Pete Epple Technical Editor
August 23, 2010
Contributers: Marc Christ Photos By: Team MM&FF

1st 140 Pts. (Tie)


Don Gress and Frank Perez
Sometimes a competition is so tight that there's no way to declare a clear-cut winner. That was the case with our First Place tie. Don Gress and Frank Perez both showed up with their "A" games and brought the goods. Though we would love to name a single winner, it just wouldn't be fair. So the first-ever TTT ends in a tie.

The Rundown

Weight W/Driver4,105 pounds
EngineStock 5.4L long-block with 2.8L Kenne Bell
SuspensionQA1 double-adjustable shocks and struts, Cobra Jet rear springs, Steeda upper and lowers, stabilizer bar, Panhard bar, and sway bars
BrakesStillen/Brembo six-piston fronts, drilled and slotted rotors, Shelby front brake cooling kit
Wheels And Tires
DragChrome-plated stock wheels, with 255/45ZR18 Goodyear F1 Supercar tires up front and 315/40ZR18 NT05R's in the back
Road CourseGT500 replicas wrapped in Hoosier A6 rubber, 285/30ZR18 up front and 295/30ZR18 in the back
AdvantageHaving 748 rwhp on tap
Disadvantage"I would have liked a little more practice on the road course. Plus, the Kenne Bell made it feel like my throttle was an on/off switch."
Quarter-Mile Average Et/Mph
11.940/119.54
Road Course Average
1:14.64

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Don Gress Palm Coast, Florida '08 Shelby GT500 There's no doubt that Don Gress' '08 GT500 is exactly what we were looking for when we created this event. Not only does it look as good as most GT500s, with a slew of body mods and a snake airbrushed under the hood, but it also packs big power and a customized interior, including a detailed rollbar. Having owned numerous Mustangs in the past, Don purchased his GT500 only after watching the movie I Am Legend, in which Will Smith tears up the streets of New York City in a red GT500.

Don's GT500 features Maximum Motorsports and Steeda suspension and chassis-stiffening components, custom airbrushing, and a Kenne Bell 2.8L polished blower. Don chose Nitto NT05R drag radials for the strip and Hoosier A6's all the way around for the road course. With a TunersInc tune, Don's Shelby made 748 rwhp and 683 lb-ft of torque.

After he made a few low 12-second passes, Tony Gonyon of TunersInc (Orange Park, Florida), made a couple of adjustments with the tune, changed the plugs, jumped in, and knocked off an 11.38 at 126 mph. Though he only made one pass, this was the boost that Don and his Snake needed to top the list in the drag racing portion of the competition.

On the road course, however, Don couldn't quite match up. His previously untested wheels for the road course were rubbing his front brake calipers, which caused Don to take it a little easier in the turns. In the judging portion, though, Don cleaned house. He scored a 168, putting him at the top of two of our three events, but not quite enough to be out front alone.

1st 140 Pts. (Tie)


Frank Perez
Baytown, Texas '92 Mustang LX

With only 458 rwhp and 440 lb-ft of torque, Frank's Vortech-powered notch was one of the mildest in the power department, but what it lacked in grunt, it more than made up for in functionality and appeal. It was the only Fox-body in the competition (we had very few to pick from), so it had to put on its big-boy pants against 750-plus-horsepower GT500s. And did it ever.

The Rundown

Weight W/Driver3,340 pounds
EngineStock-block with Coast High Performance's 347ci Streetfighter kit, Vortech Sc-trim, AFR 185's, a custom cam from FTI Custom, and a Trick Flow intake
SuspensionUPR K-member, Tokico coilovers and adjustable front sway bar, Maximum Motorsports uppers and lowers
Brakes'99 GT front and rear brakes with drilled and slotted rotors
Wheels And Tires
Drag18-inch CCWs with 235/40ZR18 Nitto NT555s up front and 255/50R16 M/T Drag Radials in the back
Road Course17-inch Cobra R replicas wrapped in Kumho XS 245/45ZR17s
AdvantageLight and nimble
Disadvantage"It does not make 800 rwhp like cars of today."
Quarter-Mile Average Et/Mph
12.010/116.06
Road Course Average
1:11.01

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On the dragstrip, Frank had a few issues. He'd hoped for 10s or 11s, but was only able to pull off a low-12-second average. Frank and his crew swapped the M/T ET Streets for a pair of M/T Drag Radials after only the first pass. After all, Frank placed Third in the quarter-mile portion of the competition with a 12.01-second average.

On the road course, Frank put crew member Reggie Newman behind the wheel. On a set of 245/45ZR17 Kumho XS rubber, fender-rubbing issues peeled a quarter-inch off the left front tire during the first session, but he still laid down one of his quickest lap times. The Fox also spit the power steering cap onto the track, which was never found.

For the second session, the crew moved one of the rear Kumhos to the front and put the 18-inch BFGoodrich Drag Radials on the rear. To follow was a crowd-pleasing drift performance by Reggie, resulting in a bent left front-fender lip, but they didn't care-it was good enough for Second on the road course. "I guess I'll be on the phone with Latemodel Restoration when I get home," Frank said of the bent fender.

Frank's coupe also placed Second in the judged portion of the contest, but not because your MM&FF staff are all marks for Fox-body Mustangs. It had everything you could ask out of a Triple-Threat contender-style, power, and badass appeal. Heck, it even made the entire trip from Texas (including the competition) with a baby seat strapped in. Oh, and it rolls on 18-inch CCW pucks. Pimp.