SCC: VIR II: Jack Roush Jr debut preview

ROUSH READY TO TACKLE THE TURNS IN FIRST GRAND-AM CUP START LIVONIA, Mich. (October 2, 2006) - Jack Roush, Jr. might just be one of the most versatile drivers in motorsports. The 33-year old has gone from go-karts to drag racing and now sets his...

ROUSH READY TO TACKLE THE TURNS IN FIRST GRAND-AM CUP START

LIVONIA, Mich. (October 2, 2006) - Jack Roush, Jr. might just be one of the most versatile drivers in motorsports. The 33-year old has gone from go-karts to drag racing and now sets his sights on the left-and-right turns of the Grand American Road Racing Association.

The son of motorsports legend Jack Roush and a native of Livonia, Mich., Roush is set to be one of three co-drivers in the six-hour season finale at Virginia International Raceway, sharing the driving duties in the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang with Dean Martin (Westland, Mich.) and Ray Mason (Columbus, Ohio). The team, with sponsorship from ROUSH Performance, Brandon Ford, Columbus Truck & Equipment and Racer Bargains, competes in the Grand Sport (GS) class, which is the premier division in Grand-Am Cup competition.

This event will mark Roush's first start in the Grand-Am Cup series, and he plans to use this race to gather experience and a feel for the competition in anticipation of a full campaign in 2007. The green flag flies on Saturday, October 7 at 3 p.m. (Eastern) with qualifications set for 10:05 a.m. that same day.

"I am really nervous and really excited at the same time about this race" said Roush. "I don't quite know what to expect but I do know that this (road racing) is something that I have really wanted to do for a while now so this is sort of the fulfillment of a dream."

Roush began his racing career in go-karts, starting at six years of age in 1979 when he and his father raced together in the Ford Thunderbird Kart Club at Flat Rock (Mich.) Speedway. During the five seasons they raced, the pair captured 4.5 championships and tied for the championship in the final half-season. Interestingly, Roush ran the number 11 on his kart, a number which later adorned some of his father's race cars. Even today, he still participates in some karting events at Kart2Kart in Sterling Heights, Mich.

Drag racing also briefly captured his attention. In July Roush ran in the NMRA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing behind the wheel of a 2001 Ford Mustang which was being used by ROUSH Performance as a research and development vehicle for the company's line of crate engines. He advanced to the third elimination round in the Modular Muscle class, deeper than any driver in the multi-car ROUSH Performance team had progressed to that point in NMRA competition.

In preparation for Grand-Am Cup competition, Roush participated in a couple of testing sessions including one with Boris Said, arguably one of the most talented road racers ever. The session took place on the North Course of Virginia International Raceway.

"I cannot thank Boris enough for taking the time to work with me," said Roush. "I have a ton of experience in driving a light kart through the turns, but that is very different than taking a nose-heavy Mustang out on a road course. Boris helped me to learn the correct ways to enter and exit the turns, braking points, throttle control and so much more. Our few hours together were incredibly valuable and I will be thinking about all the things he taught me the entire time I am behind the wheel during the race."

To further his preparation for the VIR race, this past weekend Roush participated in twin 30-minute races in the American V8 Supercar Series event at the tight course of Gingerman Raceway where he finished fourth and second respectively. He was driving a Rehagen Racing team car in this event.

When asked about his goals for his first Grand-Am Cup start, and first behind the wheel of the No. 59 Ford Mustang, Roush thought for a moment.

"Well, I guess the key is to not do anything that would jeopardize what Dean and Ray have done so far this season as far as the points standings," he said. "Obviously, we are going to do all we can to win and I'll help as much as I can there. But more importantly, I want to stay out of trouble, keep the fenders clean, learn as much as I can and get that valuable seat time and experience in the heat of the battle."

With 77 cars already registered for the race, including 42 in the GS class alone, Roush is sure to have his hands full.

Based in Livonia, Mich., "The Art of Performance Engineering" takes place at ROUSH Performance Products. In addition to the Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 Ford Mustang and F-150 styling, handling and performance upgrades, a complete line of performance parts and engines are offered. For more information, visit www.RoushPerformance.com or telephone toll-free (800) 59-ROUSH.

-credit: roush racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Boris Said , Ray Mason , Jack Roush , Dean Martin
Teams Rehagen Racing