LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., is certainly one of the most storied road courses in the country. But at just 1.53-miles in length, it could be considered more of a bullring leaving little time or room to recover from any problem that could arise.
And for Jack Roush, Jr. and the No. 59 ROUSH®/Valvoline Ford Mustang, unfortunately a problem did arise during Memorial Day’s running of the KONI Challenge GS class event. Around the one hour mark of the two-and-a-half hour race, Roush and another competitor both dove for the same spot at the same time coming into Turn 1.
"I was coming on the inside of a Porsche," Roush said after the event. "I really didn’t think I could make a pass right then but just wanted to be there when the opportunity presented itself. Then he went wide into the turn like he was giving me the room to pass, but when I pulled up alongside he just dove down and hit me on the left tire. He spun out and I was able to keep going, but it turned out that the alignment was pretty much off and the tierod had severe damage. It forced me off the track and into the tire barrier just down the racetrack."
Roush was able to limp back around the course and into the pits where the Rehagen Racing crew leapt into action to repair the damage while co-driver Dean Martin slid into the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, the team lost several laps making the repairs and were never in contention for the win.
"I think the really frustrating thing was that I had been making a bunch of passes and moving up through the field. When the incident happened, it was for 13th position so we had moved up a long way on a track that is notoriously difficult to pass on. It was looking like we were on our way to a solid run, but we’ll just have to shake this off and get them at the next race," said Roush.
The final Grand-Am results sheet shows that the No. 59 ROUSH®/Valvoline Mustang finished 27th in the field of 34 starters, eight laps down to race winners Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal in a BMW M3.
Roush qualified the car 23rd in the field but wasn’t pleased with his effort on the tight seven-turn course.
"Qualifying was very frustrating," he said. "I had a set of new tires on the car and there was so much traffic that they heated up and became very greasy. The tires never really had much of a chance to cool down so I was sliding around and never got a good lap in. I think that the qualifying session was actually the slowest run I had in the car this weekend."
The No. 60 Sunset Hills Vineyard Mustang, a Rehagen Racing team car that also carries the ROUSH® 427RTM graphics, finished the event in 13th position. This car is driven by Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb. The No. 52 Columbus Truck & Equipment Mustang, with Ray Mason and Brian Grandon behind the wheel, completed the event in 20th position.
This race will be televised on SPEED Channel at 8 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, May 31. The next event on the schedule is Sunday, June 15 at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
The No. 59 Ford Mustang, based out of the Rehagen Racing shop in Livonia, Mich., carried sponsorship at this event from ROUSH® Performance, Valvoline, and Imperial Ford. In 2006, this was the highest-finishing Mustang in the series.
Based in Livonia, Mich., "The Art of Performance Engineering" takes place at ROUSH® Performance. To get a look behind the scenes at what goes on at ROUSH® and how the vehicles are designed, manufactured and produced logon to . In addition to the Stage 1TM, Stage 2TM and Stage 3TM 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.