Eddie Maloney
May 19, 2017

When Ford first unveiled the new S550 body style at the 2014 SEMA, the Mustang enthusiasts couldn’t wait to get their hands on one. Customers almost immediately said that the revamped design not only looked amazing, but was built far better than any other body style in the past. For the same reasons, it caught the eye of Farmington, New Mexico’s Mike Hatch.

In October 2015, Michael Hatch attended the NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky; it was at that event he watched Ron Booth and Melissa Urists’ 2015 Mustang GT in action. Right then, he knew he had to have the all-new S550. After the race was over, Hatch already had the vision for what modifications he wanted to do. A month later, Mike found his Ruby Red 2016 Mustang GT premium. Fortunately, Mike shares the same zip code with some very well-known drag racers, so he knew he was already in good company for the build.

The combination of the Weld wheels, the stance, and the Ruby Red has set the S550 body style apart from its predecessors.

Just one month later the build process began and incidentally, he now had two Mustangs under construction. His other ride is a 2010 Mustang X275 radial car being built by Overkill Race Cars in Denver, Colorado. For now, the 2010 build was put on hold and the 2016 was just beginning!

The engine stayed as it was from the factory for the better part of ten months and the Coyote powerplant was complemented with a twin turbo setup from Hellion Turbo Systems. This combination produced just over 1,060 horsepower with the factory internals. To achieve these numbers, Mike had two well-known names in the Mustang world guiding his every move; Chris Groves of the Dyno Edge and John Urist of Hellion Power Systems. Fueling the fire is a JPC Extreme 2400 HP Fuel system, Dynamic ID1000 injectors, and three in-tank Walbro fuel pumps. HP Tuners is the choice for engine management and a Turbosmart E2 series was chosen to maintain boost control.

The original coyote engine utilized stock internals and made roughly 1,060hp. The new forged combination generated over 1,353hp to the wheels with Darton Sleeves and Manley rods and pistons.

After the engine modifications were complete, Mike ordered a built 6R80 with a JMS transbrake from Power by the Hour Performance. This is a factory rebuilt transmission with solid internals, including Exedy Stage 2 friction clutches, TCS billet intermediate shaft and upgraded bearings and solenoids. The factory rearend was replaced with a GForce engineering Ford 9-inch IRS setup with Strange 35 Spline S-Trac differential. Additional safety items include a driveshaft safety loop and a PST aluminum driveshaft.

When it came to suspension, the front suspension remains unchanged. Rear shocks were swapped for an adjustable set from Viking. Steeda Autosports supplied Mike with subframe connectors, sway bar, as well as an IRS Stop the Hop package.

It’s said that the wheel and tire package can make or break the appearance of a vehicle; that’s why a set on 17-inch Weld V-Series were installed up from and big 17x10 S76 series out back. The 2016 Mustang GTs are known to scale nearly 4,000 pounds, so 6 piston Aerospace Components brake system are on all four corners, along with a Stroud parachute.

The interior is mostly stock; however, all factory power options such as heat, air conditioning, and navigation are all functional. Since the car would be raced in competitions throughout the country, Mike installed a Watson Racing ten-point roll cage that was certified to go 8.50s. A Stroud five-point harness were also added to the factory Recaro seats to make this Stang legal for track duty.

Full factory interior and options remain with the addition of the rear seat delete kit from Watson Racing. Mike installed a full 8.50 certified Watson Roll cage and Stroud five-point harnesses.

Soon after the car was completed, Mike entered it in its first race, All Out Call Out at Albuquerque Dragway. After the all the test passes were complete, the car headed to Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colorado for the Street Car Takeover event. Mike completed his NHRA license runs and ran a best of 9.58 at over 150 mph at roughly 10,000 feet altitude. And get this; the mustang also did a road tour, sightseeing through downtown Denver.

For the next phase, Mike wanted more power than the stock engine could handle and decided it was time to install the engine he had built by Jeremiah Hussey at Modular Performance Solutions. The new powerplant was sleeved, and supported to handle the boost from the twin 62mm turbos. Ironically, this is the same style engine Mike plans to put in his 2010 Mustang for X275 competition. Getting the itch to hit the track with more power, Mike decided he wanted to compete in the Mod Nationals in Memphis, NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, and the Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas. Knowing they were pushing the limitations on the drivetrain with the new engine, it was time to head back to The Dyno Edge for tuning. This time around, the GT made 1,353hp to the wheels!

Unfortunately, Mike’s gut feeling was right, the driveshaft and transmission didn’t survive the added horsepower. Now what happened on the dyno, some might say it’s bad luck, but Mike said it was a blessing that it didn’t happen on the track. This all happened a few days prior to the Memphis race, so he had to move on and focus on getting prepared for Bowling Green and Las Vegas. PST honored their driveshaft and sent Mike an all-new carbon fiber piece. A Turbo 400 from Performance Transmission complete with a Reid case and Precision Performance Products shifter was chosen to replace the 6R80; if you didn’t already know, built Turbo 400s are often the transmission of choice in heavy race car applications.

After this long journey, Mike was able to finally compete in the Turbo Coyote Shootout at the NMRA World Finals. After gaining solid data, Mike was ready for Vegas. Racing at Las Vegas was one of Mikes bucket list items and he was able to do that, but it required entering the highly contested Outlaw 8.5 category, which is run in the eighth-mile format. Forty plus cars showed up, lobbying to make the 32-car field and Mike made the show by qualifying in the number 23 spot. Mike ran a career best 5.32 at 132 mph.

Overall, Mike has been extremely happy with the cars performance all while still being able to take is wife Crystal in it for date nights. You can plan catching this ruby red campaigning at several tracks in 2017.

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