Michael Johnson Associate Editor
May 1, 2008
Photos By: The 5.0&SF Staff
Jeff Mingledorf's '03 Cobra convertible is the '07 Nitto Tire King of the Street winner. The Modular Powerhouse-built monster made 932 hp on the Dynojet with a twin-turbocharged Proline Racing Engines Four-Valve engine and an upgraded T56 six-speed. It possessed daily driver-capable driveability, stellar looks, and the cleanliness we look for in a KOTS winner. Congrats to Jeff and the Modular Powerhouse gang.

Horse Sense: As we were writing this, Modular Powerhouse's Tim Barth sent us spy photos of an S197 Mustang GT destined for the KOTS 2008. If initial photos are any indication, it will be a strong group. One thing we learned this year is that we will need to find a dyno capable of more than 1,000 hp for the '08 event. The KOTS 2007 was basically a contest to see who could get as close to 1,000 hp without going over.

The Nitto Tire King of the Street has grown by leaps and bounds since the first competition was held in 2002, appearing in the May '03 issue. That first King of the Street article covered 12 pages, but it was in black and white, mostly due to the forces of nature raining on our parade during the competition. John Garner's '90 Mustang GT convertible won the inaugural competition and made 607.5 hp with 638 lb-ft of torque. "In the end," Editor Turner said, "what impressed us most about this car was that you could toss the keys to someone, and they could drive it without the usual list of dos and don'ts required by most big-power street cars." Funny--that's exactly what we still look for in a winner.

These days, John's GT would be 300 hp shy of current Nitto Tire KOTS top dogs. That's how far this competition has come. Now we have 800-900hp cars featuring the same characteristics of John's car, with better driveability thanks to improved tuning technology.

CJ Williams' Fox GT made the least horsepower during that segment of the competition. However, it still made 512 corrected horsepower via an Automotive Engine Specialties 347 with a small shot of the good stuff. That's nitrous to those not in the know. CJ's was the only Fox Mustang in the KOTS, and also the lone competitor using nitrous as its only source of additional power.

Back then, of the five cars, only two of them were modular-powered. For '07, of the 10 competitors, only two cars featured pushrods. It's safe to say the modular engine has taken over with the '03-'04 Cobras getting a lot of the credit for making available gobs of power at the fingertips of many. For that reason, the majority of entries revolve around Four-Valve modular Mustangs, with '03-'04 Cobras dominating the application list. It almost gets to the point where we get bored with all the twin- and single-turbo Cobras out there, but as you can see from the '07 competitors, it's not run-of-the-mill anything when it comes to Nitto Tire King of the Street competitors' cars. Here's a closer look at the '07 Nitto Tire King of the Street. We can't wait until next year.

Scoring at Home

We have several categories we judge when finding a Nitto Tire KOTS winner. Their percentage of importance breaks down as follows:

Horsepower: 25 percent
Ride and Drive: 25 percent
Engineering: 15 percent
Drag Race: 5 percent
Fit and Finish: 15 percent
Popular Vote: 15 percent

Many KOTS competitors use nitrous as a power supplement to superchargers and turbochargers, and many possess aftermarket audio systems, but what you won't find are hasty installation tactics. As a case in point, this is the trunk of Fred White's Cobra. Notice the clean installation of the nitrous bottle, amps, and subwoofers. Details like this go a long way in the judge's eyes on who scores what in the Engineering category, judged by Tech Editor KJ Jones.

All these add up to 100 percent, and they're graded as such according to their percentage. As you can see, the Horsepower and Ride and Drive categories are more heavily weighted. However, no one will ever win the Nitto Tire KOTS by concentrating only on those two categories. Most often, the KOTS winner performs well in all 6 categories, but the last two winners have laid an egg in the Drag Race category. It's not as important as the more heavily weighted categories, and many competitors treat it as such.

What we do to arrive at final scores is tabulate each competitor's score in every category and do the math. We come to the competitor's score just as your teacher did in high school--on a 100-percent score scale.

Horsepower (we use SAE corrected numbers, as you can see), Drag Race, and Popular Vote are all scored according to how the competitor finishes in those categories. However, the Ride and Drive, Engineering, and Fit and Finish categories are scored at the discretion of the 5.0&SF staff. Don't worry--we're subjective, and we don't take bribes featuring free Mountain Dew 24-packs, Dickies apparel, or Just for Men hair coloring. This is all in good fun, but we take the KOTS just as serious as the competitors who build these cars. Sound like fun?

Tires are Pretty

For the past few KOTS competitions, we've had the pleasure of Nitto as the event sponsor. We like to use Nitto tires for the KOTS because they offer an excellent transition from the track to the street, and they have a lot of Mustang fitments. We've heard many people realizing a lot of miles with the Nitto 555R Extreme Drag radials, which is what Nitto provided for the rear of every KOTS competitor's Mustang. However, Nitto also has a full lineup of street and road race tires as well. We've also heard Nitto is testing a more aggressive Extreme Drag radial, as well as a new line of drag slicks. Hopefully we'll see them on the market soon, as well as a new ultra-high-performance tire in 2008.

The 2007 King of the Street Class

For 2007, Jeff Mingledorf made the most of the Nitto Extreme Drag radials by putting 932 hp to the Nittos, and scoring well in almost every other category to take home the Nitto Tire King of the Street. Will you be in the 2008 King of the Street? Will you be able to try out Nitto's Extreme Drag radials for our cameras? Get your Mustang ready--we'll be calling you soon.


'03 Cobra convertible
Gainesville, GA
Horsepower: 10
Ride and Drive: 8
Engineering: 9
Drag Race: 3
Fit and Finish: 9
Popular Vote: 9
Total Score: 77.9

Score another Nitto Tire King of the Street victory for Modular Powerhouse. MPH customer Michael Kidd won the KOTS in the May '05 issue with his '03 Mustang GT. Michael's GT featured a Kenne Bell supercharger and nitrous; a combination for which MPH has become famous.

This time around, MPH brought Jeff Mingledorf's '03 Cobra stuffed with a twin-turbocharged Pro Line Racing Engines Four-Valve engine underhood. The squeeze remains an MPH staple, but MPH owner Tim Barth says the juice was never engaged during the KOTS.

Jeff purchased the car new in 2003 with plans to enjoy it in stock form. That lasted just more than a year, but Jeff says he started with the foundation--performing a solid-axle swap and a Maximum Motorsports install binge. After those additions, Jeff and Tim began adding horsepower and other goodies including stronger brakes, racing seats, a rollcage, harnesses, and a rear-seat delete. After some time, Jeff decided to get serious and make real power. MPH added the built engine, a custom twin-turbocharger kit with 61mm ball-bearing turbos, a new fuel system, and an upgraded T56 transmission. Jeff's favorite story is when he outran his brother at the dragstrip with the Cobra while his brother was at the wheel of his Viper. "I'm never gonna let him live that down," Jeff says.

