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.


Related GalleryMustang Unleashed: Derek Murrell

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.

Related GalleryMustang Unleashed: Derek Murrell

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.