LIVONIA, Mich. (July 24, 2006) – The ROUSH Performance drag racing team was designed to help create, test and prove a new line of Competition Parts that the company has under development. Now, heading into the July 28-30 Motive Gear NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing the team has a new test – four of the drivers on the five car team are rookies.
The team has undergone a minor facelift since they last competed in NMRA competition in March at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park. Two new drivers join the ROUSH program, eager for their first chances to prove themselves down the quarter-mile.
Jack Roush, Jr. steps into the seat of the 2001 Ford Mustang that is being used as a modular engine development vehicle. This vehicle, competing in the Modular Muscle class, was driven in the first event by Kyle Carrothers and the plan starting out the season was that these two pilots would exchange seat time during 2006.
New to the driver’s seat, but not the drag program, is Paul Burke who takes over the duties behind the wheel of the 2005 Ford Mustang which is the primary vehicle for the ROUSH Performance parts testing. Burke, an engineering manager with ROUSH Performance, has been key in the development of the parts under evaluation. Burke replaces Doug Thompson who last raced this vehicle.
Also competing in the Modular Mustang class is veteran driver Don Bowles in his 2005 Ford Mustang. After breaking on the line in eliminations at Bradenton, the Madisonville, Ky., resident is eager to get back to the track and his winning ways.
Returning to their normal seats are Susan Roush-McClenaghan in her 2003 Ford Mustang and her husband Dale McCleneghan who will be piloting his 1967 Mercury Couger. The Livonia, Mich., residents will line up in the Open Comp class, and possibly against each other depending on how the pairings match up.
What initially started as a fun way to spend some summertime afternoon time together has now become an obsession for the Roush family; once again for Jack Roush, and for the first time for Jack Roush, Jr., Susan and Dale. Though all three are veterans of the informal Wednesday test-and-tune sessions at Milan (Mich.) Dragway, this is the first full season of "real" competition against someone other than another family member.
It was drag racing that began Jack Roush’s motorsports career, and it is the sport that is bringing his family together nearly four decades later. Jack will be in the staging lanes on Sunday, July 30 to watch his son, daughter, and son-in-law pair up in the elimination rounds.
However, as competitive as Jack is with all his motorsports programs, the primary goal for this drag racing program is to do some "real-world" testing on the new line of Competition Parts which are under development by ROUSH Performance, as well as the modular performance engines that the company builds. The best way to test how they will perform on the racetrack is on the racetrack itself, experiencing the high stresses at launch and the top-end speeds.