So how did Jeff come to win the Nitto Tire KOTS, you ask? In a nutshell, his Cobra did everything well--except its quarter-mile performance, but that category matters little so MPH's Tim Barth didn't try that hard to post a big number. The one thing that stuck out with Jeff's Cobra was that the car felt solid, which is hard to do without a top to support structural rigidity. Everything about it felt connected, from the engine to the transmission to the car's suspension. The car acted as one main component, not many components bolted together. The road race-oriented suspension was tight, but conservative enough not to beat you up. The Cobra was stable on its feet.

Since Jeff's primary goal for the Cobra centers around road racing, the power doesn't come on down low. It comes on at higher rpm once the car is planted, which is what you want in a road-race car. Jeff's car was docile down low--almost stock-like. Once the turbochargers start doing their thing, the Nittos begin screaming for traction, and your pulse quickens with every gear change. By the time I had the car slowed down, my hands were sweating profusely. It's a good thing the Cobra had A/C to cool us down.

Speaking of staying cool, when Jeff and I arrived back at the track after the Ride and Drive portion, we had to sit in line for more than 30 minutes. How many 900-plus horsepower cars do you know of that could idle for more than 30 minutes without overheating? We know of one, and that's Jeff's Cobra. We kept waiting to see the water-temperature needle to head to the warm side, even with the air on, but it never happened. That was astonishing. We sat comfortably in the Cobra Misano seats until we were through the line.

There were two drawbacks to Jeff's Cobra that we noticed on the Ride and Drive. First of all, the on-off switch for a clutch the car possessed. It took some getting used to, and we never really mastered it before the end of our short trip. Second, the car shook too much at idle, but once it hit 1,000 rpm, the shake disappeared. We never figured out the origin of the shake, either.

Moving down the road, though, is when the car really shines. The car cruises well, and Fifth and Sixth gear make for a comfortable cruising rpm. Jeff's Cobra carried with it a nice crisp exhaust note, which made the Ride and Drive that much more pleasurable.

To bring home the KOTS crown, Jeff's car made a segment-leading 932 corrected horsepower to score a 10 in the all-important Horsepower category. With the aforementioned driveability concerns, Jeff's Cobra scored an 8 in the Ride and Drive category. Tech Editor Jones gave Jeff's Cobra a 9 in Engineering, and Editor Turner gave him the same score in the Fit and Finish category; ditto for the Popular Vote category. Jeff and Tim weren't too concerned with scoring well in the Drag Race category, and as such, scored a 3 in that category.

As you can see, Jeff's car did everything well--OK, maybe everything but going fast in a straight line, but in every other category he scored nothing lower than an 8. That's what it takes to win KOTS.

5.0 Tech Specs
Jeff Mingledorf
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINFuel System
BlockWalbro in-tank fuel pumps, Earl's
'03 Cobrafuel lines, Sullivan Performance
Displacementfuel rails, 75-lb/hr injectors,
281ciAeromotive regulator
Rotating AssemblyExhaust System
Cobra crankshaft, Manley billetStock manifolds, Dr. Gas
connecting rods w/ ManleyX-shape crossover, Bassani
pistons, Mahle piston ringsXhaust after-cat
Compression RatioTransmission
8.5:1Tremec T56, SPEC Stage 5
Camsclutch, MGW shifter
Modular Powerhouse customRearend
Heads8.8, 3.73 gears, Auburn Pro
03 Cobra, Modular Powerhouse-differential, Moser 31-spline
ported, Comp Cams valvespringsaxles
Intake
Sullivan PerformanceELECTRONICS
Throttle BodyEngine Management
Accufab single-blade ovalStock computer, SCT tuned
Mass Air Meterby Modular Powerhouse
05 mass air meter w/Ignition
DiabloSport MAFiaStock, Kenne Bell Boost-a-
Power AdderSpark, NGK TR6 spark plugs
Precision Turbo 61mm twinGauges
turbochargers, ModularStock, Auto Meter {{{Phantom}}}
Powerhouse custom intercooler,fuel pressure, boost, and
30 psi of boost, NOS nitrous kitwideband sensor
(not used for KOTS) 

'04 Cobra
Willis, TX
Horsepower: 7
Ride and Drive: 9
Engineering: 10
Drag Race: 7
Fit and Finish: 9
Popular Vote: 10
Total Score: 77.1

We've come to expect automotive greatness from the Dynospeed Racing guys out of Memphis, Tennessee. After all, Mustangs they've built have won Nitto Tire KOTS two years in a row. When we were perusing its latest creation, Eric Chappa's '04 Mystichrome Cobra, all we could do was shake our heads at Dynospeed's Joe and John Beegle and Rick Spurr. The Cobra was Rick's baby, and it's a study in cleanliness. It was almost unfair how nice the car was. Every detail was covered in the Cobra's build. No component was left untouched. Well, except for the body, but what else could you do to the body of a Mystichrome Cobra except make it shine?

Eric purchased the car while he was working at Bagram Air Base in Afganistan--talk about sight unseen. "The car was stock except for a twin-turbo kit," Eric says. He sent the car to Earl Schexnayder for a solid-axle conversion and a 4R70W automatic transmission install. Between the car getting worked on and trips to and from his Willis, Texas, hometown to Afganistan, Eric was seldom able to enjoy the car. However, he still saw areas of improvement, so on the advice of his friend Nick Owens, he sent the car to Dynospeed Racing. That's where the initial turbo kit was removed and a Turbo Horsepower twin 61mm turbocharger system was installed. Eric basically gave the Cobra's reigns to Dynospeed since he was still overseas.

Eric was even overseas when Joe and John asked him about entering the Cobra into the KOTS competition. He said if the guys thought it was worthy to go ahead. Obviously, we would've been stupid not to include Eric's Cobra in the KOTS. The car is the automotive equivalent to a Victoria's Secret model. The Mystichrome paint combined with iForged 18-inch wheels left no secret as to the Cobra's nature; this car was built to turn the head of even the most seasoned Mustang enthusiast.

Proving the Cobra wasn't built just to be a pretty face, it has the personality to match. It features fully operational A/C, probably the best audio system in the competition with a Pioneer AVIC-D3 head unit and a JL Audio amp, a simple gauge arrangement, stock seats, and a painted-to-match Mystichrome B&M Hammer shifter. Eric's Cobra boasts a Dynospeed custom 10-point rollcage, but it benefited from swing-out door bars. An added benefit from the 'cage is that the driver-side halo bar provided the perfect napping place for my head during the Ride and Drive portion.

