A name known very well in the Outlaw 10.5 world would be Dan Millen. With many championships and records accomplished throughout his career, he is definitely someone feared on the strip. Not only is he successful on the track but off the track as well, with his knowledge, skill, and experience, he was the driving force behind Livernois Motorsports and has been successful in that aspect of his life as well.

Dan Millen is the NMRA Pro Outlaw 10.5 Champion and record holder, along with many other championships in different racing series’ since 2001. Dan and his line of Ford Mustangs have gotten him to the point of 9 different championships and event wins along with 6 different records. One of the records being an ET of 6.66 @ 218 MPH.

Not only is Dan Millen winning races over here in the United States, but now he is winning them in different countries. The ADRL (Arabian Drag Racing League) is another series Millen is starting to compete in.

The ADRL runs as many as nine events at the Qatar raceway including: Pro Mods, Pro Bike, Super Street Bike, Street Bike, Outlaw 10.5, Top Sportsman, Super Street 8c, Super Street 6c and 7.50 index. Millen was able to bring home a victory in round 5 of the ADRL Pro Outlaw 10.5, and we got a chance to sit down and speak with him on the win.


Photo: ADRL.com

Q&A With ADRL Outlaw 10.5 Round 5 Winner Dan Millen

PowerTV: How hard was it to get your car over to Qatar?

Dan Millen : Well I definitely have to thank Sheikh Khalid for getting my car over there, I called the guy that he deals with over here and it was a real simple process. It was a lot easier than I initially thought. I was expecting it to be a real drawn out process but as long as you have your paperwork in order it’s no big deal. So we took the car to JFK in New York i gave him my paperwork, it was all scheduled, and it was about a twenty minute process.

PowerTV: Besides the car did you have to ship any of your equipment over there?

Dan Millen : What I did was shipped my car and three boxes. My tool Box, an engine, and miscellaneous parts that I would use for my car.

PowerTV: What was everyone’s reaction to seeing your car?

Dan Millen : I’ll tell you, the people over there are very appreciative of everything. They were happy to see us over there, and a lot of people were surprised we were there. But I got to know some pretty good guys from over there, and when they were over in the States testing, they convinced me that I needed to come back to were they are from and race.

PowerTV: Was your overall experience good, both on and off the track?

Dan Millen:It was an awesome experience, I actually can’t wait to go back. I went there for three weeks, then went back on February 7th and plan on going back there again very soon. It really is a great place.

PowerTV: In the future do you see yourself building a car and leaving it over there for those races and also having a car here in the States?

Dan Millen: I did sell my car over there, so I do plan on building a new car for next year. I do want to start racing the full series over there, that would be awesome, I don’t know what is going to happen in the immediate future but I can see that happening. The people that are over there are very very nice – I couldn’t have been treated any nicer, and it wasn’t like they just treated me nice, they treated everyone nice.

PowerTV: Were the rules any different over there than in the NMRA/NMCA?

Dan Millen :Yeah, we were 100 pounds lighter over there than here, but other than that the rules were the same

PowerTV: How was the competition in Qatar?

Dan Millen : There was only five or six cars in our class and honestly, I only won one of the first four races I went to, so the competition is pretty good. Anybody can win over there – it was anybody’s race at anytime. We did qualify number one twice I believe, and that really played in favor for us but anyone could have qualified number one that is how good the competition was.

Ford has earned the right to hold its head pretty high right now. They took a big gamble several years ago, taking out loans against every factory, idea, and even the Blue Oval logo itself to completely remake the company. That gamble has paid off, as Ford was able to avoid a government bailout, completely update their entire lineup of cars, and allowed them to begin implementing their “One Ford” global design strategy.

But the One Ford strategy raises some important questions for performance enthusiasts like ourselves. America, Europe, and Australia are three vastly different markets. America loves muscle cars. Europe loves tight handling and turbochargers. And Australia is home to the twin-turbo V6 and sport utes. Three different markets, three different performance divisions. How will Ford walk this high-horsepower minefield without alienating their core devotees?


Hannu Mikkola’s winning Escort RS1600, the genesis of the Rallye Sport division
Picture: Mike Roberts

RS Devision – Rallye Sport

Of the three marques, the RS, or Rallye Sport, is the oldest, having its roots back in the late 1960’s alongside Ford’s Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO). In 1968 the original Twin-Cam Escort made its racing debut, racking up an astonishing number of victories in its inaugural season including the 1,000 Lakes Rally in Finland.

The RS brand was born with the Escort RS1600, a rear-wheel drive European coupe. The car found success on the rally circuit almost immediately, with Finnish driver Hannu Mikkola winning the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally. There were two versions of the car; a 1.6 liter DOHC engine featuring up to 160 horsepower, or the more durable 1.8 liter pushrod engine with about 90 horsepower. It was the latter car that actually won the 1970 race, and also took the number 3 and 5 positions as well.

The AVO moniker would fall out of favor soon enough, though RS stuck around. Since 1970, 20 different cars have been badged with the RS moniker. This would also give rise to the famous Cosworth Escorts, but alas, America never got any of these awesome cars. European only, and it looks to be that way for the foreseeable future. The only way to get a new Focus RS is to import one, or find it for sale in Mexico. Team RS recently got a new leader too, Jost Capito, whose job it is to bring all the Ford performance divisions together.


Ford SVT Raptor
Pictures: Ford

SVT Devision – Special Vehicles Team, formally SVO

Which brings us to the second oldest performance division, the Special Vehicles Team, or SVT. SVT actually got its start as SVO, or Special Vehicle Operations, whose most famous contribution to the Blue Oval lineup was the mid-80’s 4-cylinder turbocharged Mustang. SVO eventually became SVT. The SVO Mustang was the only SVO vehicle, though they did make a number of performance parts marketed through Ford Racing.

SVT became a household name (at least among gearheads) in 1993 when the marque debuted the F-150 Lightning and the Mustang Cobra/Cobra R. These vehicles solidified SVT’s position as a performance leader. While they mostly have stuck to modifying V8 engines, SVT has dabbled in four-cylinder performance with the SVT Contour and SVT Focus (both of which have been discontinued). Right now, SVT is offering a performance package for the Shelby GT500, as well as the Raptor off-road truck.


Ford Falcon XR6 Sport Ute

Last but not Least – FPV – Ford Performance Vehicles

Finally, there is FPV, or Ford Performance Vehicles, the Australian arm of Ford performance. This brand came about as a partnership between privately-owned Trickford Vehicle Engineering, who produced two high-powered variants of the popular Ford Falcon (rumored to be on its way out), the XR6 and XR8. Whereas RS stuck with four cylinder engines, and SVT mostly worked on V8 engines, FPV has always walked the middle ground.

While they offer their own version of the Boss V8, arguably their best engines are the turbocharged 4.0 liter inline-six cylinder engines on the XR6 Falcon. With 360 horsepower and 410 ft-lbs of torque, six-speed manual transmission, and better gas mileage than its V8 counterpart, it is possibly the best Blue Oval vehicle we don’t get in America. Then there are the sport utes, something unique and popular in Australia, but a fad that most of the rest of the world has failed to embrace (yes, America had the El Camino and Ranchero…25 years ago).


