February 29, 2012

As car enthusiasts, we love the rush of adrenaline from planting the throttle and feeling the g-force of acceleration. There's not much better than being in that moment, when you are applying horsepower, pushing the boundaries of cornering, and braking at the limit.

This past fall, Editorial Director Jim Campisano and I spent two glorious days on track, pushing hard at Putman Park Road Course, located about 30 miles outside of Indianapolis, at the Kenny Brown 25th Anniversary Celebration put on by Track Guys Performance Driving Events.

Campy and I were proud to help Kenny Brown celebrate a quarter-century in the business of making Mustangs and other Fords go fast. Over the weekend, we garnered seat time in a variety of Mustangs and reminisced with Kenny and his staff about our early days on track.

"Old Blue was the first real racecar I ever drove on a road course," said Campisano. "Gutted, loud, and purpose-built, it was all you could want in an open-track car. Heck, my name is on the roof, so you better believe I couldn't wait to get back behind the wheel.

"Like throwing on your favorite old T-shirt, Blue still fit me perfectly and was as comfortable as I remembered it. Every sound was the same and I'd not driven it in probably 10 years.

"My first track session wasn't quite what I hoped for. The track was stone-cold and wet, and the tires were older and harder than my head—not exactly the ideal combo when you're trying to attack the track in mind-bending fury. True enough, I was creeping around the track like an old lady in a Grand Marquis and still almost slid off in a couple of corners. But as the track warmed and dried and those ancient tires started coming back to life, so did my aggressiveness.

"In a few minutes I remembered everything I loved about this car. I still wish it had 100 more horsepower because the chassis and brakes are certainly up to it, but if all anyone ever does is keep the tires pumped and the brakes ready, then I'm ready for Old Blue, too," he added.

"The 25th Anniversary event has to be one of the highlights of my 25 year career with Mustangs," said Kenny Brown. "It was both uplifting and very emotional for me to see so many of our friends and Kenny Brown cars that we built and hadn't seen for years."

Kenny's emotions were strong and heartfelt amongst the crowd, as the 62 year-old suspension guru has been battling pulmonary fibrosis and hyper-reacting asthma since 2001—a combination of diseases which nearly took his life.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery