Roush’s Ford team made its series debut on Feb. 14, 1988, when Mark Martin finished 41st in the Daytona 500. Since then, Roush has celebrated 130 victories – most recently last weekend, when Matt Kenseth drove his No. 17 Ford into Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway.
Kenseth, whose championship hopes were pretty much dashed after a 35th-place finish at Dover, has recovered some of the regularseason magic that ranked him No. 1 in points on seven occasions. The Daytona 500 winner has two victories in his past three starts but stands ninth in points, 55 out of the lead.
Kenseth, who’ll leave RFR at season’s end, would like the momentum to continue although Martinsville Speedway hasn’t been a friendly place to either Roush or Ford in recent years. None of RFR’s current cadre of drivers – Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards – has been able to win at the southern Virginia track. Roush – and Ford – last won at Martinsville in 2002 with Kurt Busch doing the honors.
Roush has three other victories at the track, with Martin in 1992 and 2000 and Jeff Burton in 1997.
Kenseth finished fourth when the series visited Martinsville in the spring. Edwards was ninth in last year’s Chase event, the only Ford driver to finish among the top 10.