Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
December 12, 2016

To foster a little friendly competition between the Big 3, Steeda Autosports came up with Pony Wars, which is a drag race/autocross event and car show open to Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, Chargers, and maybe even a CTS-V or two. Basically, it’s open to all domestic performance cars, it’s called Pony Wars, and it takes place at South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP), just north of Valdosta, Georgia.

Pony Wars took place on Saturday October 22nd, but on Friday October 21st, there was a tour of Steeda’s Valdosta manufacturing facility from 1pm to 5pm. Following the tour, everyone headed over to a pre-party meet at Hooters on Club House Drive in Valdosta.

When it comes to 2011-2014 Mustangs, it’s hard to tell what a car is going to run. It could run low-11s, or it could bust out an 8-second pass like Brett LaSala did with his 2014 GT. We didn’t foresee Brett putting down that kind of time so we had to investigate further. What we found was that Brett added Mahle pistons and Manley rods to the stock bottom end, while Brett Barber did the heads, adding PAC valve springs, but keeping the stock cams in place. Up top is a Boss intake with ID1300 fuel injectors. Boost comes from a CPR single 76mm turbo, while the custom tune is from Sai Li. A Fore Innovations return-style fuel system feeds the beast, while a Tig Vision roll cage keeps Brett safe. Using a pair of Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pros combined a complete BMR Suspension set up, Brett ran an 8.36 at 167 mph.
Edgar Negron has been on the scene several years now with his 1986 Mustang GT. The spotless Black Cherry pearl Four-Eye runs on the bottle, and is usually good for quarter-mile times in the 8.80s-8.90s. Edgar runs an aftermarket block with an Eagle crank and rods, Ross pistons, Total Seal rings, and a Bullet Racing Cams solid-roller. Up top is a pair of TEA-ported Trick Flow Hi-Ports, an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, a Biggs 950 cfm carburetor, and an Induction Solutions’ Fogger system. Kooks long-tube headers feed into a 3 ½-inch exhaust, while an MSD Grid system makes sure the candles are lit through to the top end. With a Powerglide and 4.10 gears at 3,225 pounds, Edgar ran an 8.89 at 152 mph to earn his spot in the Quick 8. Unfortunately, knowing he was up against a quicker opponent, he pushed it as hard as he could, but came up short.
Stick shift regular Jeff Smith came to Steeda’s Pony Wars prepared to do battle in either the Quick 8, if he could qualify, or the Open Comp class. However, leading up to the event, Steeda reps decided to add a stick shift class to Pony Wars. Running in the 10-teens, Jeff qualified in the top spot with his boosted 2004 Cobra. Jeff usually tries to drive the Cobra to events, but finding E85 at the pump between SGMP and his Orlando, Florida home base, towing the car made better sense. That meant he could really put the screws to it on the track, and that effort paid off with a Pony Wars Stick Shift class win.

For Saturday’s drag race, there were three classes in which to compete. Classes consisted of a Quick 8, All-Motor Heads-up class, and an Open Comp-format class. The Open Comp portion paired those with similar elapse times to make it more like a heads-up category, but it will still be based on an Open Comp, index-format. Leading up to the event, Steeda officials saw fit to add a stick shift class to the event, as well.

The All-Motor class was for cars with full interiors and drag radials, while the Quick 8 featured the quickest 8 cars, pairing them up at the end of the day in a heads-up format. The stick shift class featured five cars ready to battle it out for stick supremacy, and the winner was a familiar one.

The Steeda Autosports’ Pony Wars gives Mustang enthusiasts the opportunity to beat up on Brand-X cars instead of the usual Mustang-on-Mustang crime that is most common in the hobby. From our vantage point, fun was had by all.

Nick Blankenship had Jack Young’s Four-Eye at Pony Wars to make a run at the Quick 8 class. With a Yates-headed 411-inch small block using an Induction Solutions Fogger nitrous system and a Powerglide in the tunnel, Nick had enough power to rip the crossmember from the uni-body, which sent him home early.
Another Gotta Have It green 2014 GT at Pony Wars was that of Juan Soria. His GT boasted a Hellion Power Systems’ twin-turbo kit with Precision 62/66 turbochargers atop a Ford Performance Aluminator engine, a 6R80 with Exedy clutches, and a Circle D converter. Juan’s GT utilizes Billet Specialties wheels with a Mickey Thompson Pro Bracket Radial out back, while Li Tuning and Racing handles the tune in route to 8.60s at 164 mph.
Diode Dynamics’ Nick Caloroso drove his 2015 Mustang EcoBoost from St. Louis to Pony Wars to put the car through its paces on both the dragstrip and autocross. The EcoBoost ran a 13.2 on the dragstrip and made a 51-second run on the autocross.
Clabe Hall’s former-FHP coupe has a Ford Strokers 363ci combination with Trick Flow Twisted Wedge 11R heads and R-series intake, and a Precision 8884 single turbo. A Tremec T56 Magnum is in the tunnel with a McLeod RXT hydraulic clutch; while a set of Precision 120-lb/hr injectors take orders from a Derek Browing-tuned MegaSquirt PNP2. The Pony Wars was Clabe’s first outing with the car, and he ran a best of 11.2 on pump gas. He recently improved that time to a 10.55 at 136 mph. His goal is to run in the 9s on Nitto NT05s before switching to a more drag-oriented setup. For suspension the car has Strange Engineering adjustable struts up front with Viking double-adjustable shocks out back, and Steeda Autosports’ adjustable upper and lower control arms. Since it was an FHP car, Clabe stripped and straightened out the car before sending it over to Kelly’s Classic Automotive in Sparks, Georgia for several coats of Ingot silver. The coupe has a Maximum Motorsports cage in the car, and a full audio system featuring
The car show at the Steeda Autosports’ Pony Wars was a place where you could see a 1984 Mustang turbo convertible next to a GT350 next to a GT500. You could also see other makes and models, as well, but this is a Mustang magazine, so those cars get no play here.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery