If you took a poll in the pits at any given drag race the majority of racers would say they got to where they’re at in the sport from some type of family influence or exposure to the sport at a young age. Yandro Ulloa isn’t part of the majority in any way … he started street racing and recently found the drag strip where he has progressed quickly. Now, Ulloa pilots an insanely quick 1998 Cobra Mustang known as the “Minion” that has hit the seven-second zone with him banging gears inside the car.
Ulloa’s journey to ripping gears in his Mustang is a pretty wild trip. He really has no racing background and actually began street racing a front-wheel drive Mazda in Miami as a teenager. Before he purchased his Cobra, Ulloa had never been to a drag strip, but the car ignited an obsession in him.
All of this really started for Ulloa after hanging out with a local car club that went to the track. From there, he just kept wanting to go faster but never wanted to ditch his manual transmission. With so many people telling him he couldn’t go fast with a stick shift car Ulloa wanted to prove them all wrong.
“This is something that I never really ever decided to do, it just kind of happened. I met people through a local Mustang group called Pony Up, and they had a list race that we would attend at Showtime Dragstrip. Every third Wednesday of the month we would race for the top ten on the list. There was no money involved, just friends having a good time. The car just evolved into what it is from that and all the negative people trying to say stick shift cars can’t do this or that,” Ulloa says.
Ulloa’s Mustang is an original 1998 Cobra that he purchased from a small dealership in Clearwater, Florida in 2015. This particular body style Mustang is one that Ulloa had always wanted after seeing a co-worker drive one many years before. The style of the car was ingrained in his mind so when the opportunity came to own one he pounced.
“The car started out with a set of long tube headers and a 75 shot of nitrous for some street fun after I got it. I switched to a Vortech blower and E85 and that’s when things started to get crazy. My first pass in the car was a 10-second 1/8-mile run. After that, I went on to the ON3 Performance turbo kit and the car made over 1,200 horsepower. Things just got faster and more fun from there,” Ulloa explains.
Ulloa began to upgrade the Cobra more and ended up running an 8.47 at a Street Car Takeover event — the only problem was the Mustang was eating T56 transmissions like candy. The answer was to upgrade from mildly-built units for more durability and that did the trick. Eventually, the original engine blew a freeze plug out with the stock headed combination he was using and that led Ulloa to upgrade the last few remaining weak links on the engine to bring it to where it is today.
The Mustang is still a stock suspension car with only a few changes from High Revolution Fabrication and Performance (HRFP). A custom anti-roll bar and subframe connectors were added by HRFP to accompany the roll cage and weight reduction in the engine compartment. A slew of suspension components from UPR Products round out the chassis on the Mustang. At the end of each wild pass, Ulloa brings the Minion to a stop with a full set of Aerospace Components brakes.
The engine from Levin Motorsports is a 281 cubic-inch bullet that still uses an original block from Ford, and is filled with a custom forged rotating assembly selected by Levin Motorsports. The turbo system uses a pair of 6870 snails from Precision Turbo. For the turbo system piping, most of the car’s original ON3 Turbo kit remains in place and recently had bumper exit exhaust added. Everything is controlled by the AEM Infinity unit and tuned by Levin Motorsports. The gear-banging magic happens courtesy of a Magnum T56 that has been worked over by RPM Transmissions and a top secret clutch from Black Magic Clutches.
All of the hard work Ulloa has put into his Mustang led to a killer 7.92-second rip at 180 mph during the 2018 Mod Nationals. This has brought Ulloa to a crossroads with the car and he’s not sure what the future holds.
“I don’t know how much further I can take this car before I have to really cut it up. It keeps going faster every pass and that’s a goal of ours we love to accomplish. One of our big goals for 2019 is to travel more and hit some different events. None of this would be possible without Levin Motorsports, Trueline Collision, Hard Target Images, UPR Products, and Mod Motor Mustangs,” Ulloa explains.
Yandro Ulloa’s Minion is one hard-charging stick shift Mustang that is an absolute blast to watch run. The car is a great mixture of parts that work and Ulloa enjoys every second he spends wheeling this beast down the track. Look for the Minion to make even more appearances in 2019 at different events where it’s sure to cause some trouble for anyone who lines up against it.