When Dodge introduced the Challenger Hellcat back in 2014, it claimed that in stock form with the automatic transmission, it could cover the quarter mile in just 11.2 seconds. With drag radial tires, the time could be reduced down to the 10.80s
The first Hellcat owner to break into the 10-second range was Jay Gustafson, who ran a 10.997 a few years back, making his Challenger the quickest stock Hellcat car in the world, but Canadian racer Jim Benko recently ran a 10.937, on November 11, 2018, breaking Gustafson’s record and becoming the quickest and fastest stock Hellcat in the quarter mile in the world.
Benko, who lives just outside of Montreal, has spent the last year gradually lowering his track times and when he broke an aftermarket driveshaft with a set of drag radials, he went back to the all-stock setup. He went to the track simply to have some fun on a cold night, but he ended up setting the stock Hellcat world record.
Here is what Benko had to say about his record setting pass:
“After reading an article on Jay Gustafson’s 10 second pass, I set that as a goal, having not been to a track in 27 years. My first pass in the car was a 12.7 at an unprepped track, at which point I reset my goals to Dodge’s claims of 11.2.
In June of last year at Napierville Dragway I managed to run 7 passes at 11.2. Then went to 20″ Nitto’s and struggled with them on no prep tracks and test-n-tune nights with no prep while trying to match Dodge’s 10.8 drag radial time. In Aug I went to a track rental on the stock tires as I was waiting on new drag radials. I managed to run 11.2’s almost all day and we figured that’s all it had in it. However, on November 4th 2017 at Napierville Dragway I managed to run a string of 10.72’s with a best of [email protected]8.9 with the 20″ Nitto’s.
With the 60-foot times I was running I decided to put a stronger driveshaft in the car and upgrade to 17″ M/T et street r’s so I could run 10’s at no prep tracks which worked. I kept resetting my personal bests with this setup, running as quick as [email protected] in -300DA with a 60′ of 1.51on Oct 7th.
Two weeks later I went to the track and after it stopped snowing I broke my ds on the first pass, so I put the car back to stock. A friend talked me into going to Napierville dragway on November 4th 2018. It took a few 11.3 and 11.2 passes to get into the rhythm, but I ran a best time that night of 11.035 at 129.5 miles per hour and I backed it up with an 11.02 at 129.7. It was 8c out and da was -600 or so.
On November 11th 2018 there was a group of modified Hellcats going to Napierville dragway so I figured I would go, but with a high of 32f/0c I didn’t have any hopes of quick passes. Another string of 11.3’s and 11.2 but at over 130 due to the -1500 da. At this track you can see your times on the board up to the 1/8. So on my second last pass when I saw the 1/8 mile time I figured I had a decent run. Maybe 11.0 or 10.99 due to the mph I had been running.
When I checked the time it was a [email protected] DA was -1500 according to the track and it was 32f out. I was amazed since I have the factory P-zero summer tires on and it was that cold out. The car has 6000 miles on it and much of that is going to a track. I have about 100+ passes completely stock. I haven’t counted all my slips yet but probably more than 500 passes on the car. We have been to “Race the Runway” in Smith Falls Ontario for the last 2yrs and have been the fastest stock powered Hellcat and the quickest 1/4 mile time for the same both years.
The car has always been run full weight with the factory filled windshield washer, original air filter and usually with ¾-tank fuel. I ran it one day with front skinnies and rear seat removed and ran [email protected] The car is completely stock at the moment with everything as delivered including the compressor as well as the lock for the wheels and the lug nuts the dealer removed. The only thing different on the car is it is wearing 2017 wheels as my wheels now live on my wife’s Charger.”