Ricky vs. Trevor? More like Roush Fenway vs. the rest
RELATED: Complete list of full-time rides for 2017 Ricky vs. Trevor may be a thing of the past. The Roush Fenway Racing duo of Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Trevor Bayne have a competitive history, having created the Ricky vs. Trevor campaign in 2011, their first year together at Roush in the now-XFINITY Series. The drivers partook in a slew of fun, off-track competitions (including which driver could do a better Carl Edwards -esque backflip), as well as race battles. But it's different now; with Greg Biffle 's departure from his longtime seat in the No. 16 Ford, RFR has downsized its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series fleet from three to two full-time rides, with Bayne and Stenhouse. "I think Ricky and I have kind of realized in the last couple of years of being teammates at the Cup level that it's not Ricky versus Trevor anymore, it's Roush Fenway Racing versus everybody else," Bayne, 25, said Jan. 24 at the NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway . "We've come alongside each other as teammates and are really gonna push each other this season. I mean, I feel like we started doing that last season and we saw some result from it, but we're gonna learn from each other, we're gonna be humble through it and we're gonna understand that you can learn from each other and we're gonna push our team." Last season was one of early hope, but eventual disappointment for the Roush Fenway group. Stenhouse surprised many in the season's second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway , where he qualified fifth and finished 10th. He went on to post nine top-16 finishes the next 12 races. Bayne showcased some speed particularly in qualifying, where he started third at Atlanta and followed with six top-15 qualifying spots from Auto Club Speedway in March to May’s Coca-Cola 600 . It was that middle stretch that the team began to slightly unravel, Bayne said. "I think we can learn a lot from last season," Bayne said. "In sports, we're quick to look at our last performances as our evaluation of a whole season and last year I think we kind of shocked ourselves and everyone else when we came to Atlanta and got our car to qualify third, ran well. There were a lot of times early in the season when we were making it to the final round of qualifying … that performance early in the year was something that shocked us a little bit. "As the season went on, I feel like we did not keep up the way that we wanted to, so what we have to learn is … 'How do you stay motivated and make the gains from Michigan to Homestead that you make in the off-season, that you show up to Atlanta and Daytona with?' That’s what we have to do as a team. ... It's those summer months that we get to when you really find out what you're made out of and what you can accomplish throughout the rest of the season." RELATED: See Bayne's fresh paint scheme for 2017 " Stenhouse's Sunny D look One path to consistency could be through restructure, as Roush Fenway implemented several personnel changes during the offseason: Team manager Kevin Kidd will transition to competition director, while former production director Tommy Wheeler will serve as operations director in overseeing production. Stenhouse will have a new face atop his No. 17 pit box, as former No. 16 crew chief Brian Pattie will call the shots and former crew chief Nick Sandler becomes the director of engineering. Recognizing the struggles Roush Fenway has experienced over the past few seasons, Stenhouse believes these changes will benefit the organization this year. Having been at the race shop plenty during the sport's brief offseason, the 29-year-old driver sees it during the daily 7:30 a.m. meetings that scrutinize to-do lists and with the large effort put forth by his No. 17 team. That drives him. "I'm excited that I've seen progress being made in communication at our shop and everybody seems really motivated to get Jack ( Roush ) and our partners back to running better, running up front," Stenhouse said. "We don't show up to the race track not to do that. They've put a lot of hard work into it and we're trying to make up a lot of ground that we've lost over the last couple years." "…I think I've been encouraged with what I've seen at the race shop this offseason." But will the new race enhancements, which implement race stages and emphasize consistency, prove to be yet another hurdle for inconsistent Roush ? Stenhouse takes comfort in a philosophy from his favorite collegiate football coach. "I've been in a few of (Ole Miss) Coach (Hugh) Freeze's pre-game locker room speeches (and) I feel like he always says, 'The orders remain the same,' " Stenhouse said. "For us, I feel like the orders are the same for me and my race team and Roush Fenway . We've got to continue to strive to build faster race cars. We've got to strive to make fewer mistakes on the race track and have faster pit stops."
Roush Fenway Racing to keep Ryan Reed for '17, beyond
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Roush Fenway Racing has signed a multi-year renewal agreement for driver Ryan Reed to continue to pilot the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Reed, who five years ago was told he would never race again after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, qualified for the 2016 inaugural XFINITY Series Chase and scored his first victory in the series last season at Daytona. "We are very excited to continue our program with Lilly Diabetes," said Reed, who will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway . "Not only to continue to drive the No. 16, but more importantly, the opportunity to encourage and educate people who are living with diabetes and those who care for them. We will continue to share the message about diabetes awareness, specifically the importance of talking to doctors as well as proper nutrition and daily exercise." Reed will look to make history this weekend as the only driver actively managing his diabetes to race at the Sprint Cup level. The Bakersfield, California native manages his diabetes through a strict diet and exercise program, the use of a wireless glucose monitoring device to provide in-race, real-time data, and consistent communication with his medical team in California. "Through sharing his diabetes story with NASCAR fans throughout the country over the past three years, Ryan has inspired thousands of people affected by diabetes to live healthier lives and take an active role in managing their health. Lilly Diabetes is proud to renew our sponsorship so together we can continue to make a difference in people’s lives," said Mike Mason, vice president, U.S., Lilly Diabetes. "Like NASCAR, Lilly has been an American institution for generations. We introduced the world’s first commercialized insulin in 1923, and our innovative medicines and education programs have helped people with diabetes ever since. This sponsorship is another step forward in our drive to help more people who have the disease or care for someone who does." Reed posted career highs in Chase races at Kentucky and Dover to advance to the ‘Round of 8’ in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Charlotte. He is currently only two points outside of the top four, with two races remaining before the series champion is decided in the season finale at Homestead. Roush Fenway Racing is the winningest team in NASCAR history, fielding multiple teams in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series competition with drivers Greg Biffle , Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Trevor Bayne , Ryan Reed , Chris Buescher and Bubba Wallace. Now in its 29th season, Roush Fenway is a leader in driver development, having launched the careers for many of the top drivers in the sport. Off-track, Roush Fenway is a leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, pioneering motorsport’s first team-focused TV show and producing multiple award-winning digital and experiential marketing campaigns. Roush Fenway is co-owned by Jack Roush , the winningest team owner in NASCAR history and Fenway Sports Group, parent company of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and English Premier League’s Liverpool F.C. Visit RoushFenway.com, circle on Google+, become a fan on Facebook and Instagram and follow on Twitter at @roushfenway.
Roush Fenway Racing names new pit crew coach
Roush Fenway Racing has decided to reassign longtime pit crew coach Andy Ward, replacing him with Scott Bowen, a current RFR employee and an ex-pit crew member. Ward has been at RFR for many years and has produced some very good pit crews. The Jack Roush -owned organization did not have any drivers qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this year. Roush Fenway Racing released the following statement regarding the move: "We continuously evaluate our race team operations at Roush Fenway , and as part of a mid-season restructuring we have implemented a change in the department structure with our pit crew teams. We have placed Scott Bowen, who previously was our head of purchasing, in charge of our pit crew operations. Scott is a longtime employee of Roush Fenway , and worked as an over-the-wall pit crew member for several years. We believe this change will prove beneficial in our continued effort to improve on-track performance." For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com .
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Liberty National to sponsor Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway in 2017
Roush Fenway Racing announced Wednesday that Liberty National Life Insurance Company will sponsor the No. 6 Ford driven by Trevor Bayne next season in NASCAR's premier series. Liberty National will be a primary sponsor on Bayne's No. 6 in the second race of the year, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 scheduled March 5. Roush Fenway indicated that the McKinney, Texas-based insurance provider will also be a "major associate sponsor" in multiple races in 2017. "We are excited to have Liberty National on board next season," Bayne said in a release provided by the team. "They are an extremely well respected brand that has been providing valuable services since 1900. It's the kind of brand that we are proud to have an association with and I can’t wait to see the No. 6 Liberty National Ford on track. Our goal is to put our car up front and compete for race wins." Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, returns for his third full season with Roush Fenway Racing in 2017. AdvoCare also returns to the RFR No. 6 operation as a primary sponsor this season. Bayne finished 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with two top-five finishes (fifth at Bristol in April, third at Daytona in July) last season. He also raced his way into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race by winning a segment of the preliminary Sprint Showdown by .005 seconds over Chase Elliott .
