Jack Roush, the champion NASCAR race team owner who has become known as the “Cat in the Hat” on the racing circuit, will have his aviation passion recognized on November 8 when he is inducted into the EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame as part of EAA’s annual induction of notable people from throughout the sport aviation community.
The induction dinner on November 8 will be held in the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and also includes inductees from the homebuilt and vintage aircraft areas, as well as those involved in aerobatic flight and in ultralight flying.
Roush, a self-proclaimed “custodian of history,” has made major contributions to the preservation and advocates for the restoration of warbirds everywhere. His passion began with restoring his own P-51 Mustang that led to the creation of Roush Aviation, an FAA Certificated Repair Station that specializes in restoring Warbird Merlin engines while introducing new technology. In his own words, Roush says Roush Aviation is committed “to keeping the Merlin engine in the sky powering the iconic aircraft of WWII for many generations to come, to honor all those that flew or worked on this historic engine and the aircraft that it powered.”
He is perhaps best known for the restorations of the P-51 Mustangs named “Old Crow” in honor of World War II triple ace Clarence “Bud” Anderson. During the war, Anderson was credited with 16¼ air victories as part of the famed 357th Fighter Group.
“Jack Roush’s patriotism and appreciation for the service of all veterans is evidenced by his generous sharing of resources, and his participation in the Warbird community and support of the EAA Warbirds of America and its members. He is an invaluable keeper of the legacy of warbird aircraft,” said Connie Bowlin, president of the Warbirds of America and a regular pilot of Roush’s aircraft. “He believes these airplanes must be kept flying as pieces of living history and a reminder of the sacrifice and heroism of those who flew them.”
As a race team owner, Roush has won 137 races and two championships in NASCAR’s top series. He began his career at Ford Motor Company in the 1960s before moving to full-time racing development work. Roush has also claimed team championships in sports car and drag racing during his career. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006.