Watson Racing shatters the S550 e.t. record with a low-9-second run
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Watson Racing
Until recently all had been quiet in the world of 2015+ Mustang e.t. records. Terry “Beefcake” Reeves took the record away from the AmericanMuscle.com crew and it stood for quite a while. Recently,, as we reported last week, the AM bunch snatched the record back with a 9.49 pass. Now a new player has awakened and not only claimed the record, but shattered it. Over the weekend, Watson Racing ripped off a 9.13 at 151 mph at Summit Motorsports Park to etch its 2015 Mustang SEMA project into the history books.
Regular readers of the SVTP Front Page are all too familiar with the saga of Watson Racing’s street/strip S550. Originally constructed for the 2014 SEMA Show, this continued its mission of streetable quarter-mile prowess with a series of upgrades, including a Whipple supercharger, FAST EFI, lightweight windows, a bolt-in 9-inch IRS, and a 10-rib blower drive. Since we last checked in on the car, the Watson team finally removed the car’s manual transmission in favor of a more consistent Turbo 400 automatic.
“The only change to the car was the automatic. We have changed nothing else. The Magnum transmission is great and a lot of fun to drive on the street, but there is just too much happening too fast to be banging gears down the quarter mile,” Chuck Watson said. “We tested the car a couple of weeks ago with the manual and pulled off a couple 9.80 passes but we knew it had more with an auto.”
The reason we haven’t heard much about the car is that Watson has been busy working on projects for customers. Those customers include Ford, Miller Motorsports Park, and plenty of individual racers. They recently took a break from those tasks to have some fun with their own rides at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
“Unfortunately this car had to take a back seat to that,” Chuck explained, “but we are starting to find some time to take it out and see what it will do. It has been tough watching everyone else post exciting numbers and being the first with new records, but our customers always come first.”
Of course, it wasn’t just for fun, as they were prepping both this 2015 Mustang and the company’s Cobra Jet for the NMCA World Street Finals in Norwalk, Ohio, this weekend.
With Chuck Watson Sr. behind the wheel, the Watson Racing S550 blasted off a series of increasingly quicker 9-second runs. Out of the gate it ran a 9.78, but traction was obviously an issue. After the team adjusted the tire pressure, the Watson S550 broke the 2015 Mustang GT e.t. record with a 9.24-second pass. Feeling there was more in the car, they lined up again for one last pass. Not only did they back up the record, but ran an even quicker 9.13 at 151 to leave no question that this is the quickest 2015 around.
Watch that record-setting run right here…
“We are still playing. They only allowed three runs tonight, but there’s a lot left,” Chuck said. “That is with no ice in the intercooler and the (exhaust running through the) mufflers.”
Yes, you heard the man, there is still more in this combination with further tuning, ice in the intercooler and an open exhaust. With Internet e.t. records being as ephemeral as pop-music stardom, the Watson Racing team is looking to make another mark at this weekend’s NMCA race.
“Right now we plan to see how fast the car will go with its current setup before we make any further changes,” Chuck said. “On paper, the car should run 8.80s but we do have a couple more tricks up our sleeve to send it further south.”
Could this be the first 2015 Mustang GT street car in the 8-second zone? We will soon find out…