The car had never been in a quarter-mile race in its life. — John Urist, Hellion Power Systems
Amidst the fervor over the latest Mustang, it might be easy to forget there were still some drag-strip milestones left on the table for the first generation of the S550 platform. Somehow a major record quietly passed during the 23rd annual Haltech World Cup Finals Import vs. Domestic race at Maryland International Raceway. John Urist of Hellion Power Systems blasted off the first 6-second pass in a 2015+ Mustang — and he didn’t even keep his foot to the floor for the entire pass.
That’s right, this is no micro record. Hellion Power Systems’ main man ripped off a 6.95 at 187 mph in his 2015 Mustang racer. As indicated by the low top speed, he lifted his foot at 1,000 feet and still claimed significant record.
At the World Cup Finals race held at Maryland International Raceway, John Urist of Hellion Power Systems coasted to the first 6-second pass in a 2015+ Mustang.
“At the NMRA finals a few weeks ago, we went 4.45 at 168 in the eighth mile, which was very competitive for the 60-foots that it had,” John explained. “We put the car in quarter-mile trim for the first time ever. The car had never been in a quarter-mile race in its life and on the very first pass off the trailer, lifting at 1,000 feet, we went a 6.95 at only 187 mph.”
To prep the Turn 14-backed race car for its first quarter-mile action, John simple changed the gearing and swapped on the class-legal 94mm turbocharger for the World Cup race, which likely tamed the output of his 2,000-plus-horsepower MMR 358ci Coyote engine that we previously detailed for you. At this level of racing, the power is controlled primarily by the turbo size and the drag strip performance is in the hands of the driver and chassis setup, but getting here in with the latest platform hasn’t been an easy road.
“We abandoned our seven-time-championship car to build the new platform to keep our racing program in line with what we represent with our turbo kits for modern muscle cars,” John said. “I bought a complete 2015 Mustang and we built it, but the modern cars are so strong. They have so much hardened steel that it took a month to cut enough metal out of it to get it down to a competitive race weight.”
Starting mid-season in 2016, John fought to make the longer wheelbase of the latest Mustang platform work as well as his tried-and-true Fox.
“There is more challenge to the modern platforms because of the longer wheelbase. In a drag racing situation, a Fox is much easier to launch and 60-foot than a longer car on a small tire,” he explained. “I think this car can be very successful on a larger tire like a 315 like you can run in Radial vs. The World. The way we built the car, we car run that later, as the car is multi-purpose.”
In its first full quarter-mile pass — it usually runs eighth mile in NMRA competition — the Hellion 2015 Mustang burst into the sixes.
Early on, John and Renegade race Bart Tobener traded notes on weight reduction and car prep regarding the S550 platform. Eventually he even sought outside advice to make the platform work and it’s definitely paying off now.
We finally broke through and we converted the S550 Mustang from a street beast to at track competitor. — John Urist, Hellion Power Systems
“We had some mild success, but to my expectations we struggled a little bit,” John confessed. “The car was inconsistent and it took some re-scaling and moving around a lot of suspension components, thanks to the input of Wade Hopkins at Southern Speed Racing along the way, to get the car to where it is now.”
Now that the 6-second barrier is broken, it will be exciting to see how far the current Mustang platform can go at the drag strip. John will continue to campaign in NMRA Street Outlaw and other races like the World Cup next season, so stay tuned to see just how quick a Coyote-powered S550 can go.
“We finally broke through and we converted the S550 Mustang from a street beast to at track competitor,” John enthused. “It’s not just a show car any more. It’s to be feared at the drag strip.”