This week, Grand-Am's Continental Tire Series heads to Homestead, Florida for the third race of the 2012 season. The ROUSH Performance team has run well here in the past. In 2010, the team scored the 400th professional racing win under the Roush banner. Though the No. 61 Mustang qualified on the poll, it was forced to start from the back. For more on that historic moment, read the original release:
Last year went almost as well for the No. 61 Mustang. The team both qualified and finished 2nd. ROUSH Performance hopes for another solid finish here in 2012. "I know that we can run well at Homestead this year," says Jack Roush Jr. "We've consistently done well there. However, you can't take anything for granted, especially in a series as competitive as ours. I'm eager to get to work to earn another good finish this year."
"I really like racing at homestead," says Billy Johnson. "If everyone uses their head and not try to win the race in turn 1, it should make for a great race with two distinct attributes of the track you have to focus on and weigh its importance, the banking and the infield."
What are things that make a team do well at Homestead? As Billy alludes to above, tuning the car here can be a real challenge. "The Homestead road course is a much more unique course than it might at first appear. It has elements of an oval, obviously, but it also has high-speed turns, slow turns that have low grip, and a final very tight (and very slow) turn onto the oval. Getting the car to do all of these well is a tough balance to find," says the manager of the team, Brad Francis.
2012 will mark the first year that the team has more than one car at this track. Joining the No. 61 Mustang will be joined by Jade Buford and Shelby Blackstock in the No. 51 Mustang, and No. 49 Mustang driven by Roly Falgueras and Bryan Ortiz.
Shelby Blackstock states, "I am very excited to start the race weekend off down at Homestead! The ROUSH Performance team has had success here the past. The #51 team of Jade Buford and myself have confidence going into the weekend that the Mustang Boss 302R is a very strong car at this track and is set up for a good finish. I know the race will be full of excitement, as it always is in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, but if we are able to keep our nose clean, we should do well. I would like to thank Jack Roush Sr, Jack Roush Jr, and Starstruck Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a great team and to be able to drive this amazing race car."
Shelby's co-driver, Jade Buford, also has high hopes for this race: "I am looking forward to racing the #51 Roush Performance Mustang at Homestead. The team has been working very hard to get the car ready for the race, and I hope we can get the result we have been looking for at Homestead."
Roly Falgueras adds his thoughts on the upcoming race for his No. 49 Mustang: "I'm looking forward to being back with Bryan Ortiz and the team after missing Barber in the 49 car. This track is been good for the team before so we hope to have a great race as a Team this year."
The race will take place at 2:45pm Eastern and will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on May 12 at 12pm Eastern. You can watch live timing and scoring throughout the event at Grand-Am.com.
The No. 61 Mustang is sponsored by ROUSH Performance, Gary Yeomans Ford Lincoln, USANA Health Sciences, Strategic Brand Solutions, Kooks Custom Headers, PWR, BMRS, Mechanix Wear, GoPro, Performance Friction. The No. 51 Mustang is sponsored by Starstruck and ViON, and the No. 49 Mustang is sponsored by www.MicasaFord.com and MAPFRE Insurance.