In 1988 Jack Roush ventured into the unknown territory of NASCAR racing, starting a single car team out of Liberty, N.C. His No. 6 Ford Thunderbird lasted only 19 laps in its Daytona 500 debut that year. Twenty-nine years later, Jack Roush stands as the winningest owner in NASCAR history, having taken his Fords to victory lane on 322 occasions in NASCAR competition and having lifted NASCAR season championship trophies on eight occasions. For his efforts, contributions and accomplishments, he has been nominated for the 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.
“I’m extremely honored to be in this exclusive group,” said Roush. “It wouldn’t have happened without the support of the teams that we’ve had through the decades and all the people who have made this success possible.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that I’ve made the list. When I hear about all the races we’ve run and all the success we’ve had, it makes me realize we have been at this for a long time, but I’ve still got energy for it. I’ve still got passion for it and look forward to what the future will bring,” added Roush.
Ironically, Mark Martin is also on the list of nominees named on Feb. 24. Martin was the first driver hired by Roush when he moved to North Carolina to start his NASCAR operation. Martin piloted Roush Fenway’s flagship No. 6 Ford from 1988 until 2006. During that time he and Roush earned 35 Cup victories. At the end of his tenure at Roush Fenway, Martin held a record five prestigious IROC (International Race of Champions) Championships and a then-record 47 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins. For his career, Martin posted 96 career NASCAR victories, with the majority coming in Roush owned-equipment.
Known as a leader in the garage for finding and developing talent, Roush has seen 19 different drivers win in NASCAR competition in his race cars and Roush Fenway has led drivers to 13 NASCAR rookie of the year awards. All-in-all, six different drivers have brought home NASCAR season championships, including Chris Buescher’s 2015 XFINITY Series championship.
“This recognition offers me a unique chance to reiterate my appreciation for all the people that have helped me to get to this point,” said Roush. “Without the Mark Martins’ and the Jeff Burtons’ and the Greg Biffles’ and Carl Edwards’ and Matt Kenseths’ and the drag racers and the road racers that preceded that, I wouldn’t be here. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had extremely talented and dedicated individuals in all facets of the racing business standing with me on this journey.”
An engineer at heart, Roush has employed a solutions-based approach, be it in competition, business or safety initiatives. He has been involved in numerous safety innovations, including the roof flaps designed to disrupt airflow and prevent cars from going airborne that now are standard equipment for all NASCAR race cars.
Roush’s multi-car, efficiency-of-scale model became one of the most successful in NASCAR history, with his organization placing an unprecedented five teams in the 2005 10-team ‘Chase’, after coming off back-to-back Sprint Cup Championships in 2003 and 2004.
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.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!