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Fast N Loud beats Roadkill in Hellcat match (video)

by Patrick Rall on

Last night, the hosts of Roadkill faced off against the hosts of Fast N Loud in a grudge match using two classic Mopar muscle cars with modern Hellcat Hemi engines. The Roadkill team brought out their Dodge Charger named General Mayhem, while Fast N Loud arrived with a Dodge Dart named the Shartcat. I was there, recording the racing action from trackside as the crowd – which was predominantly comprised of Roadkill fans – watched their favorite fall.

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This grudge match came about when Roadkill began their Dodge Charger project, which was slated to pack the new Hellcat Hemi engine. The guys from Roadkill challenged the guys from Fast N Loud to build their own classic Mopar muscle car with Hellcat power, and while Richard Rawlings’ crew declined at first, they eventually agreed to the match race. They used the Roadkill Tour event at the Pontiac Silverdome near Detroit.

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The track conditions were unusual, as this was literally just a race track set up in the middle of the parking lot of the crumbing Silverdome. They did have staging beams, but no Christmas tree – with just a pair of shop lights telling the drivers to take off. Only a short portion of the starting line area was freshly concreted and the burnout box was so close to the starting line that many vehicles backed into the water after doing their burnout.

As a result of the conditions, traction was little more than a myth for many of the racers who came out to participate in the action leading up to the grudge race between the Roadkill and Fast N Loud teams. The 8th mile track was downhill and the shutdown area was short, so many drivers hit the brakes before the finish line when they were clearly winning.

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David Freiburger and his General Mayhem Dodge Charger were the first to take to the track for a test run and on this preliminary pass, he was running against a unique 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona with a right hand drive conversion. Freiburger started with a short, quick burnout which didn’t do much good, so he backed up and made another attempt – at which point the Hellcat Charger got the tires hot enough to make a pass. After both cars staged, the wicked Charger launched from idle without the nitrous and made a solid run (times were not announced).

A bit later in the evening, the Dodge Dart named Shartcat from the guys at Gas Monkey Garage came up to the line for their own test run. The Hellcat Dart started off with an incredible burnout, but something seemed to go wrong towards the end of the burnout. Fast N Loud co-star Aaron Kaufmann brought the car to the line for the test run, but something clearly wasn’t right. He attempted to launch the car twice, but both times, the car barely sputtered away from the starting line. Finally, Kaufmann drove the car casually down the 8th mile track.

The Fast N Loud team rushed back to their garage spot to figure out the problem with the Hellcat Hemi powered Dart while the Roadkill guys enjoyed the interest from the crowds surrounding their garage. I spent some time in the Gas Monkey Garage area, and the problem with their car wasn’t clear. Some members were digging around under the hood, a few others (including Kaufmann) were under the car and a few others were going over numbers on their laptop. The team spent the entire rest of the evening working on the car as night fell, with the crowd enthralled with the rest of the drag racing action.

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The grudge match was officially scheduled to go off at 9pm and when the clock struck 9, the Roadkill Charger was sitting at the starting line, but the other lane was empty. 9:15 came – still no Dart from the Fast N Loud crew. Speculation through the crowd quickly grew and many believed that the GMG Dart wasn’t going to be able to make the run. By 9:20, even the track announcer was questioning whether the Hellcat Dart would come to the line…and then the monster Hemi car roared through the staging lanes.

The race was on. Every inch of the stands were packed, five, sometimes ten people deep. Even the area around the back of the burnout box was packed with hundreds of racing fans ready for a head to head battle of Hellcat powered Mopar muscle cars.

The Fast N Loud Dart was the first to clean the tires, doing an awesome burnout and surging forward with a moderate cheer from the crowd. Once Aaron Kaufmann had backed the Dart up past the starting line, the Roadkill Charger driven by David Freiburger did its burnout – which really fired up the crowd. The Charger backed up through the smoke, purged the nitrous and eased to the line. Freiburger appeared to move first on the go-light, but the lighter, smaller Dart from Fast N Loud quickly pulled ahead and Kaufmann never looked back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwnC_t2Y_sw

In the end, the Fast N Loud Hellcat Dart ripped through the 8th mile in 5.8 seconds while the Roadkill Hellcat Charger ran a 6.40. Rawlings and his team celebrated with beers, which was shared with the close crowd in a quick shower.

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This high profile grudge match proved to be an exciting ending to a terrific, free night of drag racing for thousands of fans. While the Roadkill team didn’t win, they should be proud of putting together an incredible event with the help of the folks at Dodge.

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Patrick 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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