Continuing my articles on the newest nominees for the Hall of Fame. This week’s article is on The Cat in The Hat, Jack Roush.
Jack Roush has been in racing for close to 50 years. His illustrious career begins in 1970 when he partnered Wayne Gapp and began competing in drag racing. The two would win one championship in the three major drag racing leagues. The NHRA, the IHRA, and the AHRA. He would break away from Gapp in 1976 to start Jack Roush Performance Engineering. He would stop operating a team around the same time, but continued to build motors for other team.
Eight years later in 1984 Roush returned to team ownership. Now competing in two road racing series, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). Between the two series they’d have great success with 24 Championships and 119 victories.
It wouldn’t be until 1988 Jack Roush would join NASCAR. The first driver to race for him would be Mark Martin. Mark would spend most of his career here and his most successful years. They would celebrate their first win in just their second year. This would be the first win as a team and Mark’s first win as well. Roush would not win their first championship till 2003 with Matt Kennseth claiming the title in the last year with Winston as a series sponsor. Kurt Busch would make it back to back title wins, winning the first chase format championship in 2004 with Nextel as the new series sponsor. In 2005 Roush and rival Ford team Yates merged their engine departments to form Roush-Yates Engines. They continue to supply motors to most Ford teams in NASCAR.
In 2007 Roush Racing would merge with Fenway Sports Group (the same people who own the Boston Red Sox). Fenway Sports Group purchased 50% of Roush Racing, this formed Roush Fenway Racing.
What you do you think? Will Jack Roush be a first year inductee? Do you think he deserves a spot in The Hall? Let us know what you think.