Jack Roush is an icon of American motorsports and a distinguished automotive entrepreneur. Roush was born in Covington, Kentucky in 1942. He attended Berea College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and later received a master’s in Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University in 1970. Eastern Michigan University also awarded Roush an honorary doctorate in Commercial Science in 2020 in recognition of his achievements and contributions to automotive development.
Roush was hired as a quality control engineer for the Ford Motor Company in 1964. He soon became acquainted with a group of employees who were campaigning drag racing cars called the “Fastbacks”. He was immediately hooked on racing and, in 1970, formed his own team with partner Wayne Gapp. Roush and Gapp combined to win multiple championships in NHRA, IHRA and AHRA Pro Stock drag racing between 1970-75. In 1976, Roush established Jack Roush Performance Engineering and began supplying racing engines and components for drag, oval-track, and hill-climb cars as well as offshore power boat contenders. Jack later partnered with Bob Corn and Ron Woodard to create ECS/Roush, a precursor to today’s Roush Industries.
In 1984, Roush was commissioned by the Ford Motor Company to develop cars and engines for the SCCA Trans-Am and IMSA Camel GT racing series. Roush’s cars dominated the Trans-Am manufacturer’s championship for Lincoln-Mercury in 1985 and won an unprecedented 119 national events and secured 24 national championships between the two series. In 12 years of competition Roush further expanded his racing operations in 1988, when he established his immensely successful NASCAR team. To date, Roush-Fenway Racing has claimed two NASCAR Cup Championships, four NASCAR Xfinity championships, and one NASCAR Truck Series title. Roush has also made major safety contributions to stock car racing, including the development of roof flaps to prevent rollovers. In total, Roush has won over 400 national events and more than 30 championships across the numerous series of motorsport he has competed in.
In addition to his racing successes, Roush is the founder and chairman of Roush Enterprises, a global supplier of product development services including design, engineering, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing. The company serves the mobility, aerospace defense and theme park industries, developing ride systems for customers that include Disney and Universal Studios. Roush also oversees Roush Performance Products, a supplier of aftermarket performance parts, and Roush CleanTech, a manufacturer of alternative fuel systems.
With a winning record both on and off the track, Jack Roush is one of the most successful automotive entrepreneurs of all time.