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1989 Mercury Cougar IMSA/GTO

Daytona 24-Hour First in Class

This 1989 Mercury Cougar IMSA/GTO won First-in-Class and sixth overall in its inaugural outing at the opening race of the season that year at the Daytona 24 Hour. It would be the beginning of a legendary two-year streak of domination in IMSA/GTO that was unstoppable. This Roush Racing-built Cougar is powered by a 5.5-liter Ford Cleveland V-8 producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 650 horsepower. The drivers who battled their way to the hard-fought win in the Daytona race were Pete Halsmer, Bob Earl, NASCAR hot-shoe Mark Martin, and Paul Stewart, the son of Formula 1 Champion Jackie Stewart. The V8-engined cars were only used for Sebring and Daytona, and they are distinguished by the domed hood as on this example.