CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2000) Jack Roush has invested millions of dollars in NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series programs as an owner but has never actually driven one of them - until Thursday. The multi-team owner...
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2000) Jack Roush has invested millions of dollars in NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series programs as an owner but has never actually driven one of them - until Thursday.
The multi-team owner was on hand for the public debut of his two new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Chuck Hossfeld and Nathan Haseleu at Concord Motorsports Park. In addition to interviews the two drivers gave rides in a two-seater Ford truck around the half-mile trioval. Roush got into the spirit of things and took the wheel himself.
After riding with each of his two young charges Roush asked for a coin. It was handed to him and he turned to Haseleu and asked if he wanted "heads or tails." He chose heads and the coin was tossed into the air, heads it was.
Roush surprised everyone when he elected to get behind the wheel himself, and was taking one of his drivers with him.
Hossfeld started congratulating his new teammate on winning the toss, until realizing it was he who "won" the ride with his new boss. They strapped in and took off from pit row leaving a 25-foot burnout.
A few laps later Roush pulled in with the front brakes smoking and climbed out of the truck smiling and laughing. Hossfeld wasn't.
"I haven't been in a race car that I own since 1975," Roush said. "I was watching their line you see, and I wouldn't have undertaken that had I not had a chance to ride with both of them."
"That was bad, Jack," Hossfeld said about the ride, "real bad."
Although he may have been having fun at his new employer's expense, Hossfeld knows that when next season rolls around it will be different.
"There's a lot of great people here at Roush and being part of the team is great," he said. "We'll start 2001 with high goals and see how it pans out, hopefully we'll plug away and get some good finishes."
Roush Racing is planning on starting Hossfeld's career a little earlier than expected. He will be entering the No. 49 unsponsored entry in the final race at California Speedway at the end of October. Both Roush Racing NASCAR Craftsman Trucks are still unsponsored as for the 2001 season.
"My plan is to just go and to have a good run through the race," he said. "Hopefully I'll be happy with what goes on and carry that momentum through the winter and get geared up for next season."
Haseleu and Hossfeld survived over 400 entries and two auditions before signing with Roush Racing. Haseleu still thinks all that has happened to him lately is unreal.
"I haven't been home a lot lately and am seeing places I have never seen before," he said. "It's been overwhelming. This is a big opportunity for me and I want to make the most out of it."