Speaking of the Ride and Drive, Dynospeed once again hit a home run. Eric's Cobra featured zero driveability problems. It started right up and settled into one of the more robust exhaust tones in the bunch. That's surprising since the car uses twin turbochargers as its main source of power. Turbo cars are usually quiet, but in our notes we mentioned that the Cobra possessed a robust exhaust note.

Nearly everything was perfect on the Ride and Drive. One aspect that kept Eric's Cobra from scoring a perfect 10 in that category was that the 4R70W featured a manual valvebody, a switch for the transmission's overdrive function, and a switch for the lock-up torque converter. Meaning, you wouldn't be able to throw just anyone the keys to Eric's Cobra without any pre-flight instructions.

Yes, I did say "pre-flight." Dynospeed built a Mystichrome bullet capable of making light poles a blur. Under power, you'd better have one hand on the shifter ready for the next gear, and the other on the steering wheel to keep the car straight. The power delivery is linear, but it's so smooth that you don't really get the feeling of speed until you look out the side window at the aforementioned blurry mess. Once you hit triple digits in a few scant seconds, it's time to haul it down, and the stock Cobra brakes do an admirable job of doing so with minimal theatrics. Back at cruising speeds, we once again enjoyed the comfortable cabin. This car truly represents the best of comfort and speed, all in one package.

However, the package wasn't quite strong enough to bring home another Nitto Tire KOTS victory for Dynospeed. They had to settle for Second Place this year. A faulty nitrous box kept the system from engaging, costing the Dynospeed a couple hundred horsepower. Still, Eric's Cobra made 751 corrected horsepower to finish with a 7 in the Horsepower category. Because of the manual valvebody and switches for the overdrive and lock-up, we gave Eric's Cobra a 9 in the Ride and Drive category. Tech Editor Jones must've really liked the Dynospeed car because he gave it a 10 in Engineering while Editor Turner gave it a 9 in Fit and Finish.

For the Drag Race portion, the Dynospeed guys hoped to have a new nitrous box in the car, but they were unable to locate one in time for Saturday morning's drag competition. Even so, with Rick Spurr at the Cobra's wheel, it ran an 11.20 at 140 mph with the Nittos. That gave him a 7 in the Drag Race category. Dynospeed usually brings a posse to Bowling Green from Memphis, so it was no surprise to see they won the Popular Vote, scoring a 10.

In the end, Eric's Cobra had all the bases covered, but the horsepower shortfall is what kept the Dynospeed Racing gang from getting another Nitto Tire KOTS victory. We're sure to see them try again next year.

5.0 Tech Specs
Eric Chappa
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINpump and regulator, Aeroquip
Blockfuel lines, Sullivan Performance
Stock 4.6 aluminum fuel rails, 60-lb/hr injectors
DisplacementExhaust System
281ciTurbo Horsepower headers,
Rotating AssemblyDynospeed Racing custom
Stock CobraH-pipe, Borla Stinger after-cat
Camsexhaust
StockTransmission
HeadsEarl Schexnayder-built 4R70W,
StockPrecision Industries 3,500-stall
Intakeconverter, B&M Hammer shifter
Sullivan Performance polishedRearend
Throttle Body8.8, 3.73 gears, Auburn Pro
Accufab single-blade ovaldifferential, Moser 33-spline axles
Mass Air Meter 
SCT BA2800ELECTRONICS
Power AdderEngine Management
Turbo Horsepower twin-turboStock Computer, SCT Xcal 2
system and intercooler,tuned by Dynospeed Racing
Turbonetics 61mm twinIgnition
turbochargers, 20 psi of boostStock, NGK TR6 spark plugs
for KOTS, ZEX wet nitrous kitGauges
Fuel SystemStock, Auto Meter boost and
Aeromotive Eliminator fuelfuel pressure

'03 Mach 1
Eastpointe, MI
Horsepower: 3
Ride and Drive: 10
Engineering: 9
Drag Race: 10
Fit and Finish: 8
Popular Vote: 8
otal Score: 63.6

Corey McComsey is also one of the Nitto Tire KOTS competitors who put his Mustang's street cred to the test by driving his '03 Mach 1 from his Eastpointe, Michigan, hometown to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Once we took Corey's Mach for a ride, we can see why it was able to make the trip, but let's step back before we get too far.

Corey bought the Mach 1 new with plans to add a blower right away. He wanted an automatic because he felt that would be the easiest route to go in his quest for driveability and straight-line speed. "I wanted to go as fast as possible with the least amount of parts," Corey says. His first supercharger was a ProCharger P-1SC, and that addition got the Mach into the 11s. A step up to a D-1SC netted him 10s. As of the KOTS, the Mach boasts a ProCharger F-1A for a run at the 9-second zone. However, he knew a built engine was in order, so he summoned Livernois Motorsports for a 298ci modular engine using an iron block, a pair of its Stage 3 ported heads, Ford GT Supercar camshafts, and a stock intake.

All along, Corey wanted the car to retain its stock looks. So far he's remained true to that idea, save for the aftermarket wheels. However, they resemble factory Mach 1 wheels, so he gets a bye on that one. The product of such work took two years to complete, and the finished product speaks of the quality of work we've become accustomed from Livernois Motorsports.

Corey's Mach may have surpassed the driveability of Dale Hawkins' S197 GT from last year's event. The only difference between the two was Corey's ProCharger-equipped machine boasted an ever-present blower whine, which we didn't mind since it wasn't overpowering. Dale's car had a hint of rearend noise, but Corey's was whisper quiet. With this Mach, you could throw anyone the keys, and they would be able to drive the car--and fast. A simple turn of the key results in an easy start with no cold-start issues.

This is the cockpit of Corey McComsey's '03 Mach 1. Not only did it place at the top of the Ride and Drive category, but Corey was also the quickest in the Drag Race category by running a 10.46 at 135 mph. When we saw the way the Mach performed on the track and on the street, we weren't surprised to find out that Livernois Motorsports primarily built the car. It's rare in the KOTS competition to have the same car place at the top of the Ride and Drive and the Drag Race categories--doing so was quite a feat.

Drop the stock shifter into Drive, and you're down the road. Under power, the transmission features set shift points, but when cruising, it's a normal automatic. Everything worked in Corey's Mach. It had cold A/C, while a stock stereo, gauges, and seats spelled minimal trouble navigating the surroundings. Corey's Mach was the quietest car next to Michael Kidd's Mystichrome Cobra, but it was also easier to drive. Want the windows down? Simply hit both buttons once, and both of them roll down in automatic mode, a la S197 Mustangs. That was the icing on this Mach 1's interior cake.

One thing we wouldn't be hungry for in Corey's Mach is speed and power; it has plenty of both. Leave the shifter in Drive, hammer down on the gas, and it gets going in a hurry. The Mach feels as though it's going to rip the rearend out of the car thanks to the prodigious power delivery, but it was never herky-jerky--that's a technical term. The tune was spot-on with no hiccups, hesitations, or anything. If every KOTS competitor's car was like Corey's Mach, we wouldn't sleep for a month when deciding a winner.

As such, here's how Corey's Mach fared when it came to final scoring. We thought it had plenty of power for our tastes, but in this competition, the more power the better. In the end, Corey's Mach made 648 corrected horsepower, which was in the lower tier among this competition. Unfortunately, that relegated his Mach to score of 3 in the heavily weighted Horsepower category. There were several cars in the 700hp range, so an extra 50 horsepower would've greatly helped his cause. He scored a perfect 10 in the Ride and Drive category, a 9 in Engineering, and an 8 in both the Fit and Finish and Popular Vote categories.

When it came to the Saturday morning Drag Race portion, Corey's Mach sat still in the designated KOTS area. Did he oversleep? Was he out too late the night before; too many adult beverages, maybe? OK--it was all of the above, but when everyone was about to make their second passes, we finally saw Corey's Mach in the staging lanes. Since he only had one pass, it had to be a good one, and boy was it ever. How about a KOTS 2007 best 10.46/135-mph blast on the Nittos to score a 10 in the category. Corey definitely knew his way down the track, and we were impressed by his time, especially under the pressure of only getting one run in.

Corey's Mach was one categorical finish short of possibly taking the crown, but he showed the best use of the horsepower on board with his quarter-mile time, and his Mach also featured the best driveability of the bunch. If there was one car we wouldn't mind driving everyday, Corey's Mach is certainly at the top of the list.

5.0 Tech Specs
Corey McComsey
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN25 psi of boost
BlockFuel System
4.6 iron Dual {{{Ford}}} GT Supercar fuel
Displacementpumps, CPR fuel rails, Lucas
298ci60-lb/hr injectors
Rotating AssemblyExhaust System
Kellogg crankshaft, ManleyKooks long-tube headers and
connecting rods, Mahle pistonsX-shape crossover, Dynomax
Compression Ratiomufflers
9.85:1Transmission
Cams4R70W, Precision Industries
Ford GT 4,{{{200}}}-stall converter stock shifter
HeadsRearend
Four-valve, Livernois8.8, 3.{{{90}}} gears, Posi differential,
Motorsports Stage 3-ported,Moser 31-spline axles
Livernois MotorsportsELECTRONICS
valvesprings Engine Management
IntakeStock computer, SCT tuned
Stock Mach 1by Livernois Motorsports
Throttle BodyIgnition
Stock Mach 1Stock, NGK spark plugs
Mass Air MeterGauges
Pro-{{{M}}}Stock Mach 1, Auto Meter boost
Power Adderand transmission temperature
ProCharger F-1A superchargergauges
w/ intercooler, 4.25-in pulley, 

'99 Saleen Speedster S351R
Minnesota Lake, MN
Horsepower: 8
Ride and Drive: 9
Engineering: 9
Drag Race: 9
Fit and Finish: 8
Popular Vote: 2
Total Score: 62.65

Disco Dan Schoneck was back at this year's Nitto Tire KOTS, but this time with a customer's car. This '99 Saleen S351 Speedster was originally piloted by Liz Saleen, and painted Lizstick Red. Dan says the car was one of the Saleen press cars back when new, and one of two centermount exhaust cars built for that model. Bryant Sloss purchased the car, and sent it to APS Auto Works (Todd Hardy) in Chaska, Minnesota. In a move sure to send Saleen Melvins falling on their Speedlines, the factory engine and tranny were removed and sold. While at APS, the back half of the car was also taken apart to make room for widened Saleen wheels. Then Tinman Fabrications installed through-the-floor subframe connectors and welded-up torque boxes. Tinman also built a custom aluminum gas tank to clear the 3 1/2-inch exhaust, which is still a centermount orientation.

That's Outlaw/Renegade racer Dan Schoneck at the wheel of John King's '99 S351 Speedster getting the Nitto 555R Extreme Drag radials warmed up for his one and only quarter-mile pass. Dan ran one of the fastest passes in KOTS history with his 10.72 at a mind-bending 142 mph. Our jaws hit the pavement when we saw that mph light up the scoreboard at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Evidently, it caught the attention of the tech staff, too. Since the Saleen Speedster is a convertible with a lightbar as its only safety gear, the Beech Bend staff politely asked Dan to park it. Dan was unsure if the Nittos would be up to the task of planting 800 rwhp to the pavement, but he said they dead-hooked so he stayed in it all the way down the track. The sound of the Vortech YSi-Trim supercharged 410ci Windsor at full go-time was music to our ears.

Back at APS, Todd hid the MSD ignition, the FAST system, and the fuel pressure regulator in the fenderwells. He finished off the car by assembling the Saleen's rearend, engine, transmission, and installing a Vortech YSi-Trim supercharger. Dan upgraded the supercharger from a 30mm cog pulley to a 50mm cog drive and added a custom tune to the FAST.

However, even after all that, the most interesting part is that this car was purchased by John King, a customer and good friend of Dan, the night before leaving for Bowling Green. John simply wanted to have a car to compete in the KOTS, and the easiest way to accomplish that was to buy this Saleen.

No matter who owns the car, this Saleen is the real deal, in more ways than one. First off, it's a real Saleen. Second, this brutal street car makes all the right noises at all the right times. The car offers no-excuses performance. We didn't have to wait on the power like with the turbocharged KOTS cars. Thanks to good ol' cubic inches and a big huffer, all we had to do was mash the gas, and we were off. The combination of Windsor power with a big blower had us as giddy as a 10-year-old at Christmas. We could hardly wait to unwrap the Saleen's horsepower on the Ride and Drive, and as soon as we did, there were smiles all around.

It wasn't just the horsepower that amazed us, though. The car was docile for having said cubic inches and a blower usually reserved for 8-second race cars. We should've known that would be the case given Dan's history with a FAST system and the attention to detail he shows to his cars. The car was equally at home on the street as it was on the track. The ride was as supple as the Saleen's Recaro seats, while the brakes were nothing short of spectacular. Given the car's Saleen heritage, we should've known those characteristics would be true as well. Even with all the power on board, the car was nice and comfortable. If we needed a Mustang to shake up the locals, we'd be hard pressed to find one better than this Saleen.

