ATCO, N.J. – The ROUSH Performance drag racing team had their best outing of the season during the August 11-12 running of the 7th Annual NMRA Keystone Ford Nationals Presented by Downs Ford Motorsport. The four car team placed two drivers in the finals of their respective classes at Atco (N.J.) Raceway.
Don Bowles needed to be near perfect, and he was, during his six round trek to the finals in the Open Comp class where he faced Larry Geddes. Bowles ran a 9.019-second pass (almost right on his breakout time of 9.01-seconds) to capture the win, his second of the season. Bowles also took home the trophy from the NMRA season-opener at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park in March.
In the ROUSH Modular Muscle class, Susan Roush-McClenaghan paired up against Rick Doern in the final. It was the first final that McClenaghan had made in her career and the adrenaline associated with going after the win caused her to run a 10.612-second pass against her breakout of 10.65-seconds. Doern also broke out, but was awarded the win as he came closer to meeting his time.
":It was pretty unbelievable,": McClenaghan said about making the final round. ":I couldn’t believe that I kept surviving round after round. I still consider us a rookie team as this is only our second year in competition so to make the finals in the ROUSH Modular Muscle class is a huge accomplishment.
":We have learned a lot over the past few races,": McClenahgan added. ":I think our team is really getting a handle on dialing the car in and we are learning a lot about starting and finishing line strategy. The pieces are starting to fall into place.":
Unfortunately, the other members of the ROUSH team didn’t fare as well. Donnie Bowles was eliminated in the first round of ROUSH Modular Muscle competition, while Open Comp racer Dale McCleneghan was knocked out in the second due to a red light start.
In other news, during the race Evan Smith, editor of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords made three exhibition runs in the ROUSH Drag Pak Mustang development vehicle. Though his times were slower than anticipated to the high heat and humidity, Smith was able to record a best of 12.13-seconds at 110.60 mph. His complete review on the ROUSH Drag Pak Mustang appears in the August issue of the magazine.