Is Jack Roush Driving Sprint Cup Team Into Irrelevancy?

By Ryan O`Hara On Thu, Jul. 31, 2014

Photo Credit: David Yeazell
Photo Credit: David Yeazell

One of the biggest announcements of the Brickyard 400 weekend was that Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards would not be returning to the stable in 2015. In my honest opinion, this was beyond unprofessional by Jack Roush, especially on the morning of the fifth and final major of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Sadly, this is not the first time Roush Fenway Racing has shot itself in the foot. On the other hand, the organization could have made this announcement later in the season, but chose not to. The organization tends to instigate conflict unnecessarily if they feel wronged. Honestly, it is just childish behavior. Perhaps I am too young, but I have not seen other organizations, big or small, pull these sort of shenanigans.

What the organization needs to do is maintain a healthy, stable relationship with all drivers, but they have not done so. Let’s face it, Jack Roush was not surprised that Kenseth wanted to leave. How long was Roush going to make Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a two-time Nationwide Series champion, wait for a ride? The Roush stable has suffered for years because they have failed to adapt to the new economic environment. Sponsors continue to leave the sport here and there, and Roush continues to see sponsors and drivers head for the exit.

Carl Edwards is Roush Fenway’s only shot to win the championship this season, but it is not going to happen. Yes, he will be in 16 car chase field, but he will be a contender. The Roush stable struggles every week regardless of the two wins Carl Edwards has this season. As a result, the loss of Edwards is a monumental loss for Roush Fenway Racing.

In 2015, Roush Fenway Racing will feature three drivers. Let’s be blunt, the driver lineup is decrepit. Greg Biffle is the strongest guy in the stable, his teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., only has two-career top five finishes.

Trevor Bayne finally got the call to race full-time in the Sprint Cup Series. He has a Daytona 500 championship on his resume, but it is his only finish inside the top five to date. If tandem racing is not a lottery, I do not know what is. Two cars hook up on the race track and push each other around for a couple of hours, no sugar coating there. It does not matter who hooked up with who. James Hylton could have won the 2011 Daytona 500 had he started. With that being said, one Daytona 500 win, does not equal success in the long run.

If Roush Fenway Racing can figure out the ride height, a title run could be in the works, however, that has yet to be accomplished as a team. If poor performance continues, Roush Fenway could be the next Robert Yates Racing, a team of irrelevancy, leaving Team Penske as the only competitive Ford team.

Ryan O`Hara (126 Posts)

Ryan O'Hara is a Junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he will obtain a degree in National Security- primarily Intelligence Writing, as well as a degree in Mandarin Chinese. O'Hara is an experienced TV and radio broadcaster, with over 13 years experience. O'Hara also plays college hockey for the Embry-Riddle Ice Eagles. In 2007, at the age of 13, O'Hara made an appearance on NBC KYMA, where he did a weather segment. Follow him @RyanPrakOHara on Twitter!


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Displaying 4 Comments
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  1. jerry wyrick says:

    Jack and John own this team! Larry McReynolds and the like don’t. These bottom feeding media type should be lucky they’ve made a living being NASCAR puppets. I personally can’t wait for Larry Mac. to quit or be fired,the true NASCAR fans have been abused enough by this junk-yard dog.If I owned the team cuz Carl would be looking for a ride now. Its called loyalty….call me Larry mac 740-605-4185

  2. Mark Moore says:

    In my 40+ years following NASCAR, (& a few years writing about it, for this site in fact), I have never seen a bigger, more vindictive “jack-ass” in the sport than Jack Roush. He’s micro-managed his teams & organization into oblivion, he’s let great drivers & sponsors slip through his fingers, he’s treated drivers & crew members like crap, he’s switched crew chiefs & drivers around with no rhyme or reason to his methods, he’s accused almost every other team in the garage of cheating without any proof, & the list goes on & on & on & on…..

    According to John Bickford, (Jeff Gordon’s stepfahter & the early manager of his career), Roush is part of the reasom Gordon wound up at HMS. In 1992, when Jeff was running the Nationwide Series for Bill Davis in the Baby Ruth #1 Ford, Jack called up John to see about getting him signed up for the Cup Series in 1993. John told him he’d be happy to deal with him, but it was a package deal, Ray Evernham, (who was already Jeff’s crew chief in the BDR ride), was to be part of the deal, as it was already obvious of the chemistry the two had. jack made it very clear that his drivers didn’t get to pick their own crew chiefs, that was up to him. Bickford politely thanked Jack & hung up the hpone. Jack called him back immediately, upset that Bickford had hung up on him & asking why. Bickford calmly told him that Jeff & Ray were a package deal & if Jack didn’t want that, the conversation was over & hung up again. Shortly after that is when Rick Hendrick approached Bickford, found out that Jeff wasn’t under contract to Ford, & Rick had no problem with Ray being Jeff’s crew chief. The rest of course is history.

    All of the above can be read in Ed Hinton’s excellent book “Daytona: From the Birth of Speed to the Death of the Man in Black”, as recounted by Bickford.

    Look at how once jack became the main clearinghouse for the Ford teams, virtually all of them other than his either went into a tailspin or vanished from the Cup garage, & his didn’t do that well overall in comparison either. Until Penske switched back to Ford the entire Ford NASCAR deal was in danger of becoming totally uncompetitive & a complete joke.

    There’s a reason RFR has only two Cup championships in comparison & it’s all due to Jack Roush. He’s likely the worst team owner seen in the sport since the days of Jim Stacy.

  3. Robert says:

    I couldn’t agree more about Jack Roush and his organisation. Vindictive to a fault.

    Why do you think no one has used the 97 since Kurt left and that was what? 8-10 years ago?

  4. Ron Fleshman says:

    just a comment. The announcement was made because some of the sponsors of Carl’s car wanted to people to know they would not be sponsoring him next year wherever he went. Also, some of the people on the car needed to know what direction Roush was going, so Jack let them know. So many are fond of using the term “business decision,” and this was just that.

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