MONTEREY, Calif. – What was shaping up to be a great run in the U.S. Sports Car Invitational delivered by Luggage Express by co-drivers Jack Roush Jr. and Dean Martin in the No. 59 ROUSH Performance Mustang ended early due to a broken right front ball joint.
Martin was driving at the time and said, "I was coming through the corner and the car just chucked me off. I was trying to get back on (the racetrack) and it just broke on me." The team finished the event in 32nd position with 56 laps completed, well off the 83 laps posted by the leaders. Due to the number of cautions, this ended up being a 2.5-hour timed race rather than completing the full 112-laps scheduled.
One bright spot of the race at the picturesque 2.238-mileMazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., was the driving by Roush. He qualified the car in 29th position and was able to move up to as high as seventh during his time behind the wheel. Even more remarkable, his fast lap of the race was more than 1.5 seconds quicker than his qualifying time.
The team fell a lap down to the leaders during a pit stop, but through good fortune was able to get it back when they ended up as the car directly in front of the leader when a full-course caution was thrown. Thanks to the KONI Challenge rules, all cars between the pace car and the leader are allowed to go around the track and this put the No. 59 ROUSH Performance Mustang back on the lead lap where they were racing in 15th position when the ball joint broke.
The next event for the team is the May 25-28 KONI Challenge race at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. That race will be taped for a June 10 broadcast on SPEED Channel.
The No. 59 Ford Mustang, based out of Westland, Mich., carries sponsorship from ROUSH Performance, ROUSH Brakes, RacerBargains.com and Piloti. Last season this was the highest-finishing Mustang in the series.
Based in Livonia, Mich., "The Art of Performance Engineering" takes place at ROUSH Performance. In addition to the Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 Ford Mustang and F-150 styling, handling and performance upgrades, a complete line of performance parts and crate engines are offered. For more information see your local ROUSH dealer, visit or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH.