Car Woes Continue to Plague No. 61 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang





61LagunaSeca377x283 ROUSH®/Valvoline Post-Race Report – KONI Sports Car Challenge @ Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca




SALINAS, Calif. – Since they debuted a new Ford FR500C Mustang three races ago the No. 61 ROUSH®/Valvoline Mustang of Jack Roush, Jr. and Hugh Plumb have experienced mechanical difficulties at each event, often hampering what could have been a very good day at the racetrack.

On Saturday, May 16 during the running of the Verizon Festival of Speed KONI Challenge race at the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca it was a broken strut


that sidelined the team for five laps; unfortunately when the problem occurred Plumb was running in second on the track with eyes to take the lead.

Roush qualified the car tenth in the field of 38 and the action started right at the drop of the green flag. He had moved up to fourth by lap 18, and at this time the field was so tightly bunched that the difference from first to tenth on the track was just a bit over three seconds.

Despite the many treacherous turns on this natural road course, including the legendary Turn 8 "Corkscrew," the race was clean for the first half, which resulted in much of the field having to make a green flag pit stop. Roush had worked himself up to the second position when he wheeled down pit road on lap 30 for their first pit stop where he turned the No. 61 ROUSH®/Valvoline over to Plumb.

Because this stop was done in the middle of the pit cycle Plumb merged back onto the track in 17th position. As the other cars peeled off for service, and a few key passes on the competition, Plumb moved up to sixth by lap 35; at this point the five cars ahead of him had not yet completed their pit stop so he was the first car on the track that had service completed placing him in an excellent position.

The second half of the race was marked with several cautions, the first on lap 41 and that put Plumb at the front of the field. He led one lap, then dove into the pits for a splash of fuel.

Plumb worked himself back into second place, just a mere two-tenths of a second behind then-leader Todd Lamb when the strut broke forcing him into the pits for unscheduled maintenance. It took the Horsepower Ranch team several minutes to swap the part which placed them well out of contention.

"It was disappointing that we got bit once again with a parts failure," said Roush. "The car had been running very well and Hugh was in position to bring it home in a podium position. But, as they say, ‘that’s racing.’ We’ll get it fixed and be back again next week."

When the race was finished the No. 61 ROUSH®/Valvoline was scored 22nd overall, and ninth in their GS class.

This event was taped for a SPEED Channel broadcast on Saturday, May 23 at noon (Eastern).

The No. 61 Ford Mustang, based out of the Horsepower Ranch shop in Mooresville, N.C., carries sponsorship from ROUSH® Performance, Valvoline and The next event on the KONI Sports Car Challenge schedule is the May 22-25 competition at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

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 For more information see your local ROUSH® dealer, visit or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH.



About the author

ROUSH Performance
ROUSH Performance
ROUSH Performance, a division of Roush Enterprises, designs, engineers and manufactures completely assembled pre-titled vehicles, aftermarket performance parts, and superchargers for the global performance enthusiast market. Based in Plymouth Township, Michigan, ROUSH Performance was founded in 1995 by motorsports legend Jack Roush.

One thought on “Car Woes Continue to Plague No. 61 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang”


  • Robin Smith
    Robin Smith

    For racing purpose, you'll need tires with more grip that what standard options offer. Z rated tires are made of softer compounds & don’t last long as touring tires or other consumer-rated tires of harder compounds.
    Suspension – It is your car's suspension that can also detract from car performance. Adding custom sway bars, coilover kits and strut bars can help you eliminate problems like suspension sway and shifting during driving & achieve the suspension you need.
    ROUSH: Thanks for the comment. You certainly bring up some valid points for someone looking to upgrade a car for track usage. However, in the case of the KONI Challenge, the teams are restricted to usage of a certain brand of tire, specific suspension components, and things like that.

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