We were as surprised as the...
We were as surprised as the rest of the participants to see Marco Ponce Jr. arrive at MIR with his fresh-off-the-lot '12 Boss 302. You may have seen it on YouTube claiming the title of first Boss 302 in the 11s. To nail down this time, Marco installed a K&N panel filter and a set of drag radials on lightweight race wheels out back.
It's been just over a year since the '11 Mustangs hit dealerships, and in mere months this car has become the darling of the aftermarket. In scant weeks, the cars were modified to eclipse quarter-mile milestones that their predecessors took months or even years to conquer. It goes without saying that Ford hit this one out of the park, but the return of a 5.0 engine has us feeling more than a bit nostalgic.
That nostalgia isn't based on a wish to return to the good old days of pushrods, but to revisit the days of the 5.0 Shootout, an event put together by Super Ford, the magazine we joined with in the early 2000s. Back in the days of the first 5.0 revolution, pioneers from all over the country were modifying their Mustangs for quarter-mile supremacy, but there was no place for them to see how they stacked up against the other cars. There wasn't a racing series. There was no Internet. The magazine brought these cars together at one track to see how the cars compared.
Adam Browne (with clipboard)...
Adam Browne (with clipboard) of Revolution Auto (www.revautomotive.net) took the idea of a next-gen 5.0 race on his back and made it happen. We reveled in watching Adam's organization and attention to deal. We assumed he was a veteran of putting on races, but he reported that this was his first. Color us impressed.
Today, obviously, things are much different. The outlets for displaying the performance of the latest Mustang are myriad. Yet, it seems enthusiasts are still ahead of the curve. The cars are just starting to sneak into racing classes, but there are no dedicated places for them to square off. Racing to get videos and timeslips online is part of the game today, but nothing beats comparing the cars on the same day at the same track.
Naturally, we considered putting together our own 5.0 Shootout in the mold of those groundbreaking Super Ford events, which paved the way for many of the events that followed. However, we wanted to wait until the market matured, many of the power-adder options arrived, and tuning gained a foothold inside the Copperhead ECU.
While we waited, all those things happened, but something else changed. There was a groundswell on the Internet for a more inclusive event, one that didn't just include shop stars but allowed regular Joes to compete as well. As this what-if scenario built momentum online, we were contacted about our interest in covering the event. It was impossible not to appreciate the grassroots nature of the happening. While much Internet posting just expresses dissatisfaction without offering a solution, these enthusiasts took a do-it-yourself approach.
When we say Adam did a great...
When we say Adam did a great job running this event, officially dubbed the Spring 5.0 Shootout, we aren't kidding. Not only did he adhere to the schedule despite a massive morning oil-down, but he also had winner and runner-up trophies for each category.
With nothing more than a good feeling, we agreed to attend the event put together by Adam Browne of Revolution Automotive. We had no idea how many cars would show up or how the race would come off, but we knew it was a great idea. Boy, are we glad we said yes. Twenty-four '11-'12 Mustangs showed up at Maryland International Raceway in Mechanicsville, Maryland. The weather was cool and the track was sticky thanks to tireless prep from MIR's head tractor drifter Jason Miller.
On that stage, the attendees put on quite a display of performance. Most staggering of all was that they did it with relatively few modifications. To find out about the state of the art in Coyote performance as of late March 2011, keep reading. If these cars are running this well after one year, imagine what the future holds...
Horse Sense: While this was a fully grassroots event put on by Adam Browne, he did get some sponsorship support from both JPC Racing (www.jpcracing.com) and UPR Products (www.uprproducts.com).