Roush Fenway Racing announced Tuesday it will drop to a two-car team in NASCAR’s Cup series in 2017. Trevor Bayne will drive the team’s No. 6 Ford and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will drive the team’s No. 17.
The team also announced it will lease the No. 16 car – driven by Greg Biffle until he announced last week that he was leaving the team – to JTG Racing, where it will be driven by Chris Buescher.
In addition, Roush Fenway announced Kevin Kidd will be the team’s competition director and Tommy Wheeler will serve as the team’s operations director.
Matt Puccia will continue to be Bayne’s crew chief, while Brian Pattie will switch from Biffle’s car to Stenhouse. Nick Sandler, who was Stenhouse’s crew chief the past two seasons, has named RFR’s director of engineering.
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None of the team’s three drivers won a race during the 2016 season. Buescher won at Pocono for Front Row Racing and qualified for the Chase.
"We have been able to shore up our plans for 2017 and we feel that this will continue to move us in a direction that will yield improved performance and results," Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush said in a statement. "We saw improvement in our cars and made substantial gains in our performance at times last season, and we will continue to build on that by maintaining a robust engineering group in order to take the next step by consistently running up front."
Clint Bowyer sues former team
Driver Clint Bowyer has sued HScott Motorsports for allegedly missing monthly payments and sponsorship commission.
“This has been an ongoing issue with HScott Motorsports for some time,” said Bowyer’s attorney, Robert Muckenfuss, in a statement to the Observer. “We were forced to file the lawsuit after the season because no final payment had been made and we received information that he was liquidating assets but still not paying Clint.”
ESPN.com reported that the suit is seeking at least $2.223 million from HScott Motorsports, for whom Bowyer drove during the 2016 season. Bowyer will move to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017, replacing the retired Tony Stewart in the team’s No. 14 car.
“We are aware of the lawsuit,” HScott Motorsports spokesman Ramsey Poston told ESPN.com. “Obviously we won’t speak about the details of the suit, but I can say that overall it is frivolous and capricious.
“It is also important to know that (team owner Harry) Scott has used personal resources to loan money to the race team to support it, and to allege that he has taken money out of the race team is simply false. Mr. Scott and the team will aggressively defend itself and will ultimately prevail.”
▪ Speedway Motorsports promoted Braun Smith to vice president of national sales and marketing and Mike Burch to chief strategy officer.