Over the Edge
Sheldon Lewis finally put his stock-computer S550 into the eights
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Sheldon Lewis
When we last told you ghostly tales about Sheldon Lewis’ Hellion-turbocharged 2015 Mustang he was pushing the stock Coyote platform to the edge of an 8-second pass. He almost got there, but it turned out the stock internals were not up to the task after surviving several low-9-second passes with over 900 rear-wheel horsepower on tap.
On the fateful day, Sheldon thought it was about to come together. Racers always say the car was “on a pass” when the car breaks, but he knew that the fates had aligned if only the hardware was up to the task.
“It was the perfect day for this car to go in the eights with the stock engine, I’m talking -1,800 DA, sunny with perfect track prep,” Sheldon joked. “Well it was a little too good because the stock rods had something entirely different to say about that.”
Disappointed, but undaunted Sheldon vowed to bring his Ghost III Mustang back to life quicker and stronger than before. However, while the enigine wouldn’t be stock anymore, he wasn’t about to strip the S550 of its street-car cred.
“Upgrades were pretty straight-forward Coyote parts: rods, pistons, and valve springs from Tim (Eichorn) at MPR Racing Engines and a stock block using Jack Hayden Jr.’s sleeve supports,” Sheldon explained. “It was all built by my daughter and I. That alone was all the love GIII needed to go eights.”
Obviously built with love, that engine—tuned by Sai Li—generated 1,044 horsepower and 887.21 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels despite spinning the wheels with two guys sitting in the trunk. Yes, the better parts allowed Sheldon to push the new-school Coyote into the four-digit zone. Next the goal was to put that newfound power down at the track and he did. Not once, but twice.
You can watch Sheldon run two 8-second passes in Ghost III right here…
“It felt great after fighting a few other minor issues I had full confidence that day that she was going eights. When she left the line I already knew that was the money pass!” Sheldon enthused. “I was crazy excited and relieved when I finally got that time slip to see I had finally reached my goal!”
Right now the 1,000-plus-horsepower 2015 runs those numbers with a pretty basic combination. The engine is fed by an out-of-the-box Hellion Eliminator turbo system wearing the optional 62/66 turbos. It is backed by a 6R80 automatic transmission built by Paul Chutz, with a Circle D converter and it puts down the power through a carbon-fiber driveshaft from The DriveShaft Shop and a stock Super 8.8 fortified with Ford Performance Parts halfshafts. Perhaps most impressive, it gets the job done on a stock suspension that’s only been tweaked with BMR Suspension’s lowering springs and IRS cradle lockouts.
“I’m gonna keep this one at least until the S650 comes out or someone makes me an offer I cant refuse!” Sheldon added. “I purchased an enclosed car hauler with plans on traveling to other tracks and events to gain more exposure for Straight Performance Racing and also to meet and give a lot of my Facebook friends and forum members a chance to see GIII in person! With that being said I’m looking to cage it and go faster of course! Stay tuned.”
He has a friendly e.t. competition going with Hellion Power Systems’ own Melissa Urist. She currently has the edge, so we don’t expect Sheldon to stop pushing Ghost III anytime soon. So far he has run an 8.93 while fighting the stock transmission. He plans to swap out the trans pump in favor of an ’11-’14 Mustang pump in search of even quicker e.t.’s. The two turbocharged racers plan to have a friendly grudge race in the near future.
Sheldon Lewis’ 8-second 2015 Mustang gets the job done courtesy of a built Coyote boosted by Hellion Power Systems’ Eliminator twin-turbo kit. Thanks to the tuning of Sai Li the combo puts down over 1,000 horsepower to the rear wheels.
Sheldon tried pushing the stock Coyote engine into the 8-second zone, but the stock rods eventually turned into this as he attempted to achieve that goal. These damages parts meant it was time for a fortified engine.
With the help of his daughter Sheldon assembled a stronger Coyote using good internals from MPR Racing Engines a stock block bolstered by sleeve supports. Good parts and family love made for a 1,000-horse, 8-second combo!
The results speak for themselves. Sheldon was able to put Ghost III into the 8-second zone and back up that run with another 8-second pass. He’s not stopping there, however. He plans to run even quicker in the near future.