DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Rehagen Racing came to the Grand-American KONI Challenge test at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with a plan. The team brought five Ford Mustangs to the racetrack with the intention of gathering data, testing product, and educating the drivers. By the time the checkered flag flew over the January 4-6 test, every one of those goals was accomplished, and then some.
The team set the two fastest times recorded by any of the more than 60 KONI Challenge cars which participated in the three-day event. And even better, each of the five Mustangs recorded a top-five time in at least one of the on-track sessions.
Hugh Plumb recorded a 2:00.963 elapsed time over the 3.560-mile stadium road course in the afternoon session on January 5, posting what would stand as the best time of any during the test session. He will compete with co-driver Mike Canney in the No. 60 Mustang which will have ROUSH 427R graphics on the body.
Dean Martin posted a time of 2:01.084 in the same session in the N0. 59 ROUSH® Performance Mustang, a time which would stand as the second-quick overall. As with last season, Martin will share the seat with Jack Roush, Jr. in 2008.
"I don’t think that our team has ever come into a test session better prepared and knowing in advance exactly what we wanted to test and how to measure the different variables," said Martin. "We tested a number of different things like chassis setups, springs, brake packages, and even the handling of the ROUSH® Mustang with and without a spoiler on the rear deck lid. I feel like we gathered an incredible amount of data and we should be much stronger this season because of it."
While Martin took the testing lead on the No. 59 ROUSH® Performance Mustang, Roush had the responsibility to re-learn the racetrack and work on improving his lap times. Now in his second season of KONI Challenge competition, Roush participated in the test session at Daytona International Speedway in 2007, but did not race at the track as the birth of his second daughter presented a conflict.
"It had been a year since I was last on this racetrack and it took a couple of sessions to get back into the correct line," Roush explained. "My main goal for the test was to continue learning the racetrack and how the ROUSH® Performance Mustang handled in the different sections. This track has some extremely high-speed areas, but there are also some technical sections too. I am happy with the progress that I made, but I think that I still can get a little more out of the car when we come back for the race." Roush posted his best lap of 2:02.253 in the morning session on January 6, dropping more than four seconds from his first lap times just two days earlier.
The ten race KONI Challenge season begins on Friday, January 25 with the running of the Fresh from Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway. The teams will take the green flag at 2:15 p.m. (Eastern) with live timing and scoring available at
Based in Livonia, Mich., "The Art of Performance Engineering" takes place at ROUSH&#reg Performance. To get a look behind the scenes at what goes on at ROUSH&#reg and how the vehicles are designed, manufactured and produced logon to . 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&#reg dealer, visit or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH.