Hellcat Redeye vs. Corvette Z06 Shows Timing Is Everything on the Strip

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Showdown between the ferocious Challenger and brawny Corvette Z06 proves that weight isn’t always the biggest factor in a race.

For the past 50+ years, one of the biggest rivalries, if not the biggest, rivalry in the automotive world has been between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. But those aren’t the only companies that have competed for sales and bragging rights at race tracks and drag strips across the country. Dodge has been a formidable force in the horsepower wars, even though the Challenger hasn’t been as consistently available over the years as its domestic rivals.

These days, the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody and Corvette ZR1 are Dodge and Chevy’s top performance models, but it wasn’t all that long ago when the regular Challenger Hellcat and Corvette Z06 were the biggest guns their respective companies had. Even by today’s standards, they’re monstrously powerful. Both use a similar power source, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, and route its ample output through a manual or automatic gearbox and the rear wheels. After that, the similarities end.

dodgeforum.com Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Gets the Jump on a Corvette Z06 at the Strip

The (pre-2019) Challenger Hellcat is a big, beefy four-seater with 707 horsepower that weighs in at a minimum of 4,442 pounds (2018 Challenger Hellcat with a manual transmission) while the 650-horsepower Z06 only carries two people and 3,524 pounds around.

dodgeforum.com Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Gets the Jump on a Corvette Z06 at the Strip

Those major differences didn’t stop the two drivers in this video on the YouTube channel Wheels from racing against each other at the Mission Raceway Park in Mission, British Columbia, Canada. That’s just how it is, even north of the U.S. If you have a fast American car, someone else in a different fast American car is going to want to race you.

dodgeforum.com Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Gets the Jump on a Corvette Z06 at the Strip

After burning out to expose some fresh rubber to stick to the drag strip, both cars get in position. The drivers get the signal. The race starts…and effectively ends at the same time. The person in the Challenger has lightning-quick reflexes and absolutely nails the launch, leaving the Z06 behind almost immediately. The Mopar monster tears down the track with such fury that it’s easy to forget how powerful and fast the Z06 is.

dodgeforum.com Dodge Challenger Redeye Gets the Jump on a Corvette Z06 at the Strip

It ends up way behind the Challenger, which crosses the line in 10.74 seconds at 130.83 mph. More than half a second later (11.33 seconds), the ‘Vette hits the 1,320-foot mark at 128 mph. By no means is it a slow car, but there’s no denying which automaker won this particular battle in the ongoing war for domestic brand dominance.

Photos: Screenshots

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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