Bayne leads banner day for Roush Fenway Racing
RELATED: Results " Chase Grid " Standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Greg Biffle stood rather proudly alongside his hobbled and taped-up No. 16 Ford on Daytona International Speedway pit road following Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola. It was a night of perseverance for the whole Roush Fenway Racing three-car team, and in the end, everyone was smiling. Top-10s all around. 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne led the Roush squad with a third-place finish. Fourth-year full-time Sprint Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr . was fifth and Biffle's pole-winning car finished in eighth place. It's been two full years since Roush had a top-10 sweep, and watching and listening to the team's drivers late Saturday night, they seem convinced there is more to come. "To have a top-three finish today, it's really a great day for us and a great day for Roush Fenway Racing and Ford," Bayne said. "For our organization to be on the pole this weekend, to have three cars in the top eight, two in the top-five, I think that's kind of a landmark for us as an organization with the struggles we've had to get all three teams running strong on a weekend like this." All the Roush cars were a little bumped and bruised on pit road post-race -- a result of the hectic pace and frantic maneuvering so typical of restrictor-plate tracks. But they finished the quest as strongly as they started it. "We had a really good car," Biffle said standing next to his banged up Ford EcoBoost-sponsored Fusion. "Two or three cars were definitely faster, but we stayed up front there and just got shuffled out of line there. Lost track position and were just working our way back up and got caught up in that wreck. Accidents happen at these restrictor-plate tracks so we fought our way back up and finished eighth. Pretty impressive for a car damaged this much. "We're pretty happy. We definitely wanted to finish better than eighth and we wanted to do it differently than that, but we're happy." It was the first top-10 finish of the season for Biffle, who won his first pole position since 2013. It was the second top-five of the year for Stenhouse and third top-10 in a season where the former XFINITY Series champ feels genuinely encouraged. Not just about himself, but more importantly about the whole Roush Fenway organization. "We had a chance to win and Trevor and Greg had a good run as well," Stenhouse said. "Hopefully before (regular-season finale at) Richmond we can continue to get our cars better and finish up front, maybe win one of these. "You've got to build on any race track it doesn't matter where you go. We brought fast race cars. The whole shop did a great job of putting fast cars together and we did a good job of not tearing that car up and being able to work on it and bring it back to Talladega. Anytime you're bringing fast cars to the race track it doesn't matter if it's a road course, mile-and-a-half, or superspeedway it builds confidence in the guys that they know what they're doing and we're going in the right direction. "Everyone at the shop works that much harder and Jack ( Roush ) is a big part of that. He's at the shop every week making sure everyone is working hard. It's a fun organization to be a part of right now knowing we're still making progress. We have a long way to go but it's fun right now."
Roush Fenway signs multiyear deal with AdvoCare
CONCORD, N.C. -- Roush Fenway Racing has signed a multiyear renewal that will see AdvoCare continue to serve as the anchor partner on Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne 's No. 6 Sprint Cup Ford Fusion for the next three seasons. AdvoCare has partnered with Roush Fenway and Bayne since 2014, when the relationship began in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. "AdvoCare has been an outstanding partner to work with, and I am really excited to continue this relationship and represent AdvoCare for three more seasons," said Bayne. "It's a top-notch organization with a great group of employees and Independent Distributors who share our core principles of hard work and determination. "For me it's more than a sponsorship," added Bayne. "I regularly use their products to stay in top form on and off the track. My wife, Ashton, and I are also Independent Distributors for AdvoCare, as are several other Roush Fenway employees." Bayne and the No. 6 AdvoCare team will be in action this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway , the site of Bayne's first Sprint Cup Series start in 2010, as well as his first XFINITY Series victory in 2011. "AdvoCare is extremely proud to call Roush Fenway Racing and Trevor Bayne partners, and we look forward to continuing our great relationship on and off the track. We are also excited about Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway ," says Allison Levy, AdvoCare's Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. "The No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion will feature a paint scheme honoring the SEAL Legacy Foundation , a worthwhile organization helping the families of wounded and fallen U.S. Navy Seals -- a cause we are honored to support as a team." The SEAL Legacy Foundation is dedicated to providing support, including financial assistance and educational assistance to families of wounded and fallen United States Navy SEALs, and other charitable causes benefiting the SEAL community. Additionally, in honor of Veteran's Day on Nov. 11, Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing and AdvoCare will donate the fire suit and helmet Trevor wears in Sunday's race to the SEAL Legacy Sixth Annual Benefit & Gala in Dallas.
