Roush Fenway Racing press release
Roush Fenway Gunning for 18th NASCAR Win at “Thunder Valley”
Roush Fenway Looking for NASCAR Win Number 18 at Bristol
CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 25, 2011) – Once again Roush Fenway Racing rolls into “Thunder Valley” for one of the most anticipated weekends of the NASCAR season; Bristol under the lights. Bristol is one of the most intense tracks on the circuit; having been described by some drivers as the equivalent of ‘jet fighters, racing around a football stadium.’ Throw in a hot summer night and a heated race for the Chase, while putting the action under the lights and you have the makings of one of the most electrifying events of the season.
Each time the series hits the famed .533-mile track team owner Jack Roush can take a moment to reflect on his long history at the facility.
“I went to Bristol for the first time (with NASCAR) in 1988,” said Roush. “But I had had a great deal of success there and won on the drag strip at Bristol with the Fastbacks years before that.
“Bristol has always been a place that had two complexes,” added Roush, whose NASCAR teams have made 247 starts at the half-mile oval track. “It had a drag strip up in between the hills and it had an oval track.
“I’ve had the chance to race on both of them and whenever I go to Bristol, it ties my drag racing in with my stock car racing. I have fond memories of the drag racing that preceded the stock car racing and I have fond memories of the stock car racing as well.”
Just as with the drag racing, success on the oval at Bristol would soon follow.
“Mark (Martin) was so enthused when he had a chance to go to Bristol,” recalled Roush. “It was fast and high-banked and he was able to get in the gas and not worry about a lot of finesse and it was one of his favorite places. He had a good feel for it and a great enthusiasm, and eventually we realized the kind of success on the oval track that I had on the drag strip before that.”
Roush Fenway finished second in its first NASCAR Cup start at Bristol in the spring of 1988. Martin and Roush won at Bristol from the pole in the fall of 1993 and opened the floodgate for the organization’s unparalleled amount of success at the track.
All in all Roush Fenway has won at Bristol in all three of NASCAR’s major series for a total of 17 victories (including 10 in the Sprint Cup Series), with the victories spread out over six drivers. In the Cup series Roush Fenway swept the track in 2003 and put a Cup car into victory lane in eight of the last nine seasons.
This weekend Roush and his teams will look to build on their previous success, and plenty is on the line for the organization at it heads to east Tennessee. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who sat on the pole for the Nationwide race at BMS in the spring, will look to hold onto his NNS point lead, while both Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth hope to secure places in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup “playoff.”
In addition, Greg Biffle and David Ragan, a previous NNS Bristol winner, will look for a much needed victory to propel them right back into the thick of the “Chase” Wild-Card race.
Chad Norris has been named crew chief of Roush Fenway’s No. 16 Nationwide Series team with driver Trevor Bayne. Norris will assume the role immediately, serving as crew chief for the team this weekend at Bristol. Norris, who has been with Roush Fenway since 2005, led Marcos Ambrose’s winning effort from atop the pit box last weekend in Montreal.
“I am excited for the opportunity to work with Trevor Bayne,” said Norris. “Trevor is obviously one of the most talented young drivers in the garage and I’m looking forward to working with him starting this weekend at Bristol; a track that I know means a lot to him.”
Norris takes over for Chris Andrews. Andrews’ role in the organization will be announced at a later date.