Michael Galimi
July 27, 2010

Would it be enough? That question was answered three hours later as we departed for Maryland International Raceway (MIR). Originally, Burcham was going to head north to Cecil County Dragway's Wednesday night test-and-tune program. The plan changed given the secrecy of the project because a rival shop was likely to be at Cecil. So Burcham called in a favor from Jason Miller at MIR, who set up a private rental. Miller hustled to prep the track, and get his ambulance and emergency crew assembled.

The night started off with two naturally aspirated runs, both far from expectations. The first hit resulted in a missed shift, and the second run just didn't feel right, so Burcham aborted.

"I was thinking too much about driving the car and watching the tach. I was trying to hit the gear precisely before it hit the factory rev limiter at 7,000 rpm, which was actually closer to 6,850 on the factory tach. The throttle blade would close shut between the gear changes-even under full throttle, no lift shifts-because we were so close to the rev-limiter." He went on to say, "The car pulled the hardest close to red line, so every shift was crucial. I messed up the first couple passes because of this, but I said 'screw it,' let's get right down to business and spray this bitch."

They drained the pump gas by jumping the fuel pump relay and then added VP 110 octane. As Burcham put it, "The high-octane fuel was our only safeguard on nitrous because we couldn't change to colder plugs or alter the ignition timing."

"I made one non-powershifted pass on the juice so we could at least check the air/fuel and get the car to the finish line under full power. That resulted in an 11.31 at 122 mph." He made one change and upped the nitrous jet by 0.004-inch in order to lean the mixture out. By an experienced estimate, the nitrous hit was the equivalent to a 125hp shot.

The next run would seal his name in the record books of Mustang drag racing. He used the same launch technique as earlier by leaving at 6,000 rpm. The car left with both front wheels dangling and it dug in for a 1.46 60-footer. Burcham breezed through the gears, power-shifting each one with accuracy at 6,800 rpm.

"I could feel the throttle letting up on each shift," commented Burcham. He kept his foot in it and only lifted slightly when he banged it into Fifth. "I didn't want to risk missing Fifth." He got it into gear flawlessly and the scoreboard lit up: 10.96 at 125 mph-mission accomplished!

"I would like to give special thanks to all the guys at the shop for busting their humps to get this done-it would not have been possible otherwise; Shannon Murphy for finding me the perfect car, other than having a six-hour round trip to go get it! Bill Talley Ford (Richmond, Virginia) was also great in making the purchase and pickup super-easy. My wife, Melanie, and our kids for not killing me after buying another Mustang, and also letting me totally rip it apart in my personal quest for another Mustang barrier. She's a saint.

"We also couldn't have done it without Jason Miller and Maryland International Raceway. He dropped everything for us."

Editor's Note: We also send thanks to the author of this story, Mike Galimi, for traveling 10 hours round trip to cover this wild fiasco. There were no guarantees we would get this done with a brand-new beast that we really knew nothing about.