Ford Focus RS

Which leaves us wondering; as Ford implements the One Ford strategy, which brand will survive? Will they find a way to allow all three divisions to maintain their unique identities? We’d like to have the option of all three. Ford has the unique advantage among the Big Three of dabbling in all these areas, so we could end up with the best of all three worlds. The Blue Oval has been expanding its racing teams recently to include Ken Block and a new Fiesta rally racer, and the new Mustang has nearly as much horsepower as the 2010 Camaro SS. There is also the Boss 302R working its way around road courses across the country, and the EcoBoost line of engines likely borrowed a bit of know-how from FPV. Still one has got to wonder what the Ford performance vehicles of the next ten years will look like.

We can’t hardly wait.

Ford Racing Celebrates 2010 Cobra Jet Delivery

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Ford Racing opened up the 2010 Mustang Cobra Jet build facility to customers, vendors, partners and employees to celebrate the “Job Done”, the completion of 50 new Cobra Jets.

Seventeen Cobra Jet customers made the trek to snowy Flat Rock, Michigan to pick up their factory built race cars. While at the Mustang plant, the new owners had the opportunity to meet the employees that built the cars and help celebrate the life of the Cobra Jet’s founding father, the late Bob Tasca.

Bob Tasca, Jr stopped by to participate in the celebration as he was on his way to Pomona to race his Mustang Nitro Funny Car at the NHRA Winternationals. Tasca, Jr. recalled how his grandfather and his dealership mechanics helped create the first Cobra Jet prototype.

“He set it up with a 428 out of the Police Interceptor package. It had a longer stroke so it had a little more torque,” recalled Tasca. “He put 406 cylinder heads on it with larger intake and exhaust valves. He put that combination together and in a Mustang it was potent. It really reflected what he thought would Win on Sunday and Sell on Monday.”


Bob Tasca, Jr. stopped by on his route to Pomona to thanks those that participated in the Cobra Jet progam, a car his late grandfather Bob Tasca created.

Tasca Jr. said that after a few weeks of driving the Mustang around Providence, Rhode Island, Ford invited his grandfather down to Dearborn because they wanted to see the car to believe it. “The Ford engineers told him it wouldn’t work and it couldn’t cool,“ said Tasca. “My grandfather told them that that was funny because he had been driving it all week and that there was nothing wrong with it. He brought it to Detroit and Ford realized that the package that he put together was legit. That’s why he loved Ford because they got it. Ford got behind him and decided to build these exciting cars. Turn the clock foreward and even in these tough economic times they are producing this car. They are the only manufacturer in the world that’s doing what they are doing here. It’s a great tribute for Ford and more importantly a great tribute to our customers.”

Brent Hajek was the lucky recipient of the first 2010 Cobra Jet off the assembly line. If you’re not familiar with Hajek, he’s what I call a modern day version of Mickey Thompson. He was the car owner of John Calvert’s 2009 Winternationals winning Cobra Jet and has been to Bonneville with Mickey’s son Danny Thompson driving a Mustang to 250+ mph. He even coaxed Bill Elliott back to Talladega to attempt a closed course record in an E-85 powered late model Mustang. Hajek took delivery of the first 2008 Cobra Jet and bought several more. He was excited to take delivery of the first 2010 Super Cobra Jet and has big plans for the new year.


Brent Hajek was the lucky recipient of the first 2010 Cobra Jet off the assembly line. He he accepts the keys from Ford Racing’s Andy Slankard.

“We made history last year at the NHRA Winternationals, we went out and won the thing on the 40th Anniversary of the Cobra Jet”, said Hajek. “It’s just gotten better from there. We went out and kicked the Dodge Challenger Drag Pack’s butt. Got to run against Big Daddy’s Dodge at Indy. Set some national records and were ready to take this 2010 and see what it can do. These guys built a heck of a machine and we’ve got some cool things in the works for 2010. I hope to make Big Bob Tasca proud!”


Randy “Mr. Big Stuff” Payne made the trip north to pick up his car. In 1969, Payne teamed up with Herbert Platt to run Ford’s Eastern Ford Drag Team.

Another 2010 Cobra Jet owner making the trek to Michigan was Rome, Georgia’s Randy “Mr. Big Stuff” Payne. In 1969, Payne teamed up with Herbert Platt to run Ford’s Eastern Ford Drag Team. Platt and Payne hit the road in a two car open hauler with Platt’s CJ powered Mustang and Payne’s Torino Cobra Super Stocker. Back in 1969, the team ran a heavy schedule of drag racing events and held performance clinics at local Ford dealerships.

Randy’s son Butch still races in NHRA’s Stock Eliminator and the family was excited about picking up the car and getting back to Georgia. The Payne’s even brought some of the old photos from the Ford Drag Team Days and displayed them next to their new car.


Grace Howell (right) and the Howell family from Aiken, South Carolina will race their 2010 Cobra Jet in AA/SA. Debut is planned at the Gatornationals

Another tried and true Ford family taking delivery of a 2010 Cobra Jet was Grace Howell and the Howell family from Aiken, South Carolina. For several years, Grace campaigned a 1995 Cobra R in NHRA’s Super Stock class. Plans for 2010 include running the Cobra Jet in AA/SA and the Cobra R again in the Super Stock GT class. The Howell team plans on running both cars first at the NHRA Gatornationals and in other races in the Southeast and Midwest.


Jamie Allison (far right) Brian Wolfe (second from right) and other members of AAI and Ford Racing sign a Cobra Jet hood that will go up on the pilot assembly wall of fame.

Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports was on hand to congratulate his Ford Racing team that helped make the 2010 Cobra Jet a reality. As head of Ford Racing Performance Parts last year, Jamie was instrumental in making the additional run of 50 2010 Cobra Jets happen.

Also on hand was Brian Wolfe, who was head of Ford Racing last year when the 2010 Cobra Jet was designed and developed. Credit goes to Brian for many of the racer friendly features on the new car. Features that include; transmission access panel, engine/transmission options and other go fast goodies.


Seventeen 2010 Cobra Jet owners visited the assembly line where their cars were made to celebrate “Job One” and “Job Done” with Ford Racing


2010 Cobra Jet delivery took place at the Mustang Plant Pilot Assembly Line. Owners were already applying graphics to their cars like Ray Skillman Ford

After years of competing with the only Ford product in NHRA’s Pro Stock class, Jim Cunningham’s dedication to the Blue Oval appears to be paying off. Hopefully in 2010, the days of packing-up the trailer on Saturday after not making the tough 16 car NHRA Pro Stock field are over. Since entering Pro Stock, Cunningham has been down on power compared to the GM DRCE and Mopar Hemi powerplants . Even though 2009 was not a very competitive year in terms of qualifying for Cunningham Motorsports, the team was able to work with Ford Racing as the development team in its return to the factory hot rod class. Cunningham Motorsports is now hoping to get back into the winner’s circle!


Check out the full gallery here.

