Epling Garage Hellcat Challenger Resets Record Again: Track Time Tuesday
First Hellcat in the 8s is aiming for the 7s, with a father and son team campaigning this legendary Challenger.
This week’s Track Time Tuesday comes to us from the YouTube channel of Leon Epling and it features the Epling Garage 007 Dodge Challenger. If you pay any attention to modern Mopar track records, the Epling name should be familiar, as the father, son and grandson team of Leon, Jason and Logan have worked together to hold the title of the world’s quickest Hellcat-powered car for years. The 007 Challenger was the first in the eight-second range and now they are shooting for 7s while continuing to hold their title by running quicker and quicker times.
While recently running at a Modern Street Hemi Shootout event at Rockingham, the Epling Hellcat smashed the record that they already held while getting within two-tenths of the seven-second range.
The Epling 007 Challenger
The Epling Garage car shown here started its life as a standard Hellcat Challenger with the six-speed manual transmission, but over the course of the past few years, it has been transformed into a street-legal race car.
Under the hood is a Hellcat Hemi that has been bored and stroked to 7.0 liters (or 426 cubic inches) fitted with a 4.9-liter Kenne Bell supercharger and a nitrous oxide system. This car makes well over a thousand horsepower at the wheels, and the power gets there by means of a Liberty manual transmission and Ram pro-stock-style clutch. The system is tuned by Tim Barth and the engine management system is provided by Holley, with Holley engineers playing a key role in the development of the management system. The Epling car is the first Hellcat car to run this system, so Epling, Barth and the Holley team worked together to make the system work with the supercharged Hemi.
Finally, this Challenger has a Strange rear differential and an adjustable suspension setup that allows the team to make use of all of that supercharger, nitrous-injected Hemi power. Of course, that is with the driving skill of Jason Epling, who knows how to use Hellcat power as well as anyone in the world.
In the video above, Jason Epling is piloting the 007 Hellcat Challenger on a fairly warm day during the Modern Street Hemi Shootout. Many of the past Hellcat record runs were made in cold air, with a density altitude that is well into the negative range, but at the MSHS event, the cars were running in DA around 1,500 feet. That didn’t stop the Epling car from making monster power and with the warmer air, traction was better than it is on cold days.
As a result, the Epling Challenger launched with the wheels way up in the air, but Jason stayed into the throttle, riding out the big wheelie and storming down the track faster than anyone in a Hellcat has ever stopped the times. The elapsed time was 8.15 seconds with a trap speed of 169 miles per hour, crushing their own previous record of 8.51 seconds at 159 miles per hour.
Again, this car has a manual transmission, so Jason Epling is rowing through the gears while nearly breaking into the seven-second range, so crank up your speakers and enjoy.