Michael Galimi
February 1, 2008
Contributers: Frank H. Cicerale Photos By: MM&FF Italian Connection

It looks as if there's a tradition blooming here at Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords, in the form of killer S197 Mustang shootouts. In 2007, an open invitation was thrown out to see who had the baddest '05-and-up Mustang. We invited the cars and their owners/drivers to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, where the eclectic and insane group of racers dropped the hammers on the most powerful Three-Valve engines in the land.

Our '06 shootout saw a majority of the cars running a stick-shift transmission of some sorts, be it stock or aftermarket. In 2007, the do-it-yourself gearbox made way for the almighty king of easy shifting-the automatic transmission. In 2006, only one shootout participant utilized an automatic, but in 2007, all of the competitors ran a slushbox of some kind. It seems that as speeds have climbed higher and higher in the past couple of years, the need to control and apply the power has been a job better handled by the automatic.

Look at our entrants closely and you'll notice a mix of both Ford and (yikes!) Brand-X trans-missions in the trans tunnel. We don't really dig non-Ford parts, but that's what the boys are running, so we can't not talk about it. Two cars showcased GM's Turbo-Hydromatic 400 three-speed, three Mustangs sported a 4R70W, and one lone ride wielded the actual stock Three-Valve trans, the 5R55S, despite the recent trend of converting to the 4R70W in high-powered cars.

Another neat factor was that, except for one car, all of the Mustangs had stroker or larger-displacement engines sitting between the shock towers. You can't beat cubic inches, and it showed on the track with routine 10-second passes, as well as a few 9-second rips and one near 8-second moon shot. The power-adders portion of the show was also mixed up between turbos, blowers, and nitrous oxide.

In total, three cars spun a turbo, two utilized a centrifugal blower, and a lone ranger used a twin-screw huffer. We made sure everyone knew that running a hit of the sauce or utilizing methanol injection was legal, but only one racer was brave enough to take a sizable shot of laughing gas.

In the end, we nearly saw an 8-second pass out of a Three-Valve-equipped S197, and we took a long look at a couple of cars that could have passed for 14-second stock GTs. In addition, each power adder held its own as well as breaking into the 9-second zone, as a centrifugal supercharger/nitrous combo ended up First, a positive-displacement twin-screw blower Second, and a turbocharger Third.

1st Place
Justin Burcham
Glen Burnie, Maryland
'05 Mustang GT
9.05/148Justin Burcham and JPC Racing are synonymous with killer horsepower. After winning our first Three-Valve shootout a few years ago, Justin came to this gunfight with a howitzer. Utilizing 25 pounds of boost from a ProCharger F1R huffer that blows into a Rich Groh Racing 322ci stroker, Justin opened things up with a stout 9.41 at 145 mph. After running a quicker 9.35, he went back into the pits and said he was going for broke.

With the first two runs being on motor and boost only, Justin decided to crack open the nitrous bottle for a 150hp hit of the sauce. On that fateful run, he torched the tires in the waterbox, heating the Mickey Thompson drag radials to perfection for maximum grip. The Tree fell, the rpm was brought to the proper level, and Justin left the line hanging the front tires almost a foot off of the ground. Through the lights, the silver S197 ripped off an astounding 9.05-second pass at a thumping 148 mph. After cruising back to the pits and opening the hood, Justin noticed the blower inlet tube was off right where it feeds into the mass air meter. He looked at the run a bit closer and realized that the tube came off at around 1,200 feet downtrack, meaning that that 9.05 could have been an 8.98 or an 8.99. While we were thrilled with his 9.05, we were all left wondering about what could have been.