A new 2010 Mustang Pro Stock carbon fiber body was designed by a team made up of chassis builder Don Ness, Ford Racing aerodynamics engineers, and Cunningham Motorsports. For the fist time since production began in 2005, the S197 Mustang body went through extensive wind tunnel testing prior to NHRA’s approval. Ford is returning to Pro Stock in 2010 with four to six competitive drivers and is going to be an official vehicle sponsor for NHRA. Because of this, Ford wanted to ensure that its entry was as good as the sleek Pontiac GXP, Dodge Avenger, and Chevrolet Cobalts that compete in the same class.

Although 2009 was a tough year for Cunningham, it wasn’t a complete wash. The team was not an NHRA “Wally” for a Pro Stock win, but Cunningham Motorsports was awarded the 2009 US Nationals Best Engineered award for the 2010 Mustangs entered at the Big Go. The team parked the bright red Mustangs after Indy to concentrate on the new Ford Pro Stock engine. At the NHRA Finals in Pomona they tested the new engines with Ford Racing engineers on hand. We had the opportunity to talk to Cunningham Motorsports crew chief Marcus Bowen, driver Erica Enders, and Ford Racing engineer Mose Nowland about the Ford Pro Stock Program.

Cunningham Motorsport’s Crew Chief Marcus Bowen Ready for 2010

After years of massaging, tinkering, and trying to coax more speed out of the old Mustang Pro Stocker and Ford Racing A500 block / E460 head, Marcus Bowen jumped at the opportunity to help develop the new Ford Racing Mustang Pro Stock bullet. “Ford Racing has gone above and beyond with this being the first year for this program,” said Bowen. “Brian Wolfe came in and wanted to do the Pro Stock program with us, so we got right on it and he put his best people on it. Everything has been done in under a year’s time now. I was in a meeting last November and Jim was like ‘whatever it takes to do it Brian’. They came out to our shop in Maryland to see what we had. A lot of teams out here are more on the assembly shop side of things. They order their parts in, assemble the engines, and dyno them. We are doing all our own CNC work and our own dyno work. A lot of our stuff stays in the shop and does not go out. After the meeting Brian and the Ford Racing engineers were pretty gung-ho to get this program going.”

According to Bowen, Jerry Hass originally designed the first 2005 Mustang that Cunningham ran for five years. The carbon fiber body was never an aero “tweaked” body with no real wind tunnel testing. The Mustang body was something that was created by “Hairy” Glass for the IHRA racers that were running Fords. “The 2010 Mustang Pro Stock body is sleeker with a lot of help from Ford Racings aerodynamic engineers,” said Bowen. “We had both bodies in the wind tunnel back in February of this year along with a couple of GM and Dodge cars. Ford was able to compare all four cars and they were really happy with the results. It’s now right on par with the Pontiac GXP which is the best aero car in the Pro Stock class.“

Along with the new Mustang body, Ford Racing has been working with Cunningham Motorsports on a new 500 cubic inch Pro Stock block and heads. The new engine is based on a Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) block that is much lighter than the old grey iron A500 block. The new block is more rigid and incorporates a “flexible” core package that allows Ford Racing to offer two cylinder head derivatives, one featuring a mirror-image port layout, and another featuring a sequential port layout. Ford Racing is also offering many of the components needed to complete the Pro Stock engine as well, including valve covers, camshaft spools, crankshaft seal retainers, stud kits, head gaskets, and cam drives.


Jim Cunningham getting ready for a round of qualifying

After casting and rough finishing in one of the Ford Racing’s Midwest foundries, the heads and blocks are shipped to Cunningham Motorsports in an unfinished form so the teams can perform the finish work at their own shops. Cunningham’s Crofton, Maryland based shop is equipped with the latest in MasterCam controlled 5-axis Millport CNC mill machines for the final prep work. As of press time, the only heads Cunningham had tested were the mirror image head. The symmetrical heads were still at the supplier and were scheduled to ship in a week. The team plans on working with both sets of heads in the offseason to see which set fits their program the best in 2010.

“We got our first set of parts on October 2nd, and we had two engines done by the end of October,” recalled Bowen. “We’ve had a little bit of dyno time on these engines. These engines are our first two initial builds of our first design and we drove 2,800 miles out here (Pomona) to see where we stand and give us an idea of where we need to be.”

Erica Enders Excited about Ford’s Return to Pro Stock

Erica Enders made waves back in 2005 when she made her NHRA Pro Stock debut with a family-run team and then later joined Cagnazzi Racing in 2006. Enders scored runner-up finishes in Pro Stock at Chicagoland in 2005 and Gainesville in 2006. Enders joined Cunningham Motorsports in 2009, and her experience will help the team sort out the new 2010 Mustang in testing.

Once the new car starts to provide data, she will provide valuable feedback in 2010 as the team fine-tunes the new combination. “I was really excited, especially with Ford expressing so much interest in getting back into Pro Stock,” said Enders. “There are a lot of drivers that don’t have a seat right now, and I’m really blessed with this opportunity. I’m really optimistic about our improved performance. Good things take time though, and I knew that when I came on board. These guys have worked their butts off, and I think we’ll do well next year.”

When asked about the learning curve in driving the 2010 Mustangs, Erica feels every new car is different and she is still adapting to all the changes. “The most important aspect to a new car is getting comfortable so you don’t have to think about anything else but driving,” said Enders. She’s been driving Pro Stock cars for over 5 years and understands all the mechanics of everything, but she knows you can never have enough seat time in a car. With every pass in a car, she is able to hear or feel something that she can then give feedback on to the team.

The 2010 Mustang was debuted at Indianapolis at the US Nationals with the old A500 engine. With the new motor in the car at Pomona, Erica was still getting comfortable with the car but could definitely notice a change in the power band. “With this motor in the car, it’s a completely different sound and feel. It’s got a lot more horsepower than our old motor. The throttle is a bit more responsive when driving the car and finessing the throttle in the burnout. All of the things we have to do to get it right are all part of the learning,” said Enders. “The whole run process is new with the new combination. For these guys working 37 days straight at 18 hours a day to get these two new motors in is an accomplishment. It’s a brand new car, and we haven’t been to this track in a year. Plus, we have new transmissions, new rearends, and new carburetors so it’s amazing we got down the track as well as we did. I could not be prouder of them. When we fired it up and pulled into the water box, I could tell a big difference. I know it sounds cliché, but with the new motor, I’m excited.”

Mose Nowland – 55 Years of Ford Racing Engines

2010 marks the 55th year of Mose Nowland’s engineering efforts with Ford Motor Company, having been with “Blue Oval” since 1955. Most of his engineering career has been working with the Ford race engine group. One special project he worked on was the original 1960’s FE family of racing engines, starting with the 406 and later the 427 cid engine. Nowland also provided factory support with the Holman Moody team and the GT-40 team that won at LeMans in 1966 and ’67. Most recently, Nowland headed up the team that developed the FR9 engine program for NASCAR.


Ford’s Pro Stock Hemi “Mirror Image” Head

When Brian Wolfe assembled the team to build a new Ford NHRA Pro Stock engine, Nowland was the natural choice. Nowland was at Pomona seeing his baby make its first runs down the quarter mile. When asked about his thoughts on being at an NHRA dragstrip after a long absence, he said he loved the NHRA atmosphere. “I’m delighted that we are back in NHRA Pro Stock. It’s important that we race cars that the customers buy and drive to work and the customer races on the weekend. It’s great for our dealers and for our performance parts business,” said Nowland.

