Started back in early 2017, Jacky McCarty’s latest “top secret” project has finally been unveiled. His all-new 2016 Ford Mustang, built at his shop, McCarty’s Performance, laid down some very promising numbers at its first test session and the man from Bristol, Virginia, has high hopes for his 2018 NMCA Vortech Street Outlaw season.
“I learned a very good lesson – never build my own car,” laughed McCarty of what wound up being an unexpectedly long and stressful project, on which hired gun Michael Mag Gough of Mag’s Fab Worx did all the welding of the SFI 25.2 chromoly cage. “Mag was nice enough to do it here instead of at his own place, Mag’s Fab Worx, back in Mississippi.”
The double frame rail S550 then received something that will undoubtedly upset Ford purists – an LS engine. McCarty’s a rebel, though, and doesn’t care what others may think as long as he’s running fast, so he trusted the legendary team at Pro Line Racing to build him a power plant to do just that. The 450ci Chevy engine is comprised of a Dart billet block, Bryant crank, and a set of Mast heads. Of course, the engine management system that was selected is none other than a FuelTech FT600 working in conjunction with an FTSPARK-8 ignition setup.
McCarty will be sticking with his power adder of choice, a 98mm turbocharger, although the specific manufacturer that will supply the snail has yet to be decided.
Backing the controversial combination is a Mark Micke transmission and an “ol’ faithful” ProTorque converter which McCarty has actually been running for three years.
“We’re using Mark Menscer struts with four-way adjustable shocks in the rear, along with a full floater 9” rear end and Strange axles,” added McCarty, who custom-built his own K-member in-house. A set of Mickey Thompson-wrapped Weld wheels complement each corner while also shrouding a set of Strange Engineering brakes.
McCarty left no area untouched and opted to go with a super-slick looking black and carbon fiber exterior theme. “The doors are from MMR and everything else is from Anderson Composites,” McCarty explained of the killer GT350-style body kit. “Dan Schoneck from Schoneck Composites is building me a new one-piece front end, but the one on the car now we put together ourselves and I think the whole car really turned out great.”
With the long build finally finished, McCarty headed out to nearby GALOT Motorsports Park in Dunn, North Carolina, for a little testing in mid-March. “We finally got it loaded up to see if all the stress was worth it,” he shared. The first shakedown pass fresh off the trailer was supposed to just be about one-hundred feet or so, but McCarty had other plans. “It felt so good that I just couldn’t let off and ran it out the back door!”
Although McCarty won’t share additional testing numbers, the results of that first hit yielded a 1.139-second 60-foot time, a 2.988-second sprint to the 330-foot mark, and a final eighth-mile elapsed time of 4.490 at 154.71 mph. “Everything went great, and it was faster than we’ve ever been before – and we’ve been a .29,” he alluded of the Chevy-powered Ford’s potential.
In addition to running the NMRA VP Racing Fuels season with his now-repaired black Mustang, McCarty plans to run the remainder of the 2018 NMCA Vortech Street Outlaw season with his new LS-equipped S550 and will chase the championship. “This car is good enough that if I don’t win it, it’s either my fault or somebody on the crew’s fault,” he stated, only half-joking.