Roush Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton. But when Burton signed a contract with Richard Childress Racing for 2005 little more than a week ago, his participation in Roush's Busch program was curtailed. Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said at MIS, that Martin would run races at Dover, Atlanta and Phoenix.(NASCAR.com)(8-21-2004)
- Roush helps the Boy Scouts: Multi-team owner, Jack Roush, is the latest in a long line of NASCAR dignitaries to grace the 14th annual MIS/NASCAR Boy Scout Benefit dinner that raises funds for the Great Sauk Trail of the Boy Scouts. The Great Sauk Trail covers six counties, Jackson [MI] included, and has benefited to the tune of $994,000 in the 13 previous events at MIS. The events raise much of the money through an auction of items donated by NASCAR and other organizations and auctioned off by racing legend Benny Parsons. Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Roger Penske have also been featured guests at the event, which typically attracts a number of NASCAR drivers. The benefit dinner also will contribute funds to Kyle and Pattie Petty Victory Junction Gang Camp, and the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports. But the big winners of the night were the Boy Scouts, especially the two Eagle Scouts who were awarded $10,000 scholarships. Sixteen high school graduates have been awarded scholarships since 1997, and Christopher Zavicar of Onsted and Mark Spencer of Ypsilanti were the latest recipients.(Jackson Citizen Patriot)(8-21-2004)
- Martin to run some ASA races? Speed51.com is reporting that NASCAR Nextel Cup veteran Mark Martin will return to the ASA when the series runs at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the final two races of the season. Martin is the 1977 ASA Rookie of the Year and went on to win three consecutive championships from 1978-80.(Frontstretch)(8-2-2004)
- Martin wins at Dover and ends 73 race drought: #6-Mark Martin won his first race since May 2002 [Coca-Cola 600] in 73 races, winning the MBNA 400: A Salute to Heroes at Dover International Speedway, in a slow, ugly, wild race. It is Martin's 4th win at Dover and 34th of his career. Only 5 cars ended up on the lead lap, the rest of the top five were: #20-Stewart, #8-Earnhardt Jr., #99-Burton and #10-Riggs. #10-Scott Riggs had his best career finish and was the highest finishing rookie of the year candidate. Earnhardt Jr. increased his points lead over #48-Johnson. Sixteen cars did not finish the race and many more that were still running were damaged.
For race results, see:
- Roush to buy out Yates? Garage sources have told Sporting News insider Lee Spencer that Roush Racing has offered to purchase Robert Yates Racing, expanding their engine partnership to team ownership in an effort to pool Ford's Nextel Cup resources. The Yates camp says the rumors are rubbish.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-11-2004)
- Special Scheme for Martin at RIR: Roush Racing says its #6 Ford for Mark Martin will have a special paint scheme promoting sponsor Viagra's "value card" for Saturday night's Chevy American Revolution 400 Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. It also says the car will have a “reverse” paint scheme with more white on the car for all eight night races this season.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-11-2004)
- Martin opens Ford dealership: Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Viagra Roush Racing Ford, opened Mark Martin Ford-Mercury in his hometown of Batesville, Arkansas earlier this year. "It's my dream to make it a world-class dealership," said Martin. "A place where people can come and have an exciting time and see some exciting vehicles. Not just your everyday dealership." In addition the dealership represents a continuation of Martin's long-time partnership with Roush Racing owner Jack Roush, as Martin's dealership will carry the exclusive line of Roush Performance automobiles. "We already have the Roush Performance vehicles here on the lot and we are excited about that," said Martin. "We have the Roush Mustangs and Roush Focuses and the trucks are on the way. In addition, we have a Mark Martin signature F-150 in the works. It will be really tricked out with DVD's and a lot of other neat features and I'm really excited about that." Martin's partner in the dealership, Lance Landers, will oversee the operation of the dealership on a daily basis. The lot will be hosting its official Grand Opening on April 24 and Martin will take a break from the busy racing schedule at Talladega Superspeedway for the event. Joining in the festivities will be current Nextel Cup Champion Matt Kenseth and Roush Racing owner Jack Roush. In addition the No. 6 Viagra Ford Taurus show car will be on hand and Pfizer, who sponsors Martin's car will be on hand doing free health screenings during the day. The grand opening will start at 10 AM and last until 5 PM. Martin, Roush and Kenseth will make their way to Batesville after NASCAR's final practice on Saturday morning. Mark Martin Ford-Mercury is located at 2850 E. Harrison St. in Batesville, Arkansas. For more information log on to: www.markmartinfordmercury.com.(Roush Racing PR)(4-15-2004)
- New Mark Martin Book: The much anticipated Mark Martin book will be released this May, Mark Martin: Mark of Excellence - click here is the fully authorized biography of Mark Martin written by Larry Woody. Look for it on shelves in May or you can reserve a copy today at www.sportspublishingllc.com.(4-13-2004)
- Matt Martin wins a championship: Mark Martin left Bristol shortly after the final Happy Hour session on Saturday as he was headed to Lakeland, Fla., to see his son, Matt, recognized for winning the American Speed Association FastKids Winter Heat Series on Saturday night. Matt told his Daddy, to be there when the young driver was introduced as that series’ champ during the ASA series season opener. “He told me he was going to do it — get that jacket [the award for winning the Winter Heat], and I’ll be darned if he didn’t go out and do it,” said Martin, who was smiling widely. “He’s a little racer and I’m proud of what he’s done so far.” Mark’s got a special affinity for the ASA Series, as would any four-time champion of any race series. ASA was where Martin got noticed and is clearly the stepping-stone to today.(Ford Racing)(3-31-2004)
- Sad News: F.C. "Charlie" Roush, father of NASCAR team owner Jack Roush, passed away early Tuesday morning in Manchester, OH following a lengthy illness. Roush was known to many in the NASCAR garage as a regular and loyal supporter of the Roush Racing teams. He is survived by his wife, Georgetta; and sons, Jack and Frank. Private family services will be held Friday in Manchester, OH. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the "Charlie Roush Memorial Fund" to benefit the education of disadvantaged youth. All donations can be sent to the "Charlie Roush Memorial Fund" in care of Roush Racing, 4600 Roush Place, Concord, NC, 28027.(Roush Racing Site)(3-16-2004)
- Former Car Owner Working on Diversity at Roush Racing: Sam Belnavis was the first black owner in more than 30 years to run a team full time in NASCAR's top series last year, owning the #54 cars Todd Bodine drove. Yet, when Belnavis' sponsor, National Guard, moved to Roush Racing after the season, Belnavis couldn't find a replacement and closed shop. The legacy Belnavis wanted to bequeath his family and minorities also appeared to fade. As one opportunity disappeared, another emerged. Car owner Jack Roush hired Belnavis to be the organization's chief diversity officer. "I have far more resources and Jack is committed to the diversity effort," Belnavis said as crew members - almost exclusively white - worked on cars in the garage area last Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "We're going to institute some programs that are going to be in the name of diversity. That's my job." A few blacks have tried ownership but have not had enough success to sustain a full-time effort. There have been fewer drivers. The late Wendell Scott is the only black driver to win a NASCAR race, and that was in 1963. Bill Lester is the only black driver with a full-time ride in the NASCAR's top three series. He competes in the Craftsman Truck Series for Bill Davis Racing. Now, there are a number of programs. Joe Gibbs Racing has a diversity driver program that has a black driver and a Hispanic driver competing in Late Model races. A program supported by NASCAR will place five minority drivers with various Late Model teams in the Southeast. There is also the Roush Racing program that Belnavis heads. Belnavis selected Morty Buckles to compete this season in Late Model races in Virginia, primarily at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas and Southampton Motor Speedway in Capron. Belnavis also said that he's working with a pair of black go-kart drivers, ages 15 and 16, in the Northeast. Belnavis said he knows that whenever a minority driver moves to the Cup level that person will face many challenges. "There's a tremendous amount of pressure on the teams as well as whomever that individual is in their initial stages of their career," said Belnavis, who has been involved in auto racing for more than 20 years. "So the teams, we have made this commitment that we're going to make sure that whoever we identify as our quote-unquote diversity driver is going to be ready."(Roanoke Times)(3-12-2004)
- Martin called to the NASCAR trailer: #6-Mark Martin was called to NASCAR's trailer [phone booth? oval office? white elephant?] as NASCAR was concerned that he was blocking for his teammate, #17-Kenseth [Martin is also listed as the owner of the car], Martin was insulted by the accusation.(Speed Channel's Speed News - NASCAR Edition)(2-22-2004)
- Roush/Yates Engine Woes Update: Reigning series champion #17-Matt Kenseth said Roush Racing has determined what caused the engine failures in teammates #6-Mark Martin and #99-Jeff Burton last weekend in Daytona and is confident the problem is corrected. Kenseth said each engine had something different wrong with it.(Fayetteville Observer), however, was not specific on what that something was.(2-22-2004)
- Edwards heir apparent to Martin UPDATE to Busch next year: A seemingly harmless post-race question turned into a startling revelation Friday night. During Carl Edwards' winner's interview in the press box at Daytona International Speedway following his victory in Friday night's Florida Dodge Dealers 250, Edwards' team owner, Jack Roush, was asked about Edwards' future. His response was rather matter-of-fact: "Carl Edwards is the heir apparent to Mark Martin in the No. 6 car." Roush continued; "I'd like to see Mark (Martin) drive three more years and then I think (Edwards) will be in the No. 6." Even Edwards, 24, seemed taken aback by the remark. Asked later about Roush's comment, he said: "It's an honor and motivates me to work harder every day to be the best driver I can be so that when we do come up with a marketing partner to run in the Nextel Cup Series in that car, I can ... win championships. The emotional part of me just can't believe it. It gives me chills. Mark Martin has been someone I have looked up to long before I even started racing for his determination and drive."(ThatsRacin.com)(2-14-2004)
UPDATE: Carl Edwards -- the heir apparent to Martin's No. 6 car -- and Craftsman Trucks teammate Jon Wood will be moving to the Busch Series next season.(Yahoo Sports)(2-16-2004)
- Roush Loses Plates and Screws: When Jack Roush narrowly escaped death after crashing an experimental plane into an Alabama lake back in 2002 he had a few remnants of the experience to carry with him as a reminder. Those remnants included the plate and screws doctors used to hold his badly fractured left leg together. However, those bits and pieces were removed during a mid-December procedure, leaving Roush free off the shrapnel of his death defying experience. Describing the best part of losing the extra implanted medical gear Roush joked, "Now I can go through the airport without setting anything off."(Ford Racing)(1-30-2004)
- Oscar Meyer at Daytona: For the third year in a row Roush Racing's #6-Mark Martin will run a special Kraft Foods paint scheme in the Budweiser Shootout. Martin will make a record 16th straight start in the all-star event. For the second straight year, the Shootout is slated as a night race and will be run on the evening of Feb. 7, 2003. "The shootout is always a fun event," said Martin. "We'll be driving the Oscar Mayer/Team Kraft car again this year and it's always fun for the fans to run different paint schemes and stuff. As for the race you just never know in the Shootout. Basically you go out and look to win an event like the Shootout. Last year we gambled a bit to get up front and in the end it didn't pay off. But the bottom line is that second place is no better than 17 or 18 in the Shootout, so it's not uncommon to see teams go for it all. This year we are going to go out and try and win it again like we did in '99. Hopefully we can have those type of results. You just never know in that race." Martin, who has 41 career Nextel Cup poles, did not capture a pole in 2003, but will start his 17th Shootout on a past champions provisional via his 1999 victory in the all-star event.(Roush Racing PR)(1-24-2004)
- Roush and Yates? UPDATE 3 mergine engine programs: hearing Robert Yates Racing and Roush Racing are teaming up to build engines together at Yates engine shop?
hearing it's a two way technology transfer as chassis info is headed back to Yates' group from Roush. It's along the lines of GM's "Key Partners" group. The idea is to have the gear as optimized as it can be, then race amongst themselves for the win ---- which is what GM's been doing with great success this year.(11-13-2003)
UPDATE: hearing more and more unconfirmed rumors that Roush Racing is buying out Roberts Yates two car operation [#38 and #88], but that Yates would maintain the engine side of things and build engines for all seven teams [Yates #38, #88; Roush's #6, #16, #17, #97, #99] and run an engine lease operation.(1-4-2004)
UPDATE 2: been told that Roush is not buying Yates out, but Yates is supposedly doing some engine work for Roush.(1-5-2004)
AND see a column at FoxSports: A Roush-Yates alliance could be RAD for Ford.(1-6-2004)
UPDATE 3: A few versions of how it's playing out: "Jack Roush is buying Robert Yates Racing"; Robert Yates Engines has become the "Official Ford Engine builder of NASCAR" or, as a longer story has it, a Ford Motor Company executive one day wondered why Ford's top teams didn't collaborate on their stock car programs. "Ford has encouraged them to work together, particularly with the new cylinder head having been approved by NASCAR during the offseason," Ford Motorsports spokesman Dan Zacharias said Tuesday. "Roush has not bought Robert Yates; Yates is not building all of the Ford engines used in NASCAR." Finally, the story continues, the Ford executive got the guys together and asked them: "Why don't you all just work together?" Everyone involved supposedly likes the idea that each would no longer waste money on producing something that the other can bring to the table and have, supposedly, already started doing just that. "They've established a cooperative arrangement to work together instead, to get everybody up to speed."(in part from a Daytona Beach News Journal column)
UPDATE 3a: Two of the biggest names in NASCAR racing, car owners Robert Yates and Jack Roush, are merging their engine-building operations, in a stunning development for the two long-time rivals. The move comes, Roush said, to meet the challenge of a tremendous influx of European Formula One technology into stock-car racing over the past 18 months and the pending Toyota challenge. At the moment, the Roush-Yates merger involves only engine technology, but sources said that the opportunity is now there for much tighter work between the two Ford camps - Yates, with drivers Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler, and Roush, with drivers Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle. "Ford has encouraged Robert and me to have a 'technology transfer' to become competitive with what Toyota is bringing and what Chevrolet is doing and what Dodge has done," Roush said. The Ford thing has been disjointed. Robert and I didn't cooperate, and Ford was not in a position to carry any amount of meaningful technology to both of us, even though both of us were being funded for different projects. The agreement was to help our programs singularly, but that is just not going to work going forward, because you can't have half a program and get the whole result. So we're working to organize how to build better engines by taking both programs and putting them together. Beyond that there are discussions that could lead to deeper involvements, but those aren't finalized at this point." Some crewmen sense an even deeper merger of the two camps may be looming.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-7-2004)
- Hot Wheels and Roush Racing: Mattel and Roush Racing announced that the parties have extended their mass retail market die-cast through the 2006 race season. The agreement also includes exclusive rights to the Wood Brothers famed Number 21 program based out of Stuart, Virginia. Team owner Jack Roush, President of Roush Racing, Geoff Smith, Tony DaDante, Vice President / General Manager of Hot Wheels® Racing and NASCAR drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and current NASCAR points leader Matt Kenseth were in attendance for this special occasion. Hot Wheels cars thundered into the toy world in 1968. Nearly 35 years later, Hot Wheels is a global lifestyle brand and a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of vehicles, playsets and track sets. In addition to leading the way with speed, power and performance, Hot Wheels cars are also Cool Collectibles for adults. For the latest information on Hot Wheels® products, make a break on the information superhighway and cruise over to www.hotwheels.com.(Mattel PR) Also, see info about the Hot Wheel Hall of Fame in my Hall of Fame/Museums page.(11-4-2003)
- Crew Chief Flip-Flop? UPDATE: MRN Radio race coverage reported early in the race at Phoenix that #6 Roush Racing crew chief Ben Leslie will take over the crew chief job at the #21 Wood Brother's team for driver Ricky Rudd and that #21 crew chief, Pat Tryson will assume the crew chief duties of the #6 team for driver Mark Martin, effective, Monday November 3rd.(MRN Radio Race Coverage)(11-2-2003)
UPDATE: Roush Racing and Wood Brothers Racing announced today that they will switch crew chiefs on the No. 6 and No. 21 racing teams. Effective Monday morning Ben Leslie will become the crew chief of the No. 21 Motorcraft Racing Team with driver Ricky Rudd, while Pat Tryson will take over the crew chief duties for the No. 6 Viagra Racing Team with driver Mark Martin.(Ford Racing)(11-3-2003)
- Pennzoil and Roush in 2004 MORE: Acting to position Pennzoil motor oil squarely at the forefront of NASCAR competition, Roush Racing and Pennzoil have announced a lubrication sponsorship and technology partnership across all Roush Racing teams in all NASCAR series. The program will include Pennzoil participation and associate identification on all Roush Racing NASCAR Nextel Cup (NNC) teams, beginning with the Daytona 500 in 2004. Additionally, Roush Racing will feature a special Pennzoil design and paint scheme on the #16 Greg Biffle NNC entry at Pocono Raceway next June. Capping the sponsorship announcement was the news that Mark Martin, the winningest driver in the history of the NASCAR Series will 'unretire' to race the Pennzoil colors as part of a three driver Busch Series 'Pennzoil Super Team' consisting of Martin, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton. The three drivers will combine to race different Pennzoil entries in nine Busch Series events during 2004, beginning with Mark Martin at Daytona in February. The Pennzoil-Roush partnership draws on Pennzoil's advanced lubrication technologies, and will provide Roush Racing with not just lubrication products but also with the expertise to maximize the performance side of the engineering equation. An announcement regarding the entire nine race 'Pennzoil' Busch Series schedule for Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton will be made at a later time. Mark Martin will kick off the 2004 Busch Series season at Daytona in a Pennzoil Roush Ford.(Pennzoil PR)(11-2-2003)
More on the deal...and a Kodak mention: The money for the new Roush sponsorship is estimated at $10 million, enough for associate sponsorship decals on all Roush cars and for a 9-race Busch program that will kick off at Daytona. Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth will each run three Busch races. "This is a full 10-car associate sponsorship," said Geoff Smith, the head of Roush Racing. "So this is a different strategy, and there are different advantages. You have Coke with multiple drivers and now Pennzoil with multiple drivers." Kodak has been interested in a similar program, instead of backing a single team.(Winston Salem Journal), see an image of the scheme on my 2004 Busch Series Paint Schemes page.(11-3-2003)
- More Teams For Roush? Roush hinted yesterday he might expand to nine or 10 teams next year. He currently fields seven NASCAR teams - five in Winston Cup and two in Busch [actually Truck, none in Busch]. Asked if he would have more than five Cup teams, Roush responded: "Well, right now it's six if you count the Wood Brothers. But it might be more than that." Before expanding, the most pressing issue for Roush still remains signing a primary sponsor for the No. 99 of Burton.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-3-2003)
- Martin helps out Rudd: Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Viagra Ford for Rosuh Racing, drove a few laps in the #21 Air Force car at Atlanta for Rciky Rudd to help get the handling correct and also said the car was way too loose as Rudd had reported. The #21 is woned by the Wood Brothers but is a Roush chassis and engine and gets engineering help from Roush.(TNT's Happy Hour Coverage)(10-25-2003)
- Roush Back in Busch: According to garage sources Roush Racing will announce, at Phoenix, new NASCAR Busch Series team effort for 2004. Roush Racing’s three senior members will drive the car on Saturdays next year with Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth all taking turns behind the wheel. Sponsorship will come from oil company Pennzoil/Quaker State for the program. Additionally, Roush Racing will soon announce a fulltime NBS effort for Greg Biffle. He is expecting to make the show in all but two of the races when the #60 returns to the track fulltime in 2004. A suitable replacement will handle the car in the two races Biffle can’t drive. No word on who will sponsor the Biffle package.(Ford Racing)(10-26-2003)
- Barker to Wells? or Roush? Andrews to Martin's team? Robert "Bootie" Barker, on leave of absence from Jasper Motorsprts #77, might be a crew chief candidate for one of Roush Racing's cars or Cal Wells' second car next season. Paul Andrews, crew chief for Jeff Burton, could be headed to teammate Mark Martin's #6 Ford, though owner Jack Roush says there has been no discussion about a change.(FoxSports/Sporting News)
AND Robert (Bootie) Barker’s is expected to go back to Bill Davis Racing, his former employer.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2003)
- Roush Racing Circle of Fans: Roush Racing has announced the second phase of the "Roush Racing Circle of Fans" commemorative paver brick program. A fanwalk of personalized bricks is now in place outside of teams new 83,000 square foot Roush Racing world headquarters and museum, located in Concord, adjacent to Roush's five Winston Cup team's shops. Up until now The "Roush Racing Circle of Fans Program" has been offered on a pre construction basis. It allowed Roush fans to show their support for the team by purchasing a paver brick to be placed in the courtyard circling a fountain just outside the Roush Racing museum. Each paver brick featured an engraving of a fan's choice, up to 45 characters long. The package also comes with an exclusive and limited edition Owner's Series 1/24-scale diecast, created with a special paint scheme acknowledging participation in the program. Pre-construction orders have been processed and installed, leaving less than half the available brick pavers open for sale. Currently Roush Racing is taking orders for the next installment. Roush Fans can purchase their commemorative brick on the "Roush Racing Circle of Fans" for only $89.00 per brick, which includes the special paint scheme 1/24-scale diecast, a $79.00 value. Fans also have the opportunity to purchase a replica of their own brick paver, which they can proudly display in their home or office, for an additional $39.00. More info at the Roush Racing Site(8-26-2003)
- Roush, Yates and Wood Bros re-up with Ford: Ford Racing officials on Friday announced they had signed new, five-year contract extensions with three of the top Ford teams in Winston Cup - Robert Yates Racing, Roush Racing and Wood Brothers Racing.
