Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Runs an 11.08 Factory Stock 1/4-mile
We talk about a great many drag racing Hellcat cars here on TorqueNews, and while some of them have stock power, stock gears and other stock components, all of them have at least something that has been changed since they rolled off of the assembly line in Canada. In almost every case, the Hellcat Challengers and Chargers we feature at least have swapped to a stickier drag radial tire. The stock Pirelli tires are one of the key limiting factors in unleashing the full potential of the Dodge Hellcat cars, so most experienced racers switch to a better tire before hitting the track.
However, one Hellcat owner is looking to see just how quickly he can get his Dodge Challenger down the ¼ mile in full stock form – including the stock Pirelli tires. So far, he is doing a very good job, as he has made a handful of runs which were quicker than the official stock time of 11.2, including an 11.08 pass. To my knowledge, that 11.08 is the quickest fully stock Hellcat ¼ mile time, as I have been unable to locate any other Hellcat owners who have gone 11.0s or better with the stock tires.
Jay Gustafson’s Record-Setting Hellcat Challenger
Jay Gustafson owns the Plum Crazy 2016 Hellcat Challenger shown in the image above and unlike many Hellcat cars, Jay has left his Challenger 100% factory stock – right down to the Pirelli tires that owners are usually quick to remove before making any serious runs down the drag strip. This Hellcat Challenger has the 8-speed automatic, so according to the official NHRA-certified FCA claims, Jay’s Hellcat Challenger should be able to run an 11.20 ¼ mile as it sits.
Well, when Jay Gustafson went to the track for the first time back on October 26, he was able to lay down an 11.208 on his first ever pass down the track. On his second (and final) run that day, he had traction problems, but after his first trip to the track, Gustafson had been able to hit the official stock ¼ mile time on the stock tires. He returned to the track again on November 19th and, once again, the Cecil Country Dragway was so crowded that he only got to make two runs in his Hellcat Challenger, but he was able to chip away at his previous best time, running an 11.207. That is an impressive ¼ mile time for a car and driver combo that had only made four trips down the track, but when Jay and his Hellcat Challenger headed to the track this past weekend and found a very thin crowd – he had his chance to really get some quality seat time.
To be exact, Jay Gustafson made 14 passes this past Saturday in his Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and while doing so, he was able to work the car down into the 11.1 range – running a handful of 11.10-11.14 passes. Most importantly, during that stretch of 11.1 runs, the conditions were just right for Jay Gustafson to drive his Hellcat Challenger into the 11.0 range, running an 11.08 at 128.37 miles per hour. That was his best ET of the night and to my knowledge, that is the quickest ¼ mile ET for a fully stock Hellcat car to date. Also, Jay’s best trap speed of the night was actually a bit better on his 11.10 run, hitting 128.8 between the final beams.
Now, it should be noted that Jay Gustafson has spent plenty of time at the drag strip in the 80s and 90s, bracket racing in a handful of different Mopar muscle cars. He clearly knows how to get down the track, and when you put someone who knows how to drive in 55-degree air at a track that is well-known for being very fast – it is a recipe for a record.
So in summary, Jay Gustafson’s 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is 100% factory stock down to the tires and in addition to a handful of 11.1 runs, he laid down a best of 11.08 at Cecil County. That is 9 hundredths of a second away from being a 10-second car in 100% factory stock form.
Best of all, Jay Gustafson plans to hit the track again this weekend, so if he gets cooler air and the chance to make a handful of runs – we could very well see a fully stock Hellcat Challenger run a 10-second ¼ mile. Should he do that, he will be in a very exclusive class of stock 10-second cars which had previously been reserved for far more expensive supercars, but Jay Gustafson might roar into that group with his 4,500lb Mopar muscle car.