Mose Nowland was assigned to design an engine and a head for NHRA Pro Stock within the timeframe of only one year when typical engine programs take two to three years. The team went to work to design a block and the mirror port head. For the sequential wedge head, Ford Racing contracted Pro Stock cylinder guru Darian Morgan. “Our connection with Darian was that he was contracted to do the sequential wedge head,” recalled Nowland. “Our role with him was to make sure the bolt spacing, block dimensions, and lifter arrangements would match his heads. We sent 3D models and sketches back and forth during development to make sure it fit the block.”


Ford’s Wedge Head Option

The new engine started from a clean sheet of paper, and, with Nowland’s years of experience building race engines, they applied the latest in block and head technology. “We used some of the information and data from the NASCAR program along with elements from the Glidden days to come up with an engine that is robust enough to meet today’s Pro Stock engine standards.” Ford Racing also consulted with several Ford drag racers, including Bob Glidden, on the needs and wants for the new engine.

“The other thing we looked at was trying to save an engine builder as much money as we could using bearings and parts that are in the market today” said Nowland. “We did not want to make people have to invent new parts and pieces and wonder if it was going to be durable. We are 11 months and 3 weeks into this program, so the development time was pretty quick.”

Mose’s goal for 2010 is to see a number of wins and ultimately a Pro Stock championship for Ford. His visit to Pomona’s NHRA Finals was a trip to let Ford Racing know what to work on in the offseason. After years of battling GM and Dodge in NASCAR, Nowland welcomes all the new racers to the Ford Racing family and looks foreward to racing against GM and Dodge in 2010.

First attempt at Racing the New Engines

At the 2009 NHRA Finals, both Erica Enders and Jim Cunningham made one qualifying pass on Thursday and two passes on Friday. Unfortunately, both cars failed to make the Pro Stock show. Erica’s best qualifying pass was made in the fourth session at 6.72 /204 mph which gave her the 20th spot. Jim Cunningham had the new car blues on all four qualifying passes, and he ended up last in the 23rd position.

Cunningham Motorsports was running both a Don Ness Mustang and a Jerry Haas Mustang at Pomona. The logic behind using two different chassis builders was that Ness had previous experience with body design for Ford, and therefore the team allowed him to build a chassis buck that they could use. Also, Cunningham figured they could get the new car in a reasonable amount of time since it was the prototype 2010 car for Ford. After the runs at Indy and Pomona, crew-chief Bowen and the team were still gathering data from the two drivers. “There are a lot of design differences for sure between the two cars,” said Bowen. “Chassis set-up is different, but with only five runs on the cars it’s tough to really say.”

Plans for the Off Season

When asked about the team’s plans for the offseason, Bowen said it was all about testing. “We really just plan to do a lot of dyno time and track time in the offseason. We just have to get on the dyno and just start wearing stuff out. The mirror image stuff is so new to us compared to our old program. Compared to the A500 block, the new engine showed about 25% more power on the first few pulls. It was considerably better above 9500 rpms.”

In addition to Jim Cunningham and Erica Enders, Larry Morgan and John Nobile will debut a Mustang at the 2010 Winternationals. Robert Patrick, Richard Freeman, and Frank Gugliotta will have Mustangs in NHRA competition by mid-2010. When asked about the team no longer being the lone Ford in NHRA Pro Stock, Bowen was looking forward to more Mustangs. “We were pretty excited about other racers coming over to run Fords. A lot of information does not get shared out here, but Ford will get up to speed with more teams on board. Brian Wolfe’s plan was to get more racers involved, and with Jim sticking with Ford it has now paid off,” said Bowen.


Jim Cunningham with the powerTV Booth Model at the 2010 PRI Show

There is no secret now that Roush/Yates is back in drag racing with the recent announcement made in regards to building Justin Humphreys’ Pro Stock engines. Though the team at Roush/Yates doesn’t want to just stop there, and have announced a partnership with Aeromotive on building their 2010 race engines for their 2010 Mustang. Though this isn’t a high RPM screamer, this is a twin turbo derivative of the 500ci Pro Stock engine for use in NHRA Pro Mod competition.

Showing their diversity in their engine program is what we believe made Matusek’s 2010 program an exciting one for RYE, allowing Roush/Yates to show that they can build anything you throw at them. “Our involvement in drag racing is a natural progression for us,” said Roush Yates CEO, Doug Yates. “We are looking to grow and diversify our offerings, while maintaining the competitive edge that has set us apart in other forms of racing,” Yates added.

The powerplant will be a 500ci engine, based off the new Ford Racing blocks and utilizing the Mirror Image (Hemi) heads. This bumps their cubic inches up 177ci from their 323ci Mod Motor. They are also very confident that they will make over 3000 horsepower, 800 more than the previous combination, backed by a Liberty 5-speed. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Roush Yates,” Matusek said. “The level of precision and expertise that they bring to table is actually pretty daunting. It’s a lot of fun to consider the possibilities, but we are focused on putting together a competitive program for 2010.”

When looking at the rendering, it might confuse you by seeing zoomies on a twin turbo car. They have found through Brad Personett’s ’68 Camaro that doing this helps considerably with downforce, and will be constructed from one piece of metal on each side. Additional changes made by Larry Larson will be the double frame rail chassis, versus the previous single frame rail. “I am going to take what we have learned from building Pro Mod cars over the last few years to build the new chassis, which will also have a longer wheel base”, Larson said. “We will be running this car on alcohol, so we won’t have to worry about mounting intercooler parts”. Larson hopes to have the car ready for paint in three months, and will be pleased if the car sees the track by June. The 2010 Mustang will be primarily an NHRA Pro Mod car, though they will probably run some NMCA races, and maybe some ADRL races if the short times on the Mustang look good.


Matusek’s Pro Stock body before leaving Ford.

Official Release

ROUSH YATES ENGINES STEPS IN TO A NEW ARENA WITH THEIR INTRODUCTION TO DRAG RACING

Mooresville, NC – February 2010 – Roush Yates Engines is proud to announce their participation in the 2010 drag racing season. Roush Yates Engines (RYE), well-known for their precision engines and dominance in NASCAR, ARCA and more recently Grand-American Racing, has announced their introduction to drag racing with two new exciting programs for the 2010 NHRA Drag Racing season.

Roush Yates Engines’ first endeavor puts them right into the throws of NHRA Pro Stock. Justin Humphreys, current NHRA Pro Stock driver, will campaign a 2010 Ford Mustang powered by Ford’s new 500 cu. in. power plant, built and developed by RYE. Humphreys, who has competed in NHRA Pro Stock the last 3 seasons will be the first to campaign a Roush Yates Ford engine in NHRA Pro Stock.

