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Fastenal (18 races) is scheduled to be the sponsor at the following races in 2017:
Daytona - 2/26 / Wypall
Las Vegas - 3/12
Phoenix - 3/19
Auto Club - 3/26, 50th Anniversary
Martinsville - 4/2, MCR Safety
Charlotte - 5/28
Sonoma - 6/25
New Hampshire - 7/16
Indy - 7/23
Pocono - 7/30, Rustoleum
Bristol - 8/19, Lenox
Fifth Third Bank (5 races) is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races in 2017:
Richmond - 4/30
Talladega - 5/7 (WON)
Michigan - 6/18
Daytona - 7/1
Kentucky - 7/8
Darlington - 9/3, DW throwback
SunnyD (4 races) is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races in 2017:
Atlanta - 3/5
Bristol - 4/23
Indianapolis - 7/23
Charlotte - 10/7
Go Bowling (2 races) is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races in 2017:
Kansas - 5/13
Michigan - 8/12
Little HUGS (2 races) is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races in 2017:
Dover - 6/4
Pocono - 6/11
NESN has been the primary sponsor at the following races in 2017:
Watkins Glen - 8/6
Ford EcoBoost / Ford Performance has been the primary sponsor at the following races in 2017:
Texas - 4/9
(usually ran when there are no other sponsor)
Contract Status: Driver: 2017+; Sponsors: Fastenal 2018+; Fifth Third 2018+; SunnyD 2019
#17 Team / Driver News
Roush Fenway Racing again recognized for Outstanding Achievement by MarCom Awards: Roush Fenway Racing has been recognized for outstanding achievement by the prestigious MarCom Awards. The team has been awarded a pair of MarCom Awards for its marketing and communications efforts in 2017. The organization received a Platinum Award in the category of 'Traditional and Social Media Campaign' for its #DrivenForACause campaign highlighting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In addition, Roush Fenway was awarded a Gold Award in the 'Integrated Marketing' category for its joint #RaceWithRicky promotion with SunnyD. The team also garnered Honorable Mention for its #DriveYourHealth campaign promoting healthy living and fitness, with driver Ryan Reed.[More](11-8-2017)
Roush Fenway Racing honors Robert Yates with tribute paint scheme: Roush Fenway Racing will honor longtime competitor and partner Robert Yates at Phoenix Raceway with a tribute paint scheme on Ricky Stenhouse's #17 Ford Fusion. The scheme, inspired by Yates' 1991 and 1992 victories at the Arizona track, honors the NASCAR Hall of Famer's career and lasting legacy in the sport.[More](11-6-2017)
Could Danica move to Roush-Fenway?UPDATE: One of the most talked about vacancies in the NASCAR garage is the one that will be occur at the end of the season when Danica Patrick steps away from Stewart-Haas Racing and the #10 car but at no point in the process has she said he is done with racing. Now, there is talk she could end up at Roush Fenway Racing with boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and she would neither confirm nor deny when asked this past week at Martinsville Speedway.(10-31-2017)
UPDATE: ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass spoke to Roush-Fenway president Steve Newmark who said that Roush did not have a spot open next season.[More](11-4-2017)
Roush Fenway carrying pink numbers in Kansas: Roush Fenway Racing carries its 'Driven for a Cause' platform, in support of breast cancer awareness, into Kansas Speedway this weekend as Trevor Bayne's #6 AdvoCare Ford and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s #17 Fastenal Ford will both sport pink numbers this weekend. In addition to the pink numbers on the AdvoCare and Fastenal Ford Fusions, all Roush Fenway Fords have sported 'Driven for a Cause' pink ribbon decals on the C-Post during the month of October. Roush Fenway personnel have supported the cause through at track apparel, wearing #DrivenForACause ribbons each weekend.[More](10-18-2017)
Roush Fenway Racing 'Driven for a Cause' platform to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Roush Fenway Racing will once again utilize its 'Driven for a Cause' Platform to support Breast Cancer Awareness month during October. The team will support the cause through a variety of ways, both on track and digitally. All Roush Fenway Racing Fords will sport 'Driven for a Cause' pink ribbon decals on the C-Post during each race for the entire month. In addition, Trevor Bayne's #6 Ford Fusion will carry special pink paint schemes at both Martinsville on his #6 Ford EcoBoost Fusion and at Talladega on the Liberty National Ford.[More](10-5-2017)
Roush Fenway "Driven For a Cause" in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Roush Fenway Racing will GO GOLD in the month of September in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness month. The team will utilize its 'Driven' Marketing program to highlight cause awareness and support throughout the month, as well as donate a replica hood in support of the Prayers for Elijah Foundation .[More](9-20-2017)
Stenhouse Jr. and Bayne to swap pit crews in playoffs The #17 and #6 teams of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne, respectively, have swapped over-the-wall pit crews for the 2017 NASCAR Playoffs, a Roush Fenway Racing representative confirmed Friday to NASCAR.com. The team said the swap is intended to give both teams a fresh perspective and the tentative plan is to keep the swap through the playoffs. However, they will continue to monitor each team's performance throughout the final 10 races. Stenhouse is one of the 16 drivers vying for a shot at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship this season. Bayne did not make the playoffs and is currently ranked 21st in the driver standings.(NASCAR.com)(9-16-2017)
Transcript Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Playoffs Ricky Stenhouse Jr. met with members of the media at Playoff Media Day (Sept 13). Stenhouse Jr. talks about experience in the playoffs; is he an underdog; Danica's future and legacy.(Ford Performance)[Read Full Transcript here](9-14-2017)
Fifth Third Bank renews sponsorship of Stenhouse, Jr.: Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB) has renewed its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing as primary sponsor on the #17 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford with driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in a multi-year deal. Fifth Third Bank came onboard with Roush Fenway Racing in 2012 and has served as a primary sponsor on the #17 Ford for the past six seasons.[More](9-3-2017)
Roush Fenway named finalist for multiple PR News' platinum awards: Roush Fenway Racing has been named a finalist in multiple categories for the prestigious PR News' Platinum Awards, celebrating the ingenuity and leadership behind the year's most outstanding communications initiatives. The finalists of the Platinum Awards represent the innovative, risk-taking and strategic communicators setting the benchmark of excellence in the communications arena.[More](8-31-2017)
Stenhouse To Honor Waltrip with Darlington Throwback Scheme Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Fifth Third Bank will honor NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip with a throwback again for the 2017 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The paint scheme from Waltrip's 1997 season is one of Stenhouse, Jr.'s favorite paint schemes along with the all chrome scheme that Waltrip ran the same year. The scheme incorporates the branding of Fifth Third Bank, one of Stenhouse's longtime sponsors while maintaining the design and chrome numbers of the original car that Waltrip drove in the 1990's. The car will also feature the logo of Frontier Communications on the decklid as part of the #FueledByFifthThird value-added B2B program.(Roush Fenway Racing)[Read More Here](8-24-2017)
SunnyD re-signs with Roush Fenway and Stenhouse SunnyD has announced a contract extension with Roush Fenway that will see the iconic brand extend its relationship with the team and driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. through the 2019 season, with additional races added each season. SunnyD has served as a primary partner on Stenhouse's #17 Ford Fusion for multiple races over the past two seasons. In addition to on-track success, Roush Fenway and SunnyD have teamed together in several unique social programs and promotions. This season's 'Race with Ricky Sweepstakes', offers fans a once in a lifetime opportunity to race against one of NASCAR's up and coming stars, and has received just under a half a million entries to date. SunnyD will next serve as the primary partner on the #17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October.(Roush Fenway Racing)[Read More Here](8-22-2017)
Stenhouse and Fifth Third Bank Stand Up to Cancer with special scheme at Kentucky: Forty-seven names of brave individuals who are currently fighting or have fought a battle with cancer will be featured on the No. 17 Fifth Third Ford for tonight's MONSTER Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race at Kentucky Speedway.[More](7-8-2017)
Roush Fenway expects to remain at two teams: Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark told SiriusXM's Tradin Paint that the team will "most likely" be two Cup cars and one XFINITY car in 2018.[More](7-4-2017)
Little Hug Fruit Barrels debuts at Dover as Stenhouse's sponsor: A few weeks ago, Roush Fenway Racing announced a multi-race partnership with Little HUG Fruit Barrels, which will be the primary partner for two races with Ricky Stenhouse and the #17 team in June at Dover and Pocono. The Little HUG brand is owned by Harvest Hill Beverage Company, based in Stamford, CT.(Roush Fenway Racing)[Read More Here](6-4-2017)
NASCAR legend Jack Roush honored by SAE Foundation: Racing legend Jack Roush received the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Foundation's Industry Leadership Award at its annual celebration Tuesday night in Detroit.[More](5-24-2017)
Little HUG Fruit Barrels sponsoring Stenhouse, Jr.: Just days after a dramatic win at Talladega Superspeedway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Roush Fenway Racing have announced a multi-race partnership with Little HUG Fruit Barrels. The iconic barrel-shaped fruit drink will serve as a primary partner for two races with Stenhouse and the #17 team in June at the Monster Mile of Dover and the Tricky Triangle of Pocono.[More](5-11-2017)
Jack Roush Scores Record-Extending 324th NASCAR Win at Talladega: In Jack Roush's 30 years of NASCAR racing, his teams have covered over 1.78 million miles on the track, but none more dramatic than the final 2.66 miles in yesterday's Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s dramatic come-from-behind win from the pole at Talladega, marked Roush Fenway's record-extending 324th win in NASCAR's three premiere series. Stenhouse became the ninth driver to win for Jack Roush in the Cup series. Overall, 19 different drivers have driven Roush Fenway Fords to victory lane in NASCAR action. In addition, Stenhouse's pole was the team's 232nd in NASCAR and its 89th in the Cup series.(Roush Fenway Racing)[click to continue](5-10-2017)
Last-lap pass lifts Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to victory at Talladega There's no longer a goose egg in the win column next to #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s name. With a last-lap pass in Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Stenhouse collected his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory in his 158th start and delivered the first win for Roush Fenway Racing since Carl Edwards triumphed at Sonoma in June 2014. Racing side-by-side with leader #18-Kyle Busch on the restart lap after #31-Ryan Newman's wreck on the backstretch sent the race to overtime, Stenhouse, the polesitter, trailed by the smallest sliver of a second at the stripe but got a strong push from #48-Jimmie Johnson and cleared Busch off Turn 2 on the final circuit. As #1-Jamie McMurray charged up the middle to take second place from Busch, Stenhouse held the top spot through the final two corners and the tri-oval to beat McMurray to the checkered flag by .095 seconds. Busch, in third place, trailed McMurray at the stripe by a mere .004 seconds.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Full Report](5-7-2017)
#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the GEICO 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st career win in his 158th start. Stenhouse Jr. led 14 laps. Stenhouse Jr. is the 11th driver to score their first career Cup win at Talladega. Stehouse Jr. won from the pole.
