Ford Racing’s Cobra Jet Mustangs have been an absolutely dominating force in the NHRA Stock and Super Stock ranks since their debut back in 2007, and with each iteration they get a little quicker and a little faster. So impressive are these cars that they forced the NHRA’s hand to develop new classifications for certain combinations in the two eliminators for them so as not have them competing head-to-head with more traditional cars and engines. Their introduction has also helped push the all-time records in Stock Eliminator from the high 9-second zone down deep into the eights.
Rockwood, Michigan native Jimmy Ronzello is one of the regulars in the NHRA’s Factory Stock categories within Stock Eliminator, designed for the late model factory-built race cars, and at the recent Fall Classic NHRA national open at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, he took full advantage of the fall air to reset the national record in the Factory Stock/C category.
Behind the wheel of his stick-shifted, supercharged 5.4L ’12 model Cobra Jet packing a Liberty 4-speed and backed by Liberty Gears and Varsity Ford, Ronzello motored to an 8.94 to put a leg up on the record. Because an official backup is required in order to set a national record, Ronzello had to put together another run within 1%, and the 8.97-second run you see here from onboard his Mustang is the run that sealed his name into the record book.
As you can see in the video, the CJ launches so hard that the passenger side dash panel goes flying off and into the backseat area, but never fazes Ronzello as he keeps rowing the gears all the way to the stripe. You’ll notice that, with the RPM’s sky-high, the shift light on the dash remains on from roughly the 1,000-foot mark on as the 331-inch powerplant is legged through the back half of the run with its tongue literally hanging out.
This particular car, known as “The Mule”, was a test car for Ford Racing in 2010.