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November 21, 2015

Jack Roush

Homestead, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We're now going to hear from our 2015 NASCAR driver championship owner, and that is Jack Roush from Roush Fenway Racing. This is Roush Fenway Racing's fifth NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship. The first title came in 2003 with driver Greg Biffle, then they won again in 2007 with Carl Edwards, and then back‑to‑back championships in 2011 and 2012 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in driver championships with five. Congratulations, Jack. I'm sure these never get old, but just talk about the significance of this championship with the No.60 Fastenal Ford.
JACK ROUSH: It's been a great year for us. I'm recovering from a cold. I apologize for being a little hoarse. But it's been a great year for us. This is a traditional‑‑ the way that the championships had worked out in traditional fashion before the Chase was introduced to the Cup Series. You have to win the races when you can, and you have to minimize the points loss on the day when you can't be your best. Unlike the Sprint Series where it's focused on winning races, and you don't have to worry so much about giving up on a bad day.
But Chris was on his game this year. Scott, the crew chief, was on his game. They managed not to‑‑ they won two races and managed not to give up points on days when they weren't their best, and that is what got us to this point.
I think I've been in the XFINITY Series for 25 years. I've been in the Cup Series for 28 years. I think we started on our third year in the Cup Series. We started racing XFINITY cars. But XFINITY Series is a great place for drivers to establish themselves and earn a rite of passage into Sprint Cup, and we've enjoyed having a number of rookies there. We have had a lot of success with our drivers in the XFINITY Series as well as the Truck Series, and of course we've won two championships in the Cup Series, as well.

Q. Speaking of that rite of passage, now that Chris is the champion of the series, can you shed any light on future plans for him next year?
JACK ROUSH: We're still not sure what his arrangement is going to be next year. He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent, but whether it's a part‑time program or a full program, we're still in the midst of finalizing the conditions today. We've got a number of possibilities, but we're not ready to announce that today.

Q. Jack, what made you decide to take a chance on Chris to get to this moment today that he wins the championship?
JACK ROUSH: Please repeat that.

Q. My question is what made you decide to take a chance on Chris leading up to this moment tonight when he wins the championship?
JACK ROUSH: Chris was really identified by the Ragan family first, who gave him lodging to bring him into the Charlotte area. He's from Texas, of course, and he needed to have a connection to be able to finish high school and work your way up the chain here in the Charlotte area for the progression. But David Ragan's dad, Ken Ragan, housed him and gave him a place to start.
He was brought to Robby Reiser's attention and Robby was impressed with him. Robby brought him to my attention. I get the credit for finding a lot of the driver talent we've had, but it's generally been somebody else in the organization that really had the first contact. But he was identified by Robby as somebody that we should take a look at, and we gave him some support, not a lot, for a number of years in the ARCA series. He eventually won an ARCA championship, and when we got him in the full time XFINITY car, in his second year of that, it's come to fruition.

Q. Your XFINITY program is obviously very good and has been for years. Do you ever look into that program and find things that you need to apply to your Cup program, or are they too different and nothing will transfer?
JACK ROUSH: Well, the front suspension rules for the way the shock absorbers and the bump rubbers in the Cup Series and XFINITY Series have been different. I understand‑‑ I haven't seen it written, but I understand that the XFINITY Series is going to get the bump stops and the shock absorber retention system that the Cup guys have next year, and that will make them more similar than they've been.
But the extent that we can, we've applied our software to those programs, and with the changes that need to be done for the difference in the componentry, we've used the same tools.
But the aero program, one benefits the other, the way we cool our brakes and the way we cool our differential heat exchanger, and the various things that you do to affect the driver's cooling and the air going into the passenger compartment, those things are very similar, and NASCAR, since they made the wheel base the same, has allowed us to use the same chassis minus some of the differences as I mentioned in the front suspension.
But there's more information that flows from the Cup side based on the fact that we have more engineers. We have one engineer per team for the XFINITY cars, but we have three per team for the Cup guys that work directly with the team. And that generates more ideas that wind up benefiting the XFINITY cars more than the XFINITY benefits the Cup.

Q. I wanted to ask you just to sort of assess the outlook for your Cup program for next year. I spoke with Greg Biffle recently. He was pretty optimistic thinking that the new low downforce package is going to sort of benefit you guys.
JACK ROUSH: Yeah, we've not been a fan of the high downforce, high drag package. I'd like to think that given a set of rules, if we had the same opportunity everybody else does, we'd find the same solutions, but we've really not progressed as rapidly as some of the other competitive teams have. That's left us for not running and having the year in the Cup Series that we'd like to have. But we had the two races with the low downforce, low drag package, and with the tires that Goodyear has brought for the two times that we've run them, it sure looks like it's more lined up with the driving preference that our drivers have, and I think they'll have more enthusiasm for it in 2016 than we've had in the last couple years.

Q. How important was it for Roush Fenway Racing to win the championship on Ford Championship Weekend?
JACK ROUSH: Well, it's always great to win any Ford event. I know my team has won when they declared the 100th anniversary of the Ford Motor Company is something to be celebrated. Greg Biffle won it at MIS which was of course in the backyard of Ford Motor Company, and that was a great honor a few years ago, 2002 or 2003, I forget, and we managed to win when Ford had their 999th win in NASCAR. Greg managed to win that at MIS, as well.
Whenever you have a Ford event and the Ford has got their flag out, we've managed more times than not to race to the occasion. But I wish that we had a Cup championship opportunity or a manufacturer's opportunity for the Cup Series or XFINITY Series, but we missed that this year. We'll have to satisfy ourselves with winning driver's championship with Chris and hope for the best next year.
THE MODERATOR: Jack, congratulations on this championship. Certainly continues the strength of your organization, and we wish you all the best continued success in NASCAR. Thank you.
JACK ROUSH: Appreciate it, Kerry. This is 28 years with NASCAR, and it's been a great opportunity to be involved with all the media and all the fans and all the enthusiasm that goes with it to celebrate the success. This is a great honor. Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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