#1-McMurray finished 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #43-Almirola, #5-Kahne, #41-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #27-Menard and #38-Ragan.
Points leader, #42-Kyle Larson, hit the wall a few times, was a lap down for a while, but was able to recover and finish 12th.
Larson leads the Driver Points by 54 over #78-Truex Jr.
The race ended under NASCAR Overtime, adding 3 laps after a late crash involving #31-Newman, when he got turned on lap 185.
The race was tame but exciting until lap 169 when #47-Allmendinger, while running 3rd, got into the left rear of the 2nd place car, #24-Elliott, sending the #24 spinning in front of many cars getting collected by #22-Logano, #95-McDowell and #6-Bayne. The #24 got airborne and on its side. The #47 Chevy ended up on the roof. The crews had Allmendinger stay in the car until they could flip it back over.
Eighteen cars were involved: #2-Keselowski, #3-Dillon, #4-Harvick, #6-Bayne, #10-Patrick, #20-Kenseth, #22-Logano, #23-Gaulding, #24-Elliott, #32-DiBenedetto, #38-Ragan, #41-Busch, #47-Allmendinger, #72-Whitt, #77-Jones, #78-Truex Jr., #83-LaJoie and #95-McDowell.
Career best finishes for #15-Gase (21st) and #23-Gaulding (20th)
There were 26 lead changes among 14 drivers and 8 cautions for 33 yellow flag laps and a 26:51 minute red flag for the big wreck.
The average speed of the race was: 145.659mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at:
Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
Cumulative Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. knocks Dale Earnhardt Jr. off Talladega pole Qualifying for Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway was shaping up to be a sentimental story-until #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said "No." The last driver to make a run in Saturday's final round of knockout qualifying, Stenhouse knocked #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. off the provisional pole for Earnhardt's last spring race at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. The Coors Light Pole Award was Stenhouse's first since he secured his only previous top starting spot in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 2013 in Atlanta. It was the first pole for a Ford driver at Talladega since Travis Kvapil won his only career pole in October 2008. And it was the first Talladega pole for Roush Fenway Racing since Mark Martin did the honors in both races in 1989. #2-Brad Keselowski qualified third, followed by #20-Matt Kenseth and #6-Trevor Bayne, Stenhouse's teammate at Roush Fenway Racing. Note: #96-D.J. Kennington failed to qualify for the 40-car field.(NASCAR Wire Service)[More](5-7-2017)
Stenhouse Jr. & #17 Team Give Back on Fifth Third Day & new scheme: Before traveling to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Fifth Third Ford, and members of his team helped pack 1,300 backpacks for hungry kids at Second Harvest Food Bank Metrolina. The two-time XFINITY champion will debut his new "Banking a Fifth Third Better" paint scheme this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Fifth Third Bank will also be aboard the #17 Ford Fusion machine at Michigan in June, Daytona and Kentucky in July.(RFR)[More](5-6-2017)
Texas post-race penalty announced: The #17 team of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. has been found in violation of safety sections 10.9.10.4 of the NASCAR rule book: Tires and Wheels. Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed. Crew chief (Brian Pattie) has been fined $10,000.(NASCAR)(4-12-2017)
Blaney, Stenhouse, Jr., Kennedy to appear on American Ninja Warrior: Three NASCAR drivers will take part in NBC's wild and wildly popular obstacle course show "American Ninja Warrior" as part of Season 9, and one -- Richard Childress Racing driver and Daytona Beach, Florida, native Ben Kennedy -- will hit the course at the biggest stage in NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway.[More](4-7-2017)
Roush Fenway, Stenhouse Jr. "GO BOWLING" at Kansas Speedway: Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will pair up with Go Bowling when the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series rolls into Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 13, for the Go Bowling 400. Go Bowling will serve as the 'anchor' on Stenhouse Jr.'s #17 Ford Fusion at Kansas.[More](4-5-2017)
Special Fastenal scheme for Stenhouse, Jr at Auto Club Speedway: In celebration of Fastenal's 50th Anniversary, the #17 Ford, driven by two-time champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will feature a commemorative look at Auto Club Speedway this week. In celebration of Fastenal's 50th Anniversary, the #17 Ford, driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will feature a commemorative look at Auto Club Speedway. Image from Roush Fenway Racing. Roush Fenway Racing Still headquartered in Winona, MN, Fastenal now employs nearly 20,000 people worldwide. The names of those employees will be featured on the #17 Fastenal Ford Fusion along with a special 50th Anniversary logo for the Auto Club 400 on March 26th, 2017.[More](3-23-2017)
Roush sees retirement ahead Jack Roush, one of NASCAR's most successful owners and a pioneer in bringing engineering technology into the sport with his multi-car Ford teams, has used the "R" word. Retire. "I expected to have better years than (winless) 2016 and 2015," Roush said to azcentral sports in advance of Sunday's Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. "Had I realized I had those years in front of me, I might have decided to side-step, and retire. I'm 74. I can't do what I'm doing today for another 10 years. My window is, the longest I've been able to predict what I was going to do in life, has been five years. I'm probably down to a three-year window. I'm looking at how I can be useful."(Arizona Republic)[More](3-17-2017)
UPDATE Not so, Roush told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Friday.
