Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
June 23, 2011
Photos By: Michael Johnson

Power Adder Street

Chris Cruz


Best Pass: 9.83/141.59
Race Weight: 3,810

It's cool to see some of these Internet superstars in the flesh, even for us, and Chris Cruz's white GT was the first automatic '11 to bust into the 9-second range online. Having seen it at Bradenton weeks earlier, we had no idea of its capabilities, but capable it was. Chris cracked off a 9.83 at 141, which was only good enough for the second qualified spot in what would be the day's most hotly contested category. That's because his Whipple/auto car was on a collision course with Rebecca Starkey's TVS/auto car. After knocking off Clinton Smith in the first round, Chris took a bye into the finals against Rebecca. It was anyone's race, but Chris got the jump and held her off all the way down the track for the win.

Engine And Drivetrain

  • Ford Racing/Whipple 2.3-liter twin-screw supercharger w/12.5 psi
  • 123mm carbon-fiber cold air intake
  • L&M Dual 66mm throttle body
  • 75-pound flow-matched fuel injectors
  • Kenne Bell Boost-a-Pump
  • JLT oil separators
  • American Racing Headers 17/8-in long-tubes with 3-in collector
  • American Racing Headers off-road X-style pipe
  • Borla S-Type Cat-Back exhaust system
  • Circle D Specialties Pro Series billet torque converter
  • Ford Racing 3.73 gears

Electronics

  • Custom-tuned by Jon Lund

Suspension And Chassis

  • Evolution upper control arm and mount
  • Evolution billet lower control arms, adjustable Panhard bar, and brace
  • Ford Racing springs
  • Weld RTS wheels
  • Mickey Thompson ET Street tire

Rebecca Starkey


Best Pass: 9.79/140
Race Weight: 3,705

It was a last-minute decision for the VMP Tuning family to make the trek up from Florida, but obviously they made the right choice. Rebecca Starkey has really maximized the performance of her Roushcharged automatic GT. In Florida, she ran it right up to the brink with a 10.00 pass, but in the cool Maryland air, Rebecca's car was flat flying. On her first qualifying pass, the 9-second barrier was broken. She ran in the 9s on every run at MIR, and qualified in the top spot with a 9.80 that put her up against VMP customer Rod Heltzel in Round 2. Rod put up a valiant effort, but Rebecca prevailed with an amazing 9.79, setting up the race of the day with Chris Cruz. Rebecca ran quicker (9.84 versus 9.90), but Chris won the race at the Tree.

Engine And Drivetrain

  • 2.3-liter TVS Roushcharger w/VMP 69mm pulley
  • 71-lb/hr injectors
  • BBK long-tube headers
  • FRPP throttle body
  • PST carbon-fiber driveshaft

Electronics

  • Custom SCT tune by Justin Starkey of VMP Tuning

Suspension And Chassis

  • Afco double-adjustable shocks
  • J&M lower control arms w/relocation brackets
  • VMP custom antiroll bar
  • VMP custom rollbar
  • Weld RTS wheels
  • Hoosier tires

Rod Heltzel


Best Pass: 9.89/138
Race Weight: 3,805

You know you're hardcore when you drive 23 hours from Texas to attend a one-day race at MIR. Hardcore is an understatement for Rod Heltzel, who already has another '11 and a '12 Boss 302 on order. He says that he actually bought the car you see here after reading our stories on Rebecca Starkey's car breaking into the 10s. After that, Rod bought the car, ordered up similar gear--including the supercharger and tune from VMP--and set a goal of running 10.teens. After qualifying in the third spot with a 10.05, it was time for a new goal. Though he lost to Rebecca in the second round with a 10.07, he kept plugging away with test 'n' tune passes. Just as the track was about to shut down, Rod clicked off a 9.89! Talk about making it worth the trip.

Engine And Drivetrain

  • TVS 2.3-liter Roushcharger w/VMP 69mm pulley
  • 71-lb/hr injectors
  • H-pipe and mufflers
  • Aluminum driveshaft
  • 3.55 gears

Electronics

  • Tuned by Justin Starkey of VMP Tuning

Suspension And Chassis

  • Upper and lower control arms
  • Front sway bar removed
  • Weld RTS wheels
  • Eight-point mild-steel rollcage