STANG SPECS
Owner: Justin Burcham
Hometown: Glen Burnie, MD
Driver: Justin Burcham
Year: '05
Weight w/Driver: 3,786 lbs
Engine: Rich Groh Racing 322ci
stroker
Built/Tuned By: Rich Groh Racing/
JPC Racing
Power Adder: ProCharger F1R
centrifugal supercharger
pushing 25 lbs of boost
with a 150-shot of nitrous
through a Wilson Manifolds
direct-port nitrous system
Heads: {{{Fox}}} Lake CNC-ported
Camshafts: Custom Rich Groh Racing
Transmission: TCI Turbo-400 three-
speed automatic
Best E.T./MPH: 9.054/148.30
LOG BOOK
Run # 60-ft ET MPH
1 1.372 9.054 148.30
2 1.397 9.353 146.02
3 1.390 9.415 145.20

2nd Place
Jim D'Amore
Freehold, New Jersey
'05 Mustang GT
9.88/139
D'Amore had one of the more unique cars at the shootout. For starters, the former MM&FF feature car showcased the only positive-displacement blower out of the bunch, in the form of a Saleen Series VI supercharger. The blower stuffs 14 pounds of boost into a 298ci stroker motor. D'Amore, of JDM Engineering fame, also was the only one to pilot a car that still sports the factory 5R55S transmission. Making the car even more unique is that the trans is still in stock form.

D'Amore opened the shootout with a 10.04 at 136 mph, obliterating the rear tires upon launch. He returned to the pits, put the ballast back in the rear of the car, and proceeded to light up the scoreboards with a pair of 9.88-second e.t.'s. Throw in a trap speed of 139 mph, and this Windveil Blue Mustang was one stout piece.

STANG SPECS
Owner: Joseph Intravaia
Hometown: Freehold, NJ
Driver: Jim D'Amore
Year: '05
Weight w/Driver: 3,778 lbs
Engine: JDM Engineering 298ci
stroker
Built/Tuned By: JDM Engineering
Power Adder: Saleen Series VI positive-
displacement supercharger
pushing 14 lbs of boost
Heads: CNC-ported with oversize
valves
Camshafts: Stock
Transmission: Stock 5R55S five-speed
automatic
Best E.T./MPH: 9.880/139.01
LOG BOOK
Run # 60-ft ET MPH
1 1.341 9.880 139.01
2 1.346 9.883 136.54
3 1.458 10.044 136.41

3rd Place
Joe Marini
Clinton, Maryland
'05 Mustang GT
9.99/136
When we saw Joe Marini pull his Legend Lime '05 GT off the trailer, we had images of Project MILF floating through our heads. If only our former project car had gone as quick and fast as his S197.

To be honest, Joe's Mustang was a silent killer, as its turbocharged stroker engine purred like a kitten at idle while whispering efficiently when under full boost. The Stang lived most of the day in the mid- to low-10 second zone before turning up the wick and ripping off an astounding (and quiet) 9.99-second pass. The ultimate kicker was that, minus the car's track shoes, it passed the street-racer inspection.

STANG SPECS
Owner: Joe Marini
Hometown: Clinton, MD
Driver: Joe Marini
Year: '05
Weight w/Driver: 3,540 lbs
Engine: Rich Groh Racing 302ci
stroker
Built/Tuned By: Rich Groh Racing/
JPC Racing
Power Adder: Hellion Power Systems
76mm turbo pushing
22 lbs of boost
Heads: Stock
Camshafts: Comp Cams
Transmission: TCI Turbo-400 three-speed
automatic
Best E.T./MPH: 9.991/136.66
LOG BOOK
Run # 60-ft ET MPH
1 1.440 9.991 136.30
2 1.466 10.107 134.24
3 1.514 10.110 134.50

4th Place
Brad Albert
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
'05 Mustang GT
10.24/133
Brad Albert's '05 Mustang GT was one of the three turbocharged entries in the shootout. Although Brad made only two passes, he was right up there with everyone else, ripping off a pair of mid- to low-10-second laps.

