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.
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.
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…