Since its inception, Roush has competed exclusively in Ford brand automobiles. Currently, the Ford Fusion competes in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, while the Ford F-150 is the vehicle for the Craftsman Truck Series.
Garnering new sponsorship from Folgers in 1990, Martin won three each of races and pole positions, as well as finishing in the top 10 in all but six races. Martin held the points lead for a majority of the season, but lost momentum in the final races. In the end, the team lost the championship to Dale Earnhardt by 26 points. Interestingly, Martin would have won the championship had he not been docked 46 points in the second race of the season following a rules violation. Regardless, the team hoped to carry the momentum into 1991. Disappointingly, Martin finished sixth in points, and didn't win until the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
In 1992, Valvoline joined to sponsor the car, but the team's position in points still did not improve. Finally, they recaptured the magic of before in 1993, as Martin notched five victories and finished third in points. 1994 found Martin and the 6 team finishing once again runner-up to Earnhardt in points. In 1995, Martin defeated former teammate Wally Dallenbach Jr. to win at Watkins Glen and won the most money of his career at that time, $1,893,519. However, the team's performance slumped sharply in 1996, as Martin did not visit victory lane. He would win again 1997, with an additional four victories and finishing third in championship points. In 1998, Martin and team 6 had their most dominant season yet, winning seven times, but finished second in points yet again, this time to Jeff Gordon. The 1998 season was marked with a black spot when Martin's father Julian died in an aviation accident. Although 1999 saw Martn winning only twice, he finished in the top-10 in 26 out of 34 races.
After winning only one race in 2000, primary sponsor Valvoline left for MB2 Motorsports, and Pfizer/Viagra became the team's new financial backer. In addition, throughout the season Martin served as co-owner/mentor of rookie driver Matt Kenseth. However, Martin again failed to win, and ended up 12th in points, his lowest finish since 1988. The team won only once in 2002, but was narrowly defeated by Tony Stewart for the championship. 2003 was another season of lackluster performance for the team, as once again they didn't visit victory lane, and finished 17th in the final standings. 2004 brought improved performance, with a victory at Dover International Speedway and a 4th place finish in points. Prior to beginning the 2005 season, Martin stated that 2005 would be his last year in full-time Cup competition. The team conducted a Salute to You farewell tour to his fans highlighting many of Martin's career accomplishments. Martin finished fourth in points and went to victory lane once, along with achieving 19 top ten finishes. Due to contract issues, Roush was left without a driver for car 6 in 2006. After learning of the situation, Martin announced his return to car 6 for one more year. The team extended the Salute to You tour after modifying its logo to reflect the team's new sponsor, AAA. Todd Kluever was originally scheduled to drive the 6 car in 2007, but due to lackluster performance in the Busch Series, Roush Racing decided to put David Ragan in the car full time. He had three top-tens and finished 23rd in points.
Originally the first car to make Roush Racing a multi-car stable, the 16 team debuted at the 1992 Daytona 500 with Keystone as the sponsor. Wally Dallenbach, Jr. drove the car to a fifteenth place finish. Dallenbach, however, earned only one top ten finish that year and finished 24th in points. 1993 proved to be a little better with Dallenbach posting four top tens. However, for 1994, the team underwent major changes. Driving duties were given to Ted Musgrave, with The Family Channel becoming the new sponsor. The car's performance improved drastically, with Musgrave notching three poles and finishing thirteenth in points. The 1995 season saw Musgrave improving six spots in points to seventh. Despite this success, Musgrave never visited victory lane in his tenure behind the wheel of the 16. Midway through 1998, Musgrave was released and replaced by rookie Kevin Lepage, who finished runner-up to Kenny Irwin, Jr. in Rookie of the Year honors.
Teamed with TV Guide, Lepage and the 16 team began 1999 with a fifth place finish at Darlington Raceway, having a chance to win the Winston Million bonus, and a pole at the season ending race at Atlanta. Unfortunately, TV Guide did not renew their contract for the 2000 season. Car 16 ran the beginning of the season unsponsored, before ultimately signing a multi-year pact with FamilyClick Over the course of the year, Lepage missed two races and dropped to 38th in the standings. He was quickly released. Dissastisfied with the team's performance, FamilyClick did not return as a sponsor and the team disappeared for one year, before returning in 2002. During the 2002 season, car 16 was used to prepare 2001 NCTS champion and eventual Busch Series champion Greg Biffle for his Rookie of the Year run the following year. While the team missed several races, Biffle made seven starts. Biffle ran full-time as a rookie in 2003, with W. W. Grainger sponsoring the car. Biffle started 35 out of 36 races, won the Pepsi 400 and finished runner-up to Jamie McMurray for Rookie of the Year. The next year, the car had a new primary sponsor in the National Guard. Over the 2004 season, Biffle won twice. In 2005, Post-it Brand and 3M replaced Subway as a secondary sponsor. 2005 was to be the most successful year for car 16 to date, as the National Guard Ford won six races, a season high, and finished runner-up in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Biffle is signed to drive until at least 2008. National Guard did not renew its contract, moving to Hendrick Motorsports and the #25. Ameriquest, 3M, and Aflac served as the primary sponsors in 2007. It was announced on June 27, 2008 that Biffle signed a contract extension to remain at Roush/Fenway through 2011 with 3M as his major sponsor.
