Earlier today, Roush Fenway Racing announced they will not field an Xfinity team in 2019, and it makes a lot of sense for them. Here’s why.
Roush Xfinity Downward Spiral
It really should not come as a surprise that Roush is shutting down its Xfinity teams for the time being. The last two seasons have not been kind to the Roush teams.
Like so much of the sport of NASCAR, it comes down to money and performance. They go hand in hand. In the past few years, the Ford-based team hasn’t had a lot of performance in either the Xfinity or the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In 2017, sponsorship dried up for Roush in the Xfinity series to the point that their No. 6 team of Bubba Wallace shut down mid-season.
Then last year, their No. 60 entry, failed to complete many of the 2017 races. Most of those DNFs were because of crashes. It became a sad running gag in the NASCAR Xfinity garage, and some thought the car was even cursed.
Without good results or even consistency, it is nearly impossible to lure in new sponsors, especially in the current climate where sponsors are claiming they are not seeing or able to measure a true return on investment in the sport.
Then there are RFR’s Cup teams.
2017 Cup Results
In NASCAR, performance typically comes from the top down. The Cup No. 6 entry saw Trevor Bayne get subbed out for Matt Kenseth in an attempt to assess whether the car’s lack of performance was a driver, car, or team deficiency. While it’s likely a combination, the final results were pretty deplorable. Bayne finished 31st. Kenseth was right behind him in 32nd with fewer races on the season.
No. 17 driver, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finished 18th in the 017 MENCS season.
In the current sponsorship climate and with continued current rising costs to field NASAR teams, Roush’s decision makes sense. Shore up its Cup teams before reinvesting in developing more drivers in the Xfinity Series.
Source: ESPN – Roush Fenway will not field XFINITY team