NASCAR Forces Roush Fenway to Cut Team
Roush Fenway is currently fielding 5 teams in the Sprint Cup this season: the No. 99 of Carl Edwards, the No. 17 of Matt Kenseth, the No. 16 of Greg Biffle, the No. 6 of David Ragan and the No. 26 of Jamie McMurray (all Fords).
Rough Fenway owner Jack Roush argued, however, that the economic downturn forcing some of the teams to pull out of the Series should make the series' officials change their position. Axing a team that has already secured strong sponsorship for the upcoming seasons – in other words, forcing out a sponsor from the Sprint Cup – would not be the smartest thing to do.
“If they struggle this year to have full 43-car fields for the Sprint Cup Series and if it appears that by my going back to four teams rather than five a sponsor would leave the series, rather than accept an assignment to another team, then I think they would have something to think about,” said Roush.
Neither NASCAR CEO Brian France nor president Mike Helton wanted to hear anything about it.
“We've been clear about that and these economic times don't change that. There will be a four-car limit, and there are clear lines as to how to be a supplier in this sport, to in theory help other teams get started and how to provide services or engineering or what have you. If there is any confusion with one group or another, we'll clear it up,” said France.
“Brian is exactly right. We have not changed our mind on this. We believed it was the right thing to do when we announced it; we believe it's the right thing to do today. The policy that we created wasn't about limiting any individual from participating in the sport. It was a step to try and build a broader opportunity for owners to be able to participate in the sport. So we still very much believe in that,” added Helton.