After so much anticipation over the past few weeks, this past weekend, May 4-6, the CJ Pony Parts team was finally able to get Gotta Have It Race and Gotta Have It Street on the drag strip!
Before we get into the events on the track, though, Gotta Have It Street finally arrived on Friday, May 4 after quite an adventure to get it here. Throughout the previous week, the CJ’s team had been in constant contact with Hoffman Ford, trying to make sure Gotta Have It Street arrived in time to make the trip to the track over the weekend. On Wednesday, we were put in touch with a regional Ford representative, who found Gotta Have It Street on a train heading to Philadelphia. Our friends at Hoffman Ford contacted a colleague at a dealership near the rail yard, who contacted an employee at the rail yard. He was able to secure Gotta Have It Street for us, once it was unloaded from the train.
Now that we knew where it was, we needed to pick up Gotta Have It Street and get it to the track! Hoffman Ford helped with that, too, by securing permission for us to drive it from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, then sending one of their staff members to drive our CJ’s team member to Philadelphia. They left Hoffman’s around noon on Friday, picked up the car and made it back to Harrisburg around 4:30 p.m. After that, Gotta Have It Street just needed to be prepped and inspected, then it was cleared to head to the track! It was quite an adventure, but we are thankful to all who were involved, especially Hoffman Ford, for their work in delivering Gotta Have It Street!
Now onto the weekend at the track!
After a late night Thursday that was spent detailing Gotta Have It Race and our 2011 Ford Raptor, both left on Friday morning for the 12th annual NMRA Ford Nationals at the Maryland International Speedway! After arriving around 1:00 p.m., both vehicles got registered and passed the tech inspection. For the weekend’s races, both Gotta Have Builds Mustangs were registered in the Roush Super Stang class, while the Raptor was in the Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning class.
Gotta Have It Race made its first pass later in the afternoon, on a hot and humid day with a corrected density altitude (DA) of 1872 feet. For the first pass, the car was completely stock, aside from the Barton Short Throw Shifter. On stock tires, Gotta Have It Race’s best run was 13.20 @ 108 mph.
Later that evening, the Race Star Industries Dark Star 17″ x 4.5″ front drag wheels and Dark Star 15″ x 10″ rear drag wheels and Mickey Thompson ET Street and M&H Front Runner tires were installed. The weather cooled into the 60s with the corrected DA dropping to 1081 feet. With both the weather and tire changes, Gotta Have It Race did much better. It’s quickest pass was 12.79 @ 107.1 mph, though it did go a little faster on a 12.84 @ 108.77 mph pass. During the evening, we found that we were hitting the rev limiter in 4th gear, 100 feet before the finish line which cost us some time.
After the evening passes, Gotta Have It Street arrived.
The next morning, we made one minor modification to Gotta Have It Race: Using an SCT iTSX tuner, the rev limiter was raised from 7000 RPMs to 7500 RPMs. No other changes were made to the car. Gotta Have It Street also had to have the Race Star Industries Dark Star 17″x4.5″ front wheels and Dark Star 17″x9.5″ rear wheels with 275/40-17 BF Goodrich Drag Radials quickly installed. Then, Gotta Have It Street needed to be run through track registration and the tech inspection. After all that, racing could begin for the day!
Gotta Have It Race improved on the times from the day before significantly, with the best pass being 12.39 @ 111.97 mph. Gotta Have It Street came out of the gate strong for an automatic Mustang, with the best pass being a 12.93 @ 109.04, though the team felt that the low RPM shifts (around 6500 RPMs) of the automatic were robbing tenths of seconds off the time. Finally, the Raptor ran a 15.62 @ 89 mph, which was pretty good considering its massive size.
On the final day of racing, the weather was perfect in the low 60s with low humidity and a corrected DA of 212 feet. All three CJ’s vehicles competed in their first round of competition and were eliminated, though they all recorded decent times. The Raptor went first and ran a 15.73 @ 87 mph, but lost to an experienced racer who finished 7th in the class the previous year. Gotta Have It Race went next and ran a 12.22 @ 109.43 mph, while Gotta Have It Street ran a 12.895 @ 104 mph, though the driver got off the throttle a little early to avoid breaking out, which cost him two tenths of a second.
With everyone being eliminated, Gotta Have It Race made a few more passes to get a better time. That afternoon, we ran a 12.08 @ 111.29 mph, our best pass of the weekend! Check out the video of our fastest pass!