NASCAR legend Jack Roush loans Merkur XR4ti chassis to GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology for two years

1988 photo of Jack Roush, center, and Roush Racing drivers standing by the Merkur XR4ti
Jack Roush, center, and Roush Racing drivers Les Delano and Andy Petery stand by the Merkur XR4ti in this 1988 photo. (Roush Archives)

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University alumnus Jack Roush has loaned a historical racing vehicle to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. After Roush visited Sill Hall and gifted EMU $1 million to support mathematics and the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology in 2021, he offered to loan the vehicle from his collection to display for two years as a visual to inspire students in the College.

As an icon of American motorsports with championships in NASCAR, road racing, and drag racing, Roush also founded Roush Industries in 1976. The company specializes in engineering, design, and testing in the automotive and mobility industries and ranks amongst the largest and most-respected in those fields.

“Jack’s lifetime commitment to engineering excellence sets an example for all young engineers,” said John Earl, laboratory manager of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology.

The vehicle on display is the 1989 Roush Racing Merkur XR4ti Chassis. This race car represents an example of XR4ti race cars fielded by Roush Racing in both the SCCA Trans-Am racing series and selected IMSA GT Championship races from 1986 to 1988. Roush Racing drivers earned 15 Trans-Am race wins, contributed to two Manufacturer’s Championships, and notched a historic GTO class win in 1988, running the 24 Hours of Daytona.

The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology is committed to providing students with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to grow. The car display — located near the lab dedicated to Roush — leaves a lasting impression and reinforces EMU’s strategic mission of promoting student success and engagement.

“As students and faculty walk past this display, our hope is that they will draw inspiration from it,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology.

“Being able to see every detail of the model and how it was engineered is truly remarkable and Mr. Roush is such a respected authority in the field of engineering.” 

Unveiled during the rededication and opening ceremony of Sill Hall in April, the Merkur XR4ti will be on display in the maker space in Sill Hall for two years. Students, faculty, staff, and the community are welcome to visit the exhibit. To explore the full Roush Automotive Collection, visit or call 734-779-7290 to schedule an appointment.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

About the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology
The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology provides world-class experiences in engineering, technology, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, drone technology, gaming, aviation, and other areas of study in high-demand career fields. It is within the college’s mission to cultivate individuals' intellectual and personal growth through research-informed education and diverse programs that emphasize the practical application of scientific knowledge. For more information about the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology, visit the college’s website

July 13, 2022

Written by:
Nautica Marshall

Melissa Thrasher