Roush Fenway Racing not planning to expand for 2018 season

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Roush Fenway Racing is planning to field one Xfinity and two Monster Energy Cup teams next year, a senior executive told SiriusXM Radio on Tuesday.

Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, noted on “Tradin’ Paint’ that the organization’s 2018 plans could change.

Roush Fenway Racing cut back from three to two Cup teams before this season. The organization opened the year with two Xfinity teams but suspended Darrell Wallace Jr.’s team last month because of lack of sponsorship.

“I think our objective right now and plan is to stay two (Cup) and one (Xfinity),’’ Newmark said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “On the Cup side, that’s clearly our direction. I think even if sponsorship came for the third team, I think right now we feel this process has worked.

“We made a very painful decision to cut down to two this year, and we had the option to stay at three but decided that the most important thing is to put our cars in the best position to win. To do that, we thought that it was best to consolidate to two teams but maintain the same size engineering staff and R&D and laser focus that on the two cars.’’

The result is that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won two races and qualified for the playoffs. Those wins are the most for the organization in a season since 2014.

If Roush Fenway Racing stays at two Cup teams next year, it leaves a question about its driver lineup.

The team also has Chris Buescher, who has been loaned to JTG Daugherty this season after being loaned to Front Row Motorsports last year. Roush Fenway Racing leased its third charter, which was from the No. 16 team, to JTG Daugherty for Buscher’s ride this year.

“Obviously, the way we’re structured right now Ricky and Trevor are the anchors of this organization,’’ Newmark said. “That’s going to be our focus. My hope is that five years from now those guys are the grizzly old veterans of the sport at that point.

“Chris has done a great job. We’re fortunate that he and Tad (Geschickter, owner of JTG Daugherty) have struck up a great relationship and he’s getting some great experience there.’’

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