"I have no retirement plans whatever," Roush said. "The article came from an ill-advised stream of consciousness I had at the end of last season." He then said: "People retire in order to go do things they're passionate about. I already have a job that allows me to be passionate beyond my imagination as a youngster." Roush turns 75 on April 19.(NBC Sports)(3-18-2017)
SunnyD Kicks Off The Season at Atlanta with Stenhouse Jr. SunnyD will adorn the #17 Ford this weekend for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scored his first Cup Series pole award in 2013. "I'm really looking forward to this weekend, especially since we have SunnyD back on our #17 Ford," Stenhouse said. "Last year, a lot of fans told me how much they liked the bright colors on our SunnyD Ford. We finished 10th at Atlanta last year so hopefully we can have another strong showing this weekend."[More](3-1-2017)
RFR looking to improve on pit road with plenty of pit crew changes: The pit world looks a whole lot different this year for Roush Fenway Racing than a year ago this time. New coach Scott Bowan took over towards the end of last year and is making moves within the teams to help improve performance and pick up time. With the removal of the #16 team from the RFR stables there was a group of 18 crewmen fighting for 12 spots. Pit Talks did their best to find out what the new teams would look like in 2017. It appears that the only returning #6 car pit crew members for Trevor Bayne from last year will be front changer Kale Uphoff and gasman Josh Pech. New to the #6 crew will be front carrier Ryan McCray (moving over from the #17), jackman Mike Brown (moving over from the #17), rear changer Chris Schuman (moving over from RPM), and rear carrier Justin Edgell (moving over from the #16).
As far as the #17 car goes, the pit crew for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will look like this: Front changer Mike Lingerfelt will be the lone returner on the crew. Rear changer Jon Moore is back from injury and will return to the rear as well. The front carrier position will be Kevin Richards (moving over from the #34), jack man will be Sean Meckelson (moving over from the #16), the rear carrier will be Brad Sutton (moving over from the #6), and gassing the car will be Kevin Wing (moving over from the #16).(Pit Talks)(2-12-2017)
Fifth Third Bank returns to sponsor Stenhouse Jr.: on Fifth Third Bank's website 53.com it lists the five races that Fifth Third Bank will be the primary sponsor on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford: Richmond in April, Talladega in May, Michigan in June, Daytona in July and Kentucky in July.(1-17-2017)
Roush Fenway 'Salutes' Mark Martin's Hall of Fame Career: For almost two decades there was no more formidable duo in NASCAR than Mark Martin and Jack Roush. This week Roush Fenway Racing will pay tribute to Martin's Hall of Fame career by showcasing a variety of content covering Martin's 19 seasons with the winningest organization in NASCAR history. Martin, who will be officially inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday night, won 83 races across NASCAR's top three National Series and finished runner-up in the Cup Series points standings on four different occasions (1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002), while helping Roush Fenway grow into one of the premier teams in NASCAR. Team owner Jack Roush will officially induct his first NASCAR driver into the Hall during the ceremony on Friday. "The thing that always stood out about Mark was his unmatched drive to win," said Roush. "Mark became one of the most driven and committed people I've ever seen. He put us on the map in NASCAR and certainly no one deserves this honor more. I'm very pleased with the part we played in the success that Mark was able to realize throughout his career and I'll always be grateful for his determination to succeed and desire to win." Throughout the course of the NASCAR Hall of Fame week, fans will be treated to a variety of behind the scenes content, including photos, videos and giveaways that highlight Martin's almost two-decade tenure at Roush Fenway. Fans will even have a chance to win prizes including diecast replicas, team hats and an official Mark Martin firesuit. Visit roushfenway.com/salutetomark for more details.(RFR)(1-17-2017)
Roush Yates Engines Recognized with award: The prestigious AVA Digital Awards recognized Roush Yates Engines for their outstanding accomplishments in the area of video and web-based production. Roush Yates Engines was presented with a pair of awards highlighting their excellence in marketing and creativity. The team was awarded Platinum in the category of Web-Based Production related to the newly created Roush Yates Engines website, which is focused on building brand, product and partner awareness. In addition, the organization was awarded a Gold award for outstanding achievement in the category of Video Production, Creativity & Editing for the production of the Building for Le Mans | Roush Yates Engines video. This video celebrated Ford Motor Company's 50th Anniversary return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The video inspired the Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines team on their way to building the 2016 Le Mans winning twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 race engine. AVA Digital Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).(RYE)(1-13-2017)
Roush Fenway awarded two MarCom Awards: Roush Fenway Racing has been recognized for outstanding achievement by the prestigious MarCom Awards. The team has been awarded a pair of MarCom Platinum Awards for its marketing and communications efforts in 2016. The organization received a Platinum Award in the category of 'Social Media Campaign' for its innovative #RFRTruckin social campaign. In addition, Roush Fenway was awarded a Platinum Award in the 'Social Media Branding' category for its Social 'Jack' Icon program. The team also garnered Honorable Mention for its launch of the SunnyD program this season, in the Communications/PR Program category. MarCom Awards is an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communications professionals. The awards received over 6,500 entries this year, with only 17 percent awarded Platinum status by earning the highest distinction as 'the most outstanding entries in the competition.' Platinum Winners are recognized for 'their excellence in terms of quality, creativity and resourcefulness.'