To summarize, the car scored an 8 in the Horsepower segment by making 779 corrected horsepower. On the Ride and Drive, the only thing we counted against was the lack of A/C. For that reason, it scored a 9. Tech Editor Jones obviously loved the car since he gave it a 9 in Engineering, while Editor Turner gave the Saleen an 8 in Fit and Finish. With an eye-opening 10.72/142-mph blast (at 3,995 pounds with Dan at the wheel), Dan also scored a 9 in the Drag Race category. He said the provided Nitto 555R Extreme Drag radials dead-hooked, and he was off to the races. Dan stayed in it all the way to the finish line to realize the top mph, possibly in KOTS history. Dan had few Children of the Korn fans at Bowling Green, resulting in a score of 2 in the Popular Vote.

If Dan gets into the next KOTS, he should bring some Children of the Korn with him because more votes from that constituent would've helped the final score. We loved the Saleen, and can easily see why it's so desirable among Dan's friends. We just can't wait to see what he dreams up for the next KOTS.

5.0 Tech Specs
John King/Dan Schoneck
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINFuel System
BlockMagnafuel EFI Tuner series fuel
Dart cast-ironpump, Weldon regulator, -10 feed
Displacementline, -8 return line, Saleen fuel rails,
410ciFRPP 160-lb/hr injectors
Rotating AssemblyExhaust System
Scat crankshaft and connectingKooks 1 7/8- to 2-inch long-tube
rods, Diamond Racing pistons,headers, Hearthrob Exhaust 3 1/2-
Total Seal piston ringsinch custom exhaust, Magnaflow
Compression Ratiomufflers, centermount exit
8.7:1Transmission
CamD&D Performance {{{Viper}}}-spec
Comp Cams custom hydraulic-T56, McLeod Twin Disc clutch,
rollerSteeda Autosports Tri-Ax shifter
HeadsRearend
Trick Flow Street Heat, {{{Fox}}}8.8, 3.27 gears, Detroit Locker
Lake-CNC'd, 2.08/1.60 valves,True-Trac differential, Strange
Harland Sharp 1.6 ratio rollerEngineering 31-spline axles
rockers, Manley Nextek 
valvespringsELECTRONICS
IntakeEngine Management
Trick Flow R series, ExtrudeFAST Bank-to-Bank
HonedIgnition
Throttle BodyMSD 7AL 2, HVC coil, NGK
Accufab 75mmspark plugs
Power AdderGauges
Vortech YSi-Trim, 23 psi of boost,Stock Saleen, Auto Meter boost,
NOS 50hp nitrous kit, Snowfuel pressure, and tach
Performance methanol injection 

'99 Mustang GT
Arlington, TX
Horsepower: 9
Ride and Drive: 6
Engineering: 7
Fit and Finish: 7
Drag Race: 6
Popular Vote: 6
Total Score: 51.15

Randy Munoz's '99 GT was another of the unknowns we had coming to the Nitto Tire KOTS competition. Yes, we saw pictures of the car prior to selecting him, and it looked promising with a twin-turbocharged Four-Valve powerplant. However, we didn't truly know much about the car until we saw it in person. We can say it was the antithesis of most other KOTS cars. Many of those cars were built to be pretty, but Randy's was built more out of function. It came together really well, or you wouldn't be seeing it on these pages.

Randy built the car using other spare parts found laying around the shop at HPP Racing. Since he's a tech at HPP, Randy had first dibs on many of the discarded performance items when a customer was stepping up in power. Few components were actually bought new, and most of the fabrication work that went into the car was done in-house at HPP.

Randy was eager to get going with the competition as his was the first car tested on the Ride and Drive, and the first one on the dyno for the Horsepower segment. More on the horsepower results soon enough, but for the Ride and Drive one glaring reduction on Randy's GT was the exhaust. What we've found on the turbocharged cars we've driven is that the majority of them are obnoxiously loud or whisper quiet. This car was definitely the former. The exhaust dumped at the front, using the turbochargers as mufflers. If we could equate the driving experience to anything, it would have to be that of a grounded prop plane where the exhaust is released at the front.

However, Randy's GT is probably much faster than a grounded prop plane. As we mentioned, it was the first on the dyno, and right away it was a resounding "game on" by pounding out 858 corrected horsepower. We don't think anyone saw that coming, but when it did, the competition became decidedly more fun to witness. A good time turned decidedly serious. While the other categories are great, the Horsepower category is the one feather everyone wants in his gas cap. Though Randy set the bar high, Jeff Mingledorf's '03 Cobra took the top prize in the Horsepower. Randy had to settle for a Second Place score.

In the Ride and Drive category, Randy and his GT didn't score quite as well. The car was smooth with a solid ride and excellent idle characteristics. However, the car's A/C was long gone, as was its headliner, and anyone who has been in a car without a headliner knows that's not a pretty sight. The Tremec TKO 600 shifted great; and the car featured a pistol grip shift knob, which was a bonus. The GT did boast a nice stereo with DVD player, but we noted the car's overall driveability was merely OK. The brakes were nice, and they really need to be: The car's power comes on at 3,500 rpm, and it doesn't stop until you tell it to with your right foot.

Taking all this into account, I gave Randy's GT a 6 in the Ride and Drive. What really impacted his score was the conversation-killing exhaust, the lack of A/C, and the missing headliner. However, Tech Editor Jones gave it a 7 in Engineering, and Editor Turner gave him the same score in the Fit and Finish category. With an 11.50/135-mph blast in the Drag Race portion, the car scored a 6 with that same score in the Popular Vote category.

Overall, Randy's GT did well for a car built using, as he puts it, "any leftover parts I could find." Had he been able to find a few more parts to complete the package, he would fared much better.

