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Epling Garage smashes their own Hellcat world record

by Patrick Rall on

This past weekend, the Monster Muscle Car Weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park played home to the Demon & Hellcat Nationals – a fitting location for the Epling Garage Dodge Challenger to reset the world record for the quickest Hellcat car in the world. With Jason Epling at the wheel, the “007” Challenger laid down a stunning 8.51 at 159.23 miles per hour.

The previous record was also set by the 007 Epling Garage Challenger, with their previous best time being an 8.71 at 157 miles per hour, so the new record beats the old record by two tenths of a second. Also, there is no other Hellcat car running right now that has run anything close to an 8.5, so the Epling Garage car is currently the undisputed quickest Hellcat car in the world. Also, for those wondering, the 007 Challenger made other 8.5X runs at the event, including an 8.53, so this wasn’t a one-off blast that was much faster than the others. This is a legitimate 8.50 car and it does so without any nitrous oxide.

So how did they drop from 8.70s to 8.50s?  A winter project to rebuild the engine and driveline components of this Mopar muscle car to help it make more power and make better use of that power.

The Engine Build

The heart of the Epling Garage 007 Challenger is, of course, the supercharged Hellcat Hemi under the hood. The engine is fully built, but it is a Hellcat Hemi engine block bored and stroked to 426 cubic inches. It was then fitted with an A2Speed camshaft and topped with Thitek cylinder heads and a massive Kenne Bell 4.9-liter supercharger sporting a four inch pulley. Again, those 8.5X runs were made on blower only, without the use of nitrous oxide. Nitrous is a popular power-adder in the Hellcat world, but so far, the Epling car is running without the laughing gas. They might run nitrous in the future, but right now, the team plans to get all that they can from the blower-only setup.

More than a Big Engine

The power from that monstrous Hemi engine is set to the rear wheels by means of a Liberty racing manual transmission paired with a Ram triple disc clutch. Out back, the 007 Challenger has a Strange differential with Gun-drilled axles, with a Driveshaft shop chromoly driveshaft getting the power to that big rear diff. Finally, a set of Bogart wheels with MT Pro drag radials put the power to the ground hard enough to help this Dodge Challenger cover the first 60 feet of the track in just 1.258 seconds.

Finally, this Hellcat Challenger has a full Mopar Drag Pak suspension setup, helping the car get off of the line and down the track as smoothly as possible.

Who Made This Possible

After the record run, I spoke with Leon Epling – the elder statesman in the father-son team that has been campaigning the world’s quickest Hellcat car for several years now. In addition to providing me with all of the details on the car listed above, he offered the following quote on the incredible record run:

Hats off to Matt Hensley for helping me with the motor, my tuner Tim Barth, Kenne Bell superchargers, all my family, Liberty Transmissions, Ram clutches, Epling garage rocks, Epling/Hensley motors. You all Rock. Thanks to the man above…this can happen…blessings.

Thank A2Speed for help on getting some of our motor parts that were on shortage, and Demon Performance, who helped the Epling Garage team get their new 6.2 block when no one else could.

Congratulations to Leon and Jason on their newest record and I speak on the behalf of the entire Mopar community when I say that we can’t wait to see what they do later this season as temperatures continue to drop.

Check out the video below of the record run by the Epling Garage Hellcat Challenger.

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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