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Pedley: Roush Acts Like Roush After Landmark Win

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 18 2009


Jack Roush issues a smile from Victory Lane Friday night. (RacinToday photo by David Vaughn)

Jack Roush issues a smile from Victory Lane Friday night. (RacinToday photo by David Vaughn)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

Jack Roush is one of those. He is one of those people who simply will not let the emotional wall down so others can get a peek.

Friday night in Phoenix, the emotional masons were out there doing their best to change all that. They were flailing away at the wall with every tool in the truck to get Roush to express good feelings about getting his 100th victory as an owner in the Nationwide Series.

Leading question after leading question came from the media about how cool it must feel to get No. 100, which came courtesy of Greg Biffle in the Bashas’ 200 at Phoenix Supermarkets 300.

TV, radio, print, internet and even Roush Fenway Racing’s own PR people were taking turns wielding the questions.

About the best they could get was a smile, a commercial for Roush’s sponsors and some praise for other people, notably the crews and drivers.

“We’ve had an incredible run in an incredible series where the competition is intense,” was about the best line that could be squreezed out of the old engineer. 

The wall has barely been nicked in decades of trying, so it was not surprising it stood strong and tall after Friday night’s siege guns took their turn at PIR.

But then again, Roush does not really need words to talk about his success.

First, there are numbers that can do the talking:

Seventy-five of Roush Fenway’s 100 wins have come at speedways while 14 have come at short tracks and 11 at superspeedways. To date, the team does not have a Nationwide win on a road course. The cars have combined to win at a total of 24 different tracks (some have since been taken off the schedule). Roush Fenway has accrued 14 Nationwide wins at Darlington followed by 10 at Rockingham and Lowe’s Motor Speedway and now six at Phoenix.  There are four tracks (currently on the schedule) that a series win eludes the team; Daytona, Chicagoland, Watkins Glen and Montreal.

Then there are the names that speak out:

Roush Fenway’s 100 wins are divided between just five drivers.  Martin has visited victory lane a total of 40 times followed by Carl Edwards with 20. Both Greg Biffle and Jeff Burton were tied with 16 until Biffle scored win number 17 with Roush Fenway, and Matt Kenseth has seven Nationwide wins under the team’s umbrella.  It’s interesting to note that the number 60 has 72 wins (divided between Martin, Biffle and Edwards); the number 9 has 18 wins (all of Burton’s wins and two with Martin in the seat); Kenseth has all seven wins for the number 17; and Biffle now has three wins in the number 16.

And then there are the drivers, who first make sure Roush is not listening too closely when they gush about the boss:

“This is really special to win here tonight in the No. 16 CitiFinancial Ford and get the 100th win for Roush Fenway Racing,” Biffle said.

But the boss? Um, Jack?

“I hope to be an owner in the Nationwide Series for another 20 years and we can win another 100 races…” Roush said late Friday night.

Oh God, could that be a fissure opening in the wall?

Nope, just a commercial and some pragmatism.

“It is a great venue to fulfill the needs of our sponsors and develop young drivers,” Roush said. “We’ve also found it to be a good place for our senior drivers to become acclimated with the track in the Nationwide race before they race in the Sprint Cup race the next day.  It also allows the crew to gather additional information on things such as tire pressures that can help the entire organization.”

It’s all cool, though.

Anything else coming out of Jack Roush would be just plain uncomfortable.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Saturday, April 18 2009