• Jun 24, 2009
Derek Murrell and his drag racing 2010 Mustang - Click above for a high-res image gallery

For the second installment of Ford's "The '10 Unleashed" contest, the Mustang is going to the drag strip. Last time, Ford gave a blind man the opportunity to drive, and this time around, a kid fresh out of high school is going up against one of his teachers in the quarter-mile. Derek Murrell just graduated from Lake Mary High School north of Orlando, Florida, a school where his auto shop teacher Bill Rosenblum apparently loved to share his drag racing exploits with his students.

Being a typical teenager, Murrell wanted to show up his elders and compete with Rosenbleum at the track. Since Ford is heavily promoting the 2010 Mustang in motorsports, the automaker decided to give him the chance to win a new Mustang GT. Of course, to to do that Murrell would have to do more than write a contest entry – he'd have to outrun a more experienced racer.

The teenage would-be racer had his first competitive run during the National Mustang Racing Association meet at Michigan's Milan Dragway. Luckily for us, the NMRA event took place concurrent with last week's Ford Racing Invitational, and we got to spend a few minutes chatting with Murrell. Check out the video of our interview with him after the jump.



Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

Once Ford selected Derek's entry for the "unleashed" program, they sent off a pair of brand new 2010 Mustang GTs to Livernois Motorsports in nearby Dearborn Heights, MI. The crew at Livernois prepped the cars for competition by essentially turning them into the equivalent of the Cobra Jet, complete with a supercharged version of the 5.4-liter "Aluminator" aluminum short block. In full race trim, the engines are putting out roughly 630 hp at the crankshaft and 540 hp at the wheel.



During Derek's first test session at Milan, he had some difficulty engaging second and third gears on his Kona Blue racer. The Livernois crew replaced the manual box with a beefed up Ford C4 three speed automatic, a common unit in use by drag racers. The C4 is basically used as a clutch-less 3-speed sequential gearbox. Racing in the JDM Engineering Super Stang class during his competition debut, Derek ran his Mustang to a 10.888 second elapsed time in the quarter mile with a 125 mph trap speed. However, judging the from the video that turned up on YouTube, Derek is going to have to work on his reaction times if he expects to beat his teacher.

As for the big race, Derek and the crew went out to Maryland International Raceway last weekend for an appearance on Speed TV's "Pinks All Out." Bill Rosenblum will get an identical Mustang to the one Derek is driving except in red. The winner of the big race will drive off in a brand new Mustang GT! Speed will be broadcasting this episode of Pinks sometime in July so they don't want to talk about who won the race until that time.


Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Haha! Yeah, I was a little exhausted from the race...haha

      Man, it was such an amazing experience! The guys at Livernois Speed Shop did such an amazing job!

      And I had the help of Bob Glidden! That was a great part of my trip too!

      It's so awesome to know:

      I GOT THE FIRST '10 in the 10's!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha it's gonna take a few months to get the paperwork and stuff done...but this is amazing.

        I honestly couldn't tell you how many test drives of Mustangs I've done in the past 4 years or so.

        Mustang has won my heart. And now...I can finally own one.

        (BTW I'm on AUTOBLOG!! YAY!)

        I've been such a loyal daily yearly reader. I visit this wonderful site daily...and it's the best automobile information/new site ever!
      • 5 Years Ago
      A bit boring talk/video.
      Cut to the action!

      No matter what, I just can NOT get into Mustangs. My kids like them. But, oh well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        and yet you have Carroll Shelby as your avatar. ??????
        • 5 Years Ago
        Carrol Shelby did make another car called the Shelby Cobra.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's one of those moments that I thought I knew most everything about cars. Maybe because I'm not a tuner I don't understand this.

      The line: "In full race trim, the engines are putting out roughly 630 hp at the crankshaft and 540 hp at the wheel. "

      What does this mean? The steering wheel or on the ground? I'm thinking on the ground but I'm not sure what's being referred to with the "at the wheel" part.

      I'd rather be enlightened than ignorant! - :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thank you!
        • 5 Years Ago
        horsepower ratings provided by automakers are given at the crankshaft, meaning they don't take into account losses through the drivetrain. When you put your car on a chassis dyno, it measures how much power the wheels are actually putting down to the ground, and that's the horsepower at the wheels. There's usually a rule of thumb assumed for a percentage loss through the drivetrain, or I believe dyno shops often do a coast down which can give you a decent measurement of drivetrain losses, which then lets you back calculate the HP coming out of the engine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Derek all he talked about for the last three years is mustangs to.the point we called him Derek mustang Murrell. worked in grocery store three years bagging same to save his money for a mustang some day .this was a real surprise him racing his teacher.he did this on his own with the help of some top people like Bob Glidden.and others. his dream has been fulfilled.now if his head don't get caught up in a cloud over his win with pride .now its collage and then on to work if there will be any jobs left after president obama spends all of our money .putting this all a side . we are proud of Derrek this was a surprise to Faye and my self Derek has gone from a boy to a man in 30 days we love you . Grand pa Bob Murrell
      • 5 Years Ago
      saw this at pinks in maryland, not sure if it was the same kid, but the student spanked the teacher there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        haha...thats because I had Bob Glidden teach me how to drive a 630hp car.

        but since the teacher already drag races back home...he probably was expected how to drive such a car.

        How can you not be comfortable with a Mustang?
        • 5 Years Ago
        the crowd seemed to get a kick out of a kid beating a teacher. i thought they spaced the laps out too much. they ran a bunch of races in between the two laps. seemed like the teacher wasnt comfortable driving the car, the kid had both laps won at the start.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha..I like that term.

        "Spanked".

        What were your thoughts of the race?
      • 5 Years Ago
      to think...all my teacher wanted to talk about was homework homework homework and I had to buy my first Mustang. Kids today.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That guy is a teenager? He looks 25!...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do I really look 25? I'm only 18!

        (This could be used as an advantage. Hi, I'd like to buy a Ferrari today!)

        haha.
    • Load More Comments