World’s Quickest Dodge Challenger Hellcat Runs a 7.39

If you have paid any attention to the world of record-setting modern Mopar monsters, the odds are good that you have heard of the Epling Garage Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. Since the Hellcat cars hit the street, the father, son and grandson(s) team of Leon, Jason, Logan and Aiden Epling have been setting records for the factory-supercharged muscle. They were one of the first to run in the 8-second range and they were the first to put a Hellcat car in the 7-second range.

Epling Hellcat Challenger 7.39

Of course, transforming the 11-second Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with a 6-speed manual transmission into a 7-second beast takes more than basic engine upgrades. This car has been heavily upgraded front front to back, inside and out, but this car has a Hellcat Challenger VIN with all of the factory steel panels and rollup windows. It also has the factory dashboard and center console, as well as the factory passenger seat.

You might be wondering what all goes into getting a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to run nearly as quick as the NHRA Pro Stock cars. Fortunately, we had a chance to speak with Leon Epling, who provided us with the full details on the world’s quickest Hellcat Challenger.

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007 in Action

Since the Epling Garage Challenger began turning heads, Leon has been calling this car “007”. Right now, the quickest that the 007 Hellcat Challenger has gone in the quarter mile is a 7.393 at 182 miles per hour. On that run, Jason Epling got to the 8th mile mark in 4.759 seconds at 154 miles per hour. You can watch that run in the video below, which was laid down during a bracket race elimination round of the Modern Street Hemi Shootout event at The Rock. The video quality is not great, but we can still watch and listen as the Epling Challenger lays down a stunning 7.39 quarter mile.

Next, we have a video of the Epling Hellcat running in an 8th mile class, running a 4.78 at 152, so these are a touch slower than the 7.39, but not by much. More importantly, this video is excellent quality.

Make sure to have your sound turned up for those videos.

The Build

Now, for the information that you have been waiting for – the list of components that come together to create the world’s quickest Hellcat car.

Engine:
Epling Hemsley 426 cubic inch BGE Block, not filled, not O-ringed
ThiTek cylinder heads
Standard head studs
Molnar billet crankshaft
Custom Ross pistons
Callies rods
Custom Comp Cams camshaft
Kenne Bell 4.9-liter dual inlet supercharger providing around 30 pounds of boost
Epling Garage custom supercharger hat
NOS 200 shot injected thru FAS supercharger spacer
Snow Injection for the supercharger
Kooks Headers
Dual Magnafuel 750 external fuel pumps
2.5-gallon fuel tank
5-gallon ice tank in the trunk
Hot Shot Secret Oils
Holley EFI engine management system

It should be noted that the team has been running this motor, clutch, transmission and supercharger have been in the car four years with no breakage, even though it has made countless 7-second quarter mile runs.

Epling Hellcat Challenger 7.39

Driveline:
When the Epling family first started campaigning this Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, it had the 6-speed manual transmission. Today, it has been swapped to a Libery 5-speed racing manual gearbox with a QuickTime bellhousing, Ram 10-inch triple-disc clutch and a custom shifter. The power from the transmission is sent through a Driveshaft Shop chromoly driveshaft with 1480 u-joints, a 10-inch Moser floating rear differential with Moser 40-spline axles and either 3.40 or 3.90 gears. Putting the power to the ground is a set of 15-inch RC Comp double beadlock wheels measuring 15 inches wide, wrapped in either 315 Mickey Thompson radials or Hoosier slicks.

Chassis, Steering and Brakes:
This Dodge Challenger has been back-halved by Firepunk Diesel, but from the back seat area to the front bumper, this Hellcat uses the factory unibody. The front shocks are from Strange and the rears are from Menser. The front brakes are from Strange and the rears are from Moser. The manual steering uses a Flaming River setup with detachable wheel and the wheelie bars were provided by Mike