May 10, 2017 | 2:42 P.M. EST
Jack Roush with the team’s first NASCAR trophy from Rockingham 1989 and the team’s 324 trophy from Talladega 2017, along with the winning cars from both races.
CONCORD, N.C. – Roush Fenway Racing employees celebrated Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s victory at Talladega with a luncheon at the team’s headquarters on Tuesday. During the luncheon Jack Roush reflected on the victory, which is the team’s record extending 324th win and the first for Stenhouse behind the wheel of a Cup Series car.
“I can remember when we started this thing 30 years ago, there was a period when I wasn’t sure that we were going to win. We had speed from the start, but we finished second on a number of occasions that first and second season, and finally broke through late in the season at Rockingham,” said Roush.
“It felt like a validation,” added Roush, a 2018 NASCAR Fall of Fame nominee. “And I figured they would let me stay around for a while. All these years later, we’ve been fortunate to get a lot of wins and Ricky is the ninth driver that we have had win for us in a Cup car; with eight of those guys getting their first win for us. I think that says a lot about the organization and the opportunity that we have given young drivers over the years.”
Employees at the event were able to take pictures with Roush, as well as the Talladega winning Ford Fusion and trophy. Roush also had on hand the 1989 No. 6 Ford Thunderbird that Mark Martin drove to Victory Lane at Rockingham that season, as well as the original trophy from the event.
“It’s ironic really, but the first win trophy from Rockingham had been missing for a number of years and we found it in an unmarked box up and Michigan,” said Roush. “I brought it with me, and it’s nice to be able to tie in our first win and our most recent win in one setting. It’s been a long road and it has never been easy, but it’s as rewarding today as it was back then.”
Also recognized at the luncheon was long-time Roush Fenway employee Jimmy Fennig; who has been with the company since 1996 and helped guide it through some of its most successful points. The legendary Fennig, now oversees Roush Fenway’s Superspeedway program. He boasts over 40 wins as a NASCAR crew chief and was the crew chief for Mark Martin during his glory years, along with Kurt Busch during his 2005 championship season. In addition, he is a two-time Daytona 500 winner and helped lead Roush Fenway to its 300th victory in the Daytona 500 in 2012.
“This win is not about one person,” said Fennig as he addressed the team. “It’s about all of you guys and girls. It’s about everyone here working in the same direction and for a common goal. It’s about Jack Roush and everything he has done for all of us, this company and our sport. Jack Roush is the real deal. He is what this is all about. Nobody works harder, nobody does more to put us in a positon to succeed and it’s great to see Jack back in victory lane.”