Together, the organizations field eight Cup teams each weekend and include such drivers as 1999 champion Dale Jarrett, current series leader Matt Kenseth and veterans Mark Martin and Ricky Rudd, among others. "Loyalty is something that we just take extremely seriously at Ford," said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing. "We like to reward loyalty and these three organizations have been so loyal to us that I felt it was important for Ford and Ford Racing to demonstrate our loyalty to them. We've picked our dance partner and for Ford Motor Co. and NASCAR, these are our dance partners." These organizations were also instrumental in the development of the 2004 Ford Taurus, which will be officially submitted to NASCAR this week for competition beginning next season. "The kind of commitment that need to made for research and development and pooling of information and for the development of strategies can't be made on an ad hoc basis," said team owner Jack Roush. They can't be made annually. They almost have to me made with a decade in mind, and this certainly is moving in the right direction."()(8-1-2003)
- Parrott to PE? maybe Roush? UPDATE 3 looks like neither: Sources in the garage say former Robert Yates Racing crew chief Todd Parrott could be coming out of retirement and headed for Petty Enterprises -- if the Pettys can afford the seven-figure price tag it would take to retain him.(more 'Dish' at Sporting News)(7-21-2003)
UPDATE: Earlier this year, Todd Parrott was released as director of competition at Robert Yates Racing. Earlier this week, there was a report that Parrott may wind up with Petty Enterprises, but a source told me Friday that Parrott could wind up at Roush Racing. We'll keep you posted on that.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(7-26-2003)
UPDATE 2: Crew chief Todd Parrott is shopping for a job, and two places he's applied are Petty Enterprises and Roush Racing. But sources say that Parrott won't be offered a job with Roush. 'Todd came to me, and I have talked with him,' Jack Roush said, without further explanation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2003)
UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises has talked to Todd Parrott about its General Manager's job, but Kyle Petty says Parrott will not be joining the team. Petty continues to look for a GM for the team.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to view)(8-1-2003)
- Roush wants more races? Car owner Jack Roush said he wants to add more races to the Winston Cup tour. Listen to the gasping in the NASCAR garage. "Who says we're burning drivers out?' Roush said.'If these were milk farmers, they'd be milking cows twice a day. If they were hay farmers, they would be bailing hay every day. What we do is carry a very exciting entertainment product 36 times a year, and I think we need to race 40 times or more."(see full story at Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2003)
- #500 for Martin: #6-Mark Martin is scheduled to run a special paint scheme for his 500th Consecutive Winston Cup Start at New Hampshire Intl Speedway in Sept. See an image of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery - Cup page 1.(7-9-2003)
- Larry Hicks Honored: Larry Hicks was honored in a joint session of the Alabama Legislature Tuesday, receiving the Legislative Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement Officers, the state's highest honor for law enforcement officers. On April 20, 2002, Hicks paddled a small boat out to the smoking plane that NASCAR race car owner Jack Roush crashed into the small lake outside Hicks' home and dove into the water covered with flammable aviation fluid, to save Roush's life. During the ceremony, Hicks and three other nominees were praised by top state officials, including Gov. Bob Riley and Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley. Roush was unable to attend the ceremony, but a videotape was played in which Roush described Hicks as his "new brother." Hicks, 53, was receiving cancer treatments at the time and said he might not have been able to help Roush if he had not just received a shot to increase his energy. Riley credited Hicks' ability to save Roush to his "love for another human being." Hicks, a retired Marine sergeant major and Vietnam veteran, said he is not comfortable being honored as a hero by the governor and other state officials. "I'm more comfortable in the woods in a pickup truck," Hicks said. But he admitted that he now looks at life differently. "Before I was more concerned with things I couldn't do. But the good Lord had a way of reminding me that there were things I could do," Hicks said. Hicks said he rescued Roush by using skills he learned in the Navy as part of training to rescue downed helicopter pilots.(Tuscaloosa News/AP)(6-11-2003)
- More on the filter system: NASCAR officials are not happy with Mark Martin for so publicly complaining about the new carbon monoxide filtering system that NASCAR just OKed. Martin has been worried about the carcinogenic aspects of the alumina catalyst in the system, which uses a special filter to keep the alumina dust out of a driver's air stream.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2003)
- Martin to run some Busch races in 2004: #6-Mark Martin, after retiring from competition in the Busch Series in 2000 with 45 wins from 200 starts, will run in four select races in 2004. Not all details are clear yet, but it is known that Martin will run one of those four races with the colors of his Winston Cup sponsor, Viagra, on his Ford Taurus. Martin, who fielded part-time Busch Series entries for nine years, was the man to beat during the Saturday races. Martin last put the hurt on the field at Darlington Raceway in September of 2000, besting teammate Jeff Burton by 0.410 seconds doing so.(Team Ford Racing)(6-4-2003)
- Pfizer extends with the #6: #6-Mark Martin's sponsorship with Pfizer [Viagra] has been extended another two years, according to team officials who had been awaiting word last week from the pharmaceutical company on whether or not it would exercise a bailout option in its contract. When that deadline came and went, with no word from Pfizer executives, the contract was automatically extended.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-2-2003)
- Two more to go for Roush: Kurt Busch won’t have to worry about sponsorship for a few years after Newell/Rubbermaid and Roush Racing announced a multi-year contract extension, this week. The extension, which is for an undisclosed term and dollar figure, will keep Busch with the sponsor that brought him Cup racing. This is the second multi-year team sponsorships put to bed in recent weeks by Roush Racing. First came DeWalt for Matt Kenseth’s car. Two Roush teams, however, still need sponsorships cemented beyond this year — Mark Martin’s and Jeff Burton’s. Roush Racing President Geoff Smith told TFR that in both cases the talks with Pfizer (Martin) and Citgo (Burton) are “beyond the money stage”, but still in process.(Team Ford Racing), plus the two Truck Series teams need sponsors.(5-24-2003)
- Roush Racing to Open Destiny 3 Studio: Roush Racing will become the first NASCAR team to open its own in-house photography studio when Destiny 3 Studio opens June 16th. The full service studio will be located inside of Roush Racing’s newly built corporate headquarters located by its Winston Cup facilities in Concord, N.C. Destiny 3 Studio will be just one facet of the state-of-the-art 83,000 square foot Roush Racing world headquarters and museum opening this month. Destiny 3 Studio can accommodate a variety of shoots that include automotive, fashion, portrait, food, film and video. The facility is spacious enough to photograph five cars at once, from the ground level or from a second-floor catwalk. The 3,200 square foot facility will also have complete private hair, makeup and styling
rooms, and a comfortable client lounge with work stations and internet access. Destiny 3 Studio will also be promoted to photographers,
designers, ad agencies, film and video productions nationwide. In a related move, Action Sports Photography, Inc. will be relocating from Cornelius, N.C., to office space directly next door to the new facility and will also be using Destiny 3 Studios as its choice for studio photography. The new studio, as well as the new Roush Racing corporate headquarters, is located on Roush Place next to Concord Regional Airport, just minutes from Lowe’s Motor Speedway and a short drive from uptown Charlotte. The 25 acre complex is already home to Roush Racing’s five Winston Cup teams.(Roush Racing PR)(5-22-2003)
- Confetti for Martin at Daytona: #6 Mark Martin will run a Viagra/Confetti Ford at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image.(5-20-2003)
- Roush Street: NASCAR multi-team owner Jack Roush was the keynote speaker during a luncheon Wednesday for the Motorsports Madness 2003 event held at Concord Regional Airport by the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce. The event unites businesses related to motorsports. Roush’s company employees about 1,800 people in five states, 350 of which are employed in this region. With Roush moving his world headquarters and museum to Cabarrus County, many more jobs are expected. Concord Mayor Scott Padgett honored Roush Wednesday by designating the road that leads to Roush Headquarters as Roush Place NW. It was formerly Downwind Boulevard.(Independent Tribune)(5-8-2003)
- Sponsorships Up: Roush needs 4? Pennzoil looking? UPDATE 2: Car owners working the sponsorship marketplace are starting to put offers on the table, and the next few weeks will likely be filled with rumors of possible driver and team changes, rumors based on some contract negotiating points. Jack Roush needs to lock up sponsors for four of his five teams, and DEI's sponsorship deal with Pennzoil is up for renewal. The Pennzoil contract may be the hottest one at the moment, and it's not at all clear if the company will remain with DEI.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-14-2003)
UPDATE: my records show that only the #99 is unknown, the #6 is thru 2005, the #16 and #17 are at least thru 2004 and the #97 is supposedly thru 2006.(4-15-2003)
UPDATE 2: Roush Racing’s president, Geoff Smith, spoke with Team Ford Racing regarding the status of the sponsorship deals on the five NASCAR Winston Cup cars his operation runs. Smith began by saying that of his five entries only Greg Biffle’s #16 Granger Ford is 100 percent locked-in with sponsorship, which spans through the 2005 season. Deals are pending with Matt Kenseth’s, Mark Martin’s, Jeff Burton’s and Kurt Busch’s existing sponsors, but are not complete, yet. Pfizer, via its Viagra brand, has a contract with Martin’s #6 team through the end of this year, with an option through the 2005 season. DeWalt, which sponsors Kenseth’s #17 Taurus, inked a one-year deal in 2002 for space. Burton’s #99 and Busch’s #97 both need renewals. Smith told TFR that he’s been “in detailed discussions for a period of time” with the four sponsors that are currently on Roush Cup entries and “in every case we’re past the stage of money.” Smith said that he hopes to have signed sponsors contracts near the end of May. His job is made somewhat easier, despite the tight economy, with programs among the strongest in the industry. As Smith works with potential sponsors the cars sit first (Kenseth) and fourth (Busch) in the point standings and the stable has two marquee drivers in Martin and Burton. Additionally, Smith said there is “interest in our programs beyond these [sponsors].”(Ford Racing)(5-1-2003)
- Pocono's France award goes to Jack Roush: Winston Cup car owner Jack Roush [#'s 6,16,17,97,99] has been named the recipient of the 2003 Bill France Award of Excellence, presented annually by Pocono Raceway. The award, first presented in 1977, is named for the late NASCAR founder and is presented to a person, company or organization that has made outstanding contributions to the sport. The award is a sculpted and highly polished piece of anthracite mined in Pennsylvania and will be presented in a ceremony on June 7 at the speedway.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-26-2003)
- Roush Drivers Featured on Collectibles Tins: Racing fans nationwide now have the opportunity to collect four limited edition tins designed by motorsports master artist Sam Bass featuring four of Roush Racing's drivers: Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin and Jeff Burton. Through June, each limited edition tin is free with the purchase of three-packs of Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese Dishes and Velveeta Shells & Cheese. "The tins are truly a collectors item for race fans nationwide," said Bass. "I'm expecting them to fly off store shelves because they are truly a unique keepsake. I'm betting they won't last in stores long!" A perfect gift for racing fans or motorsports memorabilia collectors, each of the four tins is a reproduction of a watercolor original that artfully depicts a Roush driver from the 2003 lineup, his number, two views of his car, and signature, as seen through Bass' unique perspective. Bass' renditions of Roush Racing drivers, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, and Jeff Burton showcase their determination to the sport, and their own colorful personalities. The competitive spirit they represent is evident in these intricately detailed illustrations. "It's a great honor to be selected for these limited edition tins that feature me and my Roush Racing teammates," said Jeff Burton, a Roush driver since 1996. "Known among race fans and drivers as the first officially licensed artist of this sport, Bass' participation in this program is an incredible opportunity to collect his racing memorabilia." Furthermore, Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese and Velveeta Shells & Cheese will donate $5,000 to Duke (University) Children's Hospital in Durham, NC, a cause that Burton and his wife have supported for years. The tin and three-pack, which retail for $4.99 each and can be found on special display or in the Macaroni & Cheese section of your favorite grocery store, make Bass' hot collectible illustrations available to a wider fan base, a goal shared by both Bass and Kraft. Noted John Kelly of Kraft Foods: "Considering Sam Bass is a recognizable leader in the field of graphic design and that Macaroni and Cheese is everyone's favorite, who wouldn't want to collect these one of a kind tins?" For more information on the Sam Bass Collectible tins, visit www.kraftfoods.com or www.sambass.com.(4-15-2003)
- Roush Comments on the Restrictor Plate Racing: Jack Roush might have a new lease on life, and the accompanying attitude that a near death experience brings, but Roush has no love in his heart for the racing venues known as Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
Roush can rattle-off reason after reason why restrictor plate racing should become a thing of the past, including:
• Four races of the year cost the same as a whole program
• He’s tired of hauling wrecked cars home from such tracks
• He dislikes requiring his drivers endure the experience.
But, Roush sums-up the entire exercise — taxing. Add the new no call from NASCAR angle from last week’s Talladega race, where Roush had a vested interest in the winner, and he just shakes his head. “Five teams is probably a fifteen million dollar proposition,” Roush said regarding the investment that is made to prepare Mark Martin’s, Jeff Burton’s, Matt Kenseth’s, Kurt Busch’s and Greg Biffle’s cars for probable destruction on a plate track.(See full story at Ford Racing)(4-14-2003)
- Martin special scheme in the Winston: #6-Mark Martin will drive a white #6 Viagra Ford in the Winston ay Lowe's Motor Speedway this year, see my Paint Schemes Gallery for the images.(3-26-2003)
- Roush 'Virtual' Engine? Some rival engine men say they believe that Roush Racing has been using an experimental engine-design program that creates a virtual engine inside a computer. If that is true, then Roush could be on the verge of a major breakthrough. And that would certainly be worth the risk of blowing a few motors. However, those rivals say that the problem at the moment is that those new engine designs need a lot more track time to prove their worthiness.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-25-2003)
- Roush Engine Problem? Overly aggressive engine tuning and oil starvation: Immediately following Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which saw four of the six teams using Roush Racing engines fall from the race, Jack Roush summoned his team of top level engineers in Livonia, Mich. and set out for Concord, N.C. on a mission — search out, identify and remedy the causes that forced the cars from the race. Roush was relieved when the engine teardown revealed that only overly aggressive engine tuning and oil starvation triggered the engine failures. "The good news is that none of the very substantial horsepower gains that we have been making caused any of our problems. The bad news is that the tuning mistake was my own. Now I know how Rick Hendrick's engine guy felt after Talladega last fall," said Roush. "I hurt pistons on the No. 6, No. 21,and No. 97 by tuning for fuel economy that just wasn't attainable for Atlanta and the No. 99's problem derived from a new oil pan that resulted in oil starvation," continued Roush. Roush says he is very pleased with the progress made by his engine department during the past year. "Our 10 wins in 2002, including wins at horsepower tracks like Atlanta, Homestead, Charlotte and Texas, and our strong start in 2003 demonstrates the strength in our engine program." (more at Ford Racing)(3-12-2003)
- Martin/Marlin on "Beyond the Glory": Sterling Marlin and Mark Martin will be the subject of Fox Sports Net's "Beyond the Glory", Marlin on Mar 16th and Martin on March 30. The program looks at the lives of athletes "beyond the playing area." Previous episodes of the hour-long documentary-style program have featured Darrell and Michael Waltrip, the Petty family, Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt, and the Andretti family. Following each episode's Sunday night debut, the program will re-air on Fox Sports Net [FSN] throughout the week. Check your local listings for dates and times.(3-10-2003)
- Martin named Grand Marshall of Rockingham Busch race: Roush Racing's Mark Martin will serve as the Grand Marshal for Saturday's Rockingham 200 Busch Series race. Martin, who won 11 Busch races at Rockingham and captured six poles, will give the command to start engines. Martin holds virtually every record for the 200-mile event of which he competed on 25 occasions, finishing inside the top five 16 times and in the top 10 on 20 occasions, before retiring from the Busch series after the 2000 season. "It's an honor to be recognized for something that you accomplished in your career," said Martin. "We had a lot of good Busch races at Rockingham over the years and a lot of other people were responsible for that as well. Still I do appreciate the honor and look forward to it on Saturday.(Roush Racing PR via J-Mar Newsletter)(2-21-2003)
- Special Scheme for Martin in the Shootout: #6-Mark Martin will be making a record 15th straight start in the Budweiser Shootout, when the green flags drops on this year's all-star event. This year's Shootout will be run on Saturday night (Feb. 8, 2003). Martin will be at the helm of the #6 Kraft Ford Taurus in this year's event. Martin, who did not win a pole in 2002, won the Bud Shootout in 1999, and will start his 16th shootout via a past-champions provisional.(Roush Racing), see an image my Paint Scheme Gallery.(2-5-2003)
- NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week - Homestead #6: High performance pit stops at Homestead Miami Speedway took the #6 Viagra team from a 34th place start to a 4th place finish. Congratulations #6 Viagra Crew on a great season and for earning this week's NAPCM "Pit Crew Of The Week" award, sponsored by Toxabsorb (www.toxabsorb.com), "Instant non-skid pit stall prep, creating grip for faster pit stops" and "Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members". Check out the final 2002 Mechanix Wear "Pit Crew Of The Year Award" standings and latest, NEW NAPCM member benefits, available at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website (www.napcm.com).(11-19-2002)
- Roush may file appeal on Wednesday UPDATE 5 APPEAL DENIED: If Roush Racing does in fact opt to file an appeal to NASCAR's 25-point penalty, it won't come until Wednesday's deadline, team president Geoff Smith told NASCAR.com on Monday. The penalty was issued after NASCAR found what it deemed an illegal left front spring on Mark Martin's Ford following the Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway two weeks ago. The spring in question included 4 3/8 coils, 1/8 of a coil shorter than NASCAR's required 4 1/2 coils. "No, we're not quite ready," Smith said. "We took the opportunity these past few days for everyone to have a cool down period, where we could all soberly look at the facts and circumstances, hear what our competitors had to say and the media had to say about our situation. I left Phoenix with what I considered good information, but there were no competitors taking a position that was different than ours. There was no one saying anything that said it made any performance difference whatsoever, and also got to see if those 25 points are likely or are not likely to make any difference in the championship."(NASCAR.com)(11-12-2002)
UPDATE: Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said Tuesday that the team will announce Wednesday morning whether or not it will appeal a 25-point penalty from NASCAR against Mark Martin. The team scheduled an 11:00am/et. teleconference with Smith and Martin to announce and discuss their decision with the media. Today is the deadline for filing an appeal to the penalty(ThatsRacin.com)
UPDATE 2: Roush Racing announced today that Jack Roush and Mark Martin have exercised their right to appeal the 25 point penalty assessed for using an "unapproved" spring at the November 3, 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup event in Rockingham. Said Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, "According to NASCAR rules (sec.12-4) penalties for violation of NASCAR rules '…are determined by the gravity of the violation and its effects on fairness of competition…' Since the spring in question had an inconsequential deviation from the rule-specified length, since its use had absolutely no effect on the fairness of competition, and since the penalty imposed was harsher that the intent of its own published standards for the imposition of penalties, we have elected to take advantage of the review process NASCAR has provided to us. We applaud NASCAR both for laying out rules that confirm its interest in insuring that its managers impose penalties only after due regard is given to the fairness the circumstances require, and applaud them even further for providing us with an appeal mechanism that is unprecedented in professional sports. The existence of this rule and the appeal rights granted to us by NASCAR are powerful statements that NASCAR has established and is committed to upholding and maintaining a policy of fairness in connection with the imposition of penalties for the violation of its rules. Fairness, however, can only exist when there is equal punishment for equally situated offenders. That is a concept that is a cornerstone of the entire American experience. It is our firm conviction that Roush Racing was not "equally situated" with the two other teams who suffered penalty points reductions in 2002. NASCAR's examination into the 'gravity of the violation and its effects on the fairness of competition…' of each of the three situations requires that it evaluate the presence or absence of two very significant facts: (1) Did the examination of the part reveal the offender's intention to violate a rule? (2) Was the part's function altered in any way to attempt to improve performance? Both of those factors were conspicuously absent in our case, and both were present in the other two cases. Fairness requires a different penalty result for us. We hope that these 25 points have no impact in this year's championship race, and do not enjoy having this issue present itself at this late date, yet we cannot passively submit to a punishment that is so excessive for the offense. We also recognize that the list of successful appellants can fit on the back of a postage stamp, but we remain hopeful that after a sober review of each of the spring related penalty violations, the Commission will confirm NASCAR's written commitment to fairness by reinstating our points."
Roush Racing also announced that it will not seek legal recourse against the manufacturer or seller of the spring in question, regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
"There was little question that we have legitimate, meritorious claims, but, ultimately we concluded that Roush Racing can better serve the sport by terminating any contemplation of litigation. In this business, the words "racing" and "litigation" should never appear in the same paragraph if at all possible," concluded Smith.(Roush Racing)
UPDATE 3: Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR reports that NASCAR will hear the appeal Saturday, Nov 16th in the morning and expect to announce a decision later that afternoon. The appeal will be heard by a three-member panel from the National Stock Car Racing Commission. If the appeal is denied, Roush could then take its appeal to NASCAR national commissioner Charles Strang.(11-13-2002)
UPDATE 4: A three-man board representing the National Stock Car Racing Commission has been selected to hear Roush Racing's appeal of penalties of Winston Cup driver and owner points and money following a spring violation two weeks ago at North Carolina Speedway. NSCRC chairman George Silbermann and commission members Johnny Capels and John Bishop are scheduled to hear Roush Racing's appeal somewhere on the grounds of Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday morning at 8:00am/et.(NASCAR.com)(11-15-2002)
UPDATE 5: per NBC's BGN race coverage, the National Stock Car Racing Commission has denied Roush Racing appeal, so the penalty stands and Martin remains 89 points behind Stewart. Roush Racing could still appeal to NASCAR national commissioner Charles Strang. Imagine that decision would depend on what happens in the race on Sunday.(also see a story at ThatsRacin.com and at NASCAR.com)(11-16-2002)
- Martin ok after aircraft incident UPDATE: Mark Martin's plane blew two tires as he was trying to leave Phoenix Goodyear Airport Sunday night, word is all are okay. Six were aboard the Citation - supposedly two pilots. Martin and three others.(11-11-2002)
UPDATE: Winston Cup championship contender Mark Martin is OK after his jet blew a tire and skidded off a Phoenix runway last night, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal's Web site. The newspaper reports that the three men on the plane -- Martin, pilot Jason Simpson and Benny Ertel, Martin's business manager -- were not injured in the aborted takeoff of the Cessna Citation CJ2, a twin-engine jet. Martin subsequently returned to Florida as a passenger on a NASCAR jet with NASCAR President Mike Helton.(Winston Cup Scene Newsletter)(11-11-2002)
- Roush undecided on appeal: Jack Roush, who has until Wednesday to appeal the $5,000 fine and 25-point penalties levied against Mark Martin's #6 team after last week's race at Rockingham, has not yet decided what he's going to do. Roush says he has little faith in the fairness of NASCAR's appeals process, calling it "a kangaroo court," but that lawyers advising the team have suggested that going through with an appeal may be helpful if Roush Racing takes legal action against the company that manufactured the spring that led to the penalty. Martin lost 25 driver points, Roush was docked 25 car owner points and crew chief Ben Leslie was fined $5,000 because the left-front spring on the #6 Ford that Martin drove to second did not have the minimum 4½ coils required under NASCAR rules. Team officials said this week the spring provided no competitive advantage and that it came directly from the box after being purchased from a NASCAR-approved parts manufacturer. "They gave us a part that was presented to us with the implied warranty that it was acceptable to NASCAR's rules," Roush told he Associated Press. "For us to have the opportunity to get our relief from them, we may have to go through the appeal process so that we've done what we could to get our relief before we go after the spring manufacturer." The penalty means Martin is 112 points behind championship leader Tony Stewart going into the final two races.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-10-2002)
- Matt Martin Now A Two-Time Track Champion: Matt Martin won two track championships Wednesday night at Little New Smryna, taking home titles in both the Senior Honda and GX160 Quarter Midget classes. More information on Matt's racing can be found at www.mattmartin.net.(J-Mar Newsletter)(11-9-2002)
- Martin's car fails inspection UPDATE 2 Penalized 25 points/ Roush may appeal: #6-Mark Martin finished second at Rockingham and appeared had cut #20-Tony Stewart's lead in the Winston Cup standings from 146 to 87 points. But during post-race inspection, NASCAR discovered that the left-front spring on Martin's Ford did not have the minimum requirement of 4½ coils - it had 4 3/8 coils. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Frye said penalties would not be announced until Monday at the earliest, but the same violation has drawn fines and 25-point penalties earlier this season. A similar points penalty would leave Martin 112 points back with two races remaining.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-3-2002)
UPDATE: NASCAR officials announced today penalties for the #6 Ford team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series because of a rule violation found following Sunday's race at North Carolina Speedway. Mark Martin, driver of the #6 Ford, has been penalized 25 series championship points. In addition, Martin's team owner Jack Roush has been penalized 25 car owner points. A $5,000 fine was issued to crew chief Ben Leslie. All three were penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the NASCAR Winston Cup rule book ("Any determination by NASCAR officials that parts and/or equipment used in the event do not conform to NASCAR rules."), because of an unapproved front spring. The left front coil spring on the #6 Ford had approximately 4 3/8 (four-and-three-eighths) coils. The required minimum number of coils is 4 1/2 (four-and-one-half). This is the third time this season officials have taken points from NASCAR Winston Cup teams because of unapproved coil springs.(NASCAR PR) Martin now has 4437 points (4462-25), which puts him down 112 points now. [see my Penalties page for the past points deductions](11-4-2002)
UPDATE 2: Roush Racing President Geoff Smith says the team may appeal NASCAR's decision to take away 25 Winston Cup points from Mark Mark because his car had an unapproved spring in Sunday's race at North Carolina Speedway. "We are evaluating all avenues of recourse available to us, including invoking the NASCAR appeals process and have asked our outside counsel to assess our options for recourse against the manufacturer and distributor of the spring," Smith said today. "We quite naturally are upset that we received exactly the same penalty as that imposed on two other teams that altered springs with the expectation of obtaining a performance advantage." NASCAR said Roush Racing's No. 6 Ford was found with an improper left front spring after Martin drove it to second place in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400. The sanctioning body penalized Martin 25 driver points, took away 25 car owner points from team owner Jack Roush and fined crew chief Ben Leslie $5,000 because the spring had 4 3/8 coils instead of the m ndated 4 1/2. NASCAR noted that it was the third time this year that a driver and team had lost points because of spring problems. Martin, who has finished second in the Winston Cup championship three times, said the "unaltered spring... had no performance difference.... I feel like we just got the death sentence for shoplifting. Everyone in the garage knows that it was an honest mistake and provided absolutely zero advantage at that track." If the penalty stands Martin will go into the season's final two races 112 points behind championship leader Tony Stewart.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-5-2002)
- Martin back in the BGN in 2003: during TNT coverage of the Rockingham Cup qualifying, it was mentioned that Mark Martin, driver of the #6-Viagra Ford in the Cup series and 2nd in the Drivers Point, will drive five(5) BGN races in 2003. No details given, like what car or a sponsor or which races he will drive in. Martin is the all time wins leader in the Busch series.(11-2-2002)
- Roush Engine Problems at Kansas: Jeff Paxton, head engine tuner for Roush Racing, said the three Roush cars that had engine failures last weekend at Kansas City all had different problems with the valve train. He said Martin's engine suffered a broken rocker arm. Jeff Burton's engine broke a valve, and Kurt Busch 's engine broke a rocker arm stud. Paxton said he had not seen those problems this season until last weekend. Since those engines are similar to what the team will use at Charlotte next weekend, he'll have changes made. "The Charlotte motors are already built but we're going to change items Monday or Tuesday to hopefully prevent another failure from happening," he said.(Roanoke Times)(10-5-2002)
- Martin to be inducted into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Mark Martin heads the list of the inductees in this year’s Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame located at Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega. Martin led the fans’ vote for active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame. Two other men included in that list of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers will also be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as the inactive drivers of 2002. Robert “Red” Byron and Bobby Isaac led the fans’ vote in that category. The 2002 induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. The annual induction ceremony takes place on Saturday night during the EA SPORTS' 500 Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The ceremony and all festivities – including a concert – are free to the public. Find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com (u can buy a brick). The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans’ vote.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(8-3-2002)
UPDATE: One of the most determined and talented drivers to ever compete in the NASCAR ranks heads the list of the inductees in this year's Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame located at Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega. Throughout Mark Martin's stellar career, his strong determination to succeed - and win - has set him apart from his fellow competitors. It is the reason he is included in the list of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. Martin led the fans' vote for active driver to be inducted into the Walk of Fame.
Two other men included in that list of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers will also be inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as the inactive drivers of 2002. Robert "Red" Byron and Bobby Isaac led the fans' vote in that category. The 2002 induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. The annual induction ceremony takes place on Saturday night during the EA SPORTS' 500 Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The ceremony and all festivities - including a concert - are free to the public. NASCAR Stars Mark Martin, Red Byron, Bobby Isaac, Enter Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame as Class of 2002. "It's really an honor to be inducted into the Talladega Walk of Fame," said Martin. "I've been going there to race for 20 years now, and we have some good memories over the years. Some of the best of all time are on that Walk-of-Fame and rt's really nice to be included in there." Fans can find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com. The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans' vote. Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer and Davey Allison were inducted as the inaugural class in 1994 by decree of the board of directors.(Roush Racing)(10-2-2002)
- Sad News: Benny Ertel's (Mark Martin's Business Manager) Mother, Emma Ertel passed away June 15th at St. Lukes hospital in Milwaukee Wisconsin of congested heart failure she was 85. In lieu of flowers please send all memorials to: Congregation Beth Jehudah 3100 N. 52 St. Milwaukee WI 53210.(6-19-2002)
- Martin in the CTS in 2003...for a few races: Mark Martin will return to the CTS in 2003 and drive the #99 Roush Racing Ford until Las Vegas' Kyle Busch turns 18 years old. Busch drove the #99 truck in six races last season until he was forced out of the series when NASCAR mandated that drivers in all of its touring series be at least 18. Busch, who turned 17 on May 2, has been driving in the ASA series this season. Martin agreed to drive the truck, which team owner Jack Roush has fielded in only one race this year, to help the team gain owners points until Busch becomes eligible to take over. Martin has not competed in the Truck Series since 1996, when he drove in two races. He posted a victory at North Wilkesboro Speedway and a third-place finish at Richmond International Raceway. If the 2003 NCTS schedule remains the same as this year, Busch would miss only three races before he is able to return to the truck and compete for Rookie of the Year honors.(Las Vegas Sun)(6-5-2002)
- Tune-Up for Life: More than 50 percent of men and women who participated in Pfizer's "Tune-Up for Life" free health screening program at Winston Cup stock car races had not seen their doctor in a year or more. Moreover, men--nearly 75 percent of those who were screened--were less likely to visit their doctor for regular check-ups than were women, according to a presentation at the Seventeenth Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension. Conducted at 39 Winston Cup race weekends in 19 states in 2001, Tune-Up-for-Life is an ongoing mobile screening program offering free information and health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and erectile dysfunction (ED). Screenings of 24,000 people revealed that 56 percent of men and 40 percent of women had not seen their doctor in at least a year. The screenings also found that 43 percent of men and 26 percent of women screened had high blood pressure and 60 percent of men and 22 percent of women had high cholesterol. Both are risk factors for heart disease. In an analysis of those participants who said they did not have hypertension, investigators found that 40 percent of men and 23 percent of women, in fact, had high blood pressure. Of great concern, even among men and women who said they had hypertension, more than half of them had abnormally high blood pressure readings at screening, indicating poor control of blood pressure even among those with known hypertension. In addition to measuring blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, men participating in "Tune-Up for Life" completed the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM), a standard screening tool to assess the presence of ED. The results revealed that 50 percent of men who reported having high blood pressure also had SHIM scores consistent
with possible ED, while only 31 percent of those not reporting high blood pressure had SHIM scores consistent with possible ED. At the screenings, participants received health information, advice on reducing their risk factors and recommendations to see their own physician with the results of the screening as necessary. All were encouraged to see their physician on a regular basis.(Pfizer PR)(6-4-2002)
- Martin's Crew: NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week - #6 - Mark Martin's Viagra Crew - very good day on pit road (15.3) helped
put Mark Martin in Victory Lane. Martin promised his crew before the Coca Cola 600 that if they won the race he would split the Winston No Bull Million Dollar prize with them. Way to go Viagra Crew and kudos to Mark Martin for realizing how important his crew is to victory.(NAPCM PR)(6-1-2002)
- Martin to test at Chicago: #6-Mark Martin will be taking part in a test session on Wednesday June 5th with Roush Racing in preparation for the July 14th NASCAR Winston Cup Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. This test session is not open to the general public.(Chicagoland PR)(5-30-2002)
- New Roush Headquarters: Roush Racing is expected to open its new state-of-the-art world headquarters in early 2003. The three story, 83,000 square foot building will be located in Concord, N.C., on 25 acres near the Concord Regional Airport. The new corporate headquarters will consolidate several buildings and over 100 employees, currently located throughout North Carolina. The building will house departments such as sponsor operations, licensing, show car and event operations, the business office and internet
marketing. JR's Garage and Team Caliber, the collectibles and merchandising arms of Roush Racing, will also move its warehouse and
distribution center to the new location. The structure will have several sustainable building systems including solar shades on southern
exposure to reduce solar heat gain and glare, reducing the amount of artificial building cooling required and a system for capturing and
containing rain water run off for landscape irrigation reducing the need for potable water.(Roush Racing PR)(5-30-2002)
- Martin's car too low UPDATE crew chief fined:: Mark Martin's #6 Ford failed post-race inspection, measuring about an eighth of an inch below the minimum height. The win and points will likely stand, given NASCAR's recent history on such infractions, but the driver could face penalties. NASCAR is expected to announce sanctions, if any, early in the week.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-26-2002)
UPDATE: NASCAR has announced that Ben Leslie, crew chief of the #6 Viagra Ford, received a $50,000 fine for a rule violation found during post-race inspection following Sunday’s Coca-Cola Racing Family 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Leslie was penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, "Any car that is found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion… of the race." The minimum height requirement is 51 inches - the No. 6 car was approximately 1/8 of an inch too low.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-28-2002)
- Mark Martin wins The Coca-Cola Racing Family 600: #6-Mark Martin wins the Coca Cola 600, his first ever win the the 600 miler at Lowes Motor Speedway (he won three fall races there), it is Martin's first win in 2002, first win in 73 races (Martinsville on April 4th, 2000), 33rd career win(tied with Fireball Roberts for 14th place all time), first win for crew chief Ben Leslie, first win for sponsor Viagra and worth an extra $1 million bonus in the The No Bull Five program along with the fan matched with him, Janet Hogan. 2nd was his teammate #17-Matt Kenseth, 3rd was #32-Ricky Craven, 4th was #28-Ricky Rudd who broke the Iron Man record with his start and 5th was #24-Jeff Gordon.
