The No. 61 ROUSH Mustang, driven by Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr., came across the finish line first as the Grand-Am Continental GS race (and season) ended on Saturday, September 28 at Lime Rock Park, CT. The No. 51, driven by Joey Atterbury and Shelby Blackstock, came across the track in 6th but was officially recorded as finishing 9th, due to a late race penalty.
Because of the short length of the track, Grand-Am had decided to break up the Continental Tire race into two: one for ST on Friday and GS on Saturday. Splitting the classes obviously worked in reducing incidents, as the race went its entire length without a single yellow flag.
The race weekend was especially condensed, with only one 45 practice. "We knew we had to be close on set-up out of the box and have a well thought out plan to refine the cars from there," says Brad Francis, team manager. The plan seemed to work, with the No. 61 qualifying as the top Mustang in 5th and the No. 51 in 8th.
Jack Roush Jr. was unable to participate in last year's race at Lime Rock, as he was still recovering from a broken arm he sustained in practice at Laguna Seca a few weeks earlier. "Having missed last year's event, it's great to be back at Lime Rock and to close out the season with a win," says Jack Roush Jr. "I can't say enough about Billy Johnson and the whole team."
During the final stint in the No. 61 Mustang, Billy Johnson ran down the No. 9 Camaro, overtaking him on the final lap. "We've always had a strong package here." said Johnson. "Jack and I were robbed of a win two years ago after being hit by a backmarker late in the race so it's great to finally make it to Victory Lane here at Lime Rock. With the limited track time, Jack did a great job determining the ideal setup for the race. He drove a great first stint and we had a great pit stop and strategy which put us in the position to be able to contend for the win. It came down to the wire with a last lap pass in Turn 1 for the win."
The No. 61 Mustang's sponsors include ROUSH Performance, Ford Racing, Gary Yeomans Ford Lincoln, Kooks Custom Headers, PWR, BMRS, GoPro, and Mechanix Wear. The No. 51 Mustang is sponsored by Starstruck.
Watch This Race On Grand-Am TV:
- Full broadcast coming Oct. 9th