Over the past few years, we have talked a great deal about the “007” Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat that is owned and campaigned by the Epling family racing team. Leon Epling is the owner of this black muscle car, his son Jason handles much of the driving and tuning and Jason’s son Logan provides pictures and videos of all of the record-setting runs. This family trio is worked together to set multiple Hellcat track records and right now, it has been the quickest factory Hellcat car in the world, running a 7.66 at 178 miles per hour.
Just to be clear, by “factory Hellcat”, we are not implying that this world record-holding car is factory stock. It is heavily modified, but it came from the Brampton Assembly Plant with a Hellcat Hemi and a manual transmission roughly five years ago and today, it still has a Hellcat-based engine and a race-prepped manual transmission.
Like many families, the Eplings have been impacted by cancer, so Leon worked with the folks from Kentucky Dragway to host a Mopar Versus the World drag racing event, with the proceeds going to benefit cancer charities. As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has altered all sorts of aspects of the modern world, and that has had an impact on this event, but with unique social distancing rules, the event is still going to be held on May 16th at Kentucky Dragway. No matter what you race, if you can get to Kentucky Dragway non Saturday, May 16th, you will be in for some serious racing.
Epling’s Mopar Vs the World
First, here are the basics of this event, hosted by the world’s quickest Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. This is a grudge racing style event, so there will be vehicles running a wide range of times. In other words, you don't need a record-setting car to compete. Of course, there will be planned grudge racing, so if you have an on-track grudge to settle with another racer, the two of you can duke it out this weekend at Kentucky Dragway. There will also be a stock Demon class on Saturday, followed by open bracket racing on Sunday, with the bracket classes paying $10,000 to the winner. For more information on how to register for the event, contact Leon Epling at [email protected].
The good news is that there are still spots available for racers. The bad news is that spectators are not permitted per state social distancing rules, but there is a way that you can go to the event without being a racer. Each racer is permitted to have crew members attend as well. Not every team has crew members, so many racers can accept crew members to help around the track, which means that you will get to see all of the racing action while helping one of the competitors. Anyone interested in getting in as a crew member should also contact Leon at the email address listed above.
There are many drag strips around the country that are still not open for the 2020 season, leaving many racers without a place to enjoy their vehicles. If you are one of those people, load up your hauler and contact Leon Epling for information on joining the event this weekend in Kentucky.
Patrick Rall is a professional writer and photographer with a passion for all things automotive. Patrick has been sharing his automotive expertise in automotive journalism from Detroit for more than a decade covering the Big Three. Having grown up in his father’s performance shop, he spent extensive time at the oval track and drag strip – both driving and wrenching on various types of vehicles. In addition to working as a writer, Patrick previously worked as an automotive technician before moving on to a business office position with a chain of dealerships, and this broad spectrum of experience in the industry allows him to offer a unique look on the automotive world. Follow Patrick on Youtube and Twitter.