People have taken the '05 Mustang further than we had imagined in the first year of production. Leading the charge on the dragstrip is Sutton High Performance and its Vortech-supercharged '05 GT. As we mentioned earlier, the transmission rule was a bit controversial, and these guys were affected by it the most. The Sutton crew decided to run a C4 transmission based on the fact of its reliability and consistency. Without it, they would be swapping transmissions every couple of runs.
Another point of concern was that at the time Sutton built the car, no one made an SFI-certified bellhousing for the Tremec 3650 transmission. A few companies have since come out with an NHRA-legal piece, but when the car went together, it was not an option.
With the transmission rule in effect, that left the Sutton guys to strut their stuff in the Modular Muscle class in Columbus--they own the bragging rights to having the first nine-second Three-Valve run, and currently hold the title of the Quickest and Fastest '05 Mustang with a Three-Valve engine. They rely on a fortified lower end (using a Terminator engine block) with a modified set of Three-Valve heads and stock camshafts. Sutton did remove the stock electronics and now utilizes an EEC V computer system. This move eliminated the cam timing controls, and the camshafts operate like any Two-Valve or Four-Valve engine. The power output is enhanced greatly with the addition of a Vortech JT-Trim blower.
The quickest run to date has been a 9.82 at 136 mph and was accomplished at Route 66 Raceway (Joliet, Illinois). We caught up with the Sutton guys at the Columbus event, and they backed up their 9-second claims by running 9.92 at 136 mph.