SBD/Issue 87/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Roush Declares “War” On Toyota As He Nears Deal With FSG

Roush Feels Toyota Could Have Negative
Impact On Financial Landscape Of NASCAR

Roush Racing Owner Jack Roush is “worried [that Toyota] will outspend everybody and change the financial landscape” for NASCAR teams and sponsors, according to Richard Durrett of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Roush: “We’re going to war with them.” Roush noted that he joined engine programs with fellow Ford team Robert Yates Racing in ‘04 “to prepare for Toyota, Honda or any other manufacturer that might ‘buy their way into the sport.’” Roush said that if Toyota teams “offered to double” his drivers’ salaries, he would “have difficulty keeping them.” He said 90% of his funding comes from sponsors and prize money and 10% from the manufacturer, and if Toyota “contributes 50[%] to its team — a figure Toyota has adamantly denied — it could force Ford, Chevy and Dodge to support fewer teams rather than try to keep up with Toyota” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/25).

RED SOX EFFECT: Roush is in negotiations to sell 25-50% of his team to Red Sox Owner John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group (FSG), and he said that the “infusion of cash would help Roush Racing compete with the arrival of Toyota.” Roush added that the partnership with FSG would give NASCAR and his sponsors “a greater presence” in the Northeast (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25). Roush: “Part of the reason I’m doing it is so we can stand the pressure of having a round of negotiations with sponsors that may not be rich enough to cover everything we’re spending (and) to negotiate with our drivers in the face of offers” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/25). USA TODAY’s Ryan & Livingstone note Roush has “committed to invest an extra” $10M in his Nextel Cup teams (USA TODAY, 1/25).

OTHERS NOT TOO WORRIED: Toyota Motorsports USA National Motorsports Manager Les Unger said of Roush’s comments on the company’s spending on its NASCAR teams, “We have been interested in what the other manufacturers are spending and have been trying to gauge those numbers, but they’re impossible to get. Therefore, I don’t know how people can claim that Toyota is outspending the competition without knowing what the other manufacturers spend.” Nextel Cup team owner Rick Hendrick added, “I don’t see Toyota being any more a threat than any of the other teams” (USA TODAY, 1/25). Team owner Joe Gibbs: “It will be good for our sport. We thrive on competition” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/25). ESPN’s Tim Cowlishaw noted Roush “didn’t have a problem with money being an issue when he had five drivers in the Chase two years ago, when Roush Racing had more money ... than just about all the race teams in the Nextel Cup circuit. Now all of a sudden money’s an issue because Toyota’s coming in? ... These were pretty ill-advised comments by Jack Roush” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 1/25).

Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug