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Sunday, August 17, 2008
Updated: August 18, 12:03 PM ET
Roush Fenway Racing's Geoff Smith 'more than likely' to retire after '09 season

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Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) used Brian Vickers to clear some stray trash off his front splitter.

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith is putting plans in place to retire after the 2009 season.

"More than likely," Smith said before Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway. "That's what we're building for. We've been systematically elevating the responsibilities of several key people, training and training."

Smith runs the business and marketing side of Roush Fenway. He has been instrumental in putting together one of the top sponsorship programs in the garage.

He'll be 63 when his contract expires after next season.

"I've done this for a lot of years," Smith said. "I owe my wife time together before we're dead."

Smith jokingly said he might consider a retirement tour like former Roush Fenway driver Mark Martin and work part-time for a few years.

"And when I'm 70 I'll come back full-time," he said, taking a lighthearted dig at Martin, who will return to a full-time schedule in 2009 for Hendrick Motorsports. "Yeah, I can go to Hendrick."

-- David Newton

Kenseth's top-5 no cakewalk

It was no breeze for Matt Kenseth to make it four Roush Fenway Fords in the top five. Finishing fifth was "a struggle, to say the least," he told reporters afterward.

"We were way off. We were really good here in [June] and probably had a car fast enough to win the race, but we were just really off today.

"All my teammates ran good. We got better at the end. These guys did a great job on pit road and made great adjustments -- we just struggled all day."

The saving grace?

"We had some really good green-flag transitions on our pit stops and we gained a bunch of spots during those green-flag stops," Kenseth said. "Track position is real important. If we'd been 15th or 16th on the last restart, we probably would have finished somewhere back in there. They got me the track position and that helped get a decent finish out of the day."

-- Ed Hinton

Cars tested after Cup race

NASCAR collected 10 cars -- the top five and five at random -- for an engine dyno test following Sunday's race.

The top five cars included the Fords of Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth and the Toyota of Kyle Busch. The random cars chosen were the Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson, the Dodges of Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya, the Ford of Travis Kvapil and Toyota of David Reutimann.

The test came 24 hours after NASCAR discovered two Joe Gibbs Racing teams allegedly tinkered with the throttles so their Toyotas wouldn't show a strong advantage in a dyno test after the Nationwide race.

-- David Newton

UPS considering Ragan

Roush's David Ragan was among a handful of drivers UPS officials met with in July at Indianapolis to consider for sponsorship next season.

"We're in the finals, I believe," Geoff Smith said. "I hope that they pick us."

UPS, which is on the No. 44 driven by David Reutimann this season, also has been in discussions with Richard Childress Racing, Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing for Ryan Newman.

-- David Newton

Menard to Yates?

Paul Mendard

Menard

Yates Racing, with an assist from partner Roush Fenway, is making a push to sign Paul Menard from Dale Earnhardt Inc.

"We believe we're the leading contender outside of the incumbent," Smith said.

David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil currently drive for Yates Racing.

DEI officials have been negotiating to re-sign Menard and feel confident he will return to the organization.

-- David Newton

Hamlin discouraged

Denny Hamlin wasn't exactly thrilled with his prospects of winning the championship after he lost an engine late to finish 39th in Michigan and fall to 12th in the Sprint Cup standings.

"We came here with a new engine package," he said. "We're a bubble driver. We just make stupid choices. We can't keep our cars together. We have dash malfunctions, motors breaking.

"At this point we don't even deserve to be in the Chase."

-- David Newton

Sullivan to BDR?

Bill Davis said he's not close to an agreement to sell his Sprint Cup organization to former Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan.

Davis acknowledge there have been several conversations with Sullivan, but added that he is talking to several other parties interested in purchasing part or all of Bill Davis Racing.

He said there is no timetable to make a deal.

"We're looking at what's best for Bill Davis Racing," Davis said. "Danny is just another one of the folks we've talked to."

-- David Newton

Standings

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