5.0 Tech Specs
Randy Munoz
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINFuel System
BlockAeromotive Eliminator fuel pump
4.6 Mustang GT blockand regulator, Aeroquip fuel lines,
DisplacementSullivan Performance fuel rails,
284ci83-lb/hr injectors
Rotating AssemblyExhaust System
Cobra crankshaft, ManleyPro Turbo Kits/HPP Racing
connecting rods and pistons,front facing headers
Hell Fire piston ringsTransmission
Compression RatioTremec TKO 600 SPEC Stage III
8:1clutch, Pro-5.0 shifter
CamsRearend
Stock '03 Cobra8.8, 3.73 gears, welded axle tubes,
HeadsAuburn Pro differential, Moser
Stock '03 Cobra31-spline axles
Intake 
Sullivan Performance lowerELECTRONICS
intake, custom upper intakeEngine Management
Throttle BodyFAST
Accufab single-blade ovalIgnition
Power AdderMSD Digital 6, custom Randy
Precision Turbo twin 61mmMunoz-built distributor setup,
turbochargers, Pro Turbo Kits/NGK BR7 spark plugs
HPP Performance custom {{{Viper}}}-Gauges
spec intercooler, 20 psi of boost03 Cobra

'91 Mustang GT
Palatine, IL
Horsepower: 1
Ride and Drive: 8
Engineering: 8
Drag Race: 5
Fit and Finish: 9
Popular Vote: 7
Total Score: 46.6

We saw CJ Williams' '91 GT in person at the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing at Joliet a few months prior to the Nitto Tire KOTS. We were dually impressed with the car, and knew he had a good chance of making it into the final call. Not only was it the lone Fox car, but it was also the only car using nitrous as its primary power adder. Those two features, and the fact that his GT was one of the nicest Fox cars we've seen, CJ and his GT made the trip from Palatine, Illinois, to Bowling Green for the KOTS.

Obviously, the first thing you notice is the paint. CJ says he has $24,000 in the paint alone. Incaudo's Auto Body applied the House of Kolors Wild Strawberry with Candy orange flames, but did so after shaving the door handles and adding a Cervini's Auto Designs cowl hood and Stalker front bumper cover. The car was painted in January 2006, but seeing zero harsh Midwest winter has enabled it to shine to this day. Of course, CJ's impeccable treatment of the car has a lot to do with that, too. The Weld Racing Magnum big 'n' littles also contribute to the exterior's persona.

Inside, you're greeted with an interior redone by Goldstar Automotive with custom leather upholstery, new carpet, new billet trim items, and a new headliner. After checking out the Auto Meter gauges, we turn the key only to hear perhaps the most intoxicating exhaust note coming from the 347 stroker. CJ's GT utilizes custom 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers and a 3-inch X-shape crossover, as well as Flowmaster three-chamber mufflers with dumps. Most dump systems beat you to death with sound pulses, but the GT's exhaust was perfect. You could still carry on a conversation while driving the car, which is usually impossible in so-equipped Fox Mustangs.

To summarize CJ's GT, the only two drawbacks we saw on the Ride and Drive was the lack of A/C and the presence of manual steering. The car featured awesome brakes, the aforementioned exhaust note, and custom interior to bolster the Ride and Drive experience, but the lack of those two creature comforts resulted in CJ's GT scoring an 8 in the Ride and Drive. Even with the nitrous-injected 347, CJ scored dead last in the Horsepower segment with a corrected 512 hp, and that really hurt his final score. He made up for that shortcoming by scoring an 8 in Engineering and a 9 in the Fit and Finish category. Thanks to a wounded tranny, CJ was only able to muster a 12.20 at 123 mph in the Drag Race portion, which resulted in a 5. However, the GT was also able to hang a wheel on the launch using the Nitto Extreme Drag radials. CJ had quite a few friends in attendance at Bowling Green, and scored a 7 in the Popular Vote category. The GT did well in most categories, but the lack of power compared to its fellow KOTS competition really hurt his final score.

5.0 Tech Specs
CJ Williams
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINand rails, 30-lb/hr injectors, BBK
Blockregulator
Sportsman 5.0Exhaust System
DisplacementCustom headers and 3 1/2-in
347ciX-shape crossover, Flowmaster
Rotating Assembly40-series mufflers with Pro
{{{Eagle}}} crankshaft and steelDumps
H-beam connecting rods, JETransmission
pistons{{{Astro}}} Performance A-5, SPEC
CamStage II clutch, Pro-5.0 shifter
Comp Cams customRearend
Heads8.8, 4.10 gears, T/A girdle, Strange
Edelbrock Victor Jr., AutomotiveEngineering 33-spline axles and
Engine Specialties-ported,differential
Harland Sharp 1.7 ratio roller 
rockersELECTRONICS
IntakeEngine Management
Trick Flow R series, portedStock computer, SCT tune by
Throttle BodyBob Kurgan
BBK 75mmIgnition
Mass Air MeterMSD 6AL w/ Blaster coil,
Pro-{{{M}}} 80mmAutolite plugs
Power AdderGauges
175hp nitrous kit consisting ofAuto Meter {{{Phantom}}} air/fuel, oil
NOS solenoids w/ {{{NX}}} Sharkpressure, nitrous pressure, fuel
nozzlepressure, water temperature
Fuel System 
255-lph fuel pump, stock lines 

'06 Mustang GT
Panama City Beach, FL
Horsepower: 2
Ride and Drive: 9
Engineering: 8
Drag Race: 1
Fit and Finish: 8
Popular Vote: 5
Total Score: 44.25

Joe Ottinger's '06 Mustang GT almost became a Nitto Tire KOTS casualty even before the competition started. The Panama City Beach, Florida, resident had his car at Modular Powerhouse for a final stab at more power only to suffer a bent supercharger snout when nitrous was introduced as a second power adder. A replacement snout was lost in shipping and Modular Powerhouse's Tim Barth couldn't rob one from another car so he had to make do with what it had. Tim fixed the snout as best he could and headed to the competition. Joe and Tim were late, but under the circumstances we didn't hold it against them.

We're glad Tim was able to get the car to the competition because Joe's GT was the lone S197 in the KOTS, and he represented the era well. The factory black paint looked deeper than Donald Trump's pockets. We're a sucker for black Mustangs wearing chrome wheels, so right off the bat Joe's car struck a chord. At the same time, the lack of any graphics or stripes may have hurt the car's Fit and Finish score, but more on that later.

The Ride and Drive segment is where Joe's GT really shined. The car features a DVD head unit, which not only controls the audio system (including an iPod interface), but the screen also provides a place to see what's coming up from behind. Yep, that's right--Joe's GT boasted a rear camera, although we were of the opinion it was set up backward because the cars were on the wrong side. Perhaps if the camera was flipped it would've corrected that problem, but by then it was too late. Nonetheless, the camera added a distinctive touch unmatched by any of the other competitors cars.

Even with the SPEC Stage 3+ clutch, the car was easy to drive, and the interior featured Speed of Sound gauge pods with Auto Meter's finest within them. Joe's GT featured a rollcage with swing-out door bars, so entry and exit was a nonissue without sacrificing safety. The car featured the stock seatbelts and more serious race-fare harnesses. Since we were just going for a Sunday drive during the Ride and Drive portion, we used the stock belts, and we were happy they were still in the car. Joe's GT scored a 9 in the Ride and Drive.