The #RFRTruckin program, which provided fans a 'behind the scenes' look at a NASCAR 'road trip,' garnered instant media attention and earned over 23 million organic impressions. The 'Social Icon' program represented team co-owner Jack Roush's iconic hat and leveraged local market integration, partner programs, cause marketing and merchandise licensing. The SunnyD 'NASCAR' program, which featured the NASCAR remake of the classic 'purple stuff' commercial, generated more than 8.5 million impressions for the brand, produced more than three million video views and gained national media exposure.
Roush Fenway Racing has now won a total of four MarCom Platinum Awards since 2011, when it took home its first Platinum for the famed 'Ricky vs. Trevor' campaign. The team also brought home a Platinum Award for its 'Let Ricky Race' campaign in 2013, as well as Gold Awards for '25 Winning Years', 'RFRDriven' and the Pillow Pets NASCAR Launch.(Roush Fenway Racing)(12-11-2016)
Newmark discusses Roush Fenway's plans: The decline in performance at Roush Fenway Racing is best expressed in one stark statistic. In 2005, half the Chase field consisted of Roush Fenway drivers -- when there were only 10 drivers in the Chase. In 2016, there were no RFR entries in a 16-driver Chase field. How does that happen? RFR has been asking itself the same question while attempting to right the ship. Once the dominant organization in the Ford camp, Roush will drop to third in the pecking order upon the arrival of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017.
RFR President Steve Newmark called the downsizing at RFR a strategic move - albeit an extremely tough decision. The company considered more than a dozen options before arriving at its current organizational chart. "The whole goal and the whole objective of doing whatever we did is to make sure we would improve our performance and make our race cars faster," Newmark told Motorsport.com. "Obviously, there are different opinions on how you do that and ultimately what we decided is we need to be more of an engineering, laser-focussed company. We've always been good at production and manufacturing. I think sometimes you fall back on what you're comfortable with.
Over the last two weeks, close to 30 Roush employees have been displaced - some in house, some such as veteran crew chief Bob Osborne who had been overseeing Chris Buescher's campaign at Front Row Motorsports. Together, the pair made the Chase. Buescher, Roush's most talented prospect in its driver stable, is now on loan to JTG Daugherty Racing (along with a RFR charter) for 2017.
Roush Fenway Racing will continue its technical alliance with Bob Jenkins and Front Row Motorsports. Newmark says the multi-year deal with FRM is one of the best collaborations Roush has had over the years. Although it's unlikely that one of the RFR prospects will replace Buescher in the #34 Ford. "They have some great folks there and we''ll continue to work with them next year," Newmark said. "We have dialogue with Bob quite a bit, but I don't think that (driver development) will be part of the relationship next year." That's not to say that Ryan Reed or Darrell "Bubba" Wallace couldn't see seat time in a Cup car in 2017. However, Newmark says the company's immediate focus remains on getting Bayne and Stenhouse up to speed.(Motorsport)(12-8-2016)
Reiser out as general manager at Roush Fenway UPDATE: Robbie Reiser was relieved of his duties as general manager at Roush Fenway Racing on Tuesday, Motorsport.com has learned. Reiser, 53, has been with the company for 17 seasons, first as a crew chief and eventually graduating to a managerial role. Reiser has been offered a position in the car production side of RFR, but he has yet to decide where his future lies. Calls to Roush Fenway Racing were not immediately returned. Neither Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne or Greg Biffle finished inside the top 20 in the Sprint Cup standings this season. For the second year, there was not a Roush driver in the Chase.(Motorsport)(11-23-2016)
UPDATE: Robbie Reiser didn't really have a lot he wanted to say about his situation at Roush Fenway Racing. He was relieved of his duties as vice president of competition. But he's not going anywhere. He doesn't yet have a title or even a full job description for his next role as the team struggles to regain its footing. But he is as dedicated to doing his part to bring success as he was in 2003, when he won a NASCAR title as Matt Kenseth's crew chief, or in 2007, when he answered Jack Roush's call to lead the whole operation. And at this point in his life, the 53-year-old, second-generation racer from Allenton is OK with it all. "This is going to free me up for my family, to be able to spend some time with them," said Reiser, who has one son in college and twin boys in high school, one of them a dirt-bike racer he has rarely watched.
