Feature: 8-second Coyote Modified Boss

0 8-Second Coyote Modified Boss Featured

Taking Charge

JPC converted Jeff Polivka’s Boss from street star to Coyote Modified racer

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Aaron Leblanc/JPC Racing

A long time ago in a far away place, Jeff Polivka’s 2013 Boss 302 was a 10-second street car that became a last-minute competitor in a little competition called King of the Street. Your scribe had something to do with this contest that pitted some of the baddest street cars in America against each other to see which car had the best balance of rear-wheel horsepower and every-day driveability.

We first encountered Jeff Polivka’s 2013 Boss 302 as a competitor in the King of the Street competition. Back then it was an impressive street car that put down 741 horsepower to the wheels courtesy of a JPC Racing turbo kit. Now it has been transformed into a far more powerful Coyote Modified racer by JPC. After its NMRA debut in Bowling Green, Jeff will race the Boss at World Cup Finals, Import vs. Domestic race at Maryland International Raceway before it gets tuned-up for the 2016 season.
We first encountered Jeff Polivka’s 2013 Boss 302 as a competitor in the King of the Street competition. Back then it was an impressive street car that put down 741 horsepower to the wheels courtesy of a JPC Racing turbo kit. Now it has been transformed into a far more powerful Coyote Modified racer by JPC. After its NMRA debut in Bowling Green, Jeff will race the CM Boss at World Cup Finals Import vs. Domestic race at Maryland International Raceway before it gets tuned-up for the 2016 NMRA season.

Back then, Jeff’s car was essentially a stock Boss 302 with a JPC turbo kit. It put down 741 to the rear wheels and ran 10.0s. Gradually, he stepped it up, but it remained a street car. We can still remember hanging on for dear life as Jeff passed the line of Mustangs partaking in the Mustang Week Coyote Cruise so we could shoot more of the cars rolling down the road. The surge of turbocharged power was intoxicating.

But this Boss wasn’t Jeff’s first foray in Mustangs. Inspired by Jimmy LaRocca’s red SN-95 racer, Jeff had originally pursued NMRA racing with a ’99 Cobra back in the day. However, at the time, he didn’t have the wherewithal to build a competitive EFI Renegade car. Then he met his future wife and the important things in life—like starting a family—put his racing dreams on hold. Eventually, the siren’s song of another Mustang grew louder, and Jeff ended up at the Ford dealership.

The centerpiece of Jeff’s pristine engine bay is a Coyote 5.0-liter fortified by Rich Groh Racing to compete in the rigorous Coyote Modified ranks. The 305-cube Coyote is filled with custom Oliver billet rods and custom Diamond pistons swung by a stock Boss crank worked over by RGR. Likewise stock block wears Coyote heads prepped by RGR. JPC Racing built the custom turbo kit that provides the 8-second thrust.
The centerpiece of Jeff’s pristine engine bay is a Coyote 5.0-liter fortified by Rich Groh Racing to compete in the rigorous Coyote Modified ranks. The 305-cube Coyote is filled with custom Oliver billet rods and custom Diamond pistons swung by a stock Boss crank worked over by RGR. Likewise stock block wears Coyote heads prepped by RGR. JPC Racing built the custom turbo kit that provides the 8-second thrust.

“I had always wanted to get back into Mustangs and with the new Coyote, it really piqued my interest,” he explained. “I went to my local dealer and they had every color Boss 302 on the lot and I went home with the white one as I thought it would be a fun weekend toy and get me back into Mustangs. At the time, I planned to do some bolt-on mods, etc. Deep down though, I should have known myself and my desire to get back into more drag racing and power adders.”

As we know, it didn’t take long for Jeff drop it off at JPC Racing for several upgrades, including the aforementioned turbo kit. He knew of JPC main man Justin Burcham thanks to his exploits in the NMRA Real Street class, where he was infamous for engaging the flashers when he defeated rival racer Uncle Robin Lawrence.

Jeff’s turbocharged Coyote belts out power through a Transmission Specialties Powerglide  and back to a Strange Engineering 8.8-inch rear. Cartel Manufacturing double-beadlock wheels wearing Mickey Thompson 275 Radial Pros are charged with delivering the hook.
Jeff’s turbocharged Coyote belts out power through a Transmission Specialties Powerglide and back to a Strange Engineering 8.8-inch rear. Cartel Manufacturing double-beadlock wheels wearing Mickey Thompson 275 Radial Pros are charged with delivering the hook.