Having only one driver, Matt Kenseth, and one primary sponsor, DeWalt, although occasionally displaying an Arby's, USG Sheetrock, R+L Carriers, and Carhartt themes, the 17 car has been a consistent and successful team since entering NASCAR's premier series at a part-time level in 1999. Premiering at the summer Michigan race in 1999, Kenseth finished 14th. A fourth place finish one month later at Dover, subbing for Bill Elliott proved Kenseth was ready for Cup.
In 2000, the car started every race, won the Coca-Cola 600, and defeated favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Rookie of the Year honors. The 2001 season saw Kenseth finish thirteenth in points, winless and with only 9 top ten finishes. However, the team saw marked improvement the next year, as Kenseth won five times in 2002, ultimately reaching an eighth place finish in points.
While winning only once, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kenseth won the Winston Cup Championship by 90 points in 2003, earning Roush its first Cup championship. The team continued to perform in 2004, winning two races, making the Chase for the Nextel Cup, and finishing eighth in points. In 2005, Kenseth finished seventh in points after experiencing a disappointing beginning to the season. However, the second half of the year brought a resurgence of success for the car, as a win at Bristol Motor Speedway helped the team make its second consecutive Chase for the Nextel Cup. In 2006, Kenseth won 4 events, and finished second to Jimmie Johnson in the championship standings.
What is now the 26 car raced for the first time at the 1993 fall event at Charlotte Motor Speedway as #97. Sponsored by Kleenex and owned by Greg Pollex, Chad Little was the driver. Little and Pollex ran part-time for four years with various sponsorships until 1997, when they ran full-time with backing from John Deere. However, after experiencing financial and performance struggles, Roush bought the team three-quarters of the way through the season. Little qualified for 27 out of 32 races that year. The team returned in 1998, with the car changing to the Ford nameplate from Pontiac.
Despite missing the spring Atlanta race, Little finished a career-best second at the Texas 500 and finished 15th in points. After that, the performance of the team slipped, and midway through 2000 it was announced that Little would leave the team. For the remainder of the season, a Roush Craftsman Truck Series driver, Kurt Busch, began running races for the team. Car 97, like the 16 car in 2000, started the 2001 season unsponsored, but soon found sponsorship from Rubbermaid and Sharpie. Busch's rookie year in Winston Cup was unspectacular save for a pole at Darlington. The team finished 27th in points, with only six top ten finishes. In 2002, Kurt Busch grabbed headlines after battling with Jimmy Spencer for a win at Bristol. This sparked a rivalry between the two drivers that lasted for the following years. However, the 2002 season marked a coming-of-age for the team, which won four times (including 3 of the final five races and the season ender at Homestead) and finished third in the championship points. Busch drove car 97 to victory four times in 2003, along with 14 top ten finishes. The team was riding in the top 10 for most of the season, but late season struggles brought the team an 11th place points finish. 2004 was the defining year of team #97. Winning three times, earning 21 top ten finishes, and clinching a pole, Busch won the first Chase for the Cup Championship. In 2005, he won three times and finished tenth in points.
Midway through the 2005 season, Busch shocked many in the NASCAR community when he announced that he would be leaving Roush Racing and replacing the retiring Rusty Wallace in the #2, owned by Penske Racing. On November 7, 2005 it was announced that Busch had been released from contractual obligations at Roush and would leave the team at the end of the season In November 2005, Busch was cited for reckless driving in an area close to Phoenix International Raceway. Although no action was taken by NASCAR, Roush Racing suspended Busch for the remainder of the 2005 season. Kenny Wallace took his place for the final two races of the season.
On November 16, it was officially announced that the #97 would be switching to the #26 for the 2006 season and beyond Jamie McMurray was the car's new driver, with sponsorship from Crown Royal, Smirnoff Ice, and Irwin Industrial Tools. He had seven top-ten finishes and finished 25th in points in his first year with the team. For 2007, the season hit its peak when McMurray edged out Kyle Busch by 0.005 seconds to win the Pepsi 400.