Early yet, but Roush Fenway Racing trending up
RELATED: Full Atlanta race lineup HAMPTON, Ga. -- With two drivers qualifying in the top five, and all three of Roush Fenway Racing 's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams starting inside the top 15, it appears things have taken a positive turn for the longtime organization. Trevor Bayne will start third in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Atlanta Motor Speedway . Teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr . will start fifth. And veteran Greg Biffle , typically the most consistent of the group, will go off from the No. 14 position. The last time three RFR cars started inside the top 15 for a non-restricted Sprint Cup race? It's been awhile. The organization, founded by co-owner Jack Roush in 1988, hasn't been to Victory Lane since 2014 when driver Carl Edwards was still a team member. None of its three drivers qualified for last year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , a first, regretfully, for an organization that won back-to-back titles in 2003-04 and nearly won it all again in 2011. With a lower downforce rules package in play -- similar to that used at Kentucky and Darlington last season -- has an organization that has won 135 times in NASCAR's premier series finally rediscovered its footing? "It was one qualifying session in the first race of the year with this rules package," Robbie Reiser, general manager at RFR, said Saturday at AMS. "But, it's obviously better." Reiser's been around -- he won 17 times as a crew chief at RFR before moving off the pit box. So he's lived the ups and downs that come and go so frequently in the series. The proof for RFR, of course, won't come until Sunday, when 39 cars take the green flag for the series' second race of the season. Or more likely much later, after the series rolls through Las Vegas and Texas and Kansas and Charlotte. "Last season wasn't a reflection of work ethic at all, it was a reflection of being a little bit behind," Bayne said. "This season, we're really looking forward to this low downforce package. We felt like our best races were at the low downforce tracks (last year), Kentucky and Darlington, so everybody that's wondering what’s going on at Roush Fenway Racing , a lot of hard work and a lot of attention to detail." Bayne, a former Daytona 500 winner, is paired with crew chief Matt Puccia, Biffle's former crew chief, for 2016; veteran Brian Pattie is calling the shots for Biffle while Nick Sandler returns to oversee the No. 17 of Stenhouse. "I thought we had probably another tenth in it … so I feel really good about the speed the guys brought down in this car and all their hard work," Stenhouse said after his qualifying effort. "Hopefully, it can continue in race trim tomorrow and making sure we have something that will run good on the long run. That's going to be tough here at Atlanta with the low downforce and sliding around with the soft tire, so I felt good about it." Stenhouse was 13th on Saturday as teams made final race preparations. "We had a meeting last week talking about execution," Bayne said. "Everybody's intentions are right. Everybody wants to go fast. Everybody wants to win races, but now we've got to execute and make sure we make these fast Fords last."
Roush Fenway Racing makes competition additions
Roush Fenway Racing officials have announced the addition of three key members to its competition group as the organization prepares for the 2016 NASCAR season and beyond. Kurt Romberg, most recently chief aerodynamicist for Hendrick Motorsports , has been named Technical Director of Aerodynamics at RFR. Prior to joining Hendrick, Romberg worked with General Motors and Petty Enterprises. He spent the last 15 years at Hendrick. Dr. Kent Day has been named Manager of Simulation. Day has more than two decades of experience and has served as technical director at Team Penske and Richard Childress Racing . In his last role, Day specialized in vehicle dynamics while with Michael Waltrip Racing . Vojin Jaksic worked at RFR from 2005-11 before leaving for stints with MWR and Joe Gibbs Racing . He will serve as research and development/special projects manager in his new role. "It takes great talent to win in this sport and we are very pleased with the additions we have made on the competition front," team owner Jack Roush said in a statement announcing the new hires. "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." Roush Fenway Racing captured its eighth NASCAR championship in 2015 with driver Chris Buescher winning the XFINITY Series title. The organization also won Sprint Cup with Matt Kenseth (2003) and Kurt Busch ('04); XFINITY Series titles with Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (2011-12), Carl Edwards ('07) and Greg Biffle ('02), as well as the Camping World Truck Series championship with Biffle in 2000. This past season, RFR failed to place a driver in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time since the format debuted in '04. Biffle finished 20th in the final points standings, while teammates Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne were 25th and 29th respectively. Roush Fenway drivers have won 135 Sprint Cup races (third most in the series), 137 in the XFINITY Series and 50 in the Truck Series. The organization has not fielded a Truck entry since ’09.
Roush Fenway , Fastenal agree to extend deal
CONCORD, N.C. -- Roush Fenway Racing has entered a multi-year partnership extension with primary partner the Fastenal Company that will continue Fastenal's position as the anchor partner of the No. 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 No. 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," added Stenhouse. "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 No. 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 No. 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 No. 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 as the anchor sponsor of the No. 17 reflects our belief in Roush Fenway Racing and Ricky Stenhouse," said Florness. "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."
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