However, because of the supercharger snout issue and the inability to use the car's Zex nitrous system, Joe's GT was only able to muster 585 hp on the mobile Dynojet. That scored him a 2 in the Horsepower segment. Tech Editor Jones awarded Joe's GT an 8 in Engineering, and thanks to the belt coming off again during the second dyno pass, Joe decided not to chance making a quarter-mile pass in the car so he scored a 1 in the Drag Race portion. Joe apparently had a few friends at Bowling Green, and as such he scored a 5 in the Popular Vote segment. Had Joe's GT been at full strength for the KOTS, we're quite sure his finishing order would've been a lot higher, but it is what it is.

5.0 Tech Specs
Joe Ottinger
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINFuel System
BlockTwin GT 500 fuel pumps, stock
Stock 4.6, 0.020 overborelines and rails, 60-lb/hr injectors
DisplacementExhaust System
283ciJBA long-tube headers and
Rotating AssemblyH-pipe, Magnaflow after-cat
Kellogg crankshaft, ManleyTransmission
connecting rods and pistonsProMotion Performance
Compression RatioTR-3650, 26-spline input shaft,
StockSPEC Stage 3+ clutch, Steeda
CamsAutosports Tri-Ax shifter
Modular Powerhouse customRearend
Heads8.8, 3.73 gears, stock axles,
Modular Powerhouse StageDetroit Locker Truetrac
3-ported heads, oversize valves,differential
Comp Cams valvesprings 
IntakeELECTRONICS
Kenne BellEngine Management
Throttle BodyStock computer, Modular
Black DiamondPowerhouse-tuned
Mass Air MeterIgnition
Stock w/ DiabloSport MAFiaStock, Kenne Bell Boost-a-Spark
Power AdderGauges
Kenne Bell 2.6, 18 psi of boost,Speed of Sound pillar pods and
2.76-in pulley, ZEX 50-175hpcenter console switch plate,
nitrous kit w/ remote bottleRaptor shift light
opener and warmer, and a purge 
kit 

'03 Cobra
Elkhart, IA
Horsepower: 6
Ride and Drive: 7
Engineering: 8
Drag Race: 2
Fit and Finish: 8
Popular Vote: 4
Total Score: 43.05

Fred Wright purchased Ryan Vitiritto's '03 Cobra just prior to the Nitto Tire KOTS. We didn't know Fred had bought the car until he tracked us down to introduce himself while we were all waiting in the NMRA World Finals line. This car was supposed to be in last year's KOTS, but Ryan hurt the engine right before the competition. He told us to give him another shot for 2007, and that's what we did. We loved the car last year, but when we saw the Cobra in person we loved it even more. The House of Colors white-with-orange-stripes paint scheme made us drool like Tech Editor Jones at a Dickies factory outlet. The Cobra's stance was second to none, and the Weld Alumastar rolling stock contributed to the car's persona. Fred's Cobra simply looked wicked.

However, a leaky oil seal wreaked havoc on the mass air meter on Fred's car causing a wicked miss between 4,000-5,000 rpm. Below that rpm range, the car purred like a kitten, and above that range, you better have both hands on the steering wheel and a clear road ahead of you. You also better have another hand on the shifter because before you can say "Holy mother of earth," it's time to shift. That brings me to a minor sore spot I had with Fred's Cobra: I've never been a fan of cue ball-size shift knobs. To me, they're not conducive to quick shifting, and as you've read, I need all the help I can get to reach the next gear. I didn't count the shift ball against Fred because that's a matter of personal taste, but if you're thinking about entering '08's KOTS, keep that in mind.

To summarize Fred's Cobra, even with the driveability issues, the car was a blast to drive. It didn't suffer from any rattles or strange noises from either the front or the rearend like some of the other cars. As a matter of fact, the Cobra was quiet. It made 708 hp, scoring a 6 in that category. Because of the driveability issues, the car scored a 7 in the Ride and Drive. It scored an 8 in both the Engineering and Fit and Finish categories, but a poor showing in the Drag Race and Popular Vote categories sealed his finishing order.

On a personal level, if I was pressed to pick any of the KOTS cars I would most like to take home, Fred's Cobra would be close to the top, if not at the top. It's a shame the driveability issues reared their ugly head during the competition. Right after the competition, the Cobra went to Modular Powerhouse for more performance upgrades. Will we see it again? Maybe so--he tells us he'll be back. We can't wait.

5.0 Tech Specs
Fred Wright
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINFuel System
BlockWeldon 2025 fuel pump, -10 feed
4.6 Teksid aluminumline, -8 return line, 75-lb/hr
Displacementinjectors, Aeromotive regulator,
284ciSullivan Performance fuel rails
Rotating AssemblyExhaust System
Cobra crankshaft, OliverStock manifolds, Magnaflow
connecting rods, Diamondexhaust
pistonsTransmission
Compression RatioT56 six-speed, Tremec shifter
9.2:1Rearend
CamsStraight-axle 8.8, 3.55 gears,
Comp Cams Stage IISuperior axles, FRPP Traction
HeadsLok differential
Stock Four-Valve  
IntakeELECTRONICS
Sullivan Performance, portedEngine Management
Throttle BodyStock computer, SCT tune from
StockBob Kurgan
Mass Air MeterIgnition
SCT BA2800MSD DIS-4, stock coil, NGK
Power AdderTR6 plugs
Turbonetics 76mm single turbo,Gauges
22 psi of boost, {{{NX}}} nitrousStock w/ boost gauge
system, 50hp shot with purge 

'03 Cobra
Wauconda, Illinois
'Horsepower: 4
Ride and Drive: 9
Engineering: 8
Drag Race: 4
Fit and Finish: 7
Popular Vote: 1
Total Score: 42.15

NMRA and Nitto Tire KOTS veteran Mark Magnuson came back this year with Ray Orist's '03 Cobra. When we first saw pictures of the car, we thought he was pulling the wool over our eyes by swapping a T56 into Ben Ripstein's Cobra, the car Mark competed with in last year's KOTS. He assured us that was not the case, and upon visual inspection we noticed differences besides the car being a stick instead of an automatic.

Just like Ben's Cobra, Ray's was subtle on the outside, but a sledgehammer when under boost. Before we get into that, let's go over how it scored in other areas. In the all-important Horsepower segment, on the first dyno pass Ray's Cobra possibly suffered from the same tire spin that hampered Ben's. On the second pass, not such spin occurred, enabling Ray's Cobra to make a corrected 688 hp, but this year even that number placed him in the bottom tier of the segment. He scored a 4 in that category, but Tech Editor Jones gave the car an 8 in Engineering, while Editor Turner wasn't so nice with a 7 in Fit and Finish. Mark was unable to garner many votes for the Cobra in the Popular Vote category, as Ray finished with a last-place finish in that category. Likewise, with a clutch that was rapidly going away, Mark was unable to put up a number in the Drag Race category, and he finished with a score of 4.

