Chris Buescher to join JTG Daugherty in 2017 as part of Roush Fenway shakeup
CONCORD, N.C. - Roush Fenway Racing announced that it will scale back to two full-time entries in NASCAR's Cup Series in 2017 as part of sweeping changes within the organization.
Drivers Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will return to the No. 6 and No. 17 teams, respectively, while the No. 16 charter than competed under the Roush Fenway roof last season will be leased to JTG Daugherty Racing with driver Chris Buescher. The team announced last week that long-time driver Greg Biffle would part ways with RFR after a disappointing 2016 season.
"We have been able to shore up our plans for 2017 and we feel that this will continue to move us in a direction that will yield improved performance and results," said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. "We saw improvement in our cars and made substantial gains in our performance at times last season, and we will continue to build on that by maintaining a robust engineering group in order to take the next step by consistently running up front."
Under NASCAR's current charter system, a team may lease a charter once every five seasons. Buescher, the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, will join AJ Allmendinger as a two-car team at JTG Daugherty. He piloted the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports as part of a technical alliance with RFR in 2016.
Looking forward to the 2017 season with @AJDinger and @Chris_Buescher as a two car team in the NASCAR premier series! #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/RHCfBfvay2— JTG Daugherty Racing (@NASCAR47) November 29, 2016
RFR also announced that Matt Puccia will return as crew chief for Bayne, while Stenhouse Jr. will be paired with veteran crew chief Brian Pattie, who was at the helm with Greg Biffle in 2016. Nick Sandler, who served as Stenhouse Jr.'s crew chief last year, has been named
The team has promoted Kevin Kidd from the role as Cup series team manager to competition director. Former general manager Robbie Reiser will remain with the organization in a yet to be determined position. Veteran engineer Tommy Wheeler will lead RFR's overall competition efforts as operations director.