Jack Roush

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Jack Roush
Roush in 2010
Born (1942-04-19) April 19, 1942 (age 78)
Covington, Kentucky, United States
OccupationNASCAR team owner
EmployerRoush Fenway Racing (owner)

Jack Roush (born Jackson Earnest Roush[1] on April 19, 1942) is the founder, CEO, and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, a NASCAR team headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, and is Chairman of the Board of Roush Enterprises.

Roush Enterprises is the parent company for Roush Racing as well as Roush Industries, a freelance engineering firm; Roush Performance, an automotive aftermarket development company; and ROUSH CleanTech, a manufacturer of propane autogas fuel systems, all headquartered in Livonia, Michigan. His companies employ more than 2,000 people throughout North America and Europe.

Rarely seen without his trademark Panama hat, Roush is known on the NASCAR circuit as "The Cat in the Hat".

Roush was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2006.[2] In 2008, Roush was elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and was inducted on September 13, 2010, in Novi. On May 23, 2018, Roush was selected as one of the five inductees for the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. Roush was also inducted into the EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame on November 8, 2018 for his contributions to warbirds and the warbird community.[3]

Early years[edit]

Klaus Ludwig drove the Roush-Zakspeed Ford Mustang Turbo during the 1981 and 1982 Camel GT race seasons.

Roush was born in Covington, Kentucky and grew up in Manchester, Ohio. He earned a Mathematics degree with a minor in physics from Berea College, and a masters in Scientific Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University.

Roush worked at Ford after graduating in 1966, and left in 1970 to pursue his own company. He worked for a year at Chrysler before leaving to open his own engineering business. Roush then went on to partner with Wayne Gapp to race in NHRA, IHRA, and AHRA drag racing events.

Throughout much of his career Roush offered for sale the parts that he developed for his own team. In 1982, he partnered with German firm Zakspeed to develop road racing vehicles for Ford. This led to a very successful run in the Trans-Am series and IMSA Camel GT in the 1980s and early 90s. In 1988, Roush moved south and founded a NASCAR Winston Cup Series team with driver Mark Martin.


Roush at the Milwaukee Mile in 2009

Roush Fenway Racing currently fields two cars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (driven by Chris Buescher, and Ryan Newman). The Xfinity team was shut down at the end of the 2018 season. Roush has won eight championships as a car owner in NASCAR's top three series: two Cup titles (2003 with Matt Kenseth and 2004 with Kurt Busch), five Xfinity Series titles (2002 with Greg Biffle, 2007 with Carl Edwards, 2011–2012 with Stenhouse Jr., and 2015 with Chris Buescher and a Camping World Truck Series title in 2000 with Biffle. Roush has two Daytona 500 victories as a car owner, both with driver Kenseth in 2009 and 2012. Since Roush entered NASCAR competition his team has 283 wins and 212 poles.[4]

Opposition of Toyota[edit]

Throughout his NASCAR career Roush has been an outspoken opponent of Toyota's NASCAR operations.[5] Roush is vocally loyal to Ford[6][7] and throughout his career has made cracks against Toyota being in NASCAR. One time in 2003 when asked for a reaction to Toyota's interests in joining NASCAR as a manufacturer team, Roush compared it to Pearl Harbor and called them "Ankle-biting chihuahuas." In 2007 Roush entered a verbal feud with Toyota team leader Lee White during the Toyota controversy following the rocket fuel incident. Though he and White are close friends and former business partners,[8]

Roush Performance[edit]

A Roush-engineered Ford Mustang Probe IMSA GTP car.

Roush Performance sells a variety of vehicles, parts, and high-performance crate engines. Perhaps best known for the line of upfitted Ford Mustangs, they have more than 16,000 vehicles on the roads today. Typical improvements on the base chassis include appearance packages (body kit, wheels, etc.), suspension and handling upgrades, and horsepower boosts through the use of a ROUSHcharger supercharger system. ROUSH Performance sells versions of their Mustang with as much as 727 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque.[9]

The company has a line of more than 1,500 high-performance parts that fit a variety of vehicles including the Mustang, F-150, Focus and others. The crate engines can be customized per owner preference and are the choice of many hot rod and Cobra replicar builders such as Chip Foose, Roy Brizio, and Superformance.[10]

ROUSH CleanTech[edit]

ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel systems for Ford vehicles and Blue Bird school buses.

By 2008, Roush had expanded into offering propane-autogas-fueled vehicles designed for fleet usage.[11] The company product offerings include propane autogas fuel system technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird Corporation school buses. Most vehicle kits offer multiple tank configurations.

Propane autogas is a domestically produced alternative fuel which costs less than conventional fuels. Over the past 30 years, propane autogas has cost, on average, 30 percent less than gasoline and 40 percent less than diesel. More than 90 percent is produced in the U.S. (and an additional 7 percent from Canada), which lessens American dependency on foreign oil. The fuel burns substantially cleaner than gasoline or diesel.

