TOOELE, Utah. – Engine troubles plagued Jack Roush, Jr. and the No. 59 ROUSH Performance Mustang virtually the entire time the team was at Miller Motorsports Park. Finally, on lap four of the KONI Challenge race a blown motor put him on the sideline almost before the 2.5-hour race even began.
Starting with the practice sessions on Wednesday, and right through the final laps on-track prior to the race this afternoon the team was chasing an overheating problem. They tried multiple solutions, such as changing fans, radiator caps, and just about everything that could be done trackside, but the higher altitude of the desert facility just didn’t allow for a simple solution as the thinner air did not seem to adequately cool down the engines.
Roush qualified the No. 59 ROUSH Performance Mustang in 23rd position, and by the end of the first lap had sliced through the field and moved up eight spots into 15th place. However, the motor wasn’t equal to the pace of the driver as two laps later he slowed on the track and lost some of the spots that were gained. Then, in a cloud of white smoke the race was over as the car coasted to a slow stop in Turn 15.
“I tried to slow down and save the engine,” Roush explained after climbing from the cockpit. “I wanted to get out of traffic and into the cleaner air to see if that would help any but it didn’t. It got pretty tense when it started to overheat as I was trying to watch the gauge, keep the team informed on the radio, and get out of traffic all at the same time.
“But once I could feel it start to lose horsepower, there was just no way to save the engine at that point. I just hope that we can get all our bad luck out of the way now,” he concluded.
The next event on the schedule is the season-finale at Virginia International Raceway on October 7. The No. 59 Ford Mustang, based out of the Rehagen Racing shop in Westland, Mich., carries sponsorship from ROUSH Performance, ROUSH Brakes, Kenwood, ROUSH Filters by K&N, siteLevel, 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