News & Media

Roush: Stenhouse Jr., Fennig 'likely' to be paired

September 14, 2012, Mark Aumann,

JOLIET, Ill. -- Not only will Ricky Stenhouse Jr. be taking over the departing Matt Kenseth's car number and primary sponsors in 2013, there's an excellent chance Stenhouse will be paired with crew chief Jimmy Fennig.

Jack Roush said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway he expects no major personnel changes to his crew chief rotation next season, which strongly infers that Stenhouse and Fennig will work together on the No. 17 Ford.

"From what I see right now, I think that's very likely," Roush said. "But I stop short of saying that is what we'll wind up deciding. There's a seat at the table for all three drivers, and there's great crew and great personnel behind all three. And we'll make an arrangement that we think is in our best interests when the time is best for us."

With Bob Osborne's health still a question mark, Roush expects Chad Norris to return as Carl Edwards' crew chief in 2013.

"Chad Norris has done a great job and the team has rallied around Chad," Roush said. "There's no reason for me to believe, from what I've seen so far, that Chad won't be able to build that team and to carry it forward into 2013."

While Kenseth is leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season, Roush thinks the rest of his key staff will stay within the organization. With that in mind, he said any final decision on how to pair up drivers and crew chiefs at the Cup level won't be made until January.

As far as promoting Stenhouse's Nationwide Series crew chief, Mike Kelley, Roush said that was never an option. With Trevor Bayne set to take over that ride full-time in 2013, Roush wants to keep his veteran leadership in place.

"The one thing that we don't consider at this time is the prospect of moving Mike Kelley," Roush said. "He is a championship-winning Nationwide crew chief, and we hope to put Trevor Bayne in the same situation that Ricky has been in."