Propane Power Helps Ford Mustang to Series Win

One of the Roush Drag Team's propane-powered Mustangs that are setting the pace in this year's National Muscle Car Association championship series. (image: mustangs.about.com)

Propane powered engines have helped the Roush Drag Team clean up at the National Muscle Car Association Championships for the second consecutive year.

Susan Roush-McLenaghan’s clean-burning propane-fueled Ford Mustang has just taken out the season in the final face in Indianapolis. She saw off David Hearn in the final elimination round last month to clinch the championship title in the Open Comp class at the 10th annual FuelLab NMCA World Street Finals.

Propane power helped McLenaghan’s teammate Donnie Bowles to the title in 2010, making the Roush Drag Team undefeated at the NMCA series since the racers converted their Roush Stage 3 Mustangs to run on propane two years ago.

McLenaghan, the daughter of Rough Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush who took out his own racing title in 1971, was packing 700 horsepower in her high-performance Mustang.

“Indie is a very special place with a long and rich history in drag racing,” she said. “It was one of the largest fields the NMCA has seen in recent years, which makes this win even more of an accomplishment.”

McLenaghan was sponsored this year for the first time by national propane retailer Heritage Propane.

“I am so proud of the whole team. What a fantastic way to end the season.”

In the NMCA series, McLenaghan’s car is an offshoot of the kits that ROUSH Performance uses to convert gasoline-powered Ford pickups to run on clean-burning propane gas.

The car uses an all-aluminium 5.4L, V-8 Ford engine that was originally designed for the Ford GT Supercar.

Propane is the third most popular vehicle fuel behind gasoline and diesel. More than 12 million vehicles worldwide are powered by propane autogas and countless commercial fleets have already converted to the domestically-produced fuel here in the US.

Propane is cheaper than regular vehicle fuels but it is also much cleaner burning, producing far less greenhouse gas and carbon emissions, so it’s much more environmentally friendly.

But as the Roush Drag Racing team proves – it’s also got plenty of grunt.