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Mar 28, 2013 - 06:24 AM
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Roush Adds Another Honor To Long List Of Racing Accolades
Posted by: newsla on Mar 28, 2013 - 06:24 AM
NASCAR News
Roush Adds Another Honor To Long List Of Racing Accolades With Induction Into Texas Motorsports Hall Of Fame


Jack Roush's success at Texas Motor Speedway has become a part of the speedway's growing history. It was Roush who became the first team owner to sweep both events at "The Great American Speedway!" during the inaugural season in 1997. His success has not stopped there as he has since gone on to win 18 races as a car owner across NASCAR's top three national series at Texas Motor Speedway, including a record nine in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

 

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His dominance at Texas Motor Speedway has earned him the honor of becoming the 15th member inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Roush will be honored Thursday, April 11, during the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala benefitting Speedway Children's Charities that will be held in The Speedway Club's Grand Ballroom.

Roush's induction culminates an evening that celebrates the accomplishments of motorsport's most talented drivers and contributors. Other honorees will be five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson; 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch; IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal; and legendary motorsports journalist Chris Economaki posthumously.

Roush has helped establish one of the most successful organizations in motorsports in Roush Fenway Racing. The organization stands as the winningest team in NASCAR history and boasts the most victories in both the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. With Roush at the helm, Roush Fenway Racing has captured seven championships across NASCAR's three major series, including two Sprint Cup Series championships in 2003 and '04.

Texas Motor Speedway has become the "House of Roush" with his nine Sprint Cup Series wins and 18 in Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series competition. His Sprint Cup Series victory total is more than double the next closest owner - which is Rick Hendrick with four - and his most recent win came in last April's Samsung Mobile (now NRA) 500.

Roush joins an accomplished list of individuals that have been inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame since it was established in 2003. He joins previous inductees A.J. Foyt (2003), Johnny Rutherford ('03), Terry Labonte ('04), Lee Shepherd ('04), Kenny Bernstein ('05), Jim Hall ('05), Eddie Hill ('06), Mark Martin ('07), Jim McElreath ('07), Bobby Labonte ('08), Bruton Smith ('08), Joe Gibbs ('09), John Force ('10) and Lanny Edwards ('11).

Johnson, who turned in his most dominating season at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012 with a victory in the AAA Texas 500 and runner-up finish in the Samsung Mobile 500, will receive the Texas Motor Speedway Racer of the Year award. In the AAA Texas 500, Johnson became just the second driver to win from the pole for his second career victory at Texas Motor Speedway. His win followed his previous performance during April's Samsung Mobile 500 where he led a race-high 156 laps en route to a runner-up finish behind Greg Biffle. In all, Johnson led a total of 324 of 669 laps in the two 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at "The Great American Speedway!"

Busch has been instrumental in helping Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter raise funds to benefit children in North Texas. He will be recognized as this year's recipient of the Maj. General Thomas Sadler Award. Busch has hosted some of Speedway Children's Charities biggest fundraising events that include the Kurt Busch Celebrity Bowling Tournament and Busch-Whacked Mud Run. In all, Busch has helped Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter raise more than $40,000.

Rahal will receive the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award for displaying a demeanor both on and off the track that exemplifies the meaning of sportsmanship. In June, he appeared headed to his second career IZOD IndyCar Series victory before his car brushed the wall and the bobble handed the lead and eventual victory over to Justin Wilson. Following the race, Rahal handled defeat as a true professional. His sportsmanship has been demonstrated off the track through his work with the Graham Rahal Foundation and his efforts to help the family of the late Dan Wheldon in 2011 by generating an auction that raised more than $600,000.

Economaki, motorsport's most noted and accomplished journalist, will be honored posthumously with the Bruton Smith Legend Award. Economaki left a lasting impact on the motorsports community through his work as both an editor and publisher for National Speed Sport News and television commentator. His passion for racing helped him earn the title, "Dean of American Motorsports." His 74-year career as a journalist helped capture the early history of motorsports, covering premier events in NASCAR, INDYCAR and Formula One, among others.

A special VIP reception will be held prior to the awards ceremony beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT, followed by dinner beginning at 7:15 p.m. Fans can join in honoring the recipients by purchasing sponsorship or individual tickets to the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala.

Table sponsorships, beginning at $1,200, and individual tickets ($150) are available by calling the Speedway Children's Charities office at (817) 215-8421 or for more information, visit www.scctexas.org.

The Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala serves as one of the many fundraisers held by the Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter throughout the race season. The organization's mission is to care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. The Texas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities has helped more than two million children in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties and raised more than $8.5 million since the organization was established in 1997.

NOTE: To obtain media credentials for the VIP reception and awards ceremony, please contact Louis Mora with the Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department at (817) 215-8521 or lmora@texasmotorspeedway.com.
Back On Track

The IZOD IndyCar Series season is less than a week old after it kicked off last weekend at St. Petersburg and already drivers and teams are preparing for the Firestone 550 on Saturday, June 8, at Texas Motor Speedway.

IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Graham Rahal, Ed Carpenter, Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud and James Jakes, along with rookie drivers AJ Allmendinger, Tristan Vautier and Carlos Munoz, took part in Wednesday's private test session on the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval.

The test session served in part as an oval rookie orientation for the three first-year driversin the IZOD IndyCar Series. Despite his pedigree in open-wheel racing, Allmendinger is considered a rookie since his career was in the Champ Car World Series before he transitioned to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Penske Racing. He returns to Penske Racing with its INDYCAR program and Wednesday marked his first time in an open-wheel car on an oval since he raced at The Milwaukee Mile in June 2006 while competing in the Champ Car World Series.

