Where It All Started—ROUSH Competition Engines

The ROUSH name is revered in racing for producing killer combinations and powerful platforms. ROUSH Competition Engines—North, while a global powerhouse in its own right today, developed from ROUSH’s original start in the industry to focus on racing powerplants.

Beginning his automotive career as an engine development engineer for Ford Motor Company in ‘64, Jack Roush quickly discovered drag racing. Working with partner Wayne Gapp, he formed his own team in ‘70 and the two earned multiple championship titles in AHRA, NHRA, and IHRA Pro Stock.

“The duo campaigned many successful racecars, and, after they parted ways in the mid-‘70s, Roush create Jack Roush Performance Engineering,” shared multi-time NMCA ARP Open Comp champion Dennis Corn, Engineering Services Department Operations Manager at Roush. By combining his engineering and entrepreneurial skills, Roush’s Livonia, Michigan-based single-building business grew quickly as it supplied engines for drag, oval track, hill-climb racing, and more.

In the ‘80s, Roush expanded JRPE to offer engineering services to domestic automotive manufacturers. “The business continued to prosper, and Jack found his way into SCCA and IMSA road racing competition with success,” Corn continued, adding that Roush ventured into NASCAR as well in ‘88.

Roush’s NASCAR initiative gained speed as well, and his holdings expanded to employ near 1,000 individuals by the ‘90s. “In 2003, though, a natural progression of the two dominant elements (ROUSH Racing and ROUSH Engineering) and a rapidly growing company meant the decision was made to relocate the Ford-centric NASCAR (racing) operations to North Carolina,” explained Corn. Roush partnered with Doug Yates, and the Roush Yates Engines became the leader in NASCAR engine supply.

The original engineering division, however, remained in Michigan. “The staff was challenged to find a way to fill the capacity of work left available from the departure of the NASCAR operations, and, with rules that anything pursued could not conflict with the Southern shop, one of the opportunities was to start where it all began,” said Corn of how Roush refocused its efforts to sportsman racing in 2005. “Drag racing provided the most interest, and NMRA caught our attention as the place to be!”

Roush’s North facility was established with several select divisions, including the Engineering Services Department, ROUSH Crate Engines, ROUSH Custom Engines, and ROUSH Competition Engines.

“Roush Competition Engines is a dedicated group within a larger engine engineering services company that stays true to the roots of the company,” clarified Corn, who has had the privilege of racing alongside Roush, his daughter, Susan, the Bowles family, and many others who have made the decision to call upon the engine shop since his career began there in ‘81.

From inception to rebirth, Roush’s portfolio of companies has found success through all forms of motorsports. From multiple titles in NASCAR, drag racing, road racing, powersports, and more, the Roush name has become a respected synonym for professional performance and high-caliber quality.

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