Joe and Jared Johnston, hailing from Missouri, have acquired their Ford Mustang back from KBX Performance after a complete overhaul. The Johnston’s Mustang used to be their front-running machine in the naturally aspirated NMRA Hot Street category, which they won the 2002 World Championship with, but they were ready to dive head-first into the ever growing world of X275 Drag Radial.
One cool piece of history about this car is that it was the last car to win an NMRA Hot Street title with a stick shift transmission. It also spent time in the NMRA Super Street Outlaw ranks before it took a backseat for a few years. This build was the first complete X275 build out of the KBX Performance camp – which features a Bennett Racing small block Ford engine and a complete chassis and suspension overhaul by Pressurized Solutions.
John Kolivas’ new venture of KBX Performance has turned into one of the top shops for turbocharged X275 cars in a very short time. The veteran racer and tuner has relied on his good friend, Jon Bennett (Bennett Racing Engines), for all of the years when he was dominating the NMRA and Drag Radial scene. Now, they’ve joined forces, along with Pressurized Solutions, to bring forth a “turn-key option” that most shops cannot offer. KBX has picked up some of the biggest names in the X275 world already this season – Charles Hull, Ronnie Diaz, Brad Medlock, Kit Luong and X275 world record holder, Shane Fisher.
The Johnston family saw the strong performance from the aforementioned customers and wanted a piece of the pie. They contacted Kolivas earlier this season and work began. After hundreds of hours of custom work in the Pressurized Solutions shop, the car went into the paint booth and received a shot of gloss white paint, from the exterior to the smoothed engine bay and more.
Upon receiving the car back from the paint shop, Pressurized Solutions continued their custom work with the turbo piping and the trick intercooler setup, directly in front of the Bennett mill. Speaking of the engine — Bennett and his team in Haleyville, Alabama went all-out on this machine with billet valve covers and more options to give this car as much “show” as “go.” Of course, we can’t share any of the internal specifications on the engine but let’s just say, it makes very stout numbers on the dyno.
John continued this build with the best of the best in the market today. He called on good friend, Joe Rivera, at Pro Torque to send in a complete torque converter setup to transfer the power from the engine to the ground. Mark Micke from M&M Transmission came onto the build and sponsored the Johnston family with a high performance transmission to complete the driveline. Racecraft, Inc. and Menscer Motorsports were selected to provide the “hook” for this build from front to rear.
An engine is only as good as its’ tuning and we all know that John is one of the best in the business for turbocharged cars on drag radials. He called on NLR Systems and installed one of their newest boost controllers for Johnston — the AMS-2000. The newest MSD PowerGrid was installed to provide the ignition for the car, as well as more tuning capabilities.
After completion of this build, Team KBX met with the Johnston’s at Holly Springs Motorsports in Holly Springs, MS for a private test session to debut the car and make some shakedown runs. On just the fifth complete hit on the car, Jared recorded an unheard-of 1.07 sixty foot time and sub-three second mid-track numbers. While the elapsed time and mile per hour are being kept under the table at this time, we at Dragzine are looking for this car to be a front runner right out of the box!
“I’m very pleased with the results from this new car, and look forward to getting more laps on it. If this car is at a track near you, I encourage you to take a look and see what all we have to offer at KBX.”
The Johnston family plans to debut this car this weekend at Donald Long’s “No Mercy V: Cleared for Takeoff” drag radial event at South Georgia Motorsports Park on September 25-27th.