In addition to their involvement in Pro Stock, Roush Yates Engines is teaming up with Aeromotive Fuel Systems to build another 500 cu. in. Ford power plant. This one however, a twin-turbocharged version to campaign in NHRA’s Pro Mod class. Aeromotive Founder and President, Steve Matusek campaigned an ’07 Mustang powered by a twin-turbo 5.4L mod motor the last few seasons, but steps up the game with their new 2010 Mustang powered by Ford and Roush Yates. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Roush Yates,” Matusek said. “The level of precision and expertise that they bring to table is actually pretty daunting. It’s a lot of fun to consider the possibilities, but we are focused on putting together a competitive program for 2010.”

“Our involvement in drag racing is a natural progression for us,” said Roush Yates CEO, Doug Yates. “We are looking to grow and diversify our offerings, while maintaining the competitive edge that has set us apart in other forms of racing,” Yates added. RYE plans to utilize existing technology to produce engines at the highest level for both professional and sportsman drag racing. In fact, General Manager of Roush Yates’ NASCAR engine programs, George Gable is building a C-Altered to compete in NHRA Comp Eliminator using the RYE 358 cu. in. spec engine for the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Look for more announcements and developments like these from RYE in the coming months.

Roush Yates Engines designs, engineers and crafts high performance racing engines with the power to perform and the horsepower and durability you’d expect from legendary NASCAR pioneers Jack Roush and Robert Yates. At Roush Yates Engines, the mission is Power Performance, which is achieved through innovative design, precision engineering and skillful craftsmanship. Building the best engines in racing today, providing service that’s second to none and honoring a commitment to research and development are at the heart of Roush Yates Engines.

Following the Complete Build of a 2010 Cobra Jet

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
Following in the rich tradition of previous Ford factory built Mustang race cars like the 1968 Cobra Jet, the Boss 429 and the FR500S Mustang Challenge car, Ford Racing and AAI (aka the Mustang Plant) started work on a production run of 50 Cobra Jet Mustangs. Two years ago, Ford Racing built 50 Cobra Jet Mustangs at Ford vendor facilities, but the 2010 edition of the car returned home to Flat Rock, Michigan.

For a complete 2010 Cobra Jet build picture gallery, CLICK HERE.

ALSO CHECK BACK IN A FEW WEEKS FOR THE FULL BUILD VIDEO!

In 2005, AAI started building the S197 version of the Mustang and to date has produced over 800,000 units, a number thats pretty impressive considering its a two door sports car. All V6, GT and GT500 models are manufactured on the main line and the build team knew they wanted to be a part of the historic car. While impossible to build on the high volume main line, the 2010 Cobra Jet was built on the AAI pilot assembly line where the plant performs new model training and workstation development. The pilot assembly team is made up of seasoned main line technicians and welcomed the challenge of building such a high profile Mustang.

A 2010 Cobra Jet starts out life as a “prepped” body-in-white 2010 Mustang. Prior to arriving at the Cobra Jet line, a 2010 shell was produced on the main AAI body line and painted Performance White. After paint the unit is sent to Watson Engineering in Taylor, Michigan for an NHRA legal 8.50 e.t. 10-point chromoly cage install. Watson Engineering also installed the rear back seat delete panel, firewall cover plates and transmission access panels. After the cage and body updates were complete at Watson, the body was shipped back to AAI for another trip down the main assembly paint line to coat the cage and interior Performance White in preparation for the Cobra Jet line.

There are two Cobra Jet assembly lines that merge into one assembly line after the car is built into a “roller”. When the Cobra Jet body hits the first build station, the line technician removes the doors for easier access to the interior. The composite cowl hood is also removed to access the engine bay. All installed parts are binned near the station where they will be installed. A computer terminal also provides the technician with build information specific to each car.

Station 1 of the Build

The first part installed on the car is the main wiring harness for the electronics. An electrical bulkhead panel is installed on the passenger side firewall and the battery cable is routed towards the trunk for the electrical kill switch that is mounted on the rear of the quarter panel per NHRA specifications. One cool thing about the Cobra Jet build is that the only parts installed are go fast or safety related items. The body is void of insulation and other sound deading material that weigh a car down. Ford Racing engineers also kept wiring to a minimum to save weight.

After the cabin wiring harness is installed, the battery hold down bracket and Aeromotive Stealth Fuel system is mounted in the trunk. The Stealth Fuel Cell developed for the Cobra Jet is a 6-gallon aluminum racing fuel cell with an Aeromotive Eliminator fuel pump and filter inside the cell unit.

Once the trunk is squared away with the kill switch, fuel cell and battery mount, the technician lifts the body with an overhead hoist to access the floor pan. On the underside of the car the technician installs the upper control arm mount, driveshaft loop, lower radiator support, rear shocks, brake lines and fuel lines. The radiator support (shown above) is a tubular item and weighs a lot less than the OEM Mustang unit.

Station 2 – Interior and Engine Bay Parts

After the underbody is complete in Station 1, the car moves onto Station 2 for interior assembly and engine bay parts install. The first item installed in Station 2 is the carpet as well as the rear interior panels and rear shelf cover. The OEM factory headliner is also part of the Cobra Jet build to complete the plush interior of the factory built racecar. The Cobra Jet 10 point cage has also been pre-certified by an NHRA chassis inspector so the new owner can roll the car right off the trailer and into the tech line.

For the IP (Instrument Panel) install, a preassembled unit complete with Auto Meter Monster Tach is installed. The panel also features the fuse box right where the passenger airbag cover used to be for easy access in the event a fuse blows. Once the IP is in place, Automatic equipped Cobra Jets have a Hurst Quarter Stick shifter mounted to the transmission shifter bracket. One interesting thing Ford Racing engineered into the 2010 car is a removable panel to access the transmission servo and shift linkage.

Once the IP and carpet is installed the line technicians move to the front of the car to install the radiator/fan unit, intercooler heat exchanger and intercooler pump. For an intercooler pump Ford Racing selected a 55-gallon per hour Meziere unit to help intercooler cool the air charge.

Since the pilot assembly line does not move like typical assembly lines, the cars are moved from station the station using large overhead lifts. The lifts are used in the first three stations to place the bodies on adjustable skillets. The skillets can be adjusted to a comfortable height for the workers at that build station.

After the cooling system is mounted the manual brake booster and proportioning valve is installed in the drivers side engine bay. These units were built exclusively for the Cobra Jet and help save a lot of weight in the car. The CJ also has a line lock for locking the front brakes in the burnout box. There are over 100 unique part numbers for the Cobra Jet build so the crew has had to juggle inventory, Just In Time parts shipments and parts availability throughout the 3 week build.

Installing the Supercharged 5.4-liter in the Cobra Jet and Drivetrain

While the Cobra Jet features five engine options, during our visit they were building 5.4L derivatives. The 5.4 Liter Cobra Jet engines are being prepared to meet the chassis at the decking station. The engines are built at the Romeo Niche line 60 miles north of Flat Rock and shipped to the plant in batches. For 2010, Ford Racing offered two versions of the engine. A cast iron block 5.4 liter Supercharged “base” mill or an aluminum block 5.4-liter “Super Cobra Jet” powerplant as an optional upgrade.