ROUSH CleanTech's propane autogas-fueled vehicles have the same horsepower, torque and towing capacity as their gasoline-powered equivalents. The shift to a dedicated liquid propane fuel system does not affect vehicle functionality. Ford's factory warranty remains intact on the ROUSH CleanTech vehicles. Propane emits fewer greenhouse gases and nitrogen oxides than gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil or E85 ethanol per unit of energy.[12]

In 2011, ROUSH CleanTech began production on propane autogas-fueled vehicles for Frito-Lay. In 2012, the company started to manufacture propane fuel systems for Blue Bird Type C and Micro Bird Type A school buses. In 2017, ROUSH CleanTech developed the first propane autogas engine available in class 4 – 7 vehicles certified to the California Air Resources Board’s optional low nitrogen oxide level of .05 g/bhp-hr.[13]

Across the nation, companies such as Bimbo Bakeries, DISH, SuperShuttle and ThyssenKrupp Elevator; hundreds of school districts, including Broward County and Los Angeles Unified School District; and transit agencies such as SMART in Michigan, West Palm Beach Transit and Flint Mass Transit, have experienced reduced fuel and operating costs while lowering their carbon footprint with propane autogas vehicles.[14]

As of 2017, ROUSH CleanTech has deployed almost 15,000 Ford trucks and vans and Blue Bird school buses fueled by propane autogas to fleets throughout the United States. More than 90 percent of all propane school buses currently operating in the U.S. are equipped with a ROUSH CleanTech fuel system. School districts choose propane over diesel to accommodate tighter budgets and help improve air quality.[15]

ROUSH CleanTech developed the industry's first propane autogas engine with nitrogen oxide emissions of 0.05 grams per brake horsepower-hour—below the current U.S. EPA limit of 0.2 g/bhp-hr.[16]

ROUSH CleanTech's president Joe Thompson blogs about alternative fuels at Fleet Owner's IdeaXchange[17] and Green Fleet's Fuel for Thought.[18]

Plane crashes[edit]

Roush at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2015

On April 19, 2002 (his 60th birthday), Roush almost lost his life when his private plane, an Aircam, went down in a lake in Troy, Alabama. [19] Roush was underwater and unconscious, suffering from a concussion, when Larry Hicks, a retired Marine in a nearby boat, rescued Roush from under water, pulled him to safety, and administered CPR. Shortly afterwards, Roush was flown to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was treated for a head injury, broken ribs, and a shattered left leg. Hicks was injured as a result of the rescue, suffering cramps in both his arms and first degree chemical burns on his body from the fuel.[20]

On July 27, 2010, Roush crashed his Hawker Beechcraft Premier 390 jet (registration N6JR) during an approach to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in the late afternoon.[21] He walked out of the plane and was taken to a nearby hospital.[22] His condition was listed at serious but stable that evening. On August 3, Roush was upgraded to fair condition.[22] On August 13, Roush made his first at track appearance since the incident at the Michigan International Speedway. During that time he confirmed that he fractured his back, broke his jaw, and lost vision in his left eye as a result.[23] The National Transportation Safety Board attributed the cause of the crash to pilot error, specifically, "pilot's decision not to advance the engines to takeoff power during the go-around, as stipulated by the airplane flight manual, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at a low altitude."[24]


  1. ^ FAA Records
  2. ^ "Jack Roush at the International Motorsports Hal of Fame". Archived from the original on 2013-12-28.
  3. ^ "EAA Honors Five Aviators with Halls of Fame Induction on Nov. 8". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Jack Roush Bio at RoushFenway". Archived from the original on 2009-10-14.
  5. ^ http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f61/jack-roush-declares-war-toyota-nascar-43902/
  6. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/columns/story?id=3282306
  7. ^ http://www.autoevolution.com/news/ford-continue-collaboration-with-roush-fenway-racing-1693.html
  8. ^ http://forums.triplezoom.com/showthread.php?3043808-Ford-Team-owner-Jack-Roush-takes-combative-stand-with-Toyota&p=35394050&viewfull=1[permanent dead link][unreliable source?]
  9. ^ http://www.roushperformance.com/vehicles/mustang-2017-p51.html
  10. ^ "Roush Performance about page". Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
  11. ^ "ROUSH CleanTech: Three years of steady growth, Green Fleet magazine, January 6, 2014". Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  12. ^ "Propane Reduces GHG Emissions: A Comparative Analysis 2009" (PDF). Propane Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-16.
  13. ^ "Company Timeline - ROUSH CleanTech". ROUSH CleanTech. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  14. ^ "School buses go green with eco friendly propane fuel, USA Today, August 11, 2013".
  15. ^ "School buses go green, with eco-friendly propane fuel". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  16. ^ "Roush & Blue Bird for Low NOx Propane". Fleets and Fuels. Archived from the original on 2017-05-28.
  17. ^ "Joe Thompson". fleetowner.com. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  18. ^ "Fuel for Thought". Archived from the original on 2015-05-30. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  19. ^ https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/document.cfm?docID=432509&docketID=33410&mkey=54560
  20. ^ "Ford Jack Roush Update". Archived from the original on 2010-08-01.
  21. ^ "Jack Roush Crashes Plane In Wisconsin".
  22. ^ a b Bromberg, Nick (July 28, 2010). "Jack Roush injured in plane crash in Wisconsin". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  23. ^ "Roush returns to track bearing scars from crash".
  24. ^ "NTSB Report".

External links[edit]