Roush Engine problem continues

The Buzz around the Winston Cup garage is the recent failures of several engines related to the Jack Roush stable. Mark Martin found himself going home early two weeks in a row as he grenaded engines at both Las Vegas and Atlanta. Finishing ...

The Buzz around the Winston Cup garage is the recent failures of several engines related to the Jack Roush stable.

Mark Martin found himself going home early two weeks in a row as he grenaded engines at both Las Vegas and Atlanta. Finishing forty-third and forty-second respectively.

Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch and Ricky Rudd (who utilizes Roush Motors), have all had problems at Atlanta, and with that type of team failure, the spotlight was on the teams to find out what was going wrong.

Roush called a meeting with his top engine builders and engineers to aggressively address the problem.

"The good news is that none of the very substantial horsepower gains that we have been making caused any of our problems. The bad news is that the tuning mistake was my own. Now I know how Rick Hendricks's engine guy felt after Talladega last fall," said Roush. Referring to the five failures that Hendrick Motorsports experienced last fall"

Felling confident, Roush explained that the problems resulted from tuning errors, by attempting to improve fuel mileage of the engines that resulted in piston damage. He further indicated that the problems were compounded by "oil starvation" from a new oil pan configuration. The motor autopsies also discovered problems with crankshafts and bearing in some of the motors.

Many questioned Roush's confidence as during the Darlington weekend, both of the Roush truck teams had problems and during the final Winston Cup Practice driver Kurt Busch lost a motor, not only putting him to the rear of the field, but putting the air of uncertainty in the normally strong teams.

Race day arrived and four of the five Roush motors in the event held for the grueling 400-mile competition. Driver Jeff Burrton's problems continue as he experienced failure early in the event, highlighting that some type of problems still exist.

"It will be great to have all of that behind us, as we mount championship efforts for all of our drivers throughout the year." Noted Roush.

The sixty-year-old Roush has been an owner in the series for the past fifteen years. He was the first owner to field five teams. He lays claim to sixty-one Winston the cup series wins, and Championships in the Craftsman Truck, and the Busch series. He is president and CEO of Roush Industries, a transportation engineering and prototype firm that employs over two thousand people.

Roush seemed realistic regarding the problems, he is quick to point out that he survived a life threatening plane crash in 2002, and he will survive this.

A clear indication of his ability to survive, that even with the organizations current motor woes, Roush drivers Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth are solid in the top ten in series points with Kenseth holding the top spot for the second week in row.

-thomas chemris

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kurt Busch , Jack Roush , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports