The Roush Performance team won the season opener of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for the second year in a row at Daytona International Speedway on Friday as Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr. scored a repeat Grand Sport (GS) class victory in the BMW Performance 200. Johnson led the final 70 minutes of the 2013 season-opening race in the No. 61 Roush Performance Mustang, finishing 1.812 seconds ahead of 2012 GS driver champion David Empringham in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage.
Empringham, who co-drove with John Farano to the driver title last season, swapped the lead with Johnson just after the halfway mark, but a small bobble on the team’s final pit stop gave the Johnson/Roush pairing the cushion it needed.
Roush drove from mid-pack early in the race when the Mustang suffered from a flat left-front tire. Between that and the back-and-forth tilt between Johnson and Empringham, it proved to be a dramatic day.
“There was probably more drafting and passing back and forth than I’ve ever seen here,” Johnson said. “Jack did a fantastic job on his first stint, and it’s great to get this win for all the work put in by the team. I was trying pretty darn hard the last few laps. Those Astons and Porsches were pretty quick. I knew if I could get good restarts and get a little cushion I could maintain it. But if I couldn’t, it was going to be a crap shoot.”