When the 2022 Muscle Cars at the Strip event is held next March, there will be plenty of incredible drag racing, but in a match race battle for the ages, the world’s quickest and fastest Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat racers will go head-to-head. This includes the 007 Hellcat of the Epling Garage family race team and the GRMPYCAT Hellcat Challenger of Kevin Helmick. The Epling car was the world’s quickest and fastest Hellcat car in the quarter mile for years, being the first in the 8s and the first in the 7s. Helmick was the first Hellcat driver in the 6s, allowing the GRMPYCAT to hold the current record as the world’s quickest and fastest Hellcat car.
The Epling 007 Hellcat Challenger and the GRMPYCAT Hellcat Challenger have never gone head-to-head, but that will all change in a few months. These two will battle for the title of the world’s quickest and fastest Hellcat cars as part of the Unlimited Modern MuscleCar All Star Invitational at Muscle Cars at the Strip, held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Best of all, with months to prepare, we can rest assured that both of these modern Mopar monsters were lay down quicker times than ever before.
The Basic Details
As you can surely tell from the images shown here, both the Epling 007 Challenger and the GRMPYCAT Challenger are both heavily modified. However, they both began their lives as normal production Challengers, built on the Brampton line and shipped to a dealership like any other new Dodge car. Both cars have also gone through a gradual transformation process from your average street car to two of the world’s quickest modern Mopar race cars.
As mentioned above, the Epling Challenger was the first Hellcat car to make an 8-second pass back in October of 2017 while also being the first to make a 7-second pass in September of 2019. As a result of those groundbreaking runs, the Epling car held the title of the World’s Quickest (and fastest) Hellcat in the quarter mile from 2017 through 2021.
As for Helmick, after success racing in production form, his GRMPYCAT Challenger got the full race car build treatment, allowing him to run in the low 7s before clicking off a 6.99. That was the first Hellcat car in the 6s, moving him into the top spot for the world’s quickest Hellcat car – a title that the Eplings had held for years without any competition.
Not surprisingly, the Epling Garage family race team didn’t sit back and relax once the record that they had held for so long was claimed by Helmick. The 007 Hellcat recently swapped from the supercharger to a turbo setup, which team patriarch Leon Epling told me allowed them to gain upwards of 500 horsepower. Leon also hinted to the fact that they are a whole lot quicker than when they set their last record times in the 7.30s, but he wouldn’t reveal any solid numbers.
Meanwhile, Helmick knows that the Epling team is going to come out faster than ever, so he is making some off-season changes to GRMPYCAT as well. He didn’t go into any details, but Helmick explained that his Hellcat Challenger will have a larger turbocharger along with some top end work to help make more power than he did when he ran the 6.99.
6-Second Hellcat Battle
While we don’t know which Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will come away from Muscle Cars at the Strip 2022 with the title of the world’s quickest Hellcat car, but we can bet that they will both be running well into the 6-second range. While being great drivers and builders, both Leon Epling and Kevin Helmick are smart racers and they both know that they will have to bring the best stuff ever.
Eplings know that Helmick ran 6.99 and has added more power, so he is sure to go quicker than that. Eplings wouldn’t go into this race if they didn’t have a real chance of winning, so we can expect that they are looking to run deeper into the 6-second range to beat GRMPYCAT, which is also likely to shoot for the mid-6s.
If you want to be present for this legendary Hellcat match race, it will be held at Muscle Cars at the Strip, held from March 18-20, 2022 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event has a ton of classes for modern Mopars and non-Mopar muscle cars, so if you have an American car, you enjoy drag racing and you want to be there for this legendary shootout – plan your trip to Vegas right away.