ATCO, N.J. – The ROUSH® Drag Racing Team made the long trek across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to end up at Atco (N.J.) Raceway this past weekend. Team patriarch Don Bowles Sr. was unable to make the trip so his son Donnie Bowles decided to take his chances racing both the yellow "Monster Mustang" and his own car in two different classes. Unfortunately, the Sunday eliminations were unable to be completed due to a ferocious downpour. As it stands right now, the outcome of whether the race will be rescheduled or completed at another event is still undetermined by the NMRA officials. The provisional results, however, may affect the point standings for the participants of the ROUSH Drag Racing Team.
Heading into the season’s fifth race, Susan Roush-McClenaghan was resting comfortably second in points in her class, the ROUSH® Performance-sponsored Modular Muscle class. At the end of the New Jersey qualifying sessions, Susan had an incredible .007-second reaction time and occupied the third quickest slot on the ladder. The first round of competition saw her meet up with Gary Windsor Sr., in his 2004 Mustang Mach 1. Gary had an incredible .033 reaction time, forcing Susan into a breakout at the top end of the track and ended her weekend. This put her in a precarious position; her loss coupled with Tom Motycka (leading the class points) and Reggie Burnette Jr.’s (third in points) wins in the first round could affect her point standing when the decision to finish or cancel the events is made.
Pulling double-duty this weekend, Donnie Bowles occupied not only the driver’s seat of his familiar 2005 ROUSH® Stage 3TM Mustang in the ROUSH® Performance Modular Muscle class, but he also took a chance at driving Don Bowles Sr.’s 2006 yellow Mustang in the Open Comp class. Don Sr. was unable to attend the event, but in an effort to maximize the data-gathering process and exposure for the ROUSH® drag racing team, Donnie decided to give the Liberty Transmission-shifted, ROUSH®-powered behemoth a workout on the quarter-mile with a different driver.
After qualifying was complete in both classes, Donnie acquitted himself quite well; a .012 reaction time in his own car placed him fourth on the ladder just behind Susan Roush- McClenaghan, and a .008 reaction time in the unfamiliar yellow ’06 gave him the sixth spot in Open Comp, just ahead of ROUSH® teammate Dale McClenaghan’s Falcon. The NMRA was only able to get one round of eliminations completed due to the weather, but Donnie fared well in the abbreviated eliminations. In that round of competition, he defeated Andrew Ford in ROUSH® Performance Modular Muscle; after Andrew slept at the light, Donnie’s .078 reaction time and 9.86 on a 9.82 dial-in advanced him to the next round. While driving his father’s car in the Open Comp class, Donnie advanced to the uncompleted second round over Brad Finneyfrock’s red light start. His .026 reaction time in that round showed that it’s not necessarily the car, but the driver that determines the race. Donnie improved his points standing in Modular Muscle, as he was less than a round of competition behind Susan when the race began.
Meanwhile, Dale McClenaghan was on the mark driving the 1962 Ford Falcon that he campaigns in the NMRA’s Open Comp class. Against an incredibly tough 42 car field, Dale qualified in the fifth position with a .008 reaction time, showing just how tough the competition is that he faces on a race-to-race basis. Coming into this event, Dale was leading the points chase in his class, but a loss in the first round to Michal Sodano after a .004 breakout could change that depending on the verdict of the race completion.
The four cars carry sponsorship from ROUSH® Performance, Mickey Thompson Tires and Valvoline. The next event on the NMRA schedule will take place August 29-31 at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio.
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.