We simply love the New Edge...
We simply love the New Edge cars in silver, and Mike's combination of real 2000 Cobra R body parts; silver paint; and a low, race-ready stance make for one sweet Real Street racer. Those Bogart D-10s don't hurt either (right, Johnson?). More impressive than the looks is that a modular car running unported factory heads and intake and a six-rib drivebelt can run with or beat 5.0s with aftermarket heads and intakes and eight-rib belts.
Horse Sense: On his quickest pass, a 10.36 at 128, Mike says the boost gauge was only showing 6 pounds of boost at the top end because the belt was slipping so badly. He would like 4.6 Real Street racers to be able to run eight-rib belts, but we're fairly sure the 5.0 racers want to keep Mike fighting those belts.
If you've ever seen a group of fast Mustangs, you've probably seen a Mustang with an Autologic chip in it. Many dyno shops use the Autologic software and chips to tune cars for maximum performance. With something so high-tech, you might assume some multinational conglomerate produces these chips and software. That's not the case. Even in the corporate world, there occasionally are guys who are so smart and so valuable they can roll into an office full of suits while wearing flip-flops, a ponytail, and a Hawaiian shirt. Mike Wesley is one of those smart guys who's so good he doesn't even need the corporation.
Though he eschews flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts for jeans and T-shirts, Mike does sport long hair corralled in a ponytail. He's a quiet, unassuming guy who doesn't say much unless you know him and you strike up the conversation. However, Mike is the one-man driving force behind the aforementioned chip and tuning company known as Autologic Engineering LLC. Mike used to run a couple companies, one of which was C&M Racing. The C stood for computers and the M for Mustangs, so you know why you're reading about Mike in these pages.
Want your Mustang to hook?...
Want your Mustang to hook? Well, why not have a guy build it who's used to corralling nearly 2,000 hp with his Pro 5.0 chassis. Getting 500 or so horsepower to the ground must seem like a day off for Skinny Kid Race Cars' Keith Engling. Keith bent up his own rollcage and subframe connectors, adding a Performance Automotive K-member and UPR control arms and antiroll bar to the mix. The result has been a best 60-foot time of 1.38 seconds and the added benefit of camera-pleasing, 3-foot wheelies.
Mike has been into Fords for far longer than we've known him, and he's played with everything from 5.0s and 4.6s to Lightnings and Taurus SHOs. Besides being known for developing tuning software and chips for Ford electronics, Mike is fabled as an uncanny tuner. It's rare you find someone as good with the software and chips as they are with engines, but he's one of those mad scientists who seem to have the ability to do it all.
As an established tuner, Mike is exposed to a myriad of fast Fords, which only served to whet his own performance appetite. In 2000, he acquired a body-in-white Mustang with the intent of developing a competitive modular racer for the NMRA's EFI Renegade class. Before Mike really got going on the car, his friend Don Walsh Jr. of Walsh Motorsports asked him to take a look at the then-new rules for the 5.0&SF-sponsored Real Street class. Mike quickly saw the class represented the kinds of cars his dealers serviced every day-fast street cars.
From there it was just a matter of converting the 2000 shell into a fully functional race car. First, Keith Engling at Skinny Kid Race Cars worked his chassis magic, then the body and Cobra R aero pieces went to Jim Steer at Everything Auto for painting. Meanwhile, Mike was collecting a pile of stock Ford pieces, including the Explorer block, the Cobra crank, the PI heads, and the Bullitt intake. Those pieces, as well as Manley rods, JE pistons, Ross rings, and more from ModMax, were dropped off at Livernois Motorsports for assembly.
No stripped-out race car interiors...
No stripped-out race car interiors are allowed in Real Street. Despite its racy Skinny Kid chassis, Mike's interior isn't too radical. Of course, the 10-point Skinny Kid cage and the Corbeau Forza seats might be a giveaway, but we've seen cars on the street with similar hardware. The real hint of the car's racy intent is the presence of two MSD DIS-4 ignitions. Mike actually got the two boxes to boost the output of the factory coil-on plug ignition.
With all the major subassemblies handled, Mike brought the car and remaining parts back to Don's Walsh Motorsports for assembly, where Don, Felix Dela Iglasia, and Saso Antougbi put in several late nights with Mike to get the car up and running so it could be tuned on the dyno. Power wasn't a problem with Mike doing the tune, but even he was impressed with the performance.
At its debut race in Reynolds, Georgia, the car threw blower belts and broke a factory belt tensioner, but Mike still managed a 10.55/126 pass that put him right in the top half of the pack. Prior to the World Ford Challenge, Keith built a belt tensioner for the car, so Mike says it shreds belts instead of breaking tensioners.
Despite the troubles, Mike ran a 10.36/128 pass and established himself as one of the players in Real Street. He says his original goal was to simply run some high 10s. But after showing he could beat the best 302s with a modular, Mike and Don have a new covert goal. The car's getting a TKO II trans and a better valve job. If Mike can get the belt to live, the only thing this horsepower hippie is gonna be smoking is the competition.