Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes
2016 NASCAR Media Tour – Charlotte, NC
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
The Roush Fenway Racing lineup up XFINITY and Sprint Cup drivers, along with famed owner Jack Roush, participated in Ford Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, part of the 2016 NASCAR Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
STEVE NEWMARK, President, Roush Fenway Racing –“I want to start off by thanking our great partners, most notably Ford, with Tim Duerr, Dave Pericak and Henry Ford III here in attendance today. Their support to our organization means a lot to us and I know that this is the NASCAR media tour but I encourage you to ask those guys about the new Ford GT because it is a spectacular car that they are heavily involved with. We are very fortunate to be in this sport. It is obviously a long season and it is often talked about and what I think is often overlooked is the media is with us every step of the way. On most weekend the first ones at the track are the media and last to leave are the media as well so thank you for doing what you do to elevate our sport to the level that it is. I also want to pass along an observation. Among the halls of Roush Fenway the last few months there has been a level of enthusiasm and energy that is unparalleled since I have been in this sport. It has been well documented some of the changes we have been undergoing with adding new talent, restructuring how we operate, all with an effort to improve the performance on the track. When you see the effort and energy put into it has far exceeded our expectations. You will hear all about the confidence and optimism that each member of our organization has about the success we are going to have on the track in 2016. I recognize that for every race team or sports team coming up to a new season that hope springs eternal and we are ultimately going to be measured with how we do on the track. It is a beautiful sport where we get a report card each week of how we are doing but I can tell you we are ready to get on the track and showcase the talent of the guys up here and are excited about a successful season in 2016.
DARRELL WALLACE, No. 6 Ford Mustang – WHAT IS YOUR LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT HEADING INTO 2016? “I am ready to go. I wish Daytona was this weekend coming up. Like Steve said earlier there have been a lot of things going on behind the scenes at Roush Fenway. Consolidating into one shop is a huge thing for all of us to bounce ideas from drivers to crew chiefs to engineers and have one game plan going into each race track this year. I can’t thank Jack enough for the opportunity again and the people from Ford as well. It was an exciting season for us and we were so close to getting our first victory. This year we are very confident we can do it heading into Daytona and we have a lot of exciting things happening behind closed doors. It is safe to announce that we have a sponsor for that race, Selfieo, and I can’t thank them enough for coming on board to make this race happen and the car looks great. It would look better with some confetti on it, so we will try to make sure that happens.”
RYAN REED, No. 16 Ford Mustang – COMING UP ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR WIN AT DAYTONA, HOW ANXIOUS ARE YOU TO GET BACK THERE? “I am really excited, not just because I won there but because it is Daytona. Anytime you are at Daytona you are excited. It was special last year when Ford dominated speedweeks down there and I was proud to contribute to that. I echo what Steve said. I have been there only three years but I have never seen this level of commitment to excelling in the sport. Everyone with Ford and Roush Fenway and with my partnership with Lilly Diabetes am proud to be a part of this organization right now. The amount of effort put in is unreal. I have never seen anything like it. I am excited to get the year started with Phil and all the new group of guys we have behind us on the 16 team. I am ready to go out there and make everyone proud and not just win Daytona but a lot of races. With the new Chase format I am excited to have the opportunity to contend in a Chase format and hopefully get my first XFINITY series championship.”
CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 60 Ford Fusion – YOU ARE GOING FULL TIME IN THE CUP SERIES IN AN ALLIANCE WITH FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS “Yeah, unfortunately we won’t get to defend our XFINITY title. It is an exciting format for them and will make for great racing when you get to the end of the season but I am really looking forward to the Cup season. There is a lot of change and different things going on. Everything is in motion and we have Loves Travel Stops on board with Front Row Motorsports. I got to run a handful of races last year and get my feet wet there and get an understanding of what is going to happen. I have a new crew chief with Bob Osborne and we are building that relationship for this year. We have a great bunch of people and a lot of new stuff happening. I think the alliance between Front Row and Roush Fenway will help all parties. I am looking forward to a great year and keep cars clean and try to get a spot in the Chase and go after that Rookie of the Year award.”
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 6 Ford Fusion – ITS YOUR FIRST SEASON AS A DAD AND YOU HAVE A NEW CREW CHIEF, LOTS OF CHANGE FOR YOU. “I am really glad we had an off season baby because I don’t know if I would make it to driver intros in time if it was in the regular season. As these guys have said, we are excited for this year. I think last year our expectation going into it was to set things up to where we could get better. I think what Mark McArdle brought in with organization and Kevin Kidd with communication has set us up to use our people and assets better. I think we are at the point where we say some progress last season and we saw with the 2016 aero package that we were better at Kentucky and Darlington, two of our strongest races. We look forward to that this season and hopefully we have made even more improvements. We look forward to the additions brought in with engineering and aero and all across the board as a global unit at Roush Fenway Racing. More importantly I look forward to what we have done on the 6 team with Matt Puccia coming about and I have known Matt since 2010. He was a guy bouncing around the shop talking to drivers and crew chiefs trying to figure out his race cars and I have always liked that about Matt. We are hitting it off already and I feel like we are ahead of the game on our cars and plans. We also have had some other additions in the spotter category and mechanics that I think will be good. I am looking forward to all of that. On top of that we have some more newness with the paint scheme. I ran the same scheme with XFINITY to Sprint Cup last year but now we have a new scheme that will be released later on with AdvoCare and I can’t wait for that to be shown so you guys can get excited about it because I am pumped about it and ready to go.”
