Rousch drops to four teams in 2001

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 16, 2000) The largest team in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition will get smaller in 2001. Roush Racing announced Thursday it is eliminating one of the five teams it has fielded since the start of the 1998 season. The...

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 16, 2000) The largest team in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition will get smaller in 2001.

Roush Racing announced Thursday it is eliminating one of the five teams it has fielded since the start of the 1998 season. The company's 2001 lineup will be the No. 6 driven by Mark Martin, the No. 17 driven by Matt Kenseth, the No. 97 driven by Kurt Busch and the No. 99 driven by Jeff Burton.

The season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday will be the final race for the No. 16 Ford driven by Kevin Lepage.

The Ford Tauruses driven by Martin, Kenseth and Burton all have primary sponsorship commitments for 2001. Roush has yet to secure a primary sponsor for the car driven by Busch, who will compete for Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year honors next year, but team owner Jack Roush has said he will run the entire season without a major backer for the No. 97 car if necessary.

Roush's NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams have been spread out for a number of years at several shops in various suburbs of Charlotte, N.C., but the new four-team stable will be housed entirely at a new complex in Concord, about 15 miles north of Charlotte.

"The facilities in Concord are state-of-the-art and will help the teams maximize efficiency," Roush Racing president Geoff Smith said. "All four teams will benefit from their proximity to one another in terms of the equipment and information exchange that is critical to fielding successful race teams. We will continue, however, to look for opportunities to run more teams in the future."

In addition to fielding five cars in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series this year, Roush also prepared entries for Martin and Burton in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division and fielded NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams for Busch and Greg Biffle, the circuit's champion.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Kevin Lepage , Kurt Busch , Jack Roush , Mark Martin