Previous to its 2006 incarnation, #26 had been run before by Roush Racing in 1998 and 1999. Sponsored by General Mills, the team debuted at North Carolina, where Johnny Benson finished 30th in the car. Benson ended the 1998 season with 10 top ten finishes and earned twentieth place in the championship points. In 1999, the 26 car experienced a very disappointing year. After mustering only two top-10 finishes and dropping eight spots in points, Benson quit the team to drive for Tyler Jet Motorsports. The 26 team was subsequently disbanded.
The 1997 season proved to be better for the team, as Burton won the first three races of his career (including the inaugural Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway) and ended fourth in points. In 1998, Burton enjoyed another successful season, winning twice, mounting 23 top ten finishes, and earning fifth place in the championship points. The team led the standings for part of 1999, but lost the top spot after performing poorly at Richmond. The team again settled for fifth in the points, with six wins and, like the previous year, 23 top ten finishes. Late in 2000, Exide ceased their sponsorship, and Citgo joined with new financial backing. The car finished a team-high third in the points, with four wins, one of which was at New Hampshire in September where NASCAR used restrictor plates following the deaths of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin earlier that year, along with 22 top ten finishes and one pole position. Burton got his last win with the car at Phoenix in 2001. However, the team's performance sharply dropped, landing at tenth in points.
After the 2003 season, Citgo discontinued their sponsorship of car 99, forcing associate sponsors, including SKF and Pennzoil, and Roush Racing to fund the team. Disappointed with the team, Burton and many remaining sponsors of the team left for Richard Childress Racing mid-season in 2004. To fill the void left by this departure, Roush elevated Carl Edwards from the truck series. Edwards showed immediate promise while driving the unsponsored 99 entry, posting five top ten finishes in his abbreviated season. During his first full-time season, 2005, with sponsorship from Scotts, Office Depot, Stonebridge Life Insurance Company and World Financial Group, Edwards won four times and finished in a tie for second in points. In 2006, Office Depot became the exclusive sponsor of the team. Edwards failed to win or make the Chase for the Cup, posting ten top-fives but finishing twelfth in points. Edwards snapped his 52 race winless streak by winning the Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan International Speedway. In 2008, he won at California Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, after a loose oil cap was discovered after Vegas, Edwards lost the points lead due to a penalty. Edwards returned to victory lane 4 weeks later at Texas Motor Speedway where he won the Samsung 500 in the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion.
The number 06 Ford Fusion first raced in the Hershey's Kissables 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2006. Todd Kluever piloted the car, with sponsorship from 3M, for the entire 2006 season, earning four top-ten finishes and one pole. Mike Kelley, the former car chief on championship car 97, was the crew chief. For 2007, Mark Martin drove the 06 machine, with sponsorship from Dish Network at Daytona International Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
The 09 truck began running in 2005 as a research and development entry for Ford. Bobby East attempted a few races in the truck (then #33) but failed to qualify. Mark Martin made the team's first qualification at the Ford 200, where he started 14th and finished 8th with sponsorship from Stonebridge Life Insurance.
After Martin's strong start to the 2006 season, his original limited schedule was expanded. Roush decided to run another part-time team for rookie David Ragan to fill out his original schedule. Ragan took the #50 to a 22nd place finish at Atlanta, but struggled in his next few starts in both the #50 and the #6. After crashing the #6 in practice for the Mansfield race, he was replaced for the weekend. Carl Edwards ran the #50 at the Dover race, and Ragan returned at the Texas race. Ragan's best finish in the 50 came at Atlanta where he finished sixth. Peter Shepherd and Michel Jourdain, Jr. also drove the 50 on a part-time basis during the season with sponsorship from PurposeMoney.com Edwards drove the truck for the first two races of the season unsponsored, when it was announced T. J. Bell would drive the truck for fifteen races, bringing sponsorship from Heathcliff's Cat Litter. Development drivers Peter Shepherd and Danny O'Quinn Jr. also drove the #50 truck with sponsorship from Northern Tool and Equipment. Joey Clanton began the season driving the #09 full-time in 2008 with Zaxby's sponsoring, but after the season-opening race, he was released, with Travis Kvapil returning to the ride. Kvapil, East, and Jon Wes Townley will share driving duties of the 09 truck for the rest of the season.
Both Busch and Exide exited after that season, and rookie Nathan Haseleu took over with Eldon the new sponsor. Despite posting four top ten finishes in the first twelve races of the season, Hasleau was waived and replaced by Kurt's younger brother Kyle for a limited run. Despite being 16 years old, Busch had two top tens and was scheduled to go full-time in 2002, before NASCAR announced all drivers in its top series must be age 18. Biffle and Tim Woods III also drive the 99 in limited runs during 2001. After Tim Fedewa ran the season-opener in the truck, the team took the rest of 2002 off, the truck returned in 2003 with sponsorship from Superchips and a new driver in Carl Edwards. Edwards won three races and the Rookie of the Year title. He repeated his win total in 2004, and moved up to fourth in points.
When he moved up to Nextel Cup for 2005, Roush hired a former Cup driver, Ricky Craven to take his place. Despite posting seven top tens and winning at Martinsville, Roush and Craven announced they would not be back together in 2006. Instead, the truck switched to #6, and was shared by NEXTEL Cup veteran Mark Martin and rookie David Ragan. The #6 truck's new sponsor was Scotts, and the truck, piloted by Martin, won the first two races of the 2006 season. Martin then decided to race more races than he originally intended, and he only skipped races without a corresponding Nextel Cup event. Auggie Vidovich II drove for the Mansfield race after Ragan crashed the truck in practice, finishing 19th. Ragan shared the truck with Martin for the balance of the season and had six top-tens and one pole in the 6 truck. Martin had the most success in the truck, winning five races. Overall, the team finished 2nd in the owner's points. 2003 NCTS Champion Travis Kvapil returned to the Truck Series in 2007, and won four races en route to a sixth place finish in points. As Kvapil heads back to the Sprint Cup Series with Yates Racing, former Rolex Sports Car Series driver Colin Braun will take Kvapil's place in the 6 truck with sponsorship from Con-way.
Biffle would go on to set the trucks on fire in 1999, when he won nine times, and was in contention for the championship for much of the season before finally losing to Jack Sprague. His 2000 season was less dominant with only five wins, but he was able to win the championship by 230 points over teammate Kurt Busch. In 2001, Roush hired an unknown modified driver named Chuck Hossfeld to take Biffle's place as he was moving up to the Busch Series. Hossfeld struggled in his rookie year, and soon he was released, with a rotation of drivers including Jon Wood and Biffle himself in the driver's seat. Wood's audition was impressive enough to earn him a full-time run in 2002, and he posted twelve top ten finishes in the U.S. Navy sponsored truck and finished 12th in points in his first full year. Wood had two wins the next year, and finished 15th in points in 2004 before moving on. In 2005, Todd Kluever piloted the World Financial Group truck to six top five and twelve top ten finishes in his rookie season. Erik Darnell piloted the newly-renumbered truck full time in 2006 with at first Woolrich, but eventually Northern Tool and Equipment as sponsor to a 2006 Rookie of the Year title. 2007 brought about Darnell's first win at Kansas, but inconsistency put the team 12th at season's end.
Perhaps Roush Racing's most famous partnership is with fellow Ford team Yates Racing. In 2004, the two teams announced a program to combine their engine divisions, a move which greatly improved the power of both organizations' engines. By 2006, most Ford teams were using the Yates/Roush engines, including long-time Ford team Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.
Yates has purchased at least one Roush chassis, and may be moving towards adopting Roush's car designs. Jack Roush has also stated that Roush Racing would not court RYR's sponsors when their contracts were up.
Brown has said that his team will most likely not enter NASCAR until 2007, but as of October 2006, no further announcements have been made about the status of this partnership. If it does happen, it will likely be an arrangement similar to the affiliation deal with No Fear Racing.
Mike Dee, president of the Fenway Sports Group was quoted as saying, "Although there have been many instances of cross ownership in the world of professional sports, this partnership marks the first time that owners of a professional franchise in one of the four major leagues have crossed over into the world of NASCAR."
Current management will remain in place at Roush Fenway Racing, with Jack Roush handling all competitive operations and Geoff Smith will continue as Roush Racing president to handle business activities.
Roush Fenway Racing Team Reinforces Commitment to Winning Responsibly with Complete Shift to Valvoline NextGen Recycled Motor Oil.
Mar 28, 2012; Less than one year after the Valvoline brand introduced a revolutionary recycled motor oil that stands up to racing's demanding...
Nation's Top High School Auto Techs Compete for Opportunity to 'Tune-up' their Skills with Roush Fenway Racing.
Jun 26, 2010; AAA and Roush Fenway Racing announced that the nation's best young automotive technicians from the 2010 Ford/AAA Student Auto...