- Four YouTube influencers given free Hellcats and $10K cash for mods
- Racing against each other at Roadkill Nights on Woodward Avenue
- Competitors only given four weeks to build cars
UPDATE, August 15: Drag Week veteran Alex Taylor has taken out the Dodge Hellcat Grudge Race at the Roadkill Nights event on Woodward Avenue. The event was covered in an almost 10-hour livestream on Dodge’s YouTube channel.
The Hellcat showdown was run street-style with no track prep, a flag start and no times recorded. Taylor’s Challenger was the only team to go to the trouble of fitting large slick tyres and four-link suspension to their ride and it paid off handsomely. While Taylor was able to hook up, guys like Westen Champlin in his twin-turbo equipped Charger couldn’t get the power down.
How serious the racing was is debatable, with plenty jumped starts from just about all the racers. Eric Malone left very early in the final, handing the win to Alex Taylor. He got his own back in an unofficial re-match. Serious or not, it was a lot of fun! Check it out in the video above.
The story to here
August 14: Dodge is pitting four famous YouTuber influencers against each other for a Hellcat Grudge Race at Roadkill Nights, giving each one a free car and $10K cash for mods – and the stuff they’ve come up with is nuts!
The contestants are young gun Alex Taylor, supercar enthusiast Tavarish, self-proclaimed redneck scientist Westen Champlin and the Throtl group.
Alex Taylor and Throtl were given 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeyes, while Westen Champlin and Tavarish had the same Redeye engines delivered in Charger Hellcats. That means each contestant already had a 797hp, 6.2-litre Supercharged Hemi V8 as a base before they even started spending the $10,000.
The rules were simple – each competitor could do anything they wanted to the cars, so long as they kept the original engine and superchargers. Tyres, fuel, nitrous, turbos, ECUs, chassis modifications, the whole lot were green lighted by Dodge.
Alex Taylor is a Hot Rod Drag Week legend, having first raced at the event at the age of 16. She’s famous for her Badmaro Camaro drag car and her recently completed, six-second capable ’55 Chevy two door.
Alex has gone to town on her Hellcat, and while there’s no YouTube video at the time of writing showing all the mods yet, her Instagram tells a truly gob-smacking story for a four week build.
The whole rear end and floor has been cut out to make way for a custom four link set-up and a huge pair of slicks. Alex and her crew also ripped out the all the wiring and replaced it with a Holley Dominator EFI kit, there’s a TH400 with trans brake and bump button, and we also know the blower has been off for work.
Westen Champlin hasn’t gone nearly that far with the chassis work, but it’s no surprise his solution to making more power is far from conventional, given he recently Cummins-diesel swapped an S550 Mustang.
He opted to throw a pair of turbos underneath the Charger that feed straight into the 2.7L Hellcat blower, saying: “Nitrous is boring, everyone does it on a Hellcat – I wanted turbos!”
The kit is from Hellion, which netted 1004rwhp and some serious traction issues he’ll have to manage on Woodward Avenues unprepared street surface.
The Throtl crew run their YouTube channel alongside an online business which specialises in performance parts. Members of the Throtl crew taking on the build include Rick Beckerman, Mickey Andrade and Rickie Fernandez, who has the job of steering.
Their mods include some upgraded pulleys to get more boost from the blower, a Magnaflow exhaust and a new set of wheels with drag rubber. They have gone to town on making their Challenger as light as possible by ripping every ounce of interior out that they could, as well as upgrading the fuel system and adding a wet nitrous kit.
Tavarish is more at home tinkering on Supercars, and so far has been relatively quiet on what changes he’s made to his Charger. What we do know is that the car has undergone a colour change, has some new wheels and he has a cheeky video on his Instagram purging a nitrous system.
The winner out of the four teams will face off against Motortrend‘s Eric Malone, who’s the leader of the Team 256 squad of grudge-style drag racers. Eric and his team find ratty old cars and bring them back to life, racing them on 1/8-mile tracks, which is then filmed for the Motortrend show Fastest Cars in the Dirty South.
Right now we have no idea what he and his Team 256 crew have done to their blue Challenger Hellcat, but Malone did say: “I have some big plans for my SRT Hellcat Redeye that include coming to Pontiac with more than 1000 horsepower under the hood.”
All that’s been posted so far about Malone’s build is a video showing an angry Hellcat loping away at idle on a dyno.
The Hellcat Grudge Race will take place on August 14 at Roadkill Nights.
Sadly, due to Australians losing the ability to watch Motortrend’s self-run streaming service this year we won’t be able to view the two half-hour Roadkill episodes that will come from the grudge race, but it will be live streamed on Dodge’s own dodgegarage.com website which us Aussies will hopefully have access to.