Reiser's choice of words Thursday was interesting - he was "relieved" of his duties - because you have to believe there's a part of him that is relieved. He works hard, he's stubborn and he's not cut out to lose.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(12-4-2016)
Chris Buescher to 2nd JTG Daughtery team? UPDATE 2: Greg Biffle's decision to leave Roush-Fenway Racing on Monday triggered a strange chain reaction that will include the slumping racing company loaning driver Chris Buescher to a rival manufacturer next season. Buescher will drive for a newly-created second Chevrolet team at JTG Daughtery Racing in 2017. Roush Fenway is expected to scuttle Biffle's #16 team, and that could make that team's charter available to the highest bidder - including the new JTG Daughtery entry. Despite fielding full-time teams for Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway hasn't won a race since 2014. By loaning Buescher to JTG Daugherty next year, Ford Racing will be able to work on upgrades with Roush Fenway while keeping one of its young drivers under contract. "It was a mutual agreement," Biffle said. "It's been frustrating for everyone. I've been the one carrying the company banner. It just didn't get any better. I didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I decided I'd rather do something else - even if it means not driving anymore. I owe Jack everything I've accomplished in this sport. Some things just run their course." Roush said Biffle was one of the anchors of his entire race team. "I don't have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization," Roush said in a team release. "He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins. Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I'm extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization."(Florida Times Union)(11-21-2016)
UPDATE: From Bob Pockrass Twitter: "Tad Geschickter says nothing done yet as far as plans for second JTG car next year."(11-22-2016)
UPDATE 2: Roush Fenway Racing Announces 2017 NASCAR Cup Plans: Roush Fenway Racing has announced its 2017 plans for the NASCAR Cup Series that will see the organization field a two-car Cup operation next season, with drivers Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. piloting the #6 and #17 Ford Fusions, respectively, in NASCAR's highest series. In addition, Kevin Kidd and Tommy Wheeler will lead Roush Fenway's overall competition efforts going forward. Kidd will assume the role of Competition Director, and Wheeler will serve as the team's Operations Director. The team will lease its #16 NASCAR Charter and driver Chris Buescher to JTG Racing in 2017. "We have been able to shore up our plans for 2017 and we feel that this will continue to move us in a direction that will yield improved performance and results," said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. "We saw improvement in our cars and made substantial gains in our performance at times last season, and we will continue to build on that by maintaining a robust engineering group in order to take the next step by consistently running up front."
The #6 team will once again be led by veteran crew chief Matt Puccia. Brian Pattie, who was the crew chief for the #16 Cup Series team last season, will transition to crew chief of the #17 team. Nick Sandler, who served as the #17 crew chief the last two seasons, has been named Director of Engineering. Robbie Reiser, who has played an integral role on the competition side at Roush Fenway Racing for a number of years, will remain with the organization in a yet to be determined position. Kidd has served as Roush Fenway's Cup Team Manager - supervising all at-track operations - for the previous two seasons, after coming over from Joe Gibbs Racing where he worked as a crew chief for the previous half decade. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech, and has worked as a lead engineer for multiple teams and drivers. Wheeler, who holds a B.S. in physics from Davidson College, joined Roush Fenway in 2009. A 20-plus year veteran of the sport, he has served in many capacities for the team, including as the team's production director since 2011, overseeing the building and production of all of the organization's Cup and XFINITY Series cars. (RFR)(11-29-2016)
AND Chris Buescher will drive a second car for JTG Daugherty in 2017, the team stated Tuesday. "We can confirm at this time that JTG Daugherty Racing is currently in the process of starting a second team in the NASCAR premier series," JTG Daugherty Racing team owner Tad Geschickter said in a statement. "We would also like to confirm and welcome Chris Buescher to the team as our driver for the second car. More details will follow." Said Buescher, 24, in a statement: "I can confirm that I have signed to race for JTG Daugherty Racing as they expand to a two-car team in the NASCAR premier series in 2017. I'm thankful for the opportunity and look forward to competing for a spot in the Chase. We'll have more details at a later date."(NBC Sports)(11-29-2016)
Stenhouse, Jr forms World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car team: Sprint car veteran and 99-time World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series winner Joey Saldana has found a new home for the 2017 racing season. Saldana will drive the Elk Grove Ford/Roth Investments #17 for the newly-formed Stenhouse Jr.-Wood Racing team. Owned by NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt Wood, Stenhouse Jr.-Wood Racing will compete full time on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series tour in 2017. Saldana, who finished fifth in the World of Outlaws point standings in 2016, will be looking to improve that finish and earn his milestone 100th series victory. Tyler Swank, who led the Keneric Team to a Kings Royal victory in 2014, has been named crew chief of the #17 team. Swank, 39, and crew members will Adam Clark and Chris Bowe will field the team out of Saldana's Brownsburg, Ind., race shop. Wood's No. 17W team started the 2016 with late driver Bryan Clauson. Clauson's life tragically ended while leading the Belleville Midget Nationals in Belleville, Kansas in August. "A year ago Matt (Wood), Richard (Marshall of Priority Aviation) and I began forming a World of Outlaws team centered around Bryan Clauson driving. After Bryan's tragic crash we all kind of just laid low," said co-owner Stenhouse Jr. "A few weeks ago an opportunity came up to have a partnership with Matt, Dennis Roth, Richard and myself. With Joey driving the car, it was something I felt I couldn't pass up."(Stenhouse Jr. - Wood Racing)(11-29-2016)
Zest will not return to Roush Fenway: Zest announced Tuesday afternoon that they will not renew their sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing:
"Since 2012, the Zest brand has enjoyed a successful relationship with Roush Feway Racing and the NASCAR community. We're proud to have been represented by drivers Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Matt Kenseth and Chris Busescher during our successful sponsorship program.
We appreciate the support from NASCAR fans who welcomed and embraced our products over the past five years. Their loyalty had been key to the sccessful activation of our racing initiatives.
While we will no longer have a Zest car racing, we will continue to watch the races as fans and always cheer for the Roush Fenway Racing team, especially #17!"