All 5.4 Liter Super Cobra Jet engines arrive from Romeo on a engine pallet and are topped with a Ford Racing 4.0 Liter Cobra Jet Supercharger, Ford Racing engineered FEAD (Front Engine Accessory Drive), Cobra Jet Cams and Ford Racing Blue Valve Covers. Once on the engine prep line, technicians install American Racing Headers long tube headers, flywheel and the transmission. For 2010, Ford Racing made four race transmissions available, a race prepped C4 automatic, a 2 speed C2 automatic, a Tremec 6 speed, or a full race Liberty 5-speed unit.

After the engine is prepped for “decking” it’s placed in a movable fixture for attachment of the lower k-member, steering rack and lower control arms. Once the k-member, lower control arms and front spindles are attached, the drag struts are installed complete with Strange Engineering lightweight brake rotors and two piston calipers.

While the engine/front suspension is being prepped, the rear axle is being readied for installation. The Cobra Jet 9” unit is built by Strange Engineering and shipped as a ready to install item complete with rear disc brakes. For 2010 Cobra Jets, Ford Racing offered a 4.11 rear gear ratio for the automatic cars and a 4.29 gear ratio for the manual transmission package. Once the engine and rear-end are ready, a technician moves the engine onto its decking skillet and the rear end onto its own dedicated lift.

The Cobra Jet body is then lifted via the overhead hoist and placed on the “Moon Buggy” for engine and rear end installation. Once placed on the moon buggy the engine is lifted into the Cobra Jet engine bay. Two steel rods are used to “locate” the engine and cradle to the engine bay before lifting the entire assembly into the car. Once the engine and cradle is in place, the four engine cradle bolts are torqued to spec. The transmission cross member is then installed on the transmission and attached to the frame mounts.

Once the engine/transmission is secure in the chassis, the technician then moves to the rear end assembly and lifts the unit into the chassis. The upper control arm and lower control arms are attached and tightened to spec. The Cobra Jet uses spherical rod ends at all attachment points for adjustability. After the rear end is mounted the anti-roll bar system is installed. The Cobra Jet anti-roll bar unit was designed by Ford Racing and Team Z Engineering and is credited for making the car perform so well on the strip.

After the suspension is in place the Dynotech 1-piece driveshaft is installed. The production Mustang GT500 has a 2-piece drive shaft good to around 600 horsepower. With the Cobra Jet producing a bit more and engineered to take repeated 7,000 RPM launches, a beefier Dynotech unit was selected.

Wrapping up the Build

The final step after the decking station is the installation of the wheels and tires. The Cobra Jet has unique Weld Competition front 15 x 3 wheels complete with a Cobra Jet Snake machined into the wheel spoke. Tires on the 2010 Cobra Jet car are from Hoosier and the rear tire size for all the cars we saw being built were 30×10.5×15. All “Super Cobra Jet” equipped Cobra Jets get 30×10.5×15 rear meats while Manual optioned cars get 29x11x15 rear slicks. The other base 5.4L, as well as the three naturally aspirated engine variants, come with a Stock Eliminator legal 30x9x15″ slick.

After the car is a “roller”, it’s lowered down on the ground and the engine is dressed and starts to receive its own unique items. The fuel lines, engine wiring harness, intercooler reservoir, radiator reservoir, coolant lines and front fascia are all installed at this station. Once the engine bay is complete the technicians moves to the interior of the car to work on the steering gear installation, steering wheel, and switch panel.

After station four the two Cobra Jet lines merge into one as the cars are rolled into the safety belt, seat and console installation area. Belt mounts are already welded into the crossbar so the RJS safety belts are already mounted per NHRA tech rules. The Cobra Jet seats start out as basic Mustang V6 seats and an outside vendor installs the submarine belt grommet in the lower seat section and recovers the seat front with unique Cobra Jet logoed material. The headrest also includes the Cobra Jet logo for that added touch.

With the interior now complete, the doors are installed on the car as it passes through the final build station. Sure you could do without power windows but its cool hitting the window down switch to pick-up your time slip after a 9 second pass. Not to mention Ford doesn’t even offer roll down windows in any Mustang. After the doors are fit the front and rear glass is installed and the car begins to take on a finished look.

The final station is where the massive Cobra Jet throttle body, air inlet tube and K&N filter are installed. After the air intake unit is complete the car is ready to be moved to the alignment area for first start, final check and alignment.

Once on the lift, a Cobra Jet build team member starts the car for a systems check. All gauges are monitored for accuracy as well as engine sound. Once everything sounds acceptable the car is shut down for final calibration and prep.

While the car is on the lift the front and rear suspension is checked for alignment. To adjust the rear suspension, the alignment techs use the adjustable panhard bar to center the rear end. For front end alignment, the tie rods are adjusted to bring the suspension into front to rear alignment specifications.

After alignment check the cars are pushed to the decal application area for their unique Cobra Jet decal package. The base Cobra Jet decal package includes; Cobra Jet quarter panel script, CJ fender decal and 5.4-Liter Cobra Jet hood decal. This station is also where the cars get the optional Cobra Jet side decal package applied. If the owner wants a plain white car, the decals are placed in the trunk for the owners safe keeping.

While we were at the Cobra Jet assembly the build team was averaging 3-4 cars a day. Considering the complexity of some of the part installs and the hiccups that always arise the team appeared enthusiastic to be a part of the 2010 Cobra Jet program. While we don’t know if any of the 50 cars will win a NHRA National Event like John Calvert’s 2008 Cobra Jet, the 2010 version has several improvements over the first model. We’re anticipating many of these cars will hit the track early this year and, with some hard work from the racers, don’t be surprised if one dips into the 8 second zone. Impressive considering its a turn-key Ford Factory built car.

In what is likely to have been the best promoted secret in recent Ford history, a thoroughly modern V8 engine debuted recently at the North American International Auto Show. Through the past 2 years, politicians, Ford and union executives alike have been talking about the return of the 5.0-liter engine as though it was the resurrection itself. Yes, the memories are fond, but the details – cast in a modern light – are remarkably different.

Nestled between the strut towers of a 2011 Mustang GT in Detroit’s Cobo Hall, the new V8 appears at first glance to be little more than a few pieces of snap together plastic bearing a traditional 5.0 emblem at the front. Truly, the beauty here is more than skin deep. Beneath the composite plastic intake manifold and cam covers, the engine – code named Coyote – is a clean sheet design, sharing its heritage but little else with Ford’s past modular motors. In fact, this aluminum block, double overhead cam design shares nothing with the Mustang’s previous 4.6-liter, V8 engine, save a few common fasteners.

In production form, the modern 5.0-liter will deliver 412 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque. At the same time, fuel economy is expected to be better than the previous model. Though we may get a little used to hearing such numbers these days, the last 4.6-liter modular motor to come close was the supercharged, Terminator engine in the 2003-04 SVT Cobra. So, where’s the blower?


Photos courtesy of Ford Media

Remember that clean sheet we mentioned earlier? That’s where the development team started and took the time to focus on a number of engine fundamentals. Among these were volumetric efficiency, thermal efficiency and parasitic loss. When you are dealing with a new design, it should be clear that the best way to make power is to stop losing it. One of the fastest ways to do this is by increasing volumetric efficiency – that’s the amount of fresh air that is drawn into the cylinder during the intake stroke. An average number here – about 73% – means that your 5.0-liter engine is putting power out like a 3650 cc mill.

