Jack Roush passes on his baton, however has “no retirement plans”
While Roush, 79, was no longer as visible as it was before, the long-time NASCAR owner made it clear this week that by adding Keselowski, he wants to continue to play an active role in “resetting” the organization.
“I welcome (Brad) as a partner and look forward to what we can do together. I was asked to say I’ll give him my baton, which I am, but I still have a hand on it so I won’t give up entirely for a while, ”Roush said.
“There are no retirement plans for me in my immediate future. I intend to continue to hit the racetracks like I did and just as annoying and distracting as I have been to my drivers and crew chiefs in the past. “
Much of Roush’s life has been invested in motorsports, including drag racing, road racing, and he has had teams win championships in all three NASCAR national series. He started his first car in the Cup series in 1988 with driver Mark Martin.
With Matt Kenseth (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) he won Cup Series titles; five Xfinity Series titles with Greg Biffle (2002), Carl Edwards (2007), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2011 and 2012) and Chris Buescher (2015); and a Truck Series title with Biffle in 2000.
Victories have been more difficult to take in recent years – two in the Cup series since 2014 – and the hope is that as a driver and owner, Keselowski, along with the debut of the next-generation car in 2022, will help bring Roush into the Top teams.
Could Brad Roush get back to the top?
“He’s one of the top drivers in this sport. He’s an inspiration to me for what he’s done with his truck team, ”said Roush of Keselowski. “He was at the highest levels of the sport and in the meantime has initiated the start of a promising aerospace service company, so that he is ready for the next challenge, joining a team.
“Over time, Brad will become independent and will occupy a prominent position on the team. One of the challenges for me was answering the questions I have been asked over time – “When will you retire? What is your succession plan like? ‘
“Well, Brad Keselowski and the next-gen car and the things we can do together in the short term and the future we see long-term is my retirement plan and I just hope I get a lot of green flags and a lot of checkered flags, before we get there. “
Jack Roush, Roush Fenway Racing
Photo: Alexander Trienitz
Roush seems enlivened by the idea that Keselowski will take an active role on the competitive side of the organization – but perhaps more importantly – to anchor an anchor to ensure that Roush’s legacy in NASCAR doesn’t wane anytime soon.
“Now we can decide together what is important from the driver’s seat, what is important for management at the racetrack and what is important for management in the shop,” said Roush.
“Adding a championship rider like Brad is a great time and it gives me the opportunity to think that this thing doesn’t end when I can’t function as a team anymore, but it does for the benefit of the people and families and others Things that the industry supports and for the community. “
Roush also added a prediction that Keselowski’s decision to take on the driver / owner role in the next-generation NASCAR era won’t be the last.
“We’re seeing new owners,” said Roush, “and I think Brad won’t be the last driver to say he’d like some action when he gets up from the driver’s seat.”