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Leah Pritchett sets the 2018 Demon quarter mile record

by Patrick Rall on

Earlier this week, Leah Pritchett piloted a unique 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon down the quarter mile in just 8.77 seconds. That is the quickest run turned in by a modern Demon, but this is not your average supercharged Challenger. In fact, this Mopar muscle car features more than 1,200 rear wheel horsepower courtesy of a custom twin turbo setup along with a full carbon fiber body, but at the end of the day, this is still the quickest new Demon in the world.

On Tuesday afternoon, the video below showing a Dodge Demon running an 8.77 quarter mile at 161 miles per hour began circulating around Facebook from the Diablosport Facebook page. With some hunting around, I learned that this Demon had a twin turbo setup from Gearhead Fabrications and a full carbon fiber body from Speedkore, while being driven by none other than Miss Leah Pritchett.

There were no details accompanying the video in terms of what was done to this Demon to run in the 8.70s, so I reached out to Mario Abascal, owner and fabricator at Gearhead Fabrications. He was able to provide all of the details on this wicked Mopar monster, while also sending me a couple videos, including one of this beast on the dyno.

The Engine Build

The average 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is powered by a 6.2-liter Hemi topped with a 2.7-liter IHI supercharger, making 840 horsepower at the crankshaft and somewhere in the low 700s in terms of wheel horsepower. On the other hand, this Demon does not have a supercharger, as the folks at Gearhead Fabrications replaced it with a custom intake manifold (from Speedkore) and a twin turbo setup featuring custom forward facing headers, Precision 6875 billet turbos and a Boost Leash boost controller.

Helping to feed this twin turbo Hemi is a Fore Innovations triple pump fuel system and bigger fuel injectors, but everything else on the engine is stock. The Demon engine has never been opened, so no ported heads, no new camshaft and stock displacement. In fact, the car still uses the factory intercooler chiller system, although Gearhead has added a larger coolant tank with more capacity. Gearhead also added a custom engine oil and transmission fluid cooler.

The engine was tuned by Drag-on resources using Diablosport software and with this setup, this Demon made 1,203 horsepower 1,057 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. You can watch the beast work out on the dyno below.

Other Upgrades

In addition to the big twin turbo setup, this Demon, owned by a man named Alexander Palermo, has a full Speedkore carbon fiber body and no rear seat, but it has both front seats and everything else that comes from the factory. We don’t know the exact curb weight, but I would guess that it is a bit lighter than a stock Demon. The carbon fiber body cuts weight, but the turbo setup likely adds some of it back.

Also, this car does not have the stock Nitto tires, instead opting for a set of Mickey Thompson ET Street R tires on factory wheels.

Finally, in addition to the engine build and the lightweight body, this car is piloted by one of the best drag racers in the world. Factory Stock champion and Don Schumacher Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett is at the wheel. After helping with the development process of the Demon in 2017 along with running Factory Stock with her Drag Pak, Pritchett is arguably one of the most experienced racers in the modern Dodge Challenger.

On these runs, she is “foot-braking”, as this Demon has less than 500 miles on the odometer, meaning that Launch Control with the TransBrake and Torque Reserve is not yet available. Gearhead did add a two-step to get boost pressure up at the starting line, but this car is running 8.70s without the TransBrake. Also, according to Mario Abascal, there is plenty more left in this car, so we could see quicker times from this Demon in the coming weeks.

Track Videos

We have included three track videos here, including two from the track showing runs prior to the 8.77 run, along with that record run from Diablosport.

This is a testing run where Pritchett ran an 8.8.

This run is made with the owner in the passenger seat, but the car still runs an 8.98.

This video shows the record run for a modern Dodge Demon – 8.77 at 161 miles per hour.

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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