"For me, it's just about getting comfortable," Allmendinger said. "I kind of feel like a fish out of water. I'm trying to figure out what to feel and how to get around. I think people kind of assume that back when I use to race Champ Cars that I did a lot of ovals, but I really didn't. This is brand new for me to try and get used to it. It's a tough challenge right now getting used to the car."

Allmendinger, who started his career in open-wheel racing in 2004, found his way to the IZOD IndyCar Series after a tumultuous 2012 season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He competed in 17 races driving the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil car for Penske Racing, but was suspended after violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. The violation subsequently forced team owner Roger Penske to release Allmendinger.

However, during the offseason Penske offered Allmendinger a second chance driving the No. 2 Penske car in the IZOD IndyCar Series. The organization announced that Allmendinger would be competing in two races, the first coming April 7 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., and his second in May's Indianapolis 500.

"It's almost like a second coming of a dream come true," Allmendinger said. "Moving forward here to have the chance to be back with Roger, especially in an Indy car and go to the Indianapolis 500, it's something that I never expected. To be able to have the opportunity means the world to me. At the same point, I want to take advantage of it. I don't just want to be here to be here. I hold high expectations of myself and I don't want to go out there and waste anybody's time. I want to go out there and be up front from the start."

The test also marked Rahal's return to the site of his most agonizing runner-up finish. During last year's Firestone 550, he appeared headed to his second career IZOD IndyCar Series victory before he brushed the wall in Turn 4 with two laps remaining. The miscue opened the door for Justin Wilson to take advantage as he grabbed the lead and the eventual victory for his first career win on an oval. While more than nine months have passed since that moment, Rahal is still reminded of his brush with victory.

"It always will be one that got away from me until I win my next one," Rahal said. "Then I won't think about it. There are a lot of cases where I look back and it's frustrating that you didn't get to see it through. This is certainly one of them. It would have been nice to win and get rid of all the questions of when I'll win again, and all that sort of thing. But I think it adds fuel to the fire to come back here and do a good job this year."

The IZOD IndyCar Series returns for "America's Original Nighttime IndyCar Race" for the Firestone 550 on Saturday, June 8. Tickets are available by calling the ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
Feud For Thought

A melee on pit road involving three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Penske Racing's Joey Logano during last weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., offered up the perfect marketing opportunity for Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage to help promote the upcoming NRA 500.

Logano and Stewart were involved in an altercation on pit road at the conclusion of Sunday's Auto Club 400 that included shoves and a water bottle being thrown as each of their respective crew members separated the drivers. Stewart, furious at Logano for blocking him on the final restart, took exception to Logano's actions and confronted him as he got out of his car.

Within minutes of the scrap, Texas Motor Speedway already was working on a new promotion involving the duo to promote the NRA 500 on Saturday, April 13.

"NASCAR's newest feud has fans talking and we are excited for what is in store for the NRA 500," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "The post-race drama has been seen by millions on the FOX broadcast and replays on ESPN and CNN and people want to see what will unfold in the coming weeks. I'm sure fans will not want to miss the NRA 500 considering Texas Motor Speedway's flair for providing some of NASCAR's most entertaining moments."

Tickets for the NRA 500, the first primetime Saturday night race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, are available by calling the ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com.
Testing Makes Perfect

The NASCAR Nationwide Series doesn't return to race action until the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, April 12, and some of the series' top teams will use the two-week layoff to get some additional track time.

Turner Scott Motorsports and JR Motorsports will take part in a two-day test session at Texas Motor Speedway beginning Monday, April 1. Turner Scott Motorsports drivers Justin Allgaier, Kyle Larson, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Brad Sweet, along with JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith, will participate in the test session.

Larson, one of NASCAR's newest rising stars, quickly has made a name for himself in the Nationwide Series in just five races. Larson started the season with his dramatic wreck at Daytona International Speedway, where his car was sent into the catch fence on the final lap.

He has brushed aside his rough start, earning top-10 finishes in his two previous outings. Larson was part of the series' most dramatic finish to date this season as he and Kyle Busch battled for the victory earlier this month at Bristol Motor Speedway, only to be edged out by 0.023 of a second. His recent run has moved him to seventh in the Nationwide Series championship standings heading into the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300.

Select drivers will be available for interview opportunities during the test session. A complete media alert outlining the times and details of the media availability will be sent out later this week. It is a private team test and not open to the public.
Ratings On The Rise

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opened with an array of storylines. The season began with Danica-mania at Daytona and the momentum has since been carried by NASCAR's newest feuds between former teammates Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, and Logano and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and the performance of the Gen-6 car on a variety of tracks thus far.

The drama has resulted in significant increases in television ratings during the first five races of the season. The season-opening Daytona 500 earned a 10.0 rating, up 30 percent from the 2012 race. The trend has continued with ratings increases during NASCAR's two most recent races at Bristol Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway.

Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway earned a 4.5 overnight rating, up 32 percent from last year's event, and was the top non-NCAA-related sporting event.
NRA 500 Credentials Deadline Approaches

The media credential deadline for the NRA 500 weekend is FRIDAY. To apply for credentials, visit www.smicredentials.com. Those not yet registered for the website will first need to apply for access through the site. Once a registration confirmation e-mail is received, the credential request can then be submitted. No credentials will be issued following the deadline.

The NRA 500 weekend kicks off on Thursday, April 11, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series practice sessions. The weekend continues with SportsDay Qualifying Day powered by The Dallas Morning News for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series on Friday, April 12, followed by the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT. The race weekend concludes with the first primetime Saturday night race of the season with the NRA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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