So how did Ryan's Mustang win the Nitto Tire KOTS? His car pretty much aced every other category. For the dyno session, he seemed like he had no idea how much power the car would make. When it made 907 hp on the first pull, he was all smiles. "I'll run it all the way out this time," Ryan said after the first pass. On his second dyno pass, the dyno malfunctioned and didn't give a reading. KOTS competitors are only allowed two dyno passes, but since the dyno malfunctioned, we gave Ryan's Mustang another run. It wouldn't have helped his final score, but power improved to 917 hp. That number would stick until Corey Harris' compound-boost Cobra.
After Ryan's dyno time, it was impossible for him to stop smiling. We were genuinely happy for him. It was obvious he had some apprehension going into the Horsepower segment of the KOTS.
In the drag race category, Ryan scored a 10 with a 10.87 at 146 mph. On his second drag pass, it looked like the car was really moving but Ryan missed a gear. The car still ran a 10.90 at 135 mph. Tech Editor Jones gave Ryan's car a 9 in Engineering, while Editor Turner gave it an 8 in Fit and Finish. Due to the driveability issues, the Ride and Drive hammered Ryan's Mustang. The car ended up with a 6 in that category. The crowd loved the car, and he scored a 9 in Popular Vote as well. Ryan's final score was an 84.
Ryan would like to thank his parents; his wife, Libby; daughter, Gianna; Bob Kurgan of Kurgan Motorsports; Hellion Power Systems' John Urist; Lightning Force Performance; and D'Agostino Racing.
Ryan said he wants to build a new car every year for the KOTS. He won't know he won the Nitto Tire KOTS until he reads this. Does that mean he'll keep building that single-turbocharged S197 Three-Valve for the '09 KOTS? We don't know, but we can't wait to find out.
Congratulations, Ryan, you are the Nitto Tire King of the Street winner.