For unoffical results, see ThatsRacin.com.(5-26-2002)
- Martin offers team a deal UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin is offering a big incentive for his Roush Racing crew to help him win the $1 million No Bull 5 bonus by capturing the Winston Cup Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 26. "I told them I'd split up the money with them if we can get the win," said Martin, who has 18 top-10 finishes in 34 starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He has won the fall race tbere three times but has never won the 600. Martin is eligible for the No Bull 5 program by virtue of his top-five finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. He posted times in the top five both Monday and Tuesday in testing at the track.(Winston Cup Scene daily newsletter)(5-11-2002)
UPDATE so the crew get's a cool $500,000.(5-26-2002)
- Roush Hats: Crew members for all the Roush Racing [#'s 6,16,17,97,99] teams wore straw hats, similar to the style worn by car owner Jack Roush, before the race. Roush is recovering from injuries suffered in a plane crash April 19 in Troy, AL.(Roanoke Times). See latest info on Roush below.(4-29-2002)
- Martin will attend health seminar at Texas: #6-Mark Martin will join fitness expert Larry North for a seminar entitled "Keeping Up the Pace" on Saturday at 8:00am at Texas Motor Speedway. Martin and North will be outside the track at the Pfizer Men's Health Tune-up for Life mobile health screening unit to discuss with race fans the importance of incorporating exercise into their daily routines. Martin has taken part in a vigorous exercise and nutrition program for several years.(Dallas Morning News)(4-2-2002)
- #500 for Martin: #6-Mark Martin will make his 500th career start on the Winston Cup circuit this week at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500 on March 24, 2002. Martin first raced on the Winston Cup circuit in 1981, when he ran his self-owned car five times, claiming two poles, two top-10 finishes and one top-five. He made his Winston Cup debut on April 3, 1981 at North Wilkesboro
Speedway at the age of 22. A few months later in only this third Winston Cup start, Martin captured the pole at Nashville. A few weeks
later Martin captured his second career pole at Richmond. "I didn't really realize that it was coming up on 500," said Martin. "As a kid growing up in Arkansas, and being into racing, NASCAR was the cool thing to do. It has certainly changed a lot since the early days of my career." In 1988 Martin teamed up with car owner Jack Roush and 15 years, 441 races and 32 wins later Martin is still running the #6 Roush Racing Ford Taurus(Roush Racing PR)(3-19-2002)
- Pfizer Men’s Health Tune-up for Life: The 2002 Mark Martin Health Challenge is a new addition to the Pfizer Men’s Health Tune-up for Life program, a national men’s health awareness initiative that was introduced in February 2000. For the past two years, the program has traveled throughout the country with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series to encourage and help fans to learn more about their own health. At the conclusion of the 2001 racing season, the program had provided free health screenings for almost 50,000 race fans and participants since its inception. This season the pharmaceutical company is taking it a step further, encouraging fans to take the lessons of health away from the track – and back. Fans can enter the program by getting health screenings at the spring events at Daytona, Atlanta, Bristol, Talldega, Richmond and Charlotte, and then if they have shown improvement in one area when the series returns later in the season, they will get a chance to race on a NASCAR simulator, with each track designating a champion that will get to meet with Mark Martin one-on-one and spend the day with one guest in the Winston Cup pits.(SpeedVision)(2-5-2002)
- Lakeland Testing: some teams/drivers tested at Lakeland Speedway in FL this week. John Andretti tested the #43 and #45 Dodges. Eliott Sadler tested the #21 Ford with help from Mark Martin. #10-Johnny Benson was scheduled to test there but had to cancel and rescheduled their test for Feb. 4 and 5. Roush CTS driver Jon Wood spent some time testing with Mark Martin. Wood tested for two days in Lakeland before heading to the mandatory testing sessions at Daytona this weekend(various PR's)(1-19-2002)
- Kraft Foods and Roush Racing Launch Sponsorship: Roush Racing announced that eight Kraft brands have become associate team sponsors on all five Winston Cup cars in the Roush stable, as well as one Busch series car. Kraft will launch its racing program in Daytona as the primary sponsor of Mark Martin's #6 Kraft Ford Taurus in the pre-season Budweiser Shootout on February 10. All eight of the participating Kraft brands will make their debut - through signage on the car - as Martin kicks off the program. Race fans will have Roush drivers and Kraft brands to root for once the official racing starts. Brand logos will be positioned prominently on the car of each respective driver. Mark Martin's #6 Ford will include Maxwell House Coffee as an associate sponsor in the regular Winston Cup schedule. Jeff Burton's #99 Ford features Velveeta, while Matt Kenseth's #17 Taurus features Kraft Singles, Miracle Whip Salad Dressing and Kraft Mayonnaise as associate sponsors. Kurt Busch's #97 Ford brandishes the Tombstone Pizza brand as an associate sponsor and Greg Biffle's #16 Winston Cup ride and #60 BGN Ford highlights the Taco Bell Home Originals brand as an associate sponsor.(PR), see my Paint Schemes Gallery for a couple images of the car/scheme - links fixed(1-18-2002)
- Marlin and Martin at the track: Sterling Marlin and Mark Martin, who tested here last week, were seen patrolling the garage area Tuesday. Marlin, who drives for Ganassi Racing, is shooting a television commercial at the track. Martin came over to say hi to Roush Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-16-2002)
- Buddy Parrott leaves Roush? UPDATE retires: hearing rumblings that Roush Performance Development Manager and lengendary crew chief, Buddy Parrott has parted ways with Roush Racing(12-24-2001)
UPDATE: One of the longtime mainstays in the NASCAR garage has retired. 62-year old Buddy Parrott steps down following.34 years in Winston Cup racing, the last seven with Roush Racing where he had recently served as Performance Development Manager. Parrott.told PRN's Garagepass that.Ted Musgrave.once said he had been around so long he greased the wheels on Ben Hurr's chariot! Parrott said his most memorable racing moments he was a part of include Jeff Burton's first win at Texas, Richard Petty's 200th victory at Daytona, Derrick Cope's Daytona 500 triumph in 1990, and helping Rusty Wallace win 19 races in two seasons. He'll still visit the NASCAR garage now and again, and may serve as an occasional consultant to Roush Racing. Parrott says his health is good so he wants to enjoy life and ride his motorcycle.(PRN's Garage Pass)(1-3-2002)
- New #6 Car Chief: Joe Dan Bailey, a member of Dale Earnhardt championship teams at Richard Childress Racing in 1993 and 1994 who later moved to Penske-Kranefuss Racing and most recently worked with Shawna Robinson, is the new car chief on the No. 6 Fords owned by Roush Racing and driven by Mark Martin. Bailey, 37, will join with Martin's new crew chief, Ben Leslie, in leading the team next season.(That's Racin')(12-11-2001)
- Martin and Kraft: #6-Mark Martin will run a Kraft scheme at the 2002 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image(12-3-2001)
- Roush Changes? UPDATE: hearing that effective on Monday, Dec 3rd: #97 crew chief Ben Leslie and the entire #97 crew will start working on the #6 car for Mark Martin and that #6 crew chief, Jimmy Fennig and the entire #6 crew will now be working on the #97 car for driver Kurt Busch.(11-27-2001)
UPDATE: In preparation for the 2002 Cup season, Roush Racing announced today the reorganization of two of its teams. Crew chiefs Ben Leslie (#97)and Jimmy Fennig (#6) will swap positions within the organization. Fennig has been crew chief of the #6 Viagra Taurus driven by veteran Mark Martin since 1998. Leslie recently finished his first year as crew chief for the #97 Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus driven by rookie Kurt Busch and has worked for Roush Racing since 1994. Shawn Parker, car chief of the #6 team, will also move with Fennig. Leslie is searching to hire a car chief for the Mark Martin program.(Roush racing PR)(11-27-2001)
- Roush Contribution: NASCAR team owner Jack Roush, was one of the charitable individuals that has shown his support in acknowledgement of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, on New York City and Washington, DC. Roush elected to make a contribution to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows' and Children's Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated help relieve financial hardship experienced by widows' and children of firefighters who die in the line of duty. The contribution to the fund comes in two parts. First, Roush has matched all contributions made by its 1,800 employees of the three main operating companies, Roush Racing, Roush Engineering and Roush Performance. Second, a percentage of souvenir sales made from the last 10 Winston Cup races will be directly contributed to the fund. The total contribution from these two donation campaigns has come to approximately $70,000 with one race still remaining. Additionally, Roush invited all of its licensees to participate in their effort through product donation for Christmas presents for the Widows' and Children's Fund. The response for the licensees has been incredible. To date, the following licensees have donated hundreds of gifts: Wenger, Mattel, USAopoly, Checkered Flag, Valley Forge Flag Co., Seven Sons, Inc., Palmer Candies and Mine Safety, Inc. Next Friday, November 30, 2001, at 1pm at the UFA Headquarters in NYC Roush along with drivers, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, and Kurt Busch will make a check presentation and gift delivery on behalf of Roush to the UFA Widows' and Children's Fund.(Roush Racing PR)(11-21-2001)
- Two Martins at Atlanta: Mark Martin will not be the only Martin competing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Matt Martin, Mark's nine-year-old son, will also be aiming for a win. While Mark will be concentrating on the Winston Cup race on Sunday, Matt will be focused on his Bandolero race after Saturday's ARCA event. Matt has just started racing a Bandolero this year and earned a third place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway earlier this month. Both Martins are still looking for their first win of the season in their respective divisions, so hopefully Atlanta can be a family sweep for them.(Roush Racing PR)(11-14-2001)
- No Top 10 for Martin in 2001 UPDATE: Simply by starting Sunday's race, #99-Jeff Burton assured himself of at least a 10th-place finish in this year's NASCAR Winston Cup drivers points standings. That means that for the first time since 1988, Mark Martin will not finish among the circuit's Top 10 drivers. Martin was 15th in 1988.(Miami Herald)(11-12-2001)
UPDATE: actually after looking at the numbers, this is not true. It'll be tought for Martin to get into 10th, but he and #10-Benson, who is in 11th still have a shot at 10th. Burton has 4132 points, if he finished last in the next two races (worth 34 x 2), he would end up with 4211 points. If Benson, who has 3931 points, wins and leads the most laps (185x2) he would end up with 4301 points. Martin currently has 3860 points, if he wins and leads the most laps (185x2) he would end up with 4230 points. So while inprobable, there is still a chance for Martin and a much better chance for Benson if Burton falters(11-13-2001 - nice heads up Alan)
- Hammond to Roush? UPDATE: It looks like Jeff Hammond may be close to finalizing some of his plans away from Fox in the second half of the season. At the Milwaukee Mile, Jeff said, "One of the biggest things I've got going right now is that I'm trying to put the finishing touches on an agreement to do some product representation for Roush. Jack has come and asked me and said, 'Hey, I've got a lot of technology that I think a lot of racers don't realize that they can get.' Maybe they're not comfortable talking to Jack, or maybe they're not comfortable talking to who is there at this point in time. He's given me an opportunity to represent him in that capacity and let people know that, hey, I can be a lead guy and I'm willing to answer questions, and can interact with their team, and it doesn't conflict with what he's got going on with his race teams. He feels very comfortable about that, so I'm looking forward to trying to get all of that finalized and put in place where I can do that for him, so I can stay involved. With that opportunity I get a chance to see what's going on with the latest technology, understanding where teams are still having problems and issues. It keeps me in touch without having to be committed day in and day out like being a crew chief or accepting a full-time role with a team." Jeff also stated that he has talked to some Busch and Truck teams about serving as a consultant.(MotorsportsTV)(7-1-2001)
UPDATE: former Cup crew chief and current Fox broadcaster, Jeff Hammond has reached an agreement with Jack Roush and Roush Industries to be a manufacturers representative for them.(Jeff Hammond site)(10-24-2001)
- Biffle to debut in Cup at Daytona? during the rain delay at Memphis for the BGN race, Greg Biffle was interviewed and said it looks like he would run the 2002 Daytona 500 for his Winston Cup debut in a Roush Ford and probably run at Las Vegas and both Charlotte races(10-13-2001)
- Roush Team Intact for 2002: [#6-Mark] Martin is not retiring, moving on, slowing down or considering the end of his career. He is spending next season racing with Roush Racing teammates Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth. According to Martin, neither is considering leaving the Roush fold. They plan to figure out the problems that have caused each of the teams to struggle this season. Martin's contract runs through 2005 - he's not thinking that the end of that contract will be the end of his commitment to racing.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-14-2001)
- Checking Temps at RIR UPDATE: Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth will have new additions to their respective pit crews next weekend at Richmond. The additional pit workers will concentrate on how the drivers replace the fluids they lose during a race, as well as the cars' onboard temperatures. Scientists from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute will condict a pilot study on Martin and Kenseth to determine sweat loss, cardiobascular responses and heat stress in drivers during a NASCAR race. During an average race, cockpit temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, putting drivers at risk for dehydration and heat illness. The race-day test will help provide drivers with fluid replacement and heat illness prevention recommendations.(That's Racin')(9-3-2001)
UPDATE: #6-Mark Martin, and #17-Matt Kenseth, were the subjects of a hydration study that was conducted at the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 in Richmond. Scientists from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) monitored Martin and Kenseth throughout the 400-lap, three-hour and 13-minute event to determine how well NASCAR drivers replace the fluids they lose through sweat during a race. In the grueling heat of a race, cockpit temperatures can often soar well beyond 115 degrees, placing drivers at risk for dehydration, heat illness and impaired performance. Martin's estimated total sweat loss during the race was 4.5 liters (153 ounces), nearly equivalent to 10 lbs. of bodyweight. However, Martin replaced 78% of his total sweat loss by drinking 3.52 liters (119 ounces) of fluid. Martin still experienced a final bodyweight loss of more than 2 lbs., and a post-race urine sample indicated significant dehydration even with this modest 2-lb. fluid deficit. Kenseth also completed the race, but was off the track and out of his car for nearly an hour due to a mid-race crash. Because he spent less time exposed to intensive cockpit temperatures, Kenseth's fluid loss was less dramatic than Martin's. According to GSSI, Kenseth lost 2.1 liters (70 ounces) of sweat. Yet, by drinking 1.66 liters (56 ounces) of fluid during the race, Kenseth
was able to replace 81% of the fluid he lost, leaving him fairly well hydrated. Overall, both Martin and Kenseth experienced levels of fluid loss similar to those experienced by other endurance and team sport competitors, such as marathoners and football players. But they did a better job of replacing fluids than several athletes GSSI has studied from these sports. For more information about sports nutrition and exercise science pertaining to The Gatorade Company, visit the Gatorade Sports Science Institute web site at www.gssiweb.com or gatorade.com.(Roush Racing PR)(9-26--2001)
- Martin on Two Minute Drill: Mark Martin made a special trip to New York City last Thursday on his way to Watkins Glen to be a celebrity panelist on ESPN's 2minute Drill. Other athletes on the panel included former Los Angeles Laker Kurt Rambis, former relief pitcher Dennis Eckersley and NFL Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris. The show will air on Monday, October 1 at 7:00pm/et on ESPN.(Roush Racing PR)(8-15-2001)
- Tara Parker Update: Canandaigua(NY) native Shawn Parker said his wife, Tara, is "doing OK" after a heart transplant July 28 in North Carolina. Parker, 27, a former mechanic for dirt-track racer Danny Johnson, has lived in the Charlotte area since graduating from high school in 1993. He works as a rear tire changer for Mark Martin's #6 Viagra car(and is the car chief). Shawn and Tara were married last November, and doctors determined in May that Tara, who was born with a heart defect, would need a new heart. "We haven't even been on our honeymoon yet," Parker said. Shawn found out the weekend of the Winston Cup race at Pocono Raceway that a heart was found for Tara. He was surprised when team owner Jack Roush flew him back to the Winston-Salem area hospital to be with his wife. Parker visited one of his old haunts, Canandaigua Speedway, for a Thursday night DIRT race and said he was able to renew some old acquaintances. "I had a lot of people come up to me and ask about Tara," Parker said. "That means a lot to me and her. That's what keeps her going."(Syracuse Online)(8-13-2001)
- Shawn Parker's Wife Gets Help UPDATE 2: it was mentioned during Happy Hour that #6 Car Chief, Shawn Parker's was flown down to Winston Salem, NC by team owner Jack Roush. Parker's wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant and it was reported one was found and Roush thinks Tara is in surgery now or getting ready to get the new heart(TNT Happy Hour Coverage)(7-28-2001)
UPDATE: it was mentioned by Allen Bestwick during the Pennsylvania 500 broadcast that Tara had the surgery to transplant the new heard and so far so good and that she was doing ok up to that point(7-29-2001)
UPDATE 2: Shawn Parker, car chief for NASCAR driver Mark Martin, has asked us to release this statement regarding his wife, Tara Howell Parker, who underwent a heart transplant at WFUBMC Saturday: "Tara is recovering and doing well. She appreciates the many expressions of hope and goodwill that have been relayed to her. Tara is not able to receive visitors while she is in the hospital. And asks anyone thinking of sending flowers or a gift to consider making a donation instead to help future transplant patients. Donations should be sent to NC Baptist Hospital Pastoral Care, designated for cardiothoracic transplant patients. She also asks that people seriously consider becoming organ donors themselves." Shawn said he regrets that he will not be available for interviews(Media Advisory from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center thanks Arlen)(8-2-2001)
- Some Paint Scheme Rumors: hearing that #40-Sterling Marlin is running a "Kiss" paint scheme somewhere this year and that #6-Mark Martin is running a Viagra car with special ultra reflective metal flake paint for the upcoming Bristol night race(7-27-2001)
UPDATE: yes it is a KISS, rock-n-roll band scheme, supposedly it'll run at Homestead(7-30-2001)
- Mark and Matt on Cereal Boxes:Mark Martin and his nine-year-old son Matt will be featured on boxes of Life and Cap'n Crunch(one of Jayski's faves) cereal boxes beginning this month. Matt's quarter-midgets are sponsored by the two cereal brands, while Mark is sponsored by Gatorade. Mark and Matt will be featured on 15 million boxes of cereal nationwide. They are the first father-and-son celebrities featured on Life cereal boxes, which are typically dedicated to everyday kids. Cap'n Crunch will feature Matt in an on-package promotion and offer limited edition Mark and Matt trading cards on the side panel of every box.(Roush Racing PR)(7-13-2001)