Particular attention was paid to the cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds. The valve train design was optimized to allow maximum flow into the cylinders, while cooling and strength could not be compromised. Part of the power this engine puts out comes from running an 11:1 compression ratio, which places additional demands on the motor’s structural components. Larger bolts keep the cylinder heads in place and several measures are used in the aluminum block to keep reliability at world class level. Among these are a 4-bolt main bearing setup, wider bearing lands and additional ribbing, both internal and external, for extra strength.

Beyond these rather conventional technologies, the 5.0-liter V8 debuts its share of starship magic, in the form of Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing. Separate control of the intake and exhaust cams provides maximum fuel economy at part-throttle, while delivering optimized power in full-throttle situations. An added benefit is improved drivability and responsiveness across the torque curve. Variable cam timing first saw the light of day in the 3-valve version of the 4.6 Mustang engine for the 2005 model year.

These engines used the output from a high pressure oil pump as the means to move cam timing around. The current motor uses a combination of lower oil pressure and camshaft torque to actuate the needed pieces. Camshaft torque energy provides faster throttle response and maximizes use of existing energy, to improve fuel economy through reduction of parasitic losses. With similar objectives, the new engine’s oil pan gasket incorporates an integral windage tray. That gasket seals a baffled, deep sump oil pan that can help make track days significantly less worrisome to the sportsman, or improve the normal use oil change interval to 10,000 miles.

Todd Brewer worked as cylinder head technical expert for the Coyote program. “We are all very proud of the 5.0-liter V-8,” he said. “It’s the opportunity for the team to deliver a world-class engine in terms of specific output – more than 80 horsepower per liter – and improved fuel economy, while employing implementation-ready approaches and technologies. It’s a high-volume, affordable engine that can compete with much more expensive and exotic engines.”

Prestolite Performance, parent company of Mr. Gasket, Mallory, ACCEL, Lakewood, Hays and AnchorTrax, has launched what they are calling Operation Muscle. The plan is to take the Big Three’s automotive icons (Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and last but definitely not least, the Ford Mustang), and develop performance parts for the owners to enjoy. The best part is you can follow along step-by-step as these cars are taken from showroom stocker, to performance kings. “Over the coming several months, these vehicles will be serving as development mules for countless new products across all of our brands. They will also serve as company mascots to our industry, letting our customers know that Prestolite Performance is well positioned to be a leader in the Performance Automotive Aftermarket,” explained Eric Scheinerman, CEO of Prestolite Performance.

Check out the COMPLETE Mustang update below, and then be sure to visit www.prestoliteperformance.com for even more information.

The 2010 Mustang GT is a five speed car equipped with the 3.73 ratio performance rear axle – not a bad car, even in stock form. This is backed up by the baseline testing Prestolite completed on the Stang before putting it under the knife.


A day at the track for the 2010 Mustang GT

The Mustang was treated to a day at the track before being brought to the shop where it ran a solid 13.65 @ 102 MPH in the quarter-mile. Once back at the shop, the GT was run on Prestolites DynoJet dyno to get a baseline. 278 HP & 294 TQ were the results of the best of four runs.


The 2010 Mustang GT ran 4 runs on the dyno to get the baseline numbers.

While those times and numbers are great for a bone stock car, there is plenty of room for improvement. The guys from Lakewood wasted no time looking for ways to improve the suspension, starting in the rear.

With very little changed under the sheet medal of the Mustang for 2010, and as a result, many of Lakewood’s, Mr. Gasket’s and ACCEL’s components were able to transfer over from the 2009 models.


Upper Control Arms from Lakewood Industries.

Adjustable upper and lower control arms, drive shaft safety loop, K-Members braces and adjustable pan hard bars are all confirmed from Lakewood. With the components from Lakewood, this car will be able to launch harder and be more consistent. Plus you get the advantage of the suspension being adjustable to really dial it in for the track conditions. From Mr.Gasket, this Mustang GT got a newly designed exhaust gasket made from a steel core for top level torque retention, and a high-temperature graphite facing with great heat resistance and thermal conductivity to move heat away from the heads.

Mr. Gasket also offers a molded one piece Oil Pan Gasket and a rear end differential gasket for the 8.8” housing to make sure this Stang doesn’t a drop of fluid.

ACCEL confirmed the fitment of their Silver Tip Spark Plugs for this application as well. These plugs use a silver center electrode which allows for a wide heat range, low ignition voltage requirement and is extremely resistant to fouling. They have two part numbers for both the 4.6 L & 5.4 L Modular engines, one of them being one step colder for use with forced induction or nitrous.

Speaking of the laughing gas, Nitrous Express was kind enough to supply nitrous kits for both the Camaro and Mustang for.. ummm… suspension testing. The plan is to install these kits for use with the ACCEL 1-step colder plugs, and to give these cars the kick in the pants from a nice shot of N2O.

We’ll keep updating you on this project as more information and parts are available. Or head over to Prestolite Performance to read more about this project.

Prestolite Performance, parent company of Mr. Gasket, Mallory, ACCEL, Lakewood, Hays and AnchorTrax, has launched what they are calling Operation Muscle. The plan is to take the Big Three’s automotive icons (Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and last but definitely not least, the Ford Mustang), and develop performance parts for the owners to enjoy. The best part is you can follow along step-by-step as these cars are taken from showroom stocker, to performance kings. “Over the coming several months, these vehicles will be serving as development mules for countless new products across all of our brands. They will also serve as company mascots to our industry, letting our customers know that Prestolite Performance is well positioned to be a leader in the Performance Automotive Aftermarket,” explained Eric Scheinerman, CEO of Prestolite Performance.

Check out the COMPLETE Mustang update below, and then be sure to visit www.prestoliteperformance.com for even more information.

The 2010 Mustang GT is a five speed car equipped with the 3.73 ratio performance rear axle – not a bad car, even in stock form. This is backed up by the baseline testing Prestolite completed on the Stang before putting it under the knife.


A day at the track for the 2010 Mustang GT

The Mustang was treated to a day at the track before being brought to the shop where it ran a solid 13.65 @ 102 MPH in the quarter-mile. Once back at the shop, the GT was run on Prestolites DynoJet dyno to get a baseline. 278 HP & 294 TQ were the results of the best of four runs.


The 2010 Mustang GT ran 4 runs on the dyno to get the baseline numbers.

While those times and numbers are great for a bone stock car, there is plenty of room for improvement. The guys from Lakewood wasted no time looking for ways to improve the suspension, starting in the rear.

With very little changed under the sheet medal of the Mustang for 2010, and as a result, many of Lakewood’s, Mr. Gasket’s and ACCEL’s components were able to transfer over from the 2009 models.


Upper Control Arms from Lakewood Industries.

Adjustable upper and lower control arms, drive shaft safety loop, K-Members braces and adjustable pan hard bars are all confirmed from Lakewood. With the components from Lakewood, this car will be able to launch harder and be more consistent. Plus you get the advantage of the suspension being adjustable to really dial it in for the track conditions. From Mr.Gasket, this Mustang GT got a newly designed exhaust gasket made from a steel core for top level torque retention, and a high-temperature graphite facing with great heat resistance and thermal conductivity to move heat away from the heads.

Mr. Gasket also offers a molded one piece Oil Pan Gasket and a rear end differential gasket for the 8.8” housing to make sure this Stang doesn’t a drop of fluid.

ACCEL confirmed the fitment of their Silver Tip Spark Plugs for this application as well. These plugs use a silver center electrode which allows for a wide heat range, low ignition voltage requirement and is extremely resistant to fouling. They have two part numbers for both the 4.6 L & 5.4 L Modular engines, one of them being one step colder for use with forced induction or nitrous.

Speaking of the laughing gas, Nitrous Express was kind enough to supply nitrous kits for both the Camaro and Mustang for.. ummm… suspension testing. The plan is to install these kits for use with the ACCEL 1-step colder plugs, and to give these cars the kick in the pants from a nice shot of N2O.

We’ll keep updating you on this project as more information and parts are available. Or head over to Prestolite Performance to read more about this project.

Cale Aronson’s 2010 Pro Stock Mustang

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
With all the hype around Fords return to NHRA Pro Stock, Cale Aronson’s retro themed white 2010 mountain motored Pro Stock Mustang has been getting its share of attention since its debut. The car was on display at the recent PRI show in Orlando and then made the trek down to south with the rest of the Pro Stock teams to test at Palm Beach Raceway.

Aronson, campaigned a 2005 Ford Escort last year in the IHRA and scored several semi-final finishes. Prior to Pro Stock, he raced a heads-up Outlaw style Mustang in the NMRA and Fun Ford Weekend. Aronson’s father Chuck is a former American Hot Rod Association (AHRA) Pro Stock Champion and International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Rookie of the Year. The Aronson’s have always raced Ford products and the Drive One logo is a big part of the new car and team motto for 2010.

We had the opportunity to talk to Cale after he returned from testing, and our first question was how the acquired one of the first 2010 Mustang bodies from Ford Racing.

“We’ve worked with Ford Racing for years dating back to my dads Pro Stock days and that’s 30 plus years ago,” said Aronson. “We ran one of the first 2005 Mustangs in the NMRA Outlaw class when that body-in-white became available. Having the latest Mustang out their racing reflects a lot on our program as well as Ford. We help Ford sell cars and Ford Racing push the 2010 Pro Stock parts program. Jesse Kershaw and Brian Wolfe knew the media attention we got with the 2005 Outlaw car. The paint and the retro striping we did on that car was different that what everyone else was doing, so they were anxious to work with us on this 2010 car an see what we could come up with.


Photo Credit: Cale Aronson/Roger Richards

While the 2005 Ford Escort he ran last year was sleek, Aronson looks foreword to pushing the 2010 Mustang into the 220+ mph speed zone. The Ford Racing engineers did most of the aerodynamic work on the 2010 body and massaged it in the wind tunnel to be competitive with GM and Dodge. When the first bodies came out of the mold they were sent to Jerry Haas and Don Ness to make it work on their own unique chassis. Jim Cunningham’s car was naturally the first one built since he was involved with building the prototypes back in 2008.

Cale and his crew burnt the midnight oil assembling the new Mustang for PRI after it was delivered from Jerry Haas’ shop. “Since its debut at PRI, we’ve had more compliments on this car’s finish work,” added Aronson. “We brought the car back from Haas and I did all the plumbing and the wiring and my dad helped with assembly. Arch Haslar, our body man painted the car. He has finished and painted every one of our cars but one. He was too young at the time to paint my dads old car back in the 70’s. His work on this new car is top notch, we all look at it like we are putting a show car together.

For 2010 Cale plans to run the car in ADRL Extreme Pro Stock, the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Association and the AHRA series. After running the IHRA for several years Aronson knew with the IHRA’s new “Nitro Jam” direction it was time to race elsewhere.

“The ADRL is going to be our main schedule because you are looking at 10 races with them. The MMPSA and AHRA are also in so we are looking at 15 to 20 races next year,” said Aronson. “Since IHRA has dropped all heads-up racing, all they want to do now is have the races booked in as a show. They do not care to have us qualify, they want a different champion each night. You just show up, you don’t qualify, and they just pare you up. They came to the Pro Stock racers and said, ‘we’ll let you do the same thing we’ve been doing for years but you have to provide your own money and purse.’ We’re like ‘hey we have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in this and its not good that we have to fund our own class to race’. IHRA and Ken Feld are going to what everybody refers to as a Circus because that’s what he owns.”

With Aronson’s Motorsports business he feels that the ADRL and the two new sanctioning groups are the best place to be to showcase the products that he sells and provides technical support for. “We have a lot of companies we work with that are willing to go to the ADRL and the MMPSA because it looks better for a high performance company. It’s been a political nightmare to be honest and at PRI we met and decided that that’s a done deal. The people that work for IHRA are great but the top tier folks are the ones that have made everything go away.

In addition to racing, Cale’s Aronson Motorsports specializes in at track tuning and data acquisition. The new 2010 Mustang is the ultimate business card for his company.

“A lot of what I do its traveling and consulting on car set-up,” said Aronson. “We just had some racers from Kuwait that have an Outlaw 10.5 car that we’ve worked with. A lot of what I do is tuning at the track or consulting over the phone. I get a lot of Racepak data sent to me for review and recommendations.”

Aronson was pleased with the recent test at Palm Beach International raceway. The car did not have the latest engine or transmission and was on a baseline tune yet it showed some impressive numbers.

“The test at Palm Beach went well. I got out of the car after the pass and my fiancé was grinning,” recalled Aronson.” I could not figure out why, I mean the run felt good but there was no way I felt I could run those numbers on the first hit. The set of slicks I had on the car had 30 passes on them, the transmission was one that I had in the Escort that I ran in Martin Michigan over four months ago. It was a throw it together and see how it does with a baseline tune-up pass. It showed a lot of potential. The motor that was in it was from last year and its about 80 horsepower down from the latest and greatest piece for Kaase we’ll have next year.”

Aronson has been a customer or mountain motor engine builder John Kaase since he started his racing career. Somehow Kaase has squeezed 10 more cubic inches out of his custom built Ford block and Aronson is excited to unleash the new power in 2010

“Our new motor will be a 825 cubic inch Ford by Kaase This new car is lighter than any other mountain motor pro stock car that we know of” said Aronson. “We are not using titanium and granted we have to make a minimum weight but now we can put the weight wherever we want it.”

To check out Aronson Motorsports visit www.gofastquick.com.

Cale looks foreword to more testing and the 2010 Mustangs event debut, he wanted to thank all the folks that helped with the car build. Ford Racing – Jerry Haas Race Cars – Jon Kaase Racing Engines – Arch Haslar – DJ Safety -Mark Walser -Barry Grant – CFM Carbs – Innovators West – ORME Brothers – Scott Brown Designs – UPR Products – RAM Clutches – PEM Gears – Mickey Thompson – RacePak – Penske Racing Shocks – LENCO – ProBell – Dyno Joe – Chuck Aronson -Tinzy – Mark Shelton

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