“Something changed and I went full speed ahead with working with JPC and turning the Boss into a bad-ass street car with the turbo system. We got invited to the final 5.0 magazine King of the Street competition and I was excited to be back at Bowling Green for the NMRA finals, especially for the KOTS competition,” Jeff explained. At the KOTS competition and NMRA Finals, I met a lot of great people in the industry, including Steve Turner, Mike Johnson, KJ Jones, and Mike Galimi of Race Pages. I also enjoyed a great experience in the KOTS competition and pulling into the lanes for the KOTS drag racing portion. At this point and watching the other classes, including the 5.0 shootout, I was hooked and the adrenaline was back for drag racing and getting back into racing more seriously. NMRA had just announced the new Coyote Modified class at the time, right before the finals and I felt my car was a perfect fit to enter into the class.”

Converting a street car into an all-out racer is a long involved process; even it is your only focus. The project started in late 2013 as Jeff commissioned Rich Groh Racing to construct a Coyote 5.0-liter engine stout enough to survive boosted racing and powerful enough to compete with the 8-second field. However, the build process stalled as something far more important consumed Jeff’s attention.

This work of art is a custom JPC Racing turbo system based on a custom Forced Inductions 68mm turbocharger and Kooks Custom Headers.
This work of art is a custom JPC Racing turbo system based on a custom, Forced Inductions 68mm turbocharger and Kooks Custom Headers.

“During that winter though, as my mother became more sick, she lost her battle with cancer and passed away in March of 2014. My racing intentions took a back seat and the overall program was put on hold as our family dealt with my mother’s passing,” Jeff said. “After a few months, my motivation returned and my look on life was changed forever. I wanted to go all out and realize my dream of going heads-up racing and doing a max effort build for Coyote Modified and the 2015 season. I realized life really is too short and I wanted to take the challenge head on and do it as best as I could.”

With Eric Holiday managing the build, the JPC team put together the combination needed to transform Jeff’s street-going Boss into an all-out Coyote Modified racer. Part of that conversion necessitated a serious roll cage, so Jeff turned to Dominic Cimino of Maryland Performance Specialties for an SFI 25.3-spec chassis upgrade.

The current record e.t. in Coyote Modified is an 8.186, so Jeff has a little bit of work to do, but we have no doubt that the JPC Racing team will have this car in the competitive mix in no time.
The current record e.t. in Coyote Modified is an 8.186, so Jeff has a little bit of work to do, but we have no doubt that the JPC Racing team will have this car in the competitive mix in no time.

“After a long winter in 2015 and some parts setbacks, delays ,etc., we finally got everything together we needed by early summer. The path for putting everything together started and our goal was to make the JPC track day in late August and preparation for the NMRA Finals in Bowling Green as the debut race,” Jeff explained. “The car turned out great. It exceeded every expectation I ever had and more. The car speaks volumes of JPC’s capabilities to build a full-on race car and it is really a one-stop shop to go fast, especially with a Coyote.”

As you can see in the photos, the resulting race car looks quite impressive. The car was completed in time to make some shakedown hits at that JPC Racing track day and the initial results were quite good. On only its third run ever, the Jeff’s newly minted Coyote Modified racer clicked off an 8.53 at 162 mph, which definitely puts his car in the mix right away.

We will be on hand to see it run its first race at the NMRA World Finals held at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, from October 1-4, but expect to see Jeff realize his dream of running a full season in Coyote Modified next year.

The Mod List

Powertrain

Block: RGR-built 305ci Coyote
Crankshaft: RGR-prepped Boss 302
Rods: Custom Oliver billet
Pistons: Custom RGR Diamond
Camshafts: Custom RGR turbo billet
Cylinder Heads: RGR Coyote GT Stage 2 heads with custom RGR valvetrain
Intake: Boss 302
Power Adder: JPC custom turbo kit w/ custom Forced Inductions 68mm turbocharger and a JPC custom air-to-air intercooler
Fuel System: JPC custom fuel system with Magnafuel pump and regulator;  UPR fuel filters; UPR billet catch can; UPR billet manifold block; and DeatschWerks 1,500cc injectors
Exhaust: Kooks Custom Headers
Transmission: Transmission Specialties Powerglide w/ PTC torque converter
Rearend: Strange Engineering 8.8-inch w/9-inch ends, a Ford Performance cover, 35-spline race axles, and a spool

Electronics

Engine Management: AEM Infinity 8 ECU w/ AEM AQ1 datalogger and RacePak IQ3 Dash
Ignition: AEM

Front Suspension

K-member: UPR Products
A-arms: UPR Products
Struts: QA1 coilovers
Springs: QA1
Brakes: Strange Engineering race
Wheels: Cartel Manufacturing double beadlocks
Tires: Mickey Thompson

Rear Suspension

Shocks: Afco coilovers
Springs: Afco
Control Arms: UPR Pro Series lower control arms and relocation brackets w/ Racecraft upper control arm and TRZ anti-roll bar
Brakes: Strange Engineering race
Wheels: Cartel Manufacturing double beadlocks
Tires: Mickey Thompson 275 Radial Pro

8-second Coyote Modified Boss Gallery

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