The engines are still. The grandstands are emptying. Jeff Gordon's voice is filling the infield with yet another description of how he just won his third Daytona 500. It's all just white noise to Jack Roush.

Roush arrived here more than 10 days earlier with five cars specifically developed to help Ford match the success of the dominating Chevrolets in NASCAR's premier race.

Now he marches through the garage area, surveying the damage and talking to the survivors of the Daytona 500 like a general assessing battlefield losses.

Matt Kenseth was the first to fall when the engine in his No. 17 expired. Greg Biffle's No. 16 car was strong until he got caught up in a multi-car wreck that left it with both front fenders peeled off and looking like a short-track Modified.

Carl Edwards salvaged a 12th place finish in the No. 99 Taurus. He said it actually ran better after he hit teammate Mark Martin in the rear, making the bodywork narrower.

Martin, the sentimental favorite who is beginning his final season in NASCAR's top series, soldiered on to Sixth in a car that probably should have been rolled into the attic of the team hauler after being wrecked during a Thursday qualifying race.

Kurt Busch, the defending Nextel Cup champion, nearly stole the win out from underneath Gordon after dueling with Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Second Place.

For Roush, it is just another routine day at the office.

Nearly four hours earlier, he climbed the ladder to the top of the "war wagon" behind Martin's pit box and settled in for work. He adjusted his ever-present hat, opened his notebook, and engaged the mind of NASCAR's consummate mathematician.

From atop Martin's pit box he monitored the progress of all five Roush Racing teams for the entire 500 miles, eavesdropping on drivers and crews making hundreds of decisions that can spell success or failure on the track. They are all there as part of the Roush brigade because of a decision Roush himself made decades earlier.

"This is something I wanted to do when I was in my twenties," he says. "It took me 15 years to put together the finances to do it, but it was always a goal."

There have been lots of goals along the way and no shortage of challenges and successes. That's especially true at Daytona's unique racing marathon.

Hands-On OwnerIt is Friday morning on the final week of Daytona Speedweeks. Roush is walking through the Nextel Cup garages like a drill sergeant with a duty roster. There's so much work to do and so little time to get it all done. He already called for reinforcements in the form of body men and fabricators from his headquarters in Charlotte to help with the work.

The cars for Martin and Edwards took heavy body blows in Thursday's 60-lap qualifying races at the 2.5-mile oval. Edwards' Ford is well on the way to being ready for afternoon practice.

Roush looks up at the overcast sky and sniffs the moisture-laden ocean air.

"You rejet? You go up two?" he asks a crewmember who is tightening the final bolts on the carburetor.

Only a few years ago it would have been Jack installing new jets.

"I used to do all the carb jetting," he says with a shrug. "Then we hired some certified, ordained carb jet experts, and they won't let me touch them.

"Either they figured I was losing it, or they got better," he adds with a smile.

In spite of his self-deprecating humor, Roush remains a team owner equally comfortable in the engine room or the boardroom. He fashioned his racing empire by scraping knuckles and lancing fingers, building Ford engines into race-winning powerplants and teams into champions. Along the way, he created the largest racing organization in NASCAR.