- Hammond to Roush? It looks like Jeff Hammond may be close to finalizing some of his plans away from Fox in the second half of the season. At the Milwaukee Mile, Jeff said, "One of the biggest things I've got going right now is that I'm trying to put the finishing touches on an agreement to do some product representation for Roush. Jack has come and asked me and said, 'Hey, I've got a lot of technology that I think a lot of racers don't realize that they can get.' Maybe they're not comfortable talking to Jack, or maybe they're not comfortable talking to who is there at this point in time. He's given me an opportunity to represent him in that capacity and let people know that, hey, I can be a lead guy and I'm willing to answer questions, and can interact with their team, and it doesn't conflict with what he's got going on with his race teams. He feels very comfortable about that, so I'm looking forward to trying to get all of that finalized and put in place where I can do that for him, so I can stay involved. With that opportunity I get a chance to see what's going on with the latest technology, understanding where teams are still having problems and issues. It keeps me in touch without having to be committed day in and day out like being a crew chief or accepting a full-time role with a team." Jeff also stated that he has talked to some Busch and Truck teams about serving as a consultant.(MotorsportsTV)(7-1-2001)
- Get Well UPDATE 3: It was mentioned during Fox's broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600 by Dr. Dick Berggren, that Shawn Parker's wife, Tara, is in a Winston-Salem hospital. Mrs. Parker is listed in critical condition and has A-1 status on heart transplant, which means she is the next person on the list when one that will match her comes available. Parker is the Car chief/Rear tire changer for the #6 Roush Racing team and driver Mark Martin(5-29-2001)
UPDATE: Shawn Parker, was poised to leave the race on a moment's notice. Parker's wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant. She had two hearts become available in the past couple of weeks, but doctors thought one was too small and the other carried hepatitis. Team owner Jack Roush has his plane on standby to fly Parker out if he receives word his wife is heading into surgery.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)
UPDATE 2: Shawn Parker, the car chief and rear-tire changer for Mark Martin's #6 Ford has been balancing his time between his race duties, shop duties and husband duties the last few weeks. Splitting his time between the shop just northeast of Charlotte and Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., Parker said the waiting has been tough. "All she can do is just wait," he said. "She's on medicine right now to help her with the congenital heart defect. The best way for me to explain it is, she doesn't have a full-size heart like most others do. She already had open heart surgery in July last year to put in a new heart valve and make some repairs. As she grows and gets older, it's tough to keep up with the surgeries because her body changes. Since that surgery, she's had problems with other organs because the heart can't provide enough blood to them. As the heart she has now deteriorates, the only thing that can help her is a heart transplant." Shawn, 27, and Tara, 26, met at Daytona Speedweeks in 1994. He was working on Rusty Wallace's team and she for Winston promotions. An unplanned meeting between the two clicked and they have been together ever since. Married last November, the couple now reside in Cornelius, NC. Some of the factors involved for matching a heart include blood type, size and age to make a true fit with a donor. Tara currently experiences shortness of breath and fatigue from most types of physical exertion. As she awaits her possible life-saving phone call, Shawn makes a daily 130-mile round-trip from Monday through Wednesday to see his wife, then leaves Thursday for the races.(see full story at NASCAR.com)(6-11-2001)
UPDATE 3: Shawn Parker's wife, Tara, remains hospitalized in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she is awaiting a heart transplant. She has now been in the hospital for eight weeks(Winston Cup Scene need sub)(6-28-2001)
- Biffle Staying at Roush: "Take me out of the rumor mill," says Greg Biffle. "Roush Racing and Grainger have been great to me and I have no intention of doing anything but staying here to try and win more championships for Grainger and for Jack Roush." With that statement Biffle hopes to end "silly season" speculation about his future. "Jack Roush, Greg Biffle and Grainger have made long term commitments to one another, and all parties are fully engaged in the process of honoring those commitments," says Geoff Smith, Roush Racing President. "It is a compliment to Greg's talent that after only a few races in the Busch series he has captured the eyes of other owners---who are recently discovering what we have known and have invested in for several years." "I've been approached by members of the media asking me if I'm thinking of leaving Roush Racing," said Biffle. "Each time I've told them that I am happy where I am, and I look forward to a successful career with Roush Racing. "At this point in the season, the rumors start to fly about which driver is doing what for next season. If there is a hint a driver is leaving a team, the media picks it up and runs with it. Yeah, I've had a few calls about going other places, but I'm just not interested in doing so. It's very flattering to have big name teams calling me at this point in my career, but I'm driving for one of the biggest names in the industry that has a team of racing and marketing people committed to helping my career. "Why would I think about leaving the opportunity that's been placed in front of me? Roush Racing and Grainger have agreed to take me Winston Cup racing, and whether that takes place next year or the year after is up to them. My job is to get into that race car each week and drive to the best of my abilities, and that's what I intend to do no matter what series I'm racing in. "Jack Roush and Grainger will make the decision on when it's time for me to make the jump to Winston Cup. If it's next year, I'm ready for the challenge; if it's not, then another year in the Busch Series will only have me that much more prepared for the jump. "I'm working with one of the best crew chiefs in the business (Randy Goss), and we are building a team that has already shown it has what it takes to go Winston Cup racing. Roush Racing gives me everything I need to go out every week and be a contender. I've got teammates that are some of the best in the business helping me out each week, and I look forward to continuing to build the relationships with those guys as my career progresses. "If it weren't for Jack Roush giving me the opportunity to drive for him in 1998, I may not have been where I am today. He took a chance on me and I plan on honoring that. I've already won one championship with the organization and I plan on winning more. That's the bottom line."(Roush Racing PR)(6-13-2001)
- Martin Stuff: Does Mark Martin plan on retiring anytime soon? Did a pinched nerve cause him any problem at Dover? Are there any more special paint schemes scheduled for this year? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the transcript of an online chat that Mark did with NASCAR Online. Oh yes....the answers to the three questions above are: No, No, and No...(thanks to the J-Mar Express newsletter for the heads up)(6-6-2001)
- Get Well UPDATE 2: It was mentioned during Fox's broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600 by Dr. Dick Berggren, that Shawn Parker's wife, Tara, is in a Winston-Salem hospital. Mrs. Parker is listed in critical condition and has A-1 status on heart transplant, which means she is the next person on the list when one that will match her comes available. Also... Winston Cup car owner, Bill Davis of Bill Davis Racing returned to the hospital where he originally was thought to have had Kidney stones, but this time it is thought to be dealing with ulcers(Fox Coverage/Catchfence). Parker is the Car chief/Rear tire changer for the #6 Roush Racing team and driver Mark Martin. Get Well soon Tara and Bill(5-29-2001)
UPDATE: Car owner(#'s 22 and 93) Bill Davis returned to a High Point hospital Tuesday morning because of pain he continued to suffer after having a procedure performed for kidney stones. Davis, the car owner for Ward Burton and Dave Blaney, was in the hospital Sunday and missed the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. He was released Monday night before returning the next morning(RacingExtra)(5-30-2001)
UPDATE 2: Parker's Wife: Shawn Parker, was poised to leave the race on a moment's notice. Parker's wife, Tara, is on the priority list for a heart transplant. She had two hearts become available in the past couple of weeks, but doctors thought one was too small and the other carried hepatitis. Team owner Jack Roush has his plane on standby to fly Parker out if he receives word his wife is heading into surgery.
Davis: Bill Davis is not expected to return to his regular schedule for several weeks. The owner of Ward Burton's and Dave Blaney's teams went into the hospital with kidney stones last week. He underwent a treatment process to break up the stones and was released but developed pain late that night. Davis' kidneys were bruised in the process. He remains in a High Point, N.C., hospital undergoing treatment(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)
- Biffle Stands by for Martin: Greg Biffle was standing by to fill in for Mark Martin, who possibly pinched a nerve in his left side during last week's race. Martin suffered some numbness in his left arm during the Coca-Cola 600. The feeling continued last week, so he decided to have a driver standing by during the race. Martin stayed in the car and finished ninth, his fourth top 10 of the season(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-4-2001)
- JR's Garage: The grand opening of JR's Garage retail store is scheduled for May 22-25 with special appearances by all seven Roush Racing drivers throughout the week. The store is located in the Lakeside Industrial Park in Mooresville, NC. The festivities will kick off Tuesday, May 22 with an autograph session by Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, Matt Kenseth will sign autographs from 9-11am, and Jeff Burton will sign from 2-4pm. Thursday, May 24 there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Jack Roush and the Mooresville Chamber of Commerce at 9am. Mark Martin will sign autographs with his son Matt from 10 - 11:30am, and CTS drivers Chuck Hossfeld and Nathan Haseleu will sign from 2-4pm. Tickets for the autograph sessions will be handed out two hours prior to the drivers' scheduled appearance. Tickets are free, but fans must have a ticket to enter the autograph line(Roush Racing PR)(5-21-2001)
- Martin has Surgery: #6-Mark Martin underwent outpatient surgery Monday morning to remove a screw from his left knee. The screw was inserted in July 1999 after Martin broke a bone in his leg during an accident at Daytona during a practice session for the Pepsi 400. Dr. Chuck Kollmer, the same doctor who operated on Martin's knee originally, as well as his back in December 1999, performed the minor surgery. The procedure was done in Dr. Kollmer's office in New Smyrna Beach, FL(That's Racin')(5-8-2001)
- Martin Wears HANS: quoted in the past as saying he wouldn't wear the HANS or similar device, #6-Mark Martin donned a Hans safety device for the race at Talladega(Anniston Star)(4-24-2001)
- True Value Man of the Year: Mark Martin's countless hours of preparation, planning meetings and fundraising to fulfill his dream of building a quarter-midget track to give local kids a place to race, received the first quarter nomination for the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year Award. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, is once again sponsoring the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. The award is designed to honor a driver not only for their accomplishments on the track but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. The inspiration for this project was Martin's eight-year-old son Matt, who began racing a quarter-midget last year near Orlando, Fla. Martin saw the need to have a track closer to home for many of the local kids. Martin worked on this summer-long project in 2000 and watched as his dream became a reality with the grand opening of the track in February earlier this year. With support from fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mike Skinner, just to name a few, Martin unveiled the New Smyrna (Fla.) Quarter Midget Racetrack. The track, located in the infield of New Smyrna Speedway, is a standard 1/20th-mile oval and operates on Wednesday evenings. It is sanctioned by the Quarter Midget Association and a local club. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. An elite group of panelists will select one of the four quarterly finalists to name the NASCAR True Value Man of the Year. This award will be presented at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series banquet in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his choice.(NASCAR PR)(4-20-2001)
- Martin Honor: Mark Martin has been nominated for the Jasper Pro Driver of the Year award to be presented June 9 at the Florida Sports Awards in Jacksonville, Fla. Martin won the award for his category last year. Others nominated in his category this year are Jeff Gordon and the late Dale Earnhardt. A judging committee comprised of members of the Florida Sports Writers and Sportscasters Association ranked athletes in 13 professional categories on a scale of one through three. The three professional athletes with the highest points total in each category comprise the final nominees. The Jaspers honor the top professional athletes, coaches and teams in Florida. Proceeds from the Florida Sports Awards benefit the Otis F. Smith Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to underprivileged children throughout North Florida(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read online)(4-19-2001)
- Roush Buys an Airline: Team Owner Jack Roush struck a deal with an Indiana billionaire who was looking to unload his charter service, acquiring his fleet of three 727 jets and retaining three veteran pilots. The sale price is said to be a bargain -- estimated to be in the $5 million to $6 million range --but the operating cost won’t be cheap, unless the boss can find a way to make a buck off Air Roush. Plans call for only one of the jets to transport Roush Racing's four Winston Cup and one Busch team. Another is being offered to charter other Cup race teams. The third might also be made available for charter or even sold. The planes were built as luxury charters for professional sports teams and corporate junkets, thus seat only 50.(CNN/SI)(4-18-2001)
- Mark Martin's Speedway has an accident UPDATE 3: James Neaves, president of the New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, is in critical but stable condition with head injuries in the intensive care unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, a hospital spokeswoman said. The 35-year-old Spruce Creek Fly-In resident was injured during a caution lap when a slow moving car driven by a 6-year-old Deltona boy hit him from behind. The impact at the ankles threw Neaves in the air and he landed on his head, a Sheriff's Office report said. Robert Hart, owner of New Smyrna Speedway where the midget track is located, said it was an unfortunate incident. There was no ambulance on site nor an emergency medical technician on duty during the races. The Little New Smyrna Speedway -- geared toward children between the ages of 5 and 15 -- officially opened during Speed Weeks in February. Founder and Winston Cup driver Mark Martin, Neaves and Dye worked nearly a year to get the track operational for area kids to learn about competitive racing at a young age. Benny Ertel, spokesman for Martin, said the NASCAR driver was upset about the news and rushed to the hospital to be with Neaves' family late Sunday night when he returned from the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Martin was unavailable for comment Monday.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-3-2001)
UPDATE: have heard that James Neaves is doing better, nothing official
UPDATE 2: The youth auto racing official injured at New Smyrna Speedway Sunday has been upgraded to serious condition, a Halifax Medical Center spokeswoman said Thursday. James Neaves, 35, was thrown into the air after being struck from behind by a 6-year-old Deltona boy during a caution lap. The impact from the car, which weighs about 235 pounds, threw Neaves onto the asphalt track, causing severe head injuries. Neaves is president of the newly formed New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, which built a track in the infield of the speedway. He had just finished fixing a section of the low wooden wall following an accident during the practice session when he was struck. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital's intensive care unit where he had remained in critical condition until Thursday morning(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-6-2001)
UPDATE 3: good news on Jim Neaves - he is sitting up and having limited conversation and things are actually going quite well. The track was back racing last night(4-12-2001)
UPDATE 4: Jim Neaves went home last Wednesday(May 2). Attended his son's race at the speedway Wednesday night. Doctors have released him to stay at home and he should be returning to work very soon. Good News(5-8-2001)
- Roush Says Team OK: Jack Roush insists his NASCAR empire is not in a slump. That, despite only two combined top-5 finishes and six top-10s in 32 starts this year among Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch. Until this year, Roush has always had championship-caliber teams. Martin has been top-10 in 12 of his 13 full seasons, nine of them within the top five. Burton has been top-5 in four of his five seasons with Roush. Never has the organization struggled like this. But Roush dismisses most of it as bad luck. "How can an owner prepare for some of what's happened to us?" he said over the weekend. "We've had a hard year because we've been involved in wrecks and had structural failures and broken parts that we've never broken before. Jeff had a tire problem at Bristol that wasn't his fault, and when he ran into Mark, we lost two cars right there. Over the winter we prepared our engineering effort, our aero program, our chassis program and our motor program better than ever. But we couldn't have prepared for the chain of events that have occurred one after the other. We understand some of the parts failures, so I've taken steps to see they don't happen again. If you're talking about points, yes, we're struggling. But we've had some very good runs this year."(Daily Press)(4-11-2001)
- Four Roush CTS Teams in 2002: Roush Racing on Monday announced its plans to field up to four teams in 2002 in the CTS. Roush currently fields two teams, with drivers Chuck Hossfeld and Nathan Haseleu. Roush plans to add teams for 18-year-old Jon Wood, son of Wood Brothers Racing owner Eddie Wood, and Tim Woods, a 24-year-old African American driver from California. None of the teams currently has sponsorship in place for the 2002 season. (That's Racin')(4-10-2001)
- Mark Martin's Speedway has an accident UPDATE 2: James Neaves, president of the New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, is in critical but stable condition with head injuries in the intensive care unit at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, a hospital spokeswoman said. The 35-year-old Spruce Creek Fly-In resident was injured during a caution lap when a slow moving car driven by a 6-year-old Deltona boy hit him from behind. The impact at the ankles threw Neaves in the air and he landed on his head, a Sheriff's Office report said. Robert Hart, owner of New Smyrna Speedway where the midget track is located, said it was an unfortunate incident. There was no ambulance on site nor an emergency medical technician on duty during the races. The Little New Smyrna Speedway -- geared toward children between the ages of 5 and 15 -- officially opened during Speed Weeks in February. Founder and Winston Cup driver Mark Martin, Neaves and Dye worked nearly a year to get the track operational for area kids to learn about competitive racing at a young age. Benny Ertel, spokesman for Martin, said the NASCAR driver was upset about the news and rushed to the hospital to be with Neaves' family late Sunday night when he returned from the race at Texas Motor Speedway. Martin was unavailable for comment Monday.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-3-2001)