Bryan Clauson Racing will continue: The legacy of Bryan Clauson Racing will continue under a new name thanks to Bryan Clauson's father, Tim Clauson, and team co-owner Richard Marshall. The team will now be known as Clauson-Marshall Racing banner and will make its debut during the upcoming USAC National Midget Series Jason Leffler Memorial at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Ill., on Oct. 20. Current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will drive for the team on Oct. 20. Bryan Clauson died Aug. 7 after being involved in a violent crash the previous evening during the Belleville Midget Nationals at the Belleville (Kan.) High Banks. Bryan Clauson and Marshall formed Bryan Clauson Racing in 2008 with the idea of providing their knowledge and experience with drivers and families attempting to navigate their way through the sport while at the same time providing Clauson with an outlet to pursue the venue of motorsports that he loved most, midget and sprint car racing. Along the way, the team met many of its goals including a pair of USAC National Midget championships and a USAC Sprint Car title along with three USAC Driver of the Year awards while also helping in the development of many younger drivers making their way through the ranks. Bryan Clauson Racing had the honor of having some of the nation's top drivers race out of its stable including the likes of Tyler Courtney, Shane Golobic, Spencer Bayston, Jason Johnson, Kyle Larson and Stenhouse, among others. As such, it is only fitting that the Clauson-Marshall Racing debut at the Jason Leffler Classic will feature Stenhouse at the wheel. "I'm always thrilled to race with Tim and this team. I value the friendship and passion he and Bryan have for racing," Stenhouse said. "This race means a lot to Bryan. The whole racing family comes together to remember an awesome guy and racer."(National Speed Sport News)(10-1-2016)
SunnyD renews sponsorship with Roush Fenway, Stenhouse: You will find no "purple stuff" in the #17 team's cooler at Roush Fenway Racing, as the team has announced a multi-year extension with SunnyD as a primary partner on the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford with driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The iconic brand has served as the primary partner for Stenhouse in multiple races this season, including this weekend at the famed Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We are very excited to have SunnyD extend its partnership on the #17," said Stenhouse. "It's a great brand and we have had a lot of fun this year promoting their product. In addition to the extension, SunnyD will serve as the primary for Stenhouse in the October Sprint Cup race at Charlotte and in the NASCAR XFINITY Race in Phoenix later this season. This season, Roush Fenway and SunnyD have teamed together in several unique social programs and promotions. Stenhouse and teammate Chris Buescher, along with FOX personalities Kaitlyn Vincie and Andrew Doud, recreated the classic "Purple Stuff" SunnyD commercial.(Roush Fenway)(7-22-2016)
Roush Fenway Racing Announces Multi-Year Extension with Fastenal: Roush Fenway Racing has secured a multi-year partnership extension with primary partner the Fastenal Company that will continue Fastenal's position as the anchor partner of the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team and driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. As part of the extension, Fastenal will also increase the number of its primary races in 2017 and beyond. "We are really excited to announce that Fastenal will remain the anchor partner of the #17 team for years to come," said driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. "Fastenal is a first-class organization with values that align completely with myself and this race team. We've seen a lot of improvement across the board this year. We are very happy that Fastenal will continue to be a part of the momentum at Roush Fenway. There has been a lot of hard work and effort put into this team and our goal and expectation is to reward Fastenal with a trip to victory lane and the Chase in the near future." Fastenal is currently in its fifth season as a primary partner in Roush Fenway's Sprint Cup stable, and its second full season as the anchor partner on Stenhouse's #17 Ford Fusion.
"To have a company of the caliber of Fastenal recognize the long-term value of a partnership with Roush Fenway, Ricky and the #17 team is gratifying for our entire organization," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "During our relationship, Fastenal has created and implemented a robust and impactful motorsports marketing program, and we are thrilled to have Fastenal continue to be a key part of the Roush Fenway family now and in the future." Fastenal, which boasts 2,600 stores nationwide, first joined Roush Fenway as a primary partner in 2010 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
"We are truly looking forward to continuing our partnership with Roush Fenway Racing as the anchor sponsor of the #17," said Fastenal President and CEO Dan Florness. "Ricky has done an excellent job representing our brand - both on and off the track - and we are extremely proud of the relationship we have built with Ricky, Jack Roush and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing. Extending our partnership reflects our belief in Roush Fenway Racing. The NASCAR program has helped us grow our business and excite our employees, and we feel a strong connection with the NASCAR community and fan base."(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-25-2016)
Roush not likely to move back to 4 cars soon: Now that the organization is headed back in the right direction when it comes to their performance, Roush president Steve Newmark said Sunday the focus is on the immediate future of fighting for a Chase berth and not what their driver lineup is going to be. With three drivers running full-time in the XFINITY Series, three more under their banner in Cup, and Chris Buescher on loan to Front Row Motorsports, decisions will soon have to be made of who is running where. When the company felt [Buescher] was ready to be in Cup instead of running a third year in the XFINITY Series, they coordinated with Bob Jenkins and Front Row, who Buescher was already familiar with, to compete in their camp. In a perfect world, admitted Newmark, Roush will get him back under their roof sooner rather than later. "There's a combination of factors that will go into that," he said. "Ideally, we'll have him in one of our cars in the next few years, but I think the focus right now is we got to get him running better in the 34." Under NASCAR's new ownership rules of only being able to run four full-time cars, plus the addition of the Charter System this year, Roush has been in a box. The chance of ever going back to four full-time cars looks slim, but Newmark won't close the door on any possibility. "Jack would rather run 10 cars; he would run as many cars as he would be enabled," Newmark joked. "It really will depend exactly on the driver, sponsorship, and then now you also have to have a charter, so I don't think we would run a (fourth) full-time, but you never know."(Popular Speed)(5-16-2016)
Roush Fenway Racing Bolsters Competition Effort: Roush Fenway Racing has bolstered its competitive efforts with three key personnel additions to its NASCAR team. Kurt Romberg, Dr. Kent Day and Vojin Jaksic have each taken on high-level roles within the team that captured its eighth NASCAR championship in 2015. "It takes great talent to win in this sport and we are very pleased with the additions we have made on the competition front," said team owner Jack Roush. "We recognize the importance of putting the appropriate personnel into place, as we continue our relentless pursuit to put the best and most competitive race teams on the track."
