SIXTH PLACE FINISH PROPELS ROUSH, MARTIN TO SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 NEWTON, Iowa (August 11, 2008) - Jack Roush Jr. knew that the August 10 running of the Casey's General Store Grand-Am KONI Challenge race at Iowa Speedway would be "crazy" and...
SIXTH PLACE FINISH PROPELS ROUSH, MARTIN TO SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-10
NEWTON, Iowa (August 11, 2008) - Jack Roush Jr. knew that the August 10 running of the Casey's General Store Grand-Am KONI Challenge race at Iowa Speedway would be "crazy" and have a high probability of incidents. After all, the 1.3-mile, nine-turn stadium road course would see 43 vehicles competing at the same time on a very short track, and with the speed differences between the GS class and the slower ST class, virtually anything could happen.
The Rehagen Racing team had a goal of survival for the No. 59 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang, and a sixth place finish in the two-and-a-half hour event was better than hoped and the second consecutive Top-10 finish for the team.
Roush qualified the Ford Mustang in 10th position and during his stint behind the wheel pretty much stayed right where he qualified, occasionally moving up or down a position but not able to make any major moves due to the tightness of the racetrack and the number of cars racing.
Roush moved up into fourth during the first round of pit stops when the yellow flag flew. He pulled into the pits where the Rehagen Crew threw on fresh tires, filled the tank with gas, and made a driver change with Dean Martin climbing behind the wheel.
Martin piloted the No. 59 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang through to the checkered flag and was able to avoid the incidents that caused the yellow flag to fly for three times while he was in the car. He had moved up into the fourth position, but lost a couple of positions for a late pit stop for a splash of fuel.
"The racetrack at Iowa is so tight and there really are few spots where you can make a pass, and with both the GS and ST cars on the track it gets pretty crowded," Roush said after the event. "It can get a little frustrating by not being able to get around some of the other cars, but you also have to be smart about it. When the emotions start to control the driver, that's when problems can arise so I just tried to keep my cool and make a move only when I was certain I could make it without getting in an incident or damaging the ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang. Overall, it was a good day for the team and should help us in the point standings as well."
It could be considered a strong day for the Rehagen Racing Mustangs with all three cars finishing in the Top-10. In addition to the No. 59 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang coming home sixth, the No. 58 Sunset Hills Vineyard Mustang with Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb came across the line in ninth. Finishing 10th was the No. 52 Columbus Truck & Equipment with Ray Mason and Billy Johnson. All three cars carry the ROUSH 427R0x2122 graphics scheme.
The next event on the KONI Challenge schedule takes place at Trois-Rivi0x00e8res, Quebec on the tough street course. This event is will be held on Sunday, August 17.
-credit: Roush Performance Products