Stenhouse win has Roush eying much more in '17
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Kansas RELATED: Full race results " Stenhouse seizes the moment at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Before Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Roush Fenway Racing hadn't won a race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the organization's last 101 starts. It had been so long, in fact, that its last winning driver was Carl Edwards, who departed Roush at the end of 2014, went to Joe Gibbs Racing , and won five times during a two-year span before announcing he would not compete in 2017. For Gibbs or anyone else. Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart were still competing full-time when a Roush driver last took a checkered flag in NASCAR's elite series. Roush Fenway Racing has struggled. It has failed to put a driver in the 10-race season-ending playoff the past two seasons. But this year? This year's been different. A three-car organization became a two-car outfit when RFR officials jettisoned the No. 16 team, keeping youngsters Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17) and Trevor Bayne (No. 6) to drive its Fords. RELATED: See the standings post-Talladega Between the two, there was one career victory -- Bayne's 2011 Daytona 500 title while he was driving for Wood Brothers Racing . But there has been improvement if not wins. Sunday, Stenhouse removed the "if not." Making his 158th career start in the series, the 29-year-old powered past 2015 series champ Kyle Busch (JGR) on the final lap of a race that went three laps beyond its scheduled 188-lap distance to score his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. RELATED: Kyle Busch discusses last-lap pass by Stenhouse Roush -owned entries have now won 136 times in the series with a variety of talented drivers. None likely enjoyed any win more than Stenhouse did on Sunday. Is Roush Fenway Racing back? They've talked of speed and skill and a better on-track product almost since the season began, but even Stenhouse admitted the results have been somewhat surprising. "I do think that we started a little stronger than we thought we would," Stenhouse, twice a champion in the XFINITY Series, said. "But then we've also continued to make gains and continued to up our performance." The victory was his third consecutive top 10, and his fourth in his last five starts. He's 12th in points and on track for a spot in this year's 10-race championship playoff. Bayne, while not as consistent, has seven finishes inside the top 15 and currently sits 16th in points. RELATED: Stenhouse's season in-depth " Bayne's season in-depth It was on the backs of others, Roush said, that his organization rose to the top (it won back-to-back championships in 2003-04), "and I've never doubted that we would win more races," he said. "I just didn't know if it was going to be today." Stenhouse had a fast car -- on Saturday he won the pole -- but Roush also noted that at Talladega "you've got to have luck going for you, and the stars lined up to be able to be successful. "But I was confident that Ricky would win a race this year." The team has struggled from time to time on pit road, he said, "and that's really the only question that I had was whether the team would be able to support Ricky in his effort to win a race and Brian (Pattie, crew chief) and all of his detail and his preparation. "But I knew that we had the right mix of people in the right places this year, and if we'd just -- if it would gel and we'd have a little bit of good fortune that we would win races, and we'll win a race with Trevor before the year is over unless I miss my guess. "But hopefully we can get ourselves ready for this last 10 races to make a championship run. That's what I'm thinking." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
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 .
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."
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
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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 .
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 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.
Roush Fenway Racing misses 2015 Chase
Looking forlorn, not necessarily stunned, Roush Fenway Racing crew members slowly pushed the team's three Fords from pit road through the Richmond International Raceway garage late Saturday night and loaded them into the haulers for an unprecedented competitive detour from NASCAR's post-season. There will not be a RFR car eligible for the championship for the first time since NASCAR instituted its Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff in 2004 – a season Kurt Busch hoisted the championship trophy for RFR. The veteran of the 2015 Roush team, Greg Biffle , came closest to maintaining RFR's streak of title eligibility. His best and last chance of making the 16-driver Chase field was a victory in Richmond but he was never close, starting 38th and finishing 31st. Teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr .'s 16th-place showing Saturday was actually the best RFR effort in the regular season finale, but the fact it was only his first top-20 since early July speaks to the struggles this storied and championship team has endured this year. Biffle, 45, has only three top-10s in 26 races – a career low – and his 20.6 average finish in the No. 16 Ford is also on track to be a career worst. Stenhouse, 31, the 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year and a two-time XFINITY Series champion, has only one top 10 – a fourth place at Bristol in April. Similarly his 26.0 average finish is a low-water mark. Teammate Trevor Bayne , 24, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, is still looking for his first top-five finish in his first full-time Cup season. His average finish is 25.8, and he is yet to break into the top 25 in the points standings. It's been one tough season for one of NASCAR's most respected and accomplished organizations. Roush Fenway Racing won back-to-back Cup championships with Matt Kenseth and Busch in 2003-04 and has finished championship runner-up four more times since, most recently with Carl Edwards in 2011. Edwards, who left RFR for Joe Gibbs Racing this year, is the last driver to pull a Roush Ford into Victory Lane, doing it twice last year at Bristol and Sonoma . This year, he has a pair of wins with JGR – including the Bojangles' Southern 500 – and is seeded eighth in the Chase, which begins Sunday in Chicago. It's hard for Edwards to imagine a Chase without his former team. "Yes, I am surprised at that just because I know how good those guys are and how hard they work," Edwards said over the weekend in Richmond. "It's like I said before, I would expect at any moment those guys are going to turn the corner. They really do work hard, they're racers and I see Jimmy Fennig here every week and everybody working hard and I'm sure they'll get stronger.” Earlier this season Biffle conceded the group hadn't quite adapted to new technical specifications. "Since the ride height rule changed from 2013 to '14 has really affected us on the Cup level," he explained. "If you look at that change, which we were excited about and thought getting our cars on the track and what-not, that's the way the Nationwide (now XFINITY ) cars still are. They still have that minimum ride height, and really we've kind of struggled when that ride height rule came in. "We've sort of struggled a little bit with that, so we're still working through figuring that out." Biffle does have victories in five (Texas, Dover, Kansas, Loudon and Homestead) of the 10 Chase venues, including three straight at Homestead-Miami Speedway from 2004-06. Stenhouse told reporters Saturday night that he remained optimistic about the rest of the season and the team is focused on improvement this year while others go after the big trophy. "We really needed this finish after the past couple of weekends," Stenhouse said. "We have 10 races remaining and hopefully we can get a win.”
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