Kurt Romberg, who spent the last 15 years heading up aerodynamics at Hendrick Motorsports, joins the team as the Technical Director of Aerodynamics. Romberg worked with General Motors and Petty Enterprises before becoming the chief aerodynamicist at Hendrick.
Dr. Kent Day will serve as Manager of Simulation. Day, who holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, brings over two decades of experience to Roush Fenway and has held technical director positions with Team Penske and RCR and most recently specialized in vehicle dynamics at MWR.
Vojin Jaksic returns to Roush Fenway Racing as the research and development/special projects manager after serving in similar positions at MWR and Joe Gibbs Racing. Jaksic previously worked at Roush Fenway Racing from 2005 until 2011.
The additions are part of a strategic plan to expand organizational capabilities and follows the hiring of industry veterans Mark McArdle and Kevin Kidd to lead engineering and Sprint Cup competition last season.(Roush Fenway Racing)(12-15-2015)
Roush Fenway Racing restructures: Change is coming to Roush Fenway Racing. After the dissolution of the #1 XFinity Series team following Elliott Sadler's departure, RFR "right-sized" its NXS program on Monday. However, despite the release of a significant number of employees, others will be hired as RFR restructures its organization. Kent Day, who holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and most recently worked at MWR following his tenures at Richard Childress Racing as technical director and Penske Racing as chief engineer. Day will oversee Roush's simulation program. Kurt Romberg has also been recruited by RFR. Romberg was the chief aerodynamicist at Hendrick Motorsports for 15 years. He worked at General Motors and Petty Enterprises prior to joining HMS. Someone with knowledge of the situation told motorsport.com the net loss of personnel would likely be 25 workers.(Motorsport)(11-24-2015)
Mark Martin no longer working with Roush Fenway UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Mark Martin, who was hired last July as a driver development coach for Roush Fenway Racing, is no longer with the organization. Asked Friday on Twitter if he would be working with RFR's crop of young drivers in the upcoming season, Martin responded, simply, "No." Martin, who drove for Roush Fenway from 1988-2006 -- the vast majority of his Sprint Cup career -- said at the time of his hiring as a driver development coach that he was happy to be reuniting with the organization where he earned 35 of his 40 career Sprint Cup wins. It was announced in mid-January that Martin, 56, has joined forces with late model dirt-racing legend Scott Bloomquist to field two entries in the Lucas Oil Late Model Championship in 2015. Bloomquist and up-and-coming driver Jared Landers will drive the two team cars, respectively, with both carrying sponsorship from Batesville, Ark.-based Mark Martin Automotive Group.(FoxSports)(2-7-2015)
UPDATE: Mark Martin explained in a tweet Saturday morning why he no longer is working in a driver development role with Roush Fenway Racing. Martin tweeted: "I didn't want to go to the races. I've done enough of that for now. Except for dirt track." Martin answered a fan's question Friday on Twitter confirming that he was no longer serving as a coach for Roush. Saturday, he answered another fan's question as to why he wasn't coaching Roush's drivers.(NBC Sports)(2-8-2015)
Fifth Third Bank renews with #17 Roush Fenway Racing team: Roush Fenway Racing today announced that Fifth Third Bank has renewed its relationship as a primary sponsor of the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Ford with driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a multi-year deal (supposedly thru 2017). "We are really thrilled to have Fifth Third Bank back with us next season" said Stenhouse, who is currently competing in his sophomore season at NASCAR's highest level. "It has been an honor to represent Fifth Third over the past two seasons and I am looking forward to working with them over the years to come. We have them on the car here in Atlanta this weekend and again in Richmond next weekend. Hopefully we can celebrate this announcement with a trip to victory lane and a 'Chase' berth for the #17 team." Fifth Third Bank came onboard with Roush Fenway Racing in 2012 and has served as a primary sponsor on the #17 NSCS entry for the past three seasons.
"Fifth Third Bank is proud to extend our relationship with Roush Fenway Racing and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.," said Greg Carmichael, President and COO of Fifth Third Bank. "Our two companies share many of the same values including a commitment to teamwork and a drive to compete at the highest level. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Roush Fenway Racing and delivering innovative financial solutions to companies associated with the motorsports industry."
Stenhouse Jr., who captured NSCS Rookie of the Year honors in 2013, is a two-time NASCAR champion after winning back-to-back titles in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011 and 2012. He will make his 66th career Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with a career best finish of second earlier this year at Bristol.
"Fifth Third Bank been a terrific supporter of Roush Fenway's race cars on the track for the last three years, but our business relationship with them goes back much further," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "The best relationships for our team are ones where we can realize synergies across multiple touch points. Our relationship with Fifth Third Bank is a great example of that as we rely on them for all of our banking needs and they have been an integral part of our daily business operations for many years. We are thrilled to be able to continue working with them and supporting their commitment to motorsports for many years to come."(RFR)(8-31-2014)