His silver S197 used the 22 pounds of boost from the Powerhouse turbo to open up things, with a best run of the day, a 10.24. Of interest was that the powerplant in Brad's Mustang saw only a slight overbore of the cylinders to bring displacement up to 283 ci from the standard 281 stock figure. Either way, this mighty little poked mod motor held its own against all of those strokers.

STANG SPECS
Owner: Brad Albert
Hometown: Bethel Park, PA
Driver: Brad Albert
Year: '05
Weight w/Driver: 3,670 lbs
Engine: {{{Fox}}} Lake 283 ci
Built/Tuned By: Fox Lake/Powerhouse
Power Adder: Powerhouse 70mm
turbo pushing 22 lbs
of boost
Heads: Fox Lake
Camshafts: Stock
Transmission: Performance Automatic
4R70W four-speed
automatic
Best E.T./MPH: 10.245/133.54
LOG BOOK
Run # 60-ft ET MPH
1 1.508 10.245 133.54
2 1.516 10.466 131.46

5th Place
Will Carroll
Fairview Park, Ohio
'05 Mustang GT
10.32/133
Of all the cars that came to the shootout, Will Carroll's Redfire Metallic Mustang GT is the one we would've been stupid enough to mess with at the stoplight. That's because the car looks like a normal, stock Mustang GT, even down to the stock wheels.

Once the loud pedal is planted, though, looks are deceiving, as this nimble Pony will walk away from just about anything it lines up against-after hiking those heavy front wheels off the ground upon launch to boot. Will went so far as to take the stock rear wheels and widen them for the bigger meats he needs for traction. Now that's wild! He stayed in the mid- to low-10-second zone but ripped off a few 10.30s as well. A stock-appearing Mustang with a turbo that goes 10.30s? Where are the money races?

STANG SPECS
Owner: Will Carroll
Hometown: Fairview Park, OH
Driver: Will Carroll
Year: '05
Weight w/Driver: 3,794 lbs
Engine: {{{Fox}}} Lake 298ci stroker
Built/Tuned By: Fox Lake/Powerhouse
Power Adder: Powerhouse 67mm turbo
pushing 20 lbs of boost
Heads: Fox Lake
Camshafts: Stock
Transmission: Lentech 4R70W four-
speed automatic
Best E.T./MPH: 10.325/133.76
LOG BOOK
Run # 60-ft ET MPH
1 1.513 10.325 133.76
2 1.540 10.336 133.29
3 1.586 10.450 133.38

6th Place
Chad Miller
Springfield, Illinois
'06 Mustang GT
10.43/131
To say that, when compared to everyone else who came to our shootout, Chad Miller bucked the trend, would be a wise statement. The Mustang GT in which he rolled into Raceway Park sported a recently completed manual-to-automatic tranny swap. More importantly, and incredulously, is that Chad's Three-Valve powerplant still showcased the factory bore-and-stroke dimensions.

This little small-block wasn't poked or stroked; it just ingests 18.5 pounds of boosted ProCharger atmosphere. In fact, Chad's powerplant is all stock, so when looking at how much boost this mod motor saw, it's pretty astounding that the thing lived at all, much less lighting up the scoreboards with mid-10-second laps. Chad started the shootout off relatively conservative before turning up the wick on his last two passes of the day. The result was a pair of 10.4-second laps with trap speeds approaching nearly 132 mph. To think all of this was accomplished with a stock motor and a blower. Go figure!

STANG SPECS
Owner: Chad Miller
Hometown: Springfield, IL
Driver: Chad Miller
Year: '06
Weight w/Driver: 3,498 lbs
Engine: Stock
Built/Tuned By: FC Customs
Power Adder: ProCharger F1R
centrifugal supercharger
pushing 18.5 lbs of
boost
Heads: Stock
Camshafts: Stock
Transmission: Lentech 4R70W
four-speed automatic
Best E.T./MPH: 10.437/131.91
LOG BOOK
Run # 60-ft ET MPH
1 1.524 10.437 131.91
2 1.527 10.460 131.43
3 1.536 10.587 129.14