ROUSH®/Valvoline Pre-Race Report - Mustang Challenge @ Barber Motorsports Park
LIVONIA, Mich. - Jack Roush, Jr. is familiar with racing Mustangs on the tricky 2.3-mile, 16-turn natural road course at Barber Motorsports Park. He has been there twice in the KONI Sports Car Challenge Series, but never with the new Ford Mustang Challenge race car. That will all change in a matter of days.
In fact, Roush has never even sat in a Mustang Challenge race car, but he is ready to race one. He will be participating in his first series event during the celebrations of the Mustang 45th Anniversary at the racetrack just outside of Birmingham, Ala.
"This is going to be a busy weekend with the race and all the things that are happening at the 45th Anniversary," he said. ROUSH® Performance will be exhibiting at the event, and for many attendees this will be their first opportunity to see the new ROUSH 2010 Mustang, the fifth generation pony car from the company his father founded.
"Barber (Motorsports Park) is not traditionally known as a ‘Mustang track’ due to the very tight turns and short straights that don’t allow the car to make use of its horsepower. But it is one of my favorite tracks and I feel really good about the upcoming race. Last July I finished third there in the KONI Challenge race and the Mustangs swept the top-three positions in that event. So, I’m confident that we can get these Mustang Challenge cars to turn and get around this track pretty quickly as well."
Despite having no experience in a Mustang Challenge car, Roush is confident that he can get a feel for this car quickly.
"I may be a little naïve in my thinking, but I have to believe that it should handle reasonably close to the same way that my KONI Challenge Mustang does. Obviously I have a lot of experience in that car now and a pretty good understanding of the way that it handles in the turns and the right line for the fastest entry and exit. I’m hoping that after a few laps the feel of the car should come to me so I can have a good solid showing in the race," he said, adding that he did spend time behind the wheel of the Mustangs used by the school at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah. Those cars are extremely similar to the Mustang Challenge racers with minor variations.
Roush will be in the No. 00 Mustang Challenge car during the race on Saturday, April 18. The green flag waves at noon (local time) for the 50-minute contest. Roush carries sponsorship from ROUSH Performance, Valvoline and MossMuscle.com on his racing programs.
"I want to thank the Mustang Challenge Series for inviting me to participate in this race and allowing me to use their media car. It is an especially huge honor to be able to compete in the events that celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the Mustang and in front of all the Mustang enthusiasts from all around the world," he said.
The Mustang Challenge is one of the most competitive of the spec racing series. Roush will have to face several talented drivers including Jim Click, Mike McGovern and the inaugural series champion Andrew Caddell. For series information, visit www.MustangChallenge.com.
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 www.ROUSHtv.com. In addition to the array of 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 www.ROUSHperformance.com or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH.