LIVONIA, Mich. – Susan Roush-McClenaghan, the daughter of Jack Roush and part of the ROUSH® Performance Drag Racing Team, has been oh-so close to winning that first race several times; in just three years of competitive drag racing she has been runner up on five different occasions.
Now, moving over to the NMCA Drag Racing Series for an event to keep her skills sharp, she was able to capture that first trophy on Sunday, September 21 with a final round win over Jamie Rickman in the Open Comp class. The event was part of the 7th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Nationals held at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.
"The final round was very tough because I had to face off against Jamie who is one of the toughest guys in the NMCA series," she said. "But it wasn't as spooky as my semi-final. I was in the right lane and we followed the bracket cars but they only run to the 1/8-mile marker and then back off. That really changed the characteristic of the racetrack at the halfway mark and it got really slick. My car got a little loose and all I remember was thinking 'keep it straight. Keep it straight.' I decided to pick the left lane for the final because I had run there in the other rounds and it seemed a little better suited for my car."
Although Roush-McCleneghan said it was very exciting to finally get that first win, she was very quick to offer praise to those who have helped her along the way.
"It was so cool to get the win, but I really couldn't be here without the help of so many people. I've been very fortunate to have so many people willing to give a hand and share their experience. I doubt that I would be as competitive as I have been in this short amount of time without everyone's help."
Unfortunately, the other ROUSH® Drag Racing Team members competing this weekend didn't share the same success. Dale McClenaghan lost a second round match in the Open Comp class in his 1962 Ford Falcon, as did teammate Donnie Bowles behind the wheel of a 2005 ROUSH® Stage 3TM Mustang. In an unfortunate first round pairing, Bowles eliminated his father, Don Bowles, from the competition.
The cars carry sponsorship from ROUSH® Performance, Valvoline and Mickey Thompson Tires. The next event on the NMRA schedule will take place October 2-5 at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky which is the season-finale for 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.