It's no secret that Jack Roush got his start on the mean streets of Detroit, running hard with a Ford Falcon and then with some pretty serious drag-race machines such as his Gapp & Roush four-door Pro Stock Maverick. More recently, Roush has been busy winning in NASCAR, developing technology for major automotive manufacturers, and most importantly, producing popular Roush Mustangs and Roush performance parts. His Stage 1, 2, and 3 model Mustangs offer aggressive styling, increased power, improved braking, and tighter handling. Time and time again, we've been impressed with the packages, as each one has fulfilled the promise of performance, style, and speed. Like most racers, Roush is never satisfied, so he asked his team to develop a new Roush Mustang package-one designed to kick butt on the dragstrip.
Enter the '07 Roush Drag Pak, a serious strip Stang that puts the icing on the Roush Mustang cake. More specifically, the Drag Pak is a special edition of which 50 units will be built and sold exclusively through Brandon Ford in Brandon, Florida (near Tampa). The Drag Pak hits directly on the heels of the Blackjack, the Roush Roadster, and the 427R. It's based on the Stage 3 package and it cuts to the chase with a 430hp Three-Valve engine that features a RoushCharger, hotter gears, tuned suspension, free-flowing exhaust, and a host of drag racing-specific goodies including lightweight rear rims and slicks.
"When we returned to having a drag-racing program last year, I challenged my team to build a car that can be driven to the track, have the tires changed to slicks, and perform on the dragstrip," Roush says. "This Drag Pak Mustang is the culmination of those efforts."
And there is plenty of "go" in the Drag Pak thanks to the intercooled RoushCharger that makes 6 psi of boost with a reduced-diameter drive pulley. It also features a custom intake manifold, an air induction system, and a performance-calibrated ECM. The blown 4.6 connects to a performance exhaust (a straight-pipe exhaust is optional but not street-legal) along with a Drag Pak flywheel, clutch, and a one-piece driveshaft with safety loop. An SFI-approved bellhousing is optional, but the polished 4.10 gears, Roush 31-spline axles, and Roush rear cover are standard. Additionally, Roush fortifies the rearend by welding the axle tubes to the housing center.
According to John Clark of Roush, "The Drag Pak comes as a direct result of more than a year's worth of testing, research, and development for the Roush Competition Line of performance parts. This '07 model is based off the flagship Stage 3 and is designed for safety, durability, and adjustability."
Our first chance to drop the clutch came in Florida this past March when we ripped some gears during the season-opening NMRA event in Bradenton. Under the Florida sun we produced a best of 12.46 (with slicks), however, we didn't unlock the Drag Pak's full potential. The weather was quite hot and we didn't have the opportunity to cool the engine between runs. In addition, we didn't do any tuning of the adjustable suspension.
Looking for more, we suggested to Clark that 11s were possible if we could test the car at our home track-Englishtown's Raceway Park. His interest was piqued.
Without wasting time, Clark granted our wish and the same black Drag Pak Mustang was unloaded from an enclosed car hauler in the parking lot at MM&FF Command Central-and a track day was set.
With cooler conditions (temperatures in the 60s versus the high 80s) we ventured to E-town and installed the Mickey Thompson 26x10-inch slicks mounted on the aforementioned Roush wheels. Next, we heated the tires, staged, and let 'er rip at 5,000 rpm. The tires spun through First gear, but it still accelerated hard, and the wheelspin didn't kill our 60-foot time. What did hurt us was the shifter/clutch combination that just plain gave us fits. It seemed as if the clutch wasn't disengaging fully, and we found it difficult to quickly ram gears. We had the same problem during testing of the Stage 3 Stang featured in the Oct. '06 issue.
Supplied with each car are...
Supplied with each car are Mickey Thompson 26x10-inch ET Drag slicks on Roush wheels. These stickies helped produce high-1.60 60-foot times and 11-second e.t.'s.
For the street, the Drag Pak...
For the street, the Drag Pak wears five-spoke Roush wheels with Cooper Zeon 2XS 275/40/18-inch tires. In street trim, we ripped to a best of 12.46 at 111 mph.
Prior to each run, we set...
Prior to each run, we set the line-lock (which is either dealer or customer installed) and did a short burnout in Second gear.
After going full loose on...
After going full loose on the front struts and tightening the back shocks, we revved the engine to 4,000 and dumped the clutch. Yes, that's daylight under the front tire. With skinnies and the front antiroll bar removed, the Drag Pak would really yank 'em.
Unlike most drag machines...
Unlike most drag machines that have spartan interiors, the Roush Drag Pak goes upscale with custom seats, carbon-fiber trim, a fire extinguisher, a monster tach, and billet pedals.