Pete Epple Technical Editor
January 24, 2011
Photos By: Team MM&FF

As the afternoon progressed, Whitlock knew it was time to lay down a number. With the Mickeys hot, he inched into the beams and brought the revs up against the converter. The car dug in hard when he let go of the transbrake button, and he stayed in the grove from start to finish. When the scoreboards at the big end lit up, we were all excited to see a 9.41-second e.t. at 132 mph, which stood as the quickest run of the day.

Justin Burcham

Crownsville, Maryland

9.84 @ 139 MPH

As the owner of Justin's Performance Center (JPC), Justin Burcham spends much of his time testing combinations. When the '11 Mustang GT was released, it made perfect sense for him to pick up a test mule. Within days of taking delivery of his 5.0-liter-powered Mustang, he was credited with being the first in the 10s ("10s Too Easy," Sept. '10).

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For our shootout, Burcham wanted to run a combination the average person could have. The factory exhaust was ditched in favor of Kook's headers and X-style midpipe; a Bassani axle-back finished off the exhaust. Burcham added a Paxton Novi2200 centrifugal supercharger, a custom-made 4.5-inch mass air meter housing keeps track of the incoming air, and a Paxton air-to-air intercool keeps the air charge temperatures under control. The Paxton system cranks out 9 psi of boost with a 3.400-inch pulley. Once Kevin MacDonald worked his magic in the computer, the 5.0 laid down 661 rwhp.

At the track, Burcham blasted out a 10.60 at 132 mph, followed by a better 10.53 at 131 mph, but he wasn't happy with how the car was leaving the starting line. The front and rear springs were adjusted to level out the ride heights, resulting in better weight transfer. Burcham also decided to swap supercharger pulleys. The 3.400-inch pulley was replaced with a 3.250-inch pulley, which added about 2.5 psi of boost.

Burcham's next pass netted a near half-second improvement-a 9.97 at 137 mph. After a few more adjustments, he rolled up to the line again, dumped the clutch, and rowed through the gears in his Tremec TKO-600. His e.t. improved to a 9.84 at 139 mph, the fastest mph of the day.

Richard Lelsz

Alvin, Texas

9.94 @ 133 MPH

Coming into our shootout, Richard Lelsz had the quickest and fastest pass to date with a 2011 5.0-powered Mustang. Lelsz is the owner of Strictly Performance in Houston, Texas, and picked up his white 2011 to test combinations for the shop. With only a few hundred miles on the odometer, Lelsz' Mustang was equipped with a Performance Automatic C4 and 250hp direct-port fogger system from NOS. Just a few weeks before our shootout, Lelsz churned out the first 9-second pass with a 9.96 at 137 mph at Houston Raceway Park.

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Lelsz made the long trip from Texas to New Jersey and little had changed on the car. When he approached the line, the MM&FF staff was looking for him to set the bar early. The white GT left the line in a hurry, but like most of the other competitors, Lelsz cut the test pass short, running an 11.10 at 82 mph. For his second run, Lelsz' GT left hard again but slowed in the second half of the track to a 10.36 at only 99 mph. A fuel issue caused the problem; Lelsz sat out the next two sessions while the issue was addressed.

When Lelsz returned to the track, he let it all hang out and car responded with a 9.94-second e.t. at 133 mph. The next two passes resulted in tire spin, which ended the runs early, but Lelsz would back his quickest pass up with a 9.95 at 135 mph in his final attempt.

"The car is great!" exclaims Lelsz. "I drive it to and from work and play with it on the weekends. My favorite part about the car is how fast it is!"