Roush Fenway cuts to two Cup teams for ’17 season

Roush Fenway Racing will cut from three to two Cup teams in 2017 and loan driver Chris Buescher to JTG Daugherty Racing, which will expand to a two-car operation next season.

The move allows Roush Fenway to keep Buescher under contract while trying to revitalize its performance for an organization whose proud history includes putting five drivers into the Chase in 2005, two Cup championships and 135 Cup victories. Winless the past two seasons, Roush Fenway put no drivers in the top 20 in the 2016 standings — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 21st in the points, while Trevor Bayne was 22nd and the recently released Greg Biffle was 23rd.

Stenhouse and Bayne remain as Roush Fenway’s full-time Cup drivers. The team’s charter (NASCAR’s version of a franchise) for what was Biffle’s No. 16 car will be leased to JTG Daugherty Racing for Buescher in 2017. Stenhouse will have a new crew chief in 2017, as former Biffle crew chief Brian Pattie will replace Nick Sandler, who will head the Roush Fenway engineering department.

“We have been able to shore up our plans for 2017 and we feel that this will continue to move us…