12th Annual N.C. Motorsports Industry Awards To Honor Jack Roush


CONCORD, N.C.—The North Carolina Motorsports Association will honor the winningest car owner in NASCAR history, Jan. 30, during the 12th Annual N.C. Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank, when it presents Jack Roush with the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award. The ceremony will take place at the Embassy Suites Ballroom in Concord.

Roush joins other motorsports notables such as Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Junior Johnson, O. Bruton Smith, H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, Ned Jarrett family, Dale Earnhardt, Benny Parsons, Mike Helton, Jeff Gordon and Roger Penske as NCMA Achievement in Motorsports Tribute honorees.

“Jack Roush’s contributions to motorsports are immeasurable and for 30 years, Roush Fenway Racing has been the standard in innovation and performance,” said NCMA Chairman Greg Fornelli. “When you look at his innovations, his record of success and his impact on the sport of auto racing, Jack Roush is the epitome of achievement in motorsports and we look forward to celebrating his amazing career on our biggest night.”

Roush, known affectionately as the ‘Cat in the Hat’ because of his trademark Panama hat, boasts 32 championships and more than 400 victories in drag racing, sports car and stock car racing. He is the winningest car owner in NASCAR history with 325 victories across NASCAR’s top three premier series. The team earned its historic 300th victory at the Daytona 500 in 2012.

Roush has eight NASCAR championships including two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series titles in 2003 (Matt Kenseth) and 2004 (Kurt Busch). Roush’s latest NASCAR championship came when Chris Buescher brought home the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) title in 2015, marking the team’s third NXS Championship in five seasons. The team has more than 1,400 top fives and 2,500 top-10s in NASCAR competition.

Born in Covington, Ky., Roush received a mathematics degree from Berea College in 1964 and went to work for Ford Motor Company in the same year. In 1970, he earned his master’s degree in Scientific Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University.

His interest in motorsports grew while working for Ford, and in 1970, he partnered with Wayne Gapp to go drag racing. The duo attracted national attention – winning several events and a championship in each NHRA, IHRA and AHRA in Pro Stock. In 1976, Roush formed Jack Roush Performance Engineering, boosting his reputation as performance engineer. In 1984, Roush returned to racing in the Sports Car Club of American (SCCA) and International Motorsports Association (IMSA) road racing series. During his road racing tenure, he claimed 24 national championships in two series, including 12 manufacturer’s titles while winning 119 races with drivers including Tommy Kendall, Scott Pruett, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, Ricky Rudd, Kyle Petty and Paul Newman.

In 1988, Roush started his NASCAR juggernaut with driver Martin, winning their first NASCAR Cup Series race at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. the following season. The rest is history as the duo would go on to form one of the most successful partnerships in NASCAR history. Martin, who was enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January 2017, went on to win 35 Cup races with Roush.

Roush Racing became Roush Fenway Racing in 2007 when Fenway Sports Group became a partner. In 2009, Roush claimed his first Daytona 500 trophy in 2009 and enjoyed the 2500th start in June of the same year. Nineteen drivers have driven RFR equipment to NASCAR victory lane.

Roush joined forces with Doug Yates to create Roush Yates Engines in 2005. The engine shop supplies horsepower for all top Ford teams competing in NASCAR premier series.

Roush heads up Roush Industries, Inc., which employs more than 2,500 people worldwide, specializing in creative services, engineering, testing and development, manufacturing and prototype services.

In addition to honoring Roush, several industry awards will be presented to companies making an impact on the motorsports industry in North Carolina. Tickets for the 12th Annual NC Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank will be on sale at the beginning of November.