UPDATE: have heard that James Neaves is doing better, nothing official
UPDATE 2: The youth auto racing official injured at New Smyrna Speedway Sunday has been upgraded to serious condition, a Halifax Medical Center spokeswoman said Thursday. James Neaves, 35, was thrown into the air after being struck from behind by a 6-year-old Deltona boy during a caution lap. The impact from the car, which weighs about 235 pounds, threw Neaves onto the asphalt track, causing severe head injuries. Neaves is president of the newly formed New Smyrna Quarter Midget Racing Association, which built a track in the infield of the speedway. He had just finished fixing a section of the low wooden wall following an accident during the practice session when he was struck. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital's intensive care unit where he had remained in critical condition until Thursday morning(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-6-2001)
- Trouble in the #6 Camp? UPDATE: Tensions are in overdrive on the Roush Racing No. 6 crew of Mark Martin. Last season was difficult enough, when the team had problems and lost a significant number of crew members. Now rumors coming from that camp are that both crew chief Jimmy Fennig and car chief Shawn Parker are unhappy with upper management. Parker seemed exceptionally hot last Sunday after two less-than-perfect pit stops(Sporting News)(3-5-2001)
UPDATE: despite what was reported, being told that there are no problems at the Roush Racing #6 team. Parker was simply upset because he hurt his hand during the pit stop and showed a little temper(3-6-2001)
- Martin Scheme at the Shootout? hearing that #6-Mark Martin will run a "JR's Garage" scheme for the Budwesier Shootout. What is JR's Garage? it is Roush Racing's in-house merchandise store(2-7-2001)
- Why No IROC for Martin? been asked, here is why: The official entry list for the 2001 IROC series does not include four-time champ Mark Martin. The field of 12 announced by IROC includes Gil de Ferran and Kenny Brack from CART, Buddy Lazier, Eddie Cheever, Scott Goodyear and Mark Dismore from the IRL, and Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Jeff Green from NASCAR. According to sources close to
IROC, they chose to select the top five in points in Winston Cup and then extend invitations to more open-wheel racers. (In recent years, participation in the series has been dominated by stock-car drivers.) As a result, Martin did not receive an invitation(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(1-26-2001)
- Roush Recovering: Roush Racing owner Jack Roush has been walking around the garage area at Daytona with his left arm in a sling. He underwent surgery in mid-December to repair a damaged tendon in his shoulder. Roush originally suffered the injury while celebrating the victory by Jeff Burton's team in the World Pit Crew Championship last October at Rockingham(That's Racin')(1-10-2001)
- BBBSA and Martin: The two-year total of money raised through Valvoline's NASCAR effort for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's "Caring Hands" program, including Monday's final race at Atlanta, is $540,577. Since 1999, Valvoline has donated $5,000 for each Mark Martin Winston Cup victory in the Valvoline Ford, $2,500 for each pole, $20 per lap led, and this year added a $1,000 contribution for a top-five finish(Valvoline Newsletter/PR)(11-21-2000)
- Martin #400: Mark Martin will make his 400th consecutive Winston Cup start at Homestead. Martin is fifth in active consective starts streaks in Cup, behind Dale Earnhardt with 645, Ricky Rudd with 606, Rusty Wallace at 515 and Ken Schrader with 485(11-9-2000)
- BBBSA/Martin Update: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $536,278. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program.(Valvoline PR)(11-8-2000)
- Pfizer Men's Health Tune-up for Life: Mark Martin's J-Mar Express and Pfizer Inc are partnering to bring the Pfizer Men's Health Tune-up for Life program to Searcy, Arkansas. The Pfizer Men's Health Tune-up for Life program's 50-foot state-of-the-art mobile screening unit is staffed with healthcare professionals and offers screening for a variety of common disorders including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar. The goal of Pfizer Men's Health Tune-up for Life is to help raise awareness about men's health and the importance of seeking routine medical exams. The Pfizer Men's Health Tune-up for Life mobile screening unit will be at J-Mar, 731 Taylor Road, on Monday, October 30 and will be open for the public from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to basic health screenings, the trailer also provides take-away information about various health disorders and Pfizer products. Women are also welcome to come for screenings(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(10-27-2000)
- Hanging with Martin for a good cause: A couple from Wisconsin who donated $25,000 to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America are accompanying Mark Martin on a weeklong fantasy vacation. Mike and Liz Lewens of Shawano, Wis., came to Lowe's Motor Speedway on Tuesday, with Liz Lewens driving some laps on her own after Martin's tutelage and then rode some laps at race speeds with Martin. The couple will work as honorary pit crew members for Martin's team at Rockingham this weekend(That's Racin')(10-21-2000)
- Rockingham not Martin's final BGN race: getting asked by many readers about a report on That's Racin' that Rockingham being Mark Martin's final BGN (Busch Series) race. The Homestead-Miami site is reporting (and as far as I know) that the BGN race at Homestead-Miami Speedway WILL be Martin's final BGN race, supposdly he will even have a special paint scheme there honoring the event. Homestead will also be Jeff Gordon's last planned BGN race(10-19-2000)
- Martin BBBSA Update: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $534,878. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole,
$1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program(Valvoline PR)(10-2-2000)
- Matt Wins; Wyatt makes debut: Matt Martin, 8-year-old son of Mark Martin(#6 Valvoline), claimed another win Friday night at the Apopca(FL) Speedway quarter-midget track. The younger Martin won his Junior Honda event from his third-place starting position. Wyatt Dallenbach, son of Winston Cup driver Wally Dallenbach Jr.(#75 Galaxy Motorsports), also made his quarter- midget debut with a third-place finish in the Junior Novice division(That's Racin')(10-1-2000)
- Martin BBBSA update; Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $533,678. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program.(Valvoline PR)(9-23-2000)
- Martin and a speedway: Mark Martin is branching out to a new venture in his racing career, becoming a track promoter. Martin has been working all summer on the construction of a brand new quarter-midget track located in the infield of New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, FL. The inspiration for this project was Martin's eight-year-old son Matt, who began racing a quarter-midget last year near Orlando, FL. Martin wanted to have a track closer to home for many of the local kids(Speedway Scene)(9-19-2000)
- #6 Paint in 2001: Although it hasn't yet been announced, Roush Racing's big deal with Pfizer Inc. will involve some rotating paint schemes. Rumored to be in the range of $14 million per year, the contract calls for Viagra to be the main sponsor of Mark Martin's #6 Ford. But the deal also calls for Pfizer, one of the biggest companies in the world with literally hundreds of brands, to get into the car painting business. The company plans to have Martin race at least once next year in a brand geared toward younger fans, such as a children's product(CBS Sportsline)(8-31-2000)
- Biffle to Cup...in two years? While appearing in-studio on "Victory Lane", a weekly racing show on CLTV in Chicago on Tuesday nights, Roush #50 CTS driver, Greg Biffle said that he and Jack Roush will have an announcement about his future plans when the trucks visit Chicago this coming weekend. Biffle stated that the plan is to run BGN for two years and then to move to Winston Cup. A sponsor will also be announced next week. It could be that Grainger is going with them, as they are headquartered in the Chicago area(MotorsportsTV). Supposedly, Biffle will take over the #60 Roush BGN ride as Mark Martin is 'retiring' from the BGN series, it was made know in February that Biffle was leaving for the BGN(8-21-2000)
- Martin/BBBSA: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $528,065. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program. The next trackside fundraiser, where fans can participate, will be this Sunday (8 a.m.-noon) at the Valvoline souvenir trailer outside Michigan Speedway(Valvoline PR)(8-15-2000)
- Martin's Back: Mark Martin is once again experiencing back pain which has caused him to walk gingerly at times once he's spent time in his Winston Cup car(That's Racin')(7-1-2000)
- #6 Sponsor Announcement? UPDATE - IT's OFFICIAL: hearing that Pfizer may in the running for sponsorship of the #6 Ford(5-28-2000)
UPDATE: While there are talks about extending the Valvoline deal, another possibility is that Pfizer's sponsorship could wind up on that (#6)car(That's Racin')(5-29-2000)
UPDATE: The Valvoline Company has announced that at the conclusion of the 2000 season it will no longer be the major sponsor of the Roush Racing Ford driven by Mark Martin(6-1-2000)
UPDATE: billed as "The Biggest Winston Cup Announcement for 2001", Mark Martin/Roush Racing, Friday, June 30 at Daytona International Speedway. Viagra?
UPDATE: A big-dollar sponsorship deal between pharmaceutical company Pfizer and Mark Martin's race team will be announced at a news conference in Daytona on Friday. Martin's No. 6 Fords will be sponsored by Pfizer and its Viagra product beginning next season in a deal that's rumored to be in the range of $15 million a season(That's Racin')(a combo of past news and current news)(6-28-2000)
UPDATE: Roush Racing announced today that Pfizer Inc will be the new primary sponsor for Mark Martin and the #6 Roush Racing Ford Taurus beginning in 2001. Through the new sponsorship by Pfizer's product Viagra(R) (sildenafil citrate), Martin will have a platform to promote men's health issues and raise awareness of men's health concerns. Check out the full story and an image of the car at the Roush Racing Site or see a larger image Keystone Marketing sent out on my Paint Schemes Page(6-30-2000)
- Martin and BBBSA: Mark Martin and Superbowl MVP, Lynn Swann were on hand last night at the Pittsburgh Pirates game where they presented a check of $4,000, in-behalf of Valvoline, to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. Also Martin threw out the first pitch as part of Valvoline and Valvoline Instant Oil Change's (VIOC) two-year sponsorship of the Pirates(Catchfence)(6-16-2000)
- Martin Top 10 streak: #6-Mark Martin was out of the top 10 for the fifth race in a row, his longest streak since 1989(6-11-2000)
- Cummins out? UPDATE: hearing that Cummins Engine Company, who is an associate sponsor on the #6 Mark Martin/Roush Racing Ford will not return as a sponsor on the car in 2001(6-7-2000)
UPDATE - Valvoline and Cummins again? hearing you could see Cummins go with whoever gets the Valvoline sponsorship, likely Casey Atwood in the #19 Dodge. Note: I had told a few readers that Dodge was sponsoring both the #9 and #19 Evernham Dodges, not true, the #9 Dodge will be the only one(6-10-2000)
- Pfizer gone from the #27: this weeks Winston Cup Scene Magazine reports that crew chief Barry Dodson is pretty positive that his #27 Eel River Racing team will lose Pfizer/Viagra as their primary sponsor at the end of the 2000 season and it will go to the #6 Roush Racing Ford and driver Mark Martin. Rookie Mike Bliss drives the #27 Pontiac(6-8-2000)
- Some Dodge Rumors UPDATE 2: hearing Ray Evernham will meet with Valvoline this week AND heard that Dodge tested at Greenville Pickens Speedway earlier this week(6-7-2000)
UPDATE: hearing that the meetings with Valvoline are about a primary sponsorship of the #19 Dodge that Casey Atwood will drive in 2001 and an assoc deal with the #9 Dodge Bill Elliott will drive
UPDATE 2: the Dodges testing at Greenville Pickens Speedway were not cars but trucks, supposedly testing the new Dodge engine that will be used in Cup next year(6-8-2000)
- Valvoline and Roush UPDATE 5 more news: Roush and Valvoline, meanwhile are continuing to negotiate, with proposals out and under evaluation. Rumored replacements include GE(General Electric) and Wal-Mart. Also Valvoline could end up a major assoc across all the Roush teams like Quaker State is with Hendrick Motorsports(SpeedVision)
UPDATE: hearing that Pfizer may in the running for sponsorship of the #6 Ford(5-28-2000)
UPDATE 2: While there are talks about extending the Valvoline deal, another possibility is that Pfizer's sponsorship could wind up on that (#6)car(That's Racin')(5-29-2000)
UPDATE 3: Top sponsor will change for Martin. Pfizer/Viagra will be the primary sponsor for NASCAR driver Mark Martin's #6 Ford next year. The new deal for Martin and Roush Racing is reportedly worth $60 million over five years, according to several sources within the NASCAR industry. This year’s primary sponsor, Valvoline, and Martin have enjoyed one of the longest-running relationships in the sport. “(Valvoline) is more likely to be an associate sponsor than as a primary sponsor next year -- that would be a true statement,” said Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, on Tuesday evening. “But as far as other things going on, we’re not going to talk (about names and specifics) until everything is completed.” Pfizer/Viagra is the primary sponsor of Pontiac #27 driver Mike Bliss this season(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-31-2000)
UPDATE 4: The Valvoline Company has announced that at the conclusion of the 2000 season it will no longer be the major sponsor of the Roush Racing Ford driven by Mark Martin on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Valvoline is pursuing other opportunities within NASCAR and is confident that they will continue to be a major sponsor in Winston Cup racing as they have been for the last 25 years(Yahoo Biz)(6-1-2000)
UPDATE 5: Although Valvoline will no longer be a primary sponsor, they still expect to be associated with them(Roush) in some capacity in the future and that Valvoline is confident the company will continue as a "major sponsor" in Winston Cup. Sources told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last week that Martin and Roush were to sign a five-year, $72 million contract with Bentonville-based Wal-Mart, a deal that would include a $5 million bonus to win the Winston Cup championship, beginning next year. But the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported this week that a five-year, $60 million deal had been signed with Pfizer/Viagra as company that Martin signed on to work with an advertising campaign for the company this season along with fellow drivers Bobby Labonte and Rusty Wallace. Other potential sponsors believed to be interested include United Parcel Services, Ford Quality Care and General Electric. No word has come from Roush Racing at all(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)(6-5-2000)
- Martin news: With #6-Mark Martins blown engine, Martin finished outside the top ten for the fourth time in a row. Martin hasn't finished outside the top ten four times in a row previous to this since 1989(TNN Race Coverage)(6-5-2000)
- Martin News: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the #6-Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $474,410. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program. The next trackside fundraiser, where fans can put their handprints on a canvas wall, receive a commemorative button, and make donations, will be June 3 at Dover Downs International Speedway(Valvoline Newsletter)(5-30-2000)
- Martin News: Mark Martin will compete in the BGN race at Charlotte on May 27. Martin will be racing the #60 Ford with a special Winn-Dixie paint scheme for the second time this year. This paint scheme will be a tribute for the Memorial Day weekend(J-Mar Newsletter)(5-20-2000)
- Martin's Engine Builder Wins: Roush Racing's Randy Hewitt claimed the top prize in the Clevite Engine Builder Showdown 2000. The Showdown 2000 pitted the top engine builders in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in a timed competition. Hewitt and his assistant Mike Kasch assembled a bare block Ford 5.8L engine in 21 minutes and 41 seconds to edge the team from Larry Hedrick Motorsports in the finals. Hewitt won an expense-paid trip for two to Hawaii and a one-year lease on a Mustang GT convertible or Camaro SS convertible. Highlights of the event will be seen on TNN's "NASCAR Garage" this fall(J-Mar Newsletter)(5-20-2000)
- Martin's Colors: Mark Martin will carry Valvoline's MaxLife colors on his #6 Ford in the Winston this Saturday(Valvoline PR)(5-16-2000)
- Martins News: The first week of the Valvoline Online Racing Auction on eBay.com raised approximately $40,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The top item was a NASCAR race weekend as a Mark Martin honorary pit crew member, which attracted a bid of $12,000.(for more info see my Racing Charities page). The auction continues through May 23. AND Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $324,410. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program. The next trackside fundraiser, where fans can put their handprints on a canvas wall, receive a commemorative button, and make donations, will be May 27 at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte(Valvoline PR)(5-16-2000)
- Valvoline/Roush: Valvoline, the Lexington, KY motor oil company, which reportedly pays $8 million a year to be the lead sponsor on the #6 Jack Roush owned Ford, is in contract negotiations with Roush Racing, the company behind driver Mark Martin's Winston Cup car. The price tag for lead sponsors on a Top 10 Winston Cup car is said to run $8 million to $11 million annually. Though the cost is high, NASCAR observers say Valvoline can't afford to put the brakes on now. The company has sponsored the car for 11 years, eight as lead sponsor and this year Martin is positioned to win his first Winston Cup title. Valvoline and Roush won't comment on their talks, which have been in progress since December. Both have said they want to renew their three-year contract, which expires this year, for three to five more years, see full story at the Herald-Leader. Rumor Alert: if Valvoline leaves, Ford(Quality Care) or UPS could end up being the #6 sponsor as mentioned in past stories here and elsewhere(5-3-2000)
- Wal-Mart to Cup? Wal-mart might be the next new sponsor on the Winston Cup tour and could have a logo on Mark Martin's quarter-panel next season, according to NASCAR sources. That could be the trigger that Target needs to make the jump into Winston Cup racing, too.(PitNow) UPS and Wal-Mart?(5-2-2000)
- Martin Honored: #6 Valvoline Ford driver, Mark Martin earned first-quarter honors in 2000 Driver of the Year voting at ESPN. Martin combined his Winston Cup success and domination of the Busch Series edge Formula One driver Michael Schumacher in the first-quarter voting by a 16-member panel of national motorsports media representatives and ESPN.com users. Martin received seven first-place votes and 101 points to Schumacher's seven first-place nods and 90 points(ESPN)(4-24-2000)
- More Martin: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the #6 Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $291,938. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program. The next trackside fundraiser, where fans can put their handprints on a canvas wall, receive a commemorative button, and make donations, will be April 29, 8 a.m.-noon, at the California Speedway(Valvoline PR)(4-24-2000)
- Slow Down at 'Dega UPDATE 2: Richard Childress and Jack Roush have prepared cars for a special test here Monday in an effort to slow Winston Cup cars down enough so they won't need a carburetor restrictor plate. Nelson said teams came to him with some ideas, and he decided to try them out on the race track. One of the ideas is a bigger "greenhouse," the size and shape of the rear window area(Total Sports). Ned Jarrett's idea is to stand the windshield up, like the trucks, that'll slow them down(4-15-2000)
UPDATE: NASCAR has closed the test to the media except for long-distance photography, and there are indications that NASCAR officials aren't very enthusiastic about the test(PitNow)
