Crew Chief Eddie Pardue has been with Roush Fenway racing for a long time. He has been employed by the team full time since 2003, and also worked for the team here and there prior to that. However in a season where the #16 RFR Nationwide Series entry has not been running all that well, and following an altercation in a Daytona, Florida strip club he became the sacrificial lamb, and was fired by the team.
True the Roush Nationwide series teams have not been running very well. The #6 car has fallen so far down in the owner’s point that they have fallen out of a guaranteed starting spot each week. The #16 car was headed that way until Roush Cup driver Matt Kenseth was placed in the car to help out the performance, and attract new sponsorship. However, after all of that and a fight involving members of the #16 team at a strip club during a test at Daytona International speedway, the decision to fire Pardue was an easy one.
The fact here is the Roush cars are clearly behind the cars of Joe Gibbs Racing, and Penske Racing. Tonight the Nationwide cars were in Nashville and Penske driver Brad Keselowski drove away from Roush Fenway teammate #60 Carl Edwards to win the race. While Carl finished second, team owner Jack Roush wants to win. Trust me folks this guy lives and dies by winning. When they don’t win, changes are made, usually people get reassigned, but this seems to be a special case.
So while Pardue was clearly behind the some of the other top tier Nationwide teams, he has had three different drivers in his car. Two of which were rookies who are known for tearing up equipment. Colin Braun was set to run the full season in this car, but after a number of early season wreck, the plans were changed. That put Brian Ickler in the car to get a feel if they want to hire that driver for 2011, and they put Kenseth in the car just to attract some sponsorship attention. I guess the lesson here is, if you aren’t running well don’t let your crew tear up a strip club. That makes firing you a lot easier to do.
- MTR Auto Racing.com
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