Roush Out To Pick Up Truck Victory No. 50
By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
When it comes to Camping World Truck Series wins as an owner, Jack Roush has blown by his chief competitors, many of whom no longer field entries in NASCAR’s No. 3 circuit.
He has 49 wins with 10 different drivers. Greg Biffle has the most, with 16. Mark Martin got the first, at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sept. 28, 1996, and went on to win six more. Erik Darnell got the most recent last year at Michigan, the only truck win of the 2008 season for Roush, who now shares ownership of his teams with John Henry.
Roush’s next six competitors on the all-time owner’s win list no longer compete in the series, so he’ll hold the record for quite some time. Germain Racing and Kevin Harvick Inc. are tied for second place among active owners with 18 wins apiece.
Still, Roush would like to round up his victory total to 50, and he’d really like to do it this weekend at Michigan.
“Fifty wins in the truck series would really be keeping in concert with what our goal is: to set a lot of standards, to set a lot of high marks for ourselves, and to enjoy the celebration of those milestones with Ford Motor Company,” Roush said. “It would be great, since Ford has been such the leader in trucks on the public highways, to come back and get 50 in the truck series.”
For Ford, having Roush competing in the truck series is a big part of the company’s marketing plans, according to Patrick DiMarco, Ford NASCAR Brand Manager.
“There are an enormous amount of truck owners, and when you walk through the infield, trucks are the predominant vehicle NASCAR fans are driving,” DiMarco said. “When I started in NASCAR, I was working in the truck series and you had Hendrick, Childress, DEI and Roush and they went at it – all the big names….
“Jack stuck around, and that is important to us.”
For most of his years in the series, Roush has used the trucks to groom drivers for his Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series cars. It may have cost him some truck wins, but he wound up with Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, among others.
“Historically, since the onset of the truck series more than 10 years ago, we’ve enjoyed taking our rookies there first and getting them started and improving their race craft – improving judgments on the race track, establishing their code, which is the thing that keeps them out of harm’s way,” Roush said. “It establishes expectations among the competitors of what they (rookie drivers) will and won’t do on the race track. It’s important that a driver have a good code, a defensible and admirable code, so he can really have the racing room he needs when it comes time and he’s able to close the deal to win his races and compete for championships.”
If Roush gets that 50th win this weekend, it’ll be up to Colin Braun, a 20-year-old product of sports car racing, to deliver it.
“I was hoping to get my first win in my home state of Texas last
weekend, but the next best thing would be to win at Michigan,” said Braun, a native of Ovalo. “Roush trucks have won this race the last two years in a row, so it’s up to me to continue the streak.”
Recently, Braun has had two good runs, a sixth-place at Kansas and a third at Texas, wrapped around two bad ones at Charlotte and Dover, where he crashed in both races after leading laps, 43 of them at Charlotte.
“With a top-five finish in Texas I’m hoping we got the monkey off our back,” he said.
Braun will be back in the same truck he was driving when he wrecked while leading at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It has a good history at Michigan. Travis Kvapil drove it to victory there in 2007 and Mark Martin finished second in it at MIS in ’06.
Crew chief Mike Beam assures that chassis No. RK-43 is ready to win again.
“We had to put a new front & rear clip on it, and we replaced the entire body except the roof after Lowe’s, but it’s been in the wind tunnel and on the k-rig [suspension testing device] this week,” Beam said. “Colin got a top 10 at MIS last year, so after a top five in Texas last week we are expecting a good outcome.”