UPDATE 2: On RPM2Nite the two cars being tested were shown. The #6 Ford was driven by Matt Kanseth and had some sheet metal modifications done around the nose and hood. The #3 Chevy was driven by Dave Marcis and supposedly had a raised roof(by one inch) and widened by 2 inches. Also it was speculated on the show the the windshield was being tested at different angles. The cars with present restrictor plates and modifications were slowed down by 3 seconds. Using a larger restrictor plate (unknown size) the 3 seconds were regained. More testing will be done on Tuesday(RPM2Nite)(4-17-2000)
- Sponsor Exposure: Valvoline topped NASCAR in network TV exposure for the seventh straight year in 1999, with Mark Martin's #6 Ford accumulating nearly $49 million in value. According to research by The Sponsors Report, which documents advertising exposure on national sports telecasts, total value for all Winston Cup sponsors topped $1.4 billion, up from $1.2 billion in 1998(That's Racin'/AP)(4-7-2000)
- Martin Paint: Mark Martin will again carry the colors of MaxLife in this Sunday's Goody's Body Pain 500 at Martinsville, VA on the #6 Valvoline Ford. MaxLife is a new motor oil from The Valvoline Co. intended for high-mileage vehicles(Valvoline Newsletter)(4-5-2000)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America/Martin Update: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the #6 Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters since 1999 to $276,683. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins, $2,500 for each pole, $1,000 for a top-five finish, and $20 per lap Martin leads in this "Caring Hands" program(Valvoline Newsletter)(3-27-2000)
- Martin: #6-Mark Martin is the only driver to lead all four CUP races in 2000, in fact Martin has led the last eight CUP races dating back to last year at Rockingham(3-12-2000)
- Martin Auction: Mark Martin and Valvoline have announced the Valvoline Online Racing Auction will be hosted by www.eBay.com for three weeks, from April 28-May 20. Combining resources from Martin, Valvoline, Roush Racing and others, fans will have the opportunity to bid on a large selection of racing memorabilia ranging from autographed photos to travel packages. Some items, including the chance to be an honorary Martin pit crew member and dinner with five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Joe Amato, can be previewed now at the Valvoline.com web site. Auction proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's school-based mentoring program, which aims to develop a strong mentor-child relationship within the school context(Valvoline PR)(3-13-2000)
- Mark's Son: Mark Martin‘s son, Matt, finished second in his first Junior Honda race in Florida on Friday night(Times-Dispatch)(3-6-2000)
- Caring Hands: Following an extremely successful inaugural season for the "Caring Hands" program, which raised more than $200,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), The Valvoline Company and NASCAR superstar Mark Martin announced today that they are once again teaming up with the country's premier mentoring program in order to raise $1 million and recruit new volunteer mentors throughout the 2000 NASCAR season. The "Caring Hands" program continues to be the most ambitious cause-related endeavor undertaken by Valvoline in its 134-year history. Valvoline, along with BBBSA and Speedway Children's Charities representatives were on hand to unveil several cause-related marketing initiatives for the 2000 season including: the schedule of trackside events (below), a new Valvoline-sponsored "Caring Hands" Award, a new public service announcement and a sneak preview of plans for online auction hosted by eBay this spring(Business Wire)(3-6-2000)
- Martin's Jackman: When Mark Martin pitted for the mandatory pitstop during the Bud Shootout, he realized his brakes weren't working well. Trapped in front of the car was jackman Mike Ehret, who didn't have enough time to get out of the way. Ehret, trying to get around to the front right wheel, was knocked down but not seriously hurt. He immediately regained his feet and hopped back to the wall. He was treated for a bruise to the right leg and released from the infield care center(CBS/AP), Ehert may skip Thursday's 125-mile qualifiers, but says he'll be back on pit road for the 500(PitNow)(2-14-2000)
- Martin-BBBS: Mark Martin and Valvoline will expand their association with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America this season. Starting with Sunday's Daytona 500, Valvoline will again donate $5,000 for each race win, $2,500 per pole position, and $20 for every lap Martin leads in Winston Cup competition in the Valvoline Ford Taurus. New in Y2K is a $1,000 contribution for a top-five finish and a special fundraising activity will be announced soon. At least 11 trackside fundraisers are scheduled -- opening at Daytona -- where fans can participate in this "Caring Hands" program. A total of $247,315 was raised by Martin's performance in 1999 plus off-season events(Valvoline Newsletter)(2-14-2000)
- Martin BGN: Last fall, Mark Martin announced that the 2000 season would be his final year running a limited schedule in the BGN. Martin will wrap up his Busch career with a 14-race schedule this season. Winn-Dixie, Martin's primary sponsor since 1993, decided to commemorate Martin's final year in the Busch Series with a new paint scheme for 2000. It captures the greatest moments in Martin's Busch career all on one Ford Taurus. The scheme can be seen on Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery. Martin is the winningest driver in BGN history with 40 victories. He broke Jack Ingram's record of 31 wins at North Carolina Speedway in October 1997. In 187 starts, Martin has 40 wins, 81 top-five and 109 top-10 finishes. He has also claimed 23 poles. His career earnings total $2,345,255. Martin's best year in the Busch Series came in 1993 when he won seven races of the 14 he entered. Martins 200 BGN schedule: Rockingham(2-26 and 10-21), Las Vegas(3-4), Atlanta(3-11), Darlington(3-18 and 9-2), Texas(4-1), Richmond(5-5 and 9-8), Charlotte/Lowes(5-27 and 10-7), Dover(6-3), Michigan(8-19), and Homestead on 11-11(Mark Martin's J-Mar Express)(1-15-2000)
- Roush Dodge? Jack Roush, owner of the #'s 6,16,17,97,99 Fords, will not rule out a move to Dodge in the future. Roush has met with representative of the new Dodge entry scheduled for next season and said he is impressed. Roush said he is committed to Ford this season, but has no contract after that(Tennessean)(1-15-2000)
- Speedy Recovery? On Thursday's Winston Cup Today radio show, Mark Martin told host Mark Garrow that he
could be back in car for the second Ford test at Daytona and may not have to wait until Speedweeks. Will go to the doctor again the Jan 20th and could be back in car by Jan 21st(1-7-2000)
- Mark Martin News: Mark Martin received good news from his doctor last week. After nearly six weeks of laying flat on his back for 22 hours a day, Martin's fusion surgery has healed and he is ready to resume many of his daily activities. During a follow-up exam last Thursday, the latest x-rays showed the bone in Martin's back was completely fused together. Martin will still have Roush Racing teammate Greg Biffle testing his #6 Valvoline/Cummins Taurus in Daytona and Talladega this month. Martin will attend the Daytona test, but does not plan on getting in the car at this time. He will be able to sign autographs at the Winston Preview in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Jan. 15.(JMar Express Newsletter)(1-3-2000)
- AND...Announcement UPDATE: Details of a one-of-a-kind partnership involving NASCAR Winston Cup Series stars Bobby Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin will be announced at a press conference on Friday, December 17 at 2pm/et.....plus the newest NASCAR Winston Cup Series primary team sponsor will be introduced, the car will be unveiled and you'll find out what team the sponsor is backing and who will drive the car(#27 team?)(12-16-1999) -- UPDATE: Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace and Bobby Labonte will participate throughout the upcoming racing season as part of a Men's Health Tune-Up for LifeT program that is created to help educate men and their partners about common medical conditions. As part of the Men's Health Tune-Up for Life program, Pfizer will conduct on location health screenings for men prior to most Winston Cup races. The Men's Health Tune-Up for Life Trailer, a specially equipped mobile unit, will be at every racing event using questionaire or simple medical tests to screen for common medical conditions such as high cholesterol, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), depression, hypertension and erectile dysfunction. Educational materials on common health conditions will also be available. The Men's Health Tune-Up for Life Trailer has the capacity to screen more than 35,000 men during the upcoming racing season(Keystone Marketing)(12-17-1999)
- Martin News: Mark Martin, still flat on his back and under strict doctor's orders, nevertheless sounded upbeat and on schedule, three weeks after surgery to fuse deteriorating vertebrae in his lower back. He's bored senseless, he said Tuesday, but he believes the surgery worked as planned. See info and quotes from Martin at the Racer Magazine site(12-15-1999)
- Martin and Goodyear: Mark Martin and his truck/transport driver, Dennis Ritchie, are featured in Goodyear's newest advertising campaign for the Goodyear G397 LHS steer tire. The advertisement features Martin and Ritchie standing in front of Martin's race car and transport truck. The ad's theme is "How the stars get to the race." Prior to the NAPA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Barry Petrea, Goodyear's marketing manager for commercial truck tires, presented Martin and Ritchie with framed posters of the advertisement(Goodyear PR)(12-6-1999)
- Biffle to test for Martin: #50 CTS Roush Racing driver, Greg Biffle, will test Mark Martin's cars(Cup?) in January, allowing Martin to recuperate from back surgery right into February(NOL)(12-3-1999)
- Martin Charity: Mark Martin's on-track performance during the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans nationwide, raised a total of $202,740 for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Valvoline officials today announced the total donation from the first year of its "Caring Hands" program. Valvoline, primary sponsor of Martin's Valvoline Ford Taurus, said at the start of the 1999 season it would contribute $5,000 for each Martin Winston Cup win, $1,000 per pole position, and $20 for each lap led. In addition, Valvoline and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America hosted 15 trackside fundraisers where fans could participate in the effort(PR)(12-3-1999)
- No Martin at Banquet: Due to his strict orders of bed rest, #6 Valvoline Ford driver Mark Martin will not be able to attend Friday's NASCAR Winston Cup Awards Banquet in New York, but will tape his speech in advance to be shown during the banquet. Martin finished 3rd in the Drivers Standings(JMar Express Newsletter)(11-30-1999)
- Martin Update 2: Mark Martin(#6 Valvoline driver), who underwent successful lumbar fusion surgery Monday, will remain in the Bert Fish Medical Center in New Smyrna Beach, FL, over Thanksgiving. He’s scheduled to be released Friday and will return to his home in Daytona Beach to begin therapy, a six-week rehabilitation regimen(Racer Magazine)(11-25-1999) -- UPDATE: For those who'd like to send get-well wishes to Martin, here's the address: Mark Martin c/o Roush Racing 122 Knob Hill Road
Mooresville, NC 28115(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(11-26-1999)
- Martin off to surgery UPDATE: Mark Martin left Atlanta Motor Speedway immediately following Sunday's NAPA 500 for his home in Florida to prepare for back surgery Monday. Martin is scheduled to undergo a bone fusion in his back at 7:30am/et. He is expected to remain in a Florida hospital for at least a week(That's Racin') -- UPDATE: This report on Mark Martin's back surgery from Lori Halbeisen at Roush Racing: Mark Martin underwent a successful lumbar fusion this morning to hopefully relieve a majority of the back pain he has dealt with for years. Dr. Chuck
Kollmer performed the procedure in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Dr. Kollmer is the same physician who performed surgery on Martin's knee in July. "Mark did very well through the surgery," Dr. Kollmer said. "There was no nerve damage from the procedure and now it is just a matter of the bone healing. His back pain should be much better, although not entirely gone." Martin suffered from a condition called spondylolisthesis in which part of the bone in the back is broken which causes instability and causes the bone below it to slip. That puts pressure on the nerves in the back and causes pain. During the 3 1/2-hour procedure, Dr. Kollmer removed the portion of broken bone and inserted hardware and additional bone which will fuse together to stabilize his lower back. Martin is expected to remain in the hospital until Friday. "He will be laying down today and we hope to start him walking by tomorrow," Dr. Kollmer said. "Once the pain is under control, we will be able to send him home. We will take X-rays several times over the next two months to make sure everything is healing properly. We hope to start a slow rehabilitation program of his extremities next week. He will wear a lower back brace to keep that area stable." The full recovery time for this type of procedure is usually about one year. Dr. Kollmer said Martin should feel better in about six weeks once the bone heals. At this time, Martin does not plan on climbing into a race car until Feb. 10 at Daytona(J-Mar Express Newsletter)(11-22-1999)
- Roush Auction: Roush Racing has fliers up in the Winston Cup garage area advertising an auction of some of its cars and equipment from the two teams it operates out of a shop in Liberty, N.C. Roush is building a new shop in the Charlotte area and will move its Liberty operation there. Kevin Lepage and Johnny Benson have had their teams housed at that shop. The auction, set for 10 a.m. on Nov. 29, is scheduled to include 18 Ford Taurus race cars along with other car parts and shop equipment(That's Racin')(11-21-1999)
- Another Martin: His car is painted just like his dad's and his uniform would remind one of a pint-sized Mark Martin, but he was shy about wearing it to the track for a family news conference. Matt Martin, 7, won the Mid-Florida Quarter Midget Association Junior Novice championship Friday night in Apopka, FL(Atlanta Journal-Constitution/That's Racin')(11-21-1999)
- Valvoline Colors: On RPM2Nite Mark Martin showed off his 2000 colors, very similar to this year, more red, sort of shark like red teeth/fins around the front(RPM2Nite) haven't seen any images of it yet online(11-18-1999)
- Martin and BBBSA: Mark Martin's on-track performance in the Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters to $172,630. Valvoline is donating $5,000 for every Winston Cup race Martin wins this season, $2,500 for each pole, and $20 for every lap he leads in this "Caring Hands" program. The 14th of 15 planned trackside fund-raisers, where fans can put their handprints on a canvas wall, receive a commemorative button, and make donations, will be Saturday at Homestead(Valvoline PR)(11-8-1999)
- Martin BGN News UPDATE: Mark Martin, all-time leading winner in the BGN Series, took a rare few minutes of free time to reflect on his career in NASCAR racing and to reveal that he'll back away from Busch over the next year(Racer Magazine)(10-24-1999) -- UPDATE: Mark Martin is leaning toward withdrawing from competition in the Busch Series after the 2000 season. However, Martin, the all-time leader in victories on the junior circuit, prefers not to use the "R" word(retire)(Tennessean/Cox)(11-5-1999)
- Roush/Team Caliper: Roush Corporation announced that it acquired Team Caliber, L.L.C., a manufacturer and distributor of premium collectible die-cast products. Team Caliber will continue to focus its business on the premium, or high-end die-cast product. Team Caliber, L.L.C. will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Roush Corporation. Randy Duncan will remain as the principal operating officer(Team Caliper Site)(10-26-1999)
- Martin Crew Member: Jon Davis, the catch can man on Martin's pit crew, was injured Sunday on pit road, the #12 Ford ran over the back of his right heel on his foot after a pitstop. Davis was on crutches after the race, but was otherwise fine. He plans to see a specialist upon his return home(NOL)(10-25-1999)
- Martin Surgery: Mark Martin said Friday that the back surgery he has scheduled for Nov. 22, the day after the Winston Cup season ends at Atlanta Motor Speedway, will likely keep him from testing before the 2000 season. Martin said his doctors have told him to expect an 8- to 10-week recovery period(That's Racin')(10-23-1999)
- Martin News: Mark Martin, all-time leading winner in the BGN Series, took a rare few minutes of free time to reflect on his career in NASCAR racing and to reveal that he'll back away from Busch over the next year(Racer Magazine)(10-24-1999)
- More Martin: Mark Martin's on-track performance in his Valvoline Ford, combined with contributions from Valvoline and NASCAR fans, has brought the current total raised for Big Brothers/Big Sisters to $154,409. Valvoline donates $5,000 for each Winston Cup race won by Martin, $2,500 for each pole and $20 for each lap led, in the "Caring Hands" program(JMar Express Newsletter)(10-15-1999)
- Martin Car: #6 Valvoline Ford driver Mark Martin no longer has the car he drove to a third-place finish in the DieHard 500 in April at Talladega. That car was destroyed during a practice-session accident in July at Daytona(Tennessean)(10-15-1999)
- Martin to leave BGN? Mark Martin, the all-time wins leader in the BGN series, is considering leaving the circuit at the conclusion of the 2000 season. An official announcement of Martin's plans is expected at the end of this season, either at Miami-Homestead Speedway - the final race of the Grand National season - or at the Winston Cup series' season finale the following weekend at Atlanta(That's Racin')(10-12-1999)
- Martin at Charlotte: Mark Martin will drive a special car when the series returns to Charlotte. Martin will have the car Jeff Burton(#99) drove to victory at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. The change will be made because Martin is second in points to Dale Jarrett and Burton is fifth(The Depot)(9-29-1999)
- Martin's win: Mark Martin's win at Dover was his third MBNA Gold 400(9-26-1999)
- Crew Member Fined: Shawn Parker, a crew member for Mark Martin, has been fined $5,000 for pulling
an official out of the way while NASCAR was detaining the Ford on pit road on Sept. 11 in Richmond(Infobeat Newsletter/AP)(9-19-1999)
- Roush to buy Track? UPDATE 3: Heard that Jack Roush(owner of the #'s 6,16,26,97,99 Cup teams) may buy the Concord (NC) Motorsport Park Speedway, close it down(for Sat. night racing), and use it for shops and a test track. Riush was recently turned down for zoning where he wanted to build mega race shops and a test track at some property he owns near Lowes Motor Speedway -- CORRECTION: I am told by the folks at the Concord Motorsport Park that the track is not being sold and to correct the info on the Roush Shops - from June 10th: Roush Racing's new headquarters may not be coming to Concord, after the company Tuesday withdrew a controversial rezoning request to build its new facility and test track there. The $75 million proj-ect drew opposition from hundreds of Concord residents who live near the proposed 106-acre facility on U.S. 29. The residents feared the test track would generate too much noise. See the rest of the Charlotte Observer article at: Roush Racing abandons rezoning effort, Concord site.(7-22-1999) -- UPDATE-MAYBE? Jack Roush is reported to be interested in buying Concord Speedway, according to sources close to the track. Roush had considered trying to build a test track near his new Charlotte-area race shop but was rebuffed by local officials(PitNow)(9-18-1999) -- UPDATE 3: Once again the folks at the Concord Motorsport Park are saying that the track is not being sold and they added that the track is being expanded(9-19-1999)
- Roush News: Jack Roush likely will have five Winston Cup teams next season, one way or another. Team officials say the outlook has brightened for the #16 car, driven by Kevin Lepage, but more serious questions now hover over Johnny Benson’s #26. Benson will leave the team after the season, and sponsor Cheerios will a) transfer its primary sponsorship to Richard Petty’s No. 43, and b) scatter among the Roush teams as an associate, leaving the #26 with no primary sponsor and no driver. Roush representative Stephanie Marquez said it appears very possible there will be no #26(Roush team) next season, although “anything can happen,” she added. Meanwhile, TV Guide appears enthusiastic about stepping up its efforts around Lepage and the No. 16, Marquez said. In addition, Roush will add the #17 team of Matt Kenseth, with Roush superstar Mark Martin at some level of ownership.
Roush’s other three teams – those of Martin, Jeff Burton and Chad Little – will continue unchanged at least for one more year, Marquez said(From Racer Magazine Site by Ben Blake)(9-10-1999)
- Martin Surgery: Mark Martin says he's scheduled to have back surgery the day after the season finale at Atlanta on Nov. 21. Martin was scheduled to have back surgery at the end of last season but canceled(News and Record)(9-5-1999)
- Kidney Stones: A kidney stone sidelined Mark Martin's front tire changer, Robert Benfield, and changed the team's strategy throughout the race.
Martin, who finished seventh, was caught exceeding the 55 mph speed limit on pit road after his first pit stop and restarted 37th. Martin said he sped as he tried to make up for a slower pit stop with a different tire changer. Martin was one of a handful of teams that took only two tires on the final pit stop. Martin was second on the final restart on lap 167 but could not keep up with cars that took four tires(News and Record)(8-23-1999)
- Roush Renews drivers: Mark Martin(#6) and Jeff Burton(#99) have agreed on contracts that will keep them with car owner Jack Roush through 2005, Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said Thursday(USA Today)(8-20-1999)
- Martin Test: Mark Martin tested the #6 Valvoline Ford at Darlington on Tuesday, no speeds reported(NOL)(8-12-1999)
- Memorial: This past weekend marked the one-year anniversary of the deaths of Mark Martin's father, Julian, Mark's stepmother, Shelly and his half-sister, Sarah. To honor their memory, a memorial service was held at the J-Mar Express facility in Searcy, Ark., on Saturday. More than 100 friends, family members and employees gathered to remember the three members of the Martin family with songs, prayers, stories, tears, hugs and laughter. It was a special day for everyone who attended(J-Mar Express Newsletter/StockCarFans Newsletter)(8-12-1999)
- Martin/Wallace incident: Robin Pemberton, crew chief for Rusty Wallace, says NASCAR officials have apologized for directing Wallace on to the track and into Mark Martin's way Thursday. The two hit in the final practice session, causing moderate damage to both cars(News and Record)(8-7-1999)
- Roush to buy Track? CORRECTION(s): Heard that Jack Roush(owner of the #'s 6,16,26,97,99 Cup teams) may buy the Concord (NC) Motorsport Park Speedway, close it down(for Sat. night racing), and use it for shops and a test track. Riush was recently turned down for zoning where he wanted to build mega race shops and a test track at some property he owns near Lowes Motor Speedway -- CORRECTION: I am told by the folks at the Concord Motorsport Park that the track is not being sold and to correct the info on the Roush Shops - from June 10th: Roush Racing's new headquarters may not be coming to Concord, after the company Tuesday withdrew a controversial rezoning request to build its new facility and test track there. The $75 million proj-ect drew opposition from hundreds of Concord residents who live near the proposed 106-acre facility on U.S. 29. The residents feared the test track would generate too much noise. See the rest of the Charlotte Observer article at: Roush Racing abandons rezoning effort, Concord site.(7-22-1999)
- Valvoline News: Early this month, Valvoline announced that it would not renew its primary sponsorship of Derrick Walker's CART racing team, which features driver Gil De Ferran. But that prompted speculation that Valvoline might quit the sponsorship game altogether -- even ending its relationship with NASCAR Winston Cup star Martin and the Jack Roush racing team. A spokesman for ESPN said an announcer on sister network ABC erroneously said on Sunday that Valvoline was getting out of motorsports sponsorships altogether. Then on ESPN2's "RPM 2night," the news about the Walker CART team was repeated, with the clarification added that Valvoline is not ending other sponsorships. Valvoline never even considered ending its sponsorship of Martin, Kish said(Tennessean)(7-15-1999)
- Martin Status UPDATE: Mark Martin is one of the toughest guys to ever strap into a race car, but he just might have to step out of this one before it's done. Protege Matt Kenseth will be on-hand if Mark's injuries (broken wrist, rib, operated on knee) become too much. Watch for Jack Roush to "help" Martin with the decision to get out of the car, especially if they get a lap down in the first half of the race at Loudon.(Speedwords), but an AP story says - Martin won’t seek a relief driver on Sunday -- and Martin went the distance(7-11-1999)
- Martin Status UPDATE: Mark Martin not only broke his wrist but he fractured a rib and injured his left knee and had an MRI the knee Tuesday. Martin still plans to race at Loudon(RPM2Nite)(7-6-1999) also NOL has a story on it at Martin's additional injuries don't slow him(7-7-1999) -- UPDATE: Martin had surgery Wednesday on a broken tibia plateau in his left knee in New Smynra Beach, FL but will be able to drive at NHIS but Matt Kenseth will be standing by in case Martin cannot complete the race(NOL)(7-8-1999)
- Valvoline Cutback? UPDATE: Valvoline will discontinue its sponsorship of CART's Walker Racing #5 Gil de Ferran at the end of the 1999 season. The company cited business reasons for the decision and a reallocation of marketing resources toward its SynPower and Eagle One brands and business plans don't include primary team sponsorship in CART in 2000(SpeedNet/goRacing). Why am I reporting this you ask? Well it was reported on RPM2Nite last night by Robin Miller who also said the Valovline may consider cutting back on it's Winston Cup sponsorship of the #6 Valovline Ford driven by Mark Martin or Roush Racing itself after their contract runs out at the end of 2000. A package believed to be worth $7.5 million(RPM2Nite) and from the goRacing story: At this time, Valvoline has no plans for primary team sponsorship in either the CART or IRL open-wheel series in the year 2000 and
speculation has Valvoline also leaving NASCAR and the Mark Martin #6 car at the end of the 2000 season.(7-3-1999) -- UPDATE: Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, said that Valvoline's recent announcement that it is cutting back its sponsorship in open-wheel racing programs does not mean that they will in turn cut back on their Cup series program when their contract runs out after the 2000 season(NOL)(7-4-1999)
- Martin Update: Mark Martin was diagnosed with a broken left wrist at 2pm on Saturday but felt fine to start the Pepsi 400 at Daytona and was able to finish 17th(7-3-1999)
- Roush/Ford UPDATE: Roush Racing issued a memorandum to venders who sell racing memorabilia of its five drivers that any ``Ford, Ford Motor Co., the Ford blue oval, Taurus or any other logos and trademarks relating to or connected with Ford Motor Co. be removed from all Roush Racing licensed products.'' The move was made in response to a royalities-licensing action taken by Ford in recent weeks. Roush officials say it is no indication they plan to leave the manufacturer. Although the manufacturer's logo will remain on diecast models - Ford has its own contracts within the diecast industry - it will not appear on other Roush Racing items(That's Racin')(6-28-1999) -- UPDATE: Roush Racing and the Ford Motor Co. came to terms this week on a licensing agreement involving team merchandise. A letter was sent from Roush Racing president Geoff Smith to vendors stating they should stop selling all Roush Racing merchandise that included the Ford logo until an agreement with Ford was reached. Sale of the items has now resumed(That's Racin')(7-2-1999)
- E-A-G-L-E-S: Members of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles(Jayski's favorite team, insert joke here) were in the garage this weekend filming driver endorsements. Four Jack Roush drivers -- Jeff Burton, Kevin Lepage, Chad Little and Johnny Benson -- filmed the promotions. They will run on the Eagles' JumboTron before games this fall(I'll make 4 games so I'll check them out)(Times-Dispatch)(6-22-1999)
- Roush Shop: Roush Racing's new headquarters may not be coming to Concord, after the company Tuesday withdrew a controversial rezoning request to build its new facility and test track there. The $75 million proj-ect drew opposition from hundreds of Concord residents who live near the proposed 106-acre facility on U.S. 29. The residents feared the test track would generate too much noise. See the rest of the Charlotte Observer article at: Roush Racing abandons rezoning effort, Concord site(6-10-1999)
- Roush Approval: Roush Racing won a battle Tuesday night against a group of more than 200 residents fighting the company's plan to move its headquarters to Concord. Roush hurdled the first step to building its $75 million facility -- a recommendation from the Concord Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone the property to allow the headquarters on U.S. 29, south of Roberta Church Road.(Charlotte Observer)(5-20-1999)
- Martin Special Paint UPDATE 1: Some readers saw Mark Martin on a QVC Special Thursday night and said he mentioned that he thinks Eagle One will be the paint scheme for the Winston again this year(2-12-1999) -- UPDATE 1: As reported since, Martin will run the Eagle One paint scheme at The Winston and will ALSO run the scheme at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona the the Phoneix Cup race(Speedway Scene)(5-9-1999)
- Milestones: Mark Martin is expected to make his 400th career Cup start and Bobby Labonte is expected to make his 200th career Cup start at California(RaceWire lot of good info here)(4-28-1999)
- Valvoline Double? "Valvoline may join Pennzoil in pulling out of the CART Indy-car series, according to sources close to the situation. The two oil companies are among the biggest sponsors in American racing. What might Valvoline do with the money earmarked for CART? Spend it on the new Matt Kenseth-Jack Roush Winston Cup operation, according to those in the know. The Roush-Mark Martin team is Valvoline's NASCAR flagship"(PitNow)(4-28-1999)
- Post Race Inspections: Cars that were inepcted after the Diehard 500 were #3-Dale Earnhardt, the winner; runner-up #88 Dale Jarrett; #6-Mark Martin(3rd); #00-Buckshot Jones(fastest 2nd round qualifier) and #99-Jeff Burton(smoking problem)(That's Racin')(4-26-1999)
- New Mark Martin Site: Race fans and truckers alike now have a new web site to add to their bookmark list: Mark Martin's J-Mar Express website. The site features up-to-date news about the racing career of NASCAR star Mark Martin, as well as information about Mark Martin's J-Mar Express, the Arkansas-based trucking company headed by Martin(PR)(4-2-1999)
- Martin at the Winston: Eagle One's Mark Martin Race Car Sweepstakes runs from March 19 through September 10, 1999. So, while Martin's driving the Eagle One colors again at the Winston, you could be winning his car(EagleOne Site-good stuff I use it)(4-1-1999)
- Martin 25th: Mark Martin will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of his first race when he drives his #6 Valvoline Ford in the Food City 500 at Bristol, April 11 (SpeedNet/Monte Dutton)(3-31-1999)
- Roush Protest: Concord City (Cabarrus County, NC) residents convinced city leaders to delay approval of county tax-incentive grants of $1.9 million to Roush Racing, for it's proposed construction to move their racing facilities to Concord. Well over 100 residents are concerned over the potential noise from a test track included in the plans. The planned "test track" is less than 1/2 mile from a large residential area that already can hear single cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway several miles away. After listening to the involved parties the city commissioners voted unanimously to defer action until the rezoning issue is settled. The residents also questioned the validity of granting tax incentives when rezoning of the area has yet to be approved by the city. There was also speculation that the Roush facility would simply move existing employees from their other operations and not create new jobs, something the tax incentive plan includes(Speedwords)(3-17-1999)
- Martin Paint Scheme - An Image UPDATE: Mark Martin will have a Zerex paint scheme on the #6 Ford at the Darlington in March. Zerex was last seen on the late Cup Champ Alan Kulwicki's #7 Ford in 1990. Valvoline(Ashland) has owned the Zerex brand for five years.(goRacing notes)(3-6-1999) -- the NASCAR Online image, the only I have found on the 'net of the car, was removed but it has been put back up. See the image at Martin to sport Zerex colors at Darlington in a story about Martin running the Zerex colrs at Darlington(3-10-1999)
- Martin Paint Schemes UPDATE 3: Hearing that Mark Martin will have a special paint schemes featuring the Zerex brand at Darlington and a Bugles car for the Winston on the #6 Ford...but as I reported before, it was mentioned by Martin that he would probably run the Eagle One scheme again in 1999(2-18-1999) -- I hear the Bugles paint scheme is very unlikely(2-20-1999) -- but another source has seen the drawings for it and it may happen(2-21-1999) -- Sources tell me that the Bugles scheme will not happen and that the Bugles scheme may be for the Petty Racing Experience(2-25-1999)
- Mark Martin and Big Brothers: Mark Martin's win at The Rock on Sunday sent $6,000 to Big Brothers Big Sister of America from Martin's sponsor Valvoline. Fans can get into the act when NASCAR travels to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway by placing their handprints on a canvas wall. Valvoline will donate $1 to the charity for each set of handprints(SpeedNet)(2-23-1999)
- Martin Special Paint: Some readers saw Mark Martin on a QVC Special Thursday night and said he mentioned that he thinks Eagle One will be the paint scheme for the Winston again this year(2-12-1999)
- Martin/Big Brothers: The Valvoline Co. and Winston Cup driver Mark Martin have launched the "Caring Hands" program, which aims to raise $1 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Valvoline, Martin's sponsor for 10 years, will make a cash donation for every lap he leads, and every pole and victory he has this season(SpeedNet)(2-12-1999)
- Martin wins Spirit UPDATE: The 1998 NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award was presented to Mark Martin by Dr. Joe Mattioli, CEO of Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, during the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) banquet Sunday in Winston-Salem, NC(Cotter PR)(1-18-1999) -- see an image of Martin getting the award at Racin' with Russ(1-19-1999)
- The Hardee's Rumor: It grew into it's own story, it all started innocently enough - Pop Secret will not be back on the #26 Cheerios Ford in 1999 and will have Hardee's as an associate as all the Roush cars will, the #16 Primestar Ford of Kevin Lepage will have a different look to make it more identifiable to Lepage(no idea what) UPDATE 1: CORRECTION I now hear Pop Secret WILL return to the #26 Ford (the General Mills products have been rotated, Hamburger Helper is on the trunk, Betty Crocker spoon is on the side, and Pop Secret is lower on the rear fender) and Hardee's will not come aboard as an associate sponsor on the Roush cars.(1-7-1999) -- and now I hear Johnny Benson filming a TV commercial for Hardees yesterday in Charlotte's Freedom Park and that Hardees is shooting a commercial using all Roush cars at Concord Motorsport Park, Jan 6 thru Jan 10, the shoot is being done by Dektor Films out of Hollywood(1-9-1999) more to come?.....
- ESPY's: Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt and, Mark Martin, have been nominated to receive 1999 ESPY Awards. The winners of the 1999 ESPY Awards -- given by ESPN for a variety of sports-related categories -- will be announced at 8pm/et Feb. 15 on ESPN. Gordon, has been nominated for three separate awards: Male Athlete of the Year, Showstopper of the Year and Auto Racing Performer of the Year. In the first category, Gordon will go up against baseball sluggers Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa and NBA star Michael Jordan. Gordon and Martin, both received nominations for Auto Racing Performer of the Year. Earnhardt received an ESPY nomination for Dramatic Individual Performance of the Year by winning his first Daytona 500 in February. Earnhardt will go up against baseball stars David Wells and Kerry Wood and college running back Ricky Williams, this year's Heisman Trophy winner(That's Racin')(12-19-1998)
- Martin has cold UPDATE 2: Mark Martin's back surgery has been postponed a couple of days because Mark has a cold.(WC Today Radio)(11-17-1998). Surgery not needed for Martin(NASCAR Online)(11-18-1998)
- Hardee's with Roush: As rumored here a few weeks ago: Hardee's Food Systems, Inc. is ready to add another chapter to its storied association with the popular sport of stock car racing. The restaurant company announced today that it had teamed with Roush Racing to promote nine NASCAR race vehicles and seven drivers, beginning with the 1999 season. The partnership gives Hardee's the opportunity to feature the drivers in a variety of marketing programs; including advertising, promotion, merchandising and packaging(Yahoo)(11-7-1998)
- Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon drivers tested at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex on Tuesday (10-6) and Wednesday (10-7) in preparation for the inaugural Winston Cup Jiffy Lube Miami 400 scheduled for Nov. 14, 1999. Martin ran a lap of 148.80mph and Gordon ran 148.47mph(GoRacing)(10-8-1998)
- A reader of the StockCarFans Newsletter heard the following on the Gerry V radio talk show from WBT radio out of Charlotte today(9/3): During an interview with Ray Evernham, Ray said that during the tire testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this week, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin drove each others cars. The purpose of the "trade" was to show the other driver what they had and that no one was cheating. Ray also said, "I would like to see Jack's reaction when he hears about this."(StockCarFans Newsletter)(9-4-1998)