Breaking into the 10’s With Bolt-Ons

The second generation of S550 Mustang is proving to mark its territory at nearly every local quarter-mile drag strip in the nation.  Josh Hubbell’s 2018 Magnetic Grey Mustang GT is no exception. He’s been pushing the limits with his Coyote, and recently this past fall, set a blazing 10.94-second quarter-mile on a naturally aspirated set up.  How did he do it? Let’s find out.

Josh Hubbell’s 2018 Mustang GT blazing down the Myrtle Beach raceway during Mustang Week 2018.   Photo Credit: Chris Cervenka

Originally purchasing the S550 Mustang from Richmond Ford in Virginia, it was a complete base model Mustang GT, V8 5.0 Coyote engine, backed by the 10-speed automatic transmission option and 3.15 gears, which is a pretty common option for this set up. Once he was settled into the driver’s seat, the car was immediately sent to his friends over at CJ Pony Parts, where the stock GT was transformed.

On-site at CJPP, the team installed the first round of modifications and also filmed the process for use of their installation videos and if you search, you’ll find they slapped on a set of Corsa 1-7/8-inch long-tube headers with matching Corsa “Sport” cat-back exhaust along with a JLT cold air intake system. The mods were then backed-up by a Lund Racing E85 tune programed with an SCT Performance BDX hand-held tuning device.

Josh’s intentions were to heavily race at regional drag strips throughout the 2018 season, so he went on to install a complete Baer Brakes SS4 drag brake system and mounted a set of 15-inch Weld Racing RTS S70 wheels with 255/60R15 Mickey Thompson ET Street R tires in the rear as well as 17×5-inch S70s with 28×6 Sportsman S/R tires in the front.

With this set up, he pulled off an 11.29-second quarter-mile pass at 125mph during the 2018 NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals in the True Street Class at Maple Grove Raceway. Not too shabby for a basic bolt-on car, but even at this stage, he knew there could be more squeezed out of the Coyote.

So that’s when he teamed up with Cervinis Auto Designs. It was agreed to use his car as test pilot for several prototype aerodynamic exterior accessories for the 2018 models, including a side-exit exhaust system with matching skirts and rear valance pieces, the “C-Series” upper and lower grille inserts along with matching chin spoiler, side scoop and window louvers.  While topping off the looks with a 4-inch cowl induction hood and Stalker rear spoiler.

Fitted with a wealth of exterior prototype accessories from Cervini’s, seen here, the production team is shooting Josh’s car for marketing materials.

With a new visual makeover he was ready to hit the track again, but there was one last step – and that was traction.  So to help achieve quicker 60-foot times, Josh installed the Steeda Stage 1 Drag Race Suspension kit for the S550 Mustang, which includes IRS subframe braces, drag race springs with matching shocks along with subframe bushing supports, and spherical lower control arm bushings.

By this point the 2018 race season was approaching its end, and Josh was ready to hit the quarter-mile to see where this bolt-on journey had taken him.  First, was a noticeable lower 60-ft time. He says, “I dropped from a personal best of 1.75 seconds to a new best of 1.66 seconds.” But then success came at Maryland International Raceway when he made a 10.94 second pass at 127.5 mph. He says, “It’s amazing to be able to buy a base model 2018 Mustang GT, throw some pretty common and basic bolt-ons at it and go to the drag strip and run in the 10s!”

But running a 10-second quarter-mile pass is the first step on his journey into drag racing the GT.  “Now that it’s made its 10-second pass, it’s time to turn it up a notch . . . it’s boost time,” he says.  So over the next few winter months, he’ll be installing a Vortech V7 JT Trim centrifugal supercharger kit. With the achievement he’s made with a naturally aspirated car, we can all look forward to see how far the supercharged set up will take him.

Josh would like to personally thank: CJ Pony Parts, Cervinis Auto Designs, TMI Products, Steeda Autosports, Baer Brakes, Barton Industries, Lund Racing, SCT Performance, and UPR Products for their support in making the 10-second, bolt-on S550 Mustang a reality.

About the author

Adam Riley

Growing up with a wrench in his hand, Adam applies his personal background of car building and racing into media content. With nearly fifteen years experience of motorsport photography, video and journalism, you'll spot him with a camera and laptop nearly everywhere he goes. To view samples of his work, visit www.theartofcar.net or via Instagram @_theartofcar
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