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America’s fastest modern Hemis and a new Hellcat record

by Patrick Rall on

The first event of the 2017 Modern Street Hemi Shootout series kicked off at Rockingham Dragway this weekend, with some of the quickest modern Hemi-powered vehicles in North America and a new Hellcat world record.

If you are unfamiliar with the Modern Street Hemi Shootout, it is a drag racing series bringing together the quickest modern Hemi-powered vehicles in North America for heads-up, bracket, and index racing. Click here if you missed our MSHS season preview.

The MSHS is now in its eighth year; according to series boss Dan VanHorn, this year’s season opener was the biggest and best event  they’ve ever had. Even with some late night rain, the event had two solid days of dry weather for some fast-paced racing action thanks to the Rockingham staff, which VanHorn stated was the “most accommodating staff I’ve ever worked with.” That is big praise from a guy who has spent eight years organizing a racing series which is big and always getting bigger.

The classes at the MSHS Rockingham Event included:

  • Eastcoast Moparts – Bracket – Dial-In
  • Demon Performance – Super Pro – Heads Up, Run 8s to Be Competitive
  • ThiTek – Pro – 9.50 index
  • True Street Performance – Modified – 10.50 index
  • Legmaker Intakes – Super Stock – 11.50 index
  • RK Motors – Street – 12.50 index
  • High Horse Performance – Hellcat Shootout – heads up

Class-By-Class Rundown from Rockingham

In the Eastcoast Moparts Bracket class, Jon Dalton and his 2014 Dodge Charger took on Ron Polidora in his 2017 Dodge Challenger. Dalton dialed a 12.65 and Polidora dialed a 10.66, but when Dalton pulled a far better reaction time and ran closer to his dial – Dalton’s Charger took the win.

In the RK Motors Street class, the finals had Gary Rhudy and his 2014 Dodge Challenger going head to head with Gary Sanders and his 2017 Dodge Challenger. Although Sanders pulled a near perfect .004 reaction time, he ran a 12.478 in the 12.50 index class, giving Rhudy the win with his slower run and slower reaction time.

In the Legmaker Intakes Super Stock class (11.50 Index), Bill McFadden’s 2007 Dodge Magnum took on Jason Fradenburgh and his 2007 SRT Jeep. McFadden’s Hemi-powered wagon ran an 11.851 to the Jeep’s 11.556, but with McFadden beating Fradenburgh badly on the tree (.205 to .516), the Magnum got the win.

In the True StreetPerformance Modified class (10.50 index) Jeremy Webb and his 2009 SRT Jeep battled Ron Polidora’s 2017 Dodge Challenger and even thought the new Challenger got away from the line first (.037 to .103), Webb’s Jeep drove around the Dodge on the big end to take the win. The Jeep ran a 10.532 while Polidora ran a 10.654.

In the ThiTek Pro class (9.50 index), George Muller and his 2007 SRT Jeep took on Chris Harrington’s 2006 Dodge Charger. Harrigan pulled a better reaction time (.162 to .191), but when his blower belt broke during the run, he coasted through with a 14.254 while the Jeep blasted to the win with a 9.542 at 136.93 miles per hour.

In the Demon Performance Super Pro class (heads up, no index), Todd Barber and his wicked 2010 Dodge Challenger took on the 2007 Dodge Charger of Dan Poltkin. The Charger got out to be big early lead thanks to a far better reaction time (.149 to .432), but Barber’s scorching quick run of 8.985 at 156.15 miles per hour bested the 9.585 turned in by Poltkin.

In the High Horse Performance Hellcat Shootout, the father and son team of Leon and Jason Epling advanced to the finals where they would go head to head for the title. Leon was in his Challenger and Jason was in his Charger, setting up an amazing family shootout, but when Jason ran into mechanical problems, Leon drove to the win with a 9.57 at 151.51 miles per hour.

Finally, the #Bad_Ass_Official and VanDrake Racing sponsors the $5,000 King of the Hill class, pitting the winners of all of the other classes head-to-head on the dial-in to decide the big money winner. After the other class winners had been knocked off, the True Street Performance Modified class winner Jeremy Webb and his 2007 SRT Jeep took on bracket class winner Gary Rhudy and his 2014 Dodge Challenger. Webb dialed a 10.49 and after a 0.82 reaction time and a 10.567 run, he beat Rhudy who dialed a 13.78 and run a 13.818 with a .131 reaction time.

Some other honors from the event include:

  • The A2Speed Best Reaction Time Award – Gary Sanders – 0.004
  • The Cabinet Factory of Delaware Hard Luck Award – Geoff Bracken
  • The Orthopedic Spine Care of Long Island Best ET Award – Todd Barber – 8.78
  • The Nitrous Outlet Best 60 Foot Award – Dan Plotkin – 1.25
  • The JONZ HVAC & Stanley’s Performance 2nd Chance Runoff was won by Justin Skudder
  • MXA Burnout Contest – Silas Richardson

A New Hellcat Record
Finally, while preparing for the big money class runoffs, the Epling Garage Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat set the record for the quickest Hellcat in the world. Jason Epling, driving his dad’s Challenger with a 6-speed manual transmission, laid down a 9.06 at 154.88 miles per hour after running a 9.08 earlier in the day. The Epling Garage 007 Challenger previously held the record for the quickest Hellcat with a manual transmission, but with the pair of 9.0X runs – the father-and-son team has the quickest Hellcat car in the world. You can watch that record run in the video below.


The next stop on the 2017 Modern Street Hemi Shootout is June 23-24 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania, and we can expect to see some of these names in the running for the big money there as well.

All images here were provided by the drivers who raced the vehicle at the event.

Patrick RallPatrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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