One category Ray's Cobra definitely did well in was the Ride and Drive segment. Next to Corey McComsey's Mach 1, Ray's was the easiest to drive, just like Ben's. Clutch pedal effort was light, which might have been a precursor to it going away for the Drag Race category. It featured fully operational A/C and cruise control, but it utilized a stock stereo. The car enjoyed a quiet street ride thanks to a relatively quiet exhaust system. Not only did the car boast a two-step, but it featured a boost controller setup to only allow 10 pounds of boost in First gear, then more boost in each successive gear. Not only that, but the sound from the blow-off valve was mechanical music to our ears.

To finish the Ride and Drive category on Ray's Cobra, everyone read this: Yours truly loves pistol-grip shifters, so when I saw Ray's Cobra with it attached to the six-speed, I couldn't wait to drive it. With a pistol grip in your hand one drives with anger, and this Cobra was equal to the task of going deceptively fast. Since it was so quiet, the easiest way to tell how fast you were going was to look out the side windows to see telephone poles flying by. For all this, Ray's Cobra scored an outstanding 9 in the Ride and Drive segment. Perhaps more power and popular votes in the box would've had the Cobra higher up in the finishing order, but we'll have to wait to see if Mark can get a car ready for this year's KOTS. Just make sure it's not blue, Mark.

5.0 Tech Specs
Ray Orist
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINFuel System
BlockMagnaFuel pump, RCI 75-lb/hr
4.6 ironfuel injectors, Sullivan
DisplacementPerformance fuel rails, Behind
281ciBars Race Cars fuel tank
Rotating AssemblyExhaust System
Cobra crankshaft, ManleyTurbo Horsepower headers,
connecting rods and pistonsMagnaflow 2 1/2-inch after-cat
Camsexhaust
Comp Cams turbo grindsTransmission
HeadsT-56 six-speed, {{{Liberty}}} 26-spline
Stock Four-Valve, ported by {{{Fox}}}input shaft, Centerforce DFX
Lakeclutch, Steeda Tri-Ax shifter,
IntakeHurst pistol grip knob
Sullivan Performance Rearend
Throttle Body{{{DTS}}} 8.8, 33-spline axles
BBK 
Mass Air MeterELECTRONICS
SCT Big Air 3000Engine Management
Power AdderASSC-tuned SCT Pro Race
Turbo Horsepower twin 57mmpackage
turbocharger system, 26 poundsIgnition
of boost, Twisted Pipes customStock
down pipe and wastegate mufflers,Gauges
Deed's boost controllerStock with boost gauge

'97 Cobra
Holt, MO
Horsepower: 5
Ride and Drive: 6
Engineering: 7
Drag Race: 8
Fit and Finish: 6
Popular Vote: 3
Total Score: 32.55

We weren't able to see Tommy Kreisler's '97 Cobra in person prior to the Nitto Tire KOTS, but the Huber Performance camp reported the car might not be the nicest because Tommy really drives it. We almost didn't see the Cobra at all. Just prior to the KOTS, Tommy piloted the car on Hot Rod magazine's Drag Week. He had a respectable showing there, so he thought the drive to Bowling Green, Kentucky, from his Holt, Missouri, hometown would also be without incident. Tommy was way wrong, though. He had a serious fuel delivery problem all the way to Bowling Green. At various mile intervals, the car would just shut off, but Tommy and his brother Paul Whalen kept working on it, and they were able to get the Cobra to the event.

Once at the event, we realized Tommy's Cobra was longer in the tooth when compared to other KOTS contestants. What do you expect from a car bought as a repo? Evidently, the previous owner was unable to get the car running to a satisfactory degree, so he let it go. Tommy snapped it up, figured out the problem, and he's kept his foot in the water pump ever since. He says the Cobra was used by Precision Turbo to prototype its 76mm single turbo kit, and that it had previously made 800 hp to the tires at a higher boost level. For Drag Week, Tommy put 1,600 miles on the car and knocked down an astonishing 23 mpg while running a best of 11.0 at 139 mph.

However, at the KOTS Tommy's Cobra made a corrected 690 hp, and ran a best of 11.12 at 139 mph. His horsepower number left Tommy in the middle of the pack for that category, but his quarter-mile numbers left him in Third Place in the Drag Race category. Editor Turner gave Tommy's Cobra a 6 in the Fit and Finish category while Tech Editor Jones gave the Cobra a 7 in Engineering. For the popular vote, it seemed Tommy had few friends in the NMRA World Finals audience as he scored near the bottom of that category.

For the Ride and Drive portion, our notes pointed out that even though Tommy's Cobra resembled a stocker, the car was really fast, as evidenced by his trap speed. However, the A/C "kinda" worked, and the car didn't like going over bumps at all. Since Tommy drove the car to Bowling Green, everything was in the trunk of the car Drag Week-style, which meant every hard bump jarred something else loose. Our notes say that the car "made a lot of racket." That means it wasn't so nice to drive around, and the rigged-up electric fan switch did nothing but add to its poor Ride and Drive showing. In the end, Tommy's Cobra earned a 6 in the Ride and Drive segment, which hampered his total score. Tommy would like to thank MC Racing, Centerforce, Huber Performance, Scott Clark, and especially his brother Paul Whalen for his help on the car.

5.0 Tech Specs
Tommy Kreisler
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINFuel System
BlockAeromotive Eliminator fuel pump,
4.6 Teksid aluminumrails, and regulator, -10 feed line,
Displacement-8 return line, 83-lb/hr
4.6 litersExhaust System
Rotating AssemblyPrecision Turbo headers, BBK
Cobra crankshaft, ManleyH-pipe, Dynomax mufflers
connecting rods, JE pistonsTransmission
Compression RatioT56 six-speed, Centerforce DFX
8.2:1clutch, MGW shifter
CamsRearend
Stock8.8, 3.55 gears, Strange
HeadsEngineering axles, Traction-Lok
Stock Four-Valve, ported by {{{Fox}}}differential
Lake, FR500 cam followers and 
valvespringsELECTRONICS
IntakeEngine Management
Stock, portedFAST
Throttle BodyIgnition
StockStock, {{{Ford}}} Racing Performance
Power AdderParts coil and spark plug wires,
Precision Turbo 76mm, 24 psiNGK plugs
of boostGauges
 Stock w/ boost gauge