Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr. win Miami Grand Prix in Roush Racing Mustang for a milestone 400th victory for Jack Roush Sr!
MotoIQ Staff Report
MotoIQ Editor Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr. overcame a post-qualifying infraction which forced them to start from the back of the pack to win Round 2 of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Homestead/Miami Speedway. This was the duo’s second Grand Sport (GS) class victory together in the 2.5 hour, 91-lap Homestead 200 in the No. 61 ROUSH Performance Products Ford Mustang GT. This was Johnson’s second consecutive victory at the 2.3-mile, 11-turn road course.
Jack Roush Jr. set a track record and earned his first career Pole Position on Friday only for it to be taken away after post-qualifying technical inspection for “improper brake ducts”. This didn’t demoralize Roush who had to start the race in 34th position. He passed 10 cars on the first lap and was up to 21st after two laps. He finally took the lead on Lap 35, advancing an amazing 33 positions.
After a great pit-stop by the Roush team, Johnson took over on Lap 39 in 13th position. He too worked through the field and was quickly in the top five and eventually into second as late as the final half hour. Chasing down the leader Matt Plumb, winner of the season’s opening race at Daytona, Johnson was cutting the 10-second gap by a second a lap.
Under pressure from Johnson’s advance, Plumb’s No. 13 RumBum.com BMW M3 hit the rear of Eric Curran's No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 in Turn 1, as Curran got bottled up behind slower traffic. The impact forced the hood of the No. 13 to come up, and Plumb in a precarious position, driving cautiously around the track with his windshield covered.
Johnson passed Plumb while managing to hold Terry Borcheller at bay in the No. 45 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 through the mess of slower ST and lapped traffic that caught Plumb off-guard. Plumb managed to make it to the final turn before hitting barrels filled with sand at the pit entrance. The sand and debris from the barrels forced the final of four caution periods. Johnson never looked back when the green flag flew on Lap 87, and charged to a 2.561-second victory.It marked Johnson's seventh series victory and third in the Grand Sport class..
“Jack did have quite a bit of fun today,” said Johnson, who led twice for nine laps. “He did an amazing job in qualifying. He went through the entire field today, which is no easy feat with the caliber of drivers at this track. He handled it like a pro. He kept the fenders clean and just moved through everyone. He turned the car over in one piece for, gave us good track position and I took it from there. I had to work through a few people myself, but I was able to come out on top again.”
For Roush Jr., who celebrated with his father, Jack Roush Sr., in Victory Lane, it was a complete turnaround of emotions from close to 24 hours earlier.
“It was real exciting race for us,” Roush Jr. said. “I can't be more proud of my team and all the work they've done. It was a real privilege to be part of history with the Roush Racing group. I also have to hand it to my co-driver, Billy Johnson. He did an awesome job today. I'm looking forward to many more races.”
The win was also Roush Sr.'s 400th as a car owner. In nearly 40 years as an owner, Roush Sr. has also won in NASCAR's three National series, Trans-Am and IMSA.
The next race for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will be April 10 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
The race will be airing on SPEED Channel: Homestead-Miami Speedway March 13 (Sat.), 1 p.m. ET