Event: Florida Half-Mile Shootout 2016

0 Florida Half Mile 2016 Featured

Flat-Out Flying

The Fords were fast at the Florida Half-Mile Runway Shootout

By Steve Turner

Have you ever wanted to put your foot to the floorboard and see how fast your car would run? Of course you have, but unless you want to break the law, that’s out of the question on the street. Fortunately there are now several events that let you do legally, and over this past weekend 150 cars did so at the annual Florida Half-Mile Shootout in Ocala, Florida. Among those cars were a strong contingent of Ford Mustangs.

It was great seeing so many Mustangs, including Shelby GT350s and GT500s, mixed in with all the GTRs, Lambos, Vettes, and Vipers at the Florida Half-Mile Shootout.
It was great seeing so many Mustangs, including Shelby GT350s and GT500s, mixed in with all the GTRs, Lambos, Vettes, and Vipers at the Florida Half-Mile Shootout.

The event is hosted by Wanna Go Fast and took place January 23-24 at Jumbolair, which is a private airport community with a 7,550-foot runway that allows ample room for door-to-door runs for a full half-mile. The runs start with a drag-style Christmas tree and only the top speeds are recorded, so there’s no need to sweat your reaction or elapsed times. Just nail the launch and the shifts and see how fast your car can run.

Many of the drivers we spoke with said the experience was both exhilarating and surreal. They all had plenty of quarter-mile runs under their belts, but staying in the gas for another quarter mile requires the same sort of mental reset the comes with learning to shift a GT350 past 8,000 rpm It takes some getting used to. However, once you do, everything else seems like short-shifting, and running wide open for a half mile is much the same.

You might remember our story on Justin Jordan’s incredibly quick stock-motor Coyote Mustang. After it was rearend, Justin removed the engine, improved it, and swapped it into this Mustang. Backed by a Powerglide and boosted by two Hellion 64mm turbos, Justin’s car dazzled with a 193 mph top speed.
You might remember our story on Justin Jordan’s incredibly quick, stock-motor Coyote Mustang. After it was rear-ended on the street, Justin removed the engine, improved it, and swapped it into this Mustang. Backed by a Powerglide and boosted by two Hellion 64mm turbos, Justin’s car dazzled with a 193 mph top speed.

As you might expect, this event sells out in a hurry, but it is clearly gaining in popularity. Familiar names like Kooks Headers & Exhaust and VMP Performance were on hand as event sponsors. And, we saw lots of familiar cars and faces running the event and many of them turned in impressive top-speed performances at the event, including a stunning 193-mph run from Justin Jordan’s Hellion-turbocharged machine…

Our friends at VMP Performance were on hand tuning, dynoing and racing the company project cars. The company’s tune only Shelby GT350 clicked off a 144.5-mph pass with Rick Kaknes behind the wheel, and main man Justin Starkey ran his VMP TVS-supercharged 2015 Mustang GT to a 160-mph run.
Our friends at VMP Performance were on hand tuning, dynoing and racing the company project cars. VMP’s tune-only Shelby GT350 clicked off a 144.5-mph pass with Rick Kaknes behind the wheel, and main man Justin Starkey ran his VMP TVS-supercharged 2015 Mustang GT to 160 mph.
We know V-8 Mustangs are fast, but VMP’s BJ McCarty really impressed by running 144.86 in his EcoBoost Mustang. This car is still running a stock 2.3 boosted by an upgraded turbo kit and get supplemental fuel from an AEM methanol system. It ran that fast and still clocked 30 mpg on the drive home.
We know V-8 Mustangs are fast, but VMP’s BJ McCarty really impressed by running 144.86 in his EcoBoost Mustang. This car is still running a stock 2.3 boosted by an upgraded turbo kit and get supplemental fuel from an AEM methanol system. It ran that fast and still clocked 30 mpg on the drive home.

Kooks Headers and Exhaust signed on as the official exhaust of the event and the company was out in force. Not only did the company display is wares, but several of its own projects and sponsored vehicles were running at the event, including Joe Charles’ Kooks-equipped Shelby GT350.
Kooks Headers and Exhaust signed on as the official exhaust of the event and the company was out in force. Not only did Kooks display its wares, but several company projects and sponsored vehicles were running at the event, including Joe Charles’ Kooks-equipped Shelby GT350.
Speaking of Joe’s GT350, the Ocala event marked the first time Joe got to run his car all-out since it received that full Kooks exhaust, a JLT cold-air intake, and a custom tune from MV Performance. Joe spent the weekend working on his launch and shifting and managed a best mph of 144.32. On one run he lined up against a new Camaro and showed that car his taillights.
Speaking of Joe’s GT350, the Ocala event marked the first time Joe got to run his car all-out since it received that full Kooks exhaust, a JLT cold-air intake, and a custom tune from MV Performance. Joe spent the weekend working on his launch and shifting and managed a best mph of 144.32. On one run he lined up against a new Camaro and showed that car his taillights.
We saw a lot of supercharged and turbocharged machines at the event, but one of the biggest sleepers on the property was this Whipple-supercharged 2015 Mustang driven by Lund Racing’s Alex Flores, best know for his YOLO Douchebag viral videos. This car runs a combo quite similar to Lethal Performance’s 9.7-second 2015 Mustang—stock engine, stock trans, stock rear, stock axles—but it ran a whopping 171.2 mph on the stock wheels with drag radials out back!
We saw a lot of supercharged and turbocharged machines at the event, but one of the biggest sleepers on the property was this Whipple-supercharged 2015 Mustang driven by Lund Racing’s Alex Flores, best know for his YOLO Douchebag viral videos. This car runs a combo quite similar to Lethal Performance’s 9.7-second 2015 Mustang—stock engine, stock trans, stock rear, stock rearend—but it ran a whopping 171.2 mph on the stock wheels with drag radials out back!
Roger Ward’s beautiful 2015 Mustang also sports a Whipple 2.9-liter supercharger under the hood and a Kooks exhaust and a Passion Performance tune support it. Roger says the car is so smooth running on a Cortex suspension and it puts down 732-horsepower to the tire. We witnessed it running a top speed of 158.89 and looking great doing it.
Roger Ward’s beautiful 2015 Mustang also sports a Whipple 2.9-liter supercharger under the hood supported by a Kooks exhaust and a Passion Performance tune. Roger says the car is so smooth running on a Cortex suspension and it puts down 732-horsepower to the tire. We witnessed it running a top speed of 158.89 and looking great doing it.
Patrick Donovan’s sleek, silver 2015 Mustang puts down 850 horsepower to the tire courtesy of 15 pounds of Hellion twin-turbo boost. Running out the Injected Performance stable, this S550 wears a full Steeda suspension and has run a best quarter mile run of 10.4 at 138 mph. On the slippery runway in Ocala Patrick had to dial back the boost in search of traction, but we saw it run 165.56 mph.
Patrick Donovan’s sleek, silver 2015 Mustang puts down 850 horsepower to the tire courtesy of 15 pounds of Hellion twin-turbo boost. Running out the Injected Performance stable, this S550 wears a full Steeda suspension and has run a best quarter mile run of 10.4 at 138 mph. On the slippery runway in Ocala Patrick had to dial back the boost in search of traction, but we saw it run 165.56 mph.
John Peak’s 2007 Shelby GT500 features a VMP Gen2 TVS, a VMP TwinJet 67 throttle body, a Ford Performance Parts 123mm mass air and Kooks headers with an FPP cat-back. John was working to balance his car’s torque with the limited traction, but running a VMP race-gas tune his Shelby ran a 156.79-mph top speed while we were watching.
John Peak’s 2007 Shelby GT500 features a VMP Gen2 TVS, a VMP TwinJet 67 throttle body, a Ford Performance Parts 123mm mass air and Kooks headers with an FPP cat-back. John was working to balance his car’s torque with the limited traction, but running a VMP race-gas tune his Shelby ran a 156.79-mph top speed while we were watching.
Jon Lund II ran an impressive 167-mph top-speed in this JT-Trim Vortech-equipped 2015 Mustang GT automatic. The car runs E85 pumped via a return-style fuel system and a Circle D torque converter in the stock 6R80 automatic trans.
Jon Lund II ran an impressive 167-mph top-speed in this JT-Trim Vortech-equipped 2015 Mustang GT automatic. The car runs E85 pumped via a return-style fuel system and a Circle D torque converter in the stock 6R80 automatic trans.
It was great seeing a couple of Terminators mixing it up with the newer hardware. Gary Tucker’s Cobra runs a 328-cube, Boss-block modular boosted by a Kenne Bell 2.8-liter supercharger. In this configuration it puts down 700 horsepower to the tire through the stock exhaust manifolds. We witnessed Gary run in out the back door to the tune of 155.06 mph.
It was great seeing a couple of Terminators mixing it up with the newer hardware. Gary Tucker’s Cobra runs a 328-cube, Boss-block modular boosted by a Kenne Bell 2.8-liter supercharger. In this configuration it puts down 700 horsepower to the tire through the stock exhaust manifolds. We witnessed Gary run in out the back door to the tune of 155.06 mph.
Tuner Ken Bjonnes was on hand running his Alpha One twin-turbo Mustang and he even let NMRA Factory Stock racer Sondra Leslie take it for a half-mile spin. Ken’s car blasted off an impressive best mph of 191.97 in Ocala.
Tuner Ken Bjonnes was on hand running his Alpha One twin-turbo Mustang and he even let NMRA Factory Stock racer Sondra Leslie take it for a half-mile spin. Ken’s car blasted off an impressive best mph of 191.97 in Ocala.
This stock-blower Terminator might not have been the fastest car on the property, but it did run 139.23 mph while we were watching. That SVTP sticker will get you into our coverage every time!
Kelly Brockel’s stock-blower Terminator might not have been the fastest car on the property, but it did run 139.23 mph while we were watching. That SVTP sticker will get you into our coverage every time!

Florida Half-Mile Shootout Gallery

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