RICKY STENHOUSE JR., No. 17 Ford Fusion – THE END OF LAST YEAR LOOKED LIKE YOUR TEAM WAS HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, WHAT KIND OF FEELING DOES THAT GIVE YOU HEADING INTO 2016? “It is nice to go into the off season knowing we wouldn’t have any changes on the 17 team. Everyone is staying together and it is my first time in the Cup series to have the same group of guys two years in a row. I thought Nick and I and Mike, working all together, had a really good end of the year together and good off season together hanging out and having the whole team over to the house and just hanging out with everybody. We were making sure that our communication and our commitment to one another is the best that we could make it. I think that is going to be very important for the 17 team to use all the resources that Roush Fenway and our organization is going to give us to go out and perform the best we can. I think the commitment to each other and to being better each and every week paid off for us last year so we are looking forward to continuing that process throughout the season. We have our great partners with Fastenal, Fifth Third and Zest all back on board and we are tyring to have a good season for them as well. I think this year is going to be an important year for us but also I think it has potential to be one of our best in the Sprint Cup series.”
GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 Ford Fusion – YOU ARE DEVELOPING A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH A NEW CREW CHIEF, BRIAN PATTIE, TALK ABOUT THAT RELATIONSHIP. “Yeah, we are really excited about all the changes at Roush Fenway as a whole. We have a bunch of new people on board, including Brian Pattie and a lot of people don’t know that I have worked with him in the past and we won a couple of races together in the short amount of time we spent working together. I am excited to have him back on board and possibly bring some technology over from another team which gives us an opportunity to get an outside look and we are always trying to learn something setup wise or how they run a shop and build a car. I think that is good for our organization. We want to continue to make our cars better. We are excited about all the changes that the Ford camp is doing over the winter. I am looking forward to Daytona and these races. I think it will be a great season for us. We were trending in the right direction at the end of 2015 and we know with these changes we will continue that. The low downforce was two of our best races in the Cup Series for Trevor, Ricky and myself, we all ran good at Kentucky and Darlington and that will be the package for 2016 so we think that will be good for us.”
JACK ROUSH, owner, Roush Fenway Racing – WHAT STANDS OUT TO YOU ABOUT THIS LINEUP OF DRIVERS HEADING INTO 2016? “Roush Fenway is in a great place for 2016. We have a lot of changes in place and yet we have a lot of continuity with things that have been good for us in the past. Looking at the management team we have on the pit boxes, the guys we have heading up the departments in the shop and of course the top management of the company is a blend of the promote from within philosophy we have had to build on experience and potential of people to give them more responsibility and also added three posts on our organization chart for outsiders that have come in to help us with the transition as NASCAR becomes less crew chief driven and more of a technical driven organization. I am really excited about the way the organization has shaped up. Our driver lineup has the drivers that have won five of our eight championships in the Cup, Truck and XFINITY series’ down through the years and we have a number of younger drivers and some in the wings in our cars that have great potential. We don’t have anybody in one of our cars as a rookie this year that is a true rookie. They have not realized their potential yet, but they all have at least one year of experience in the cars they are in. That is all good. I have never felt more excitement as I walk through the shop and monitor the meetings and I have never felt more enthusiasm to get speed in the cars off the truck to race for wins at the individual events and compete for championships and build the careers of everybody involved. We have great marquee sponsors and we are partnering with some of the best companies in our economy that have realized the benefit that can be derived from being involved with teams in NASCAR. The NASCAR organization itself has undergone a lot of changes, most noticeably the tech changes for the Cup series that we are all excited about as it moves in a direction of the driver’s interest and preference for how the car is balanced. Also there are changes for the social media initiatives and to generate new ideas for the sport will be good for everybody going down the road. I can’t say enough about Ford Motor Company. Ford has been with us for the 28 years in Cup and even before that with drag racing and road racing. Ford has filled our toolbox with tools that are cutting edge and no manufacturer has brought more to the table than Ford has with the simulator and simulations and all the data reduction and analysis services that are available to us. They have added on the technical side of their support group in the last three years, three times the number of people involved and amount of support you get at the race track and in the factory administrative offices has never been greater. We appreciate the Ford partnership and look forward to a great year in 2016.”