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Regular people are running 9s with Demons

by Patrick Rall on

When the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon began reaching owners around the country and those owners began hitting the track, many of them were running in the 10-second range. As a result of those early track results, skeptics and critics of the car insisted that it was only capable of running 9s in stock form with a test engineer like FCA’s Jim Wilder or NHRA driver Leah Pritchett – both of whom were involved with the record-setting efforts of the Demon prior to going on sale.

As time went on, we began seeing Demon owners who weren’t pros or engineers with unlimited track time running in the 9s, but the critics were quick to point out that those drivers were “track rats” who spend tons of time at the track. They aren’t professionals, but they are far better drivers at the track with loads of experience. The critics continued to claim that a “regular person” couldn’t buy a Demon and expect to run 9s.

Today, we bring you just one of the many examples of a regular guy running 9s in his 2018 Dodge Demon. That guy is Tim Holmberg, who purchased an F8 Green Demon after more than a decade without any sort of drag racing action and with less than three dozen runs on the car, he is in the 9-second range.

Holmberg’s Background

Prior to owning and racing his 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, Tim Holmberg’s last traction action came back in 2005. He had a 1974 Plymouth Cuda bracket car with a 440 that was built to the tune of 550 horsepower, running low-11s in the quarter mile.

When he took delivery of his Demon in 2018, Holmberg didn’t have time to get to the track for quite some time and when he did, he spent much of his first trip to Great Lakes Dragway figuring out the car. However, during that first trip, he was able to get down into the low-10s. Running at GLD, Holmberg ran a 10.21, a 10.18, a 10.12 and a 10.08 before traveling to Houston, Texas for the Legion of Demons racing event. While there, he ran his best quarter mile ever, laying down a 9.87 @ 136.98, and had he not been forced to leave the event early, he believes that there was a 9.7X in the car.

Now, it should be noted that Holmberg’s car isn’t exactly stock, as he has replaced the stock Nitto tires with a set of Mickey Thompson ET Street R drag radials, but everything else is factory-issued inside and out – crate parts included.

While Tim Holmberg spent time racing back in the early 2000s, he is by no means a pro or a track rat, but he was able to run a 9.87 with his Demon after a fairly limited number of runs. Keep in mind that when Jim Wilder ran 9.60s in testing, he made over 1,000 passes, so no one knows the car as well as he does. That seat time is irreplaceable, but like so many other owners, Tim Holmberg has proven that the 2018 Demon is a legitimate 9-second car for someone who doesn’t spend every waking minute at the drag strip.

We have yet to see a stock car hit FCA’s record, but a stock car with a rear tire swap running 9.80s with a fairly inexperienced driver is a mighty impressive feat – one that no other production car in American history has been close to achieving.

For those of you wondering why we picked Holmberg to feature with many owners running in the 9s. His activity in the online Mopar community, his background in Mopar performance and the fact that he owns a 1971 Demon all played a role in our choice to reach out to him. For those wondering, the 1971 Demon was purchased for his 21-year old daughter and before she hits the road, the pair plans to build a 318 to replace the Slant 6. In the meantime, the two make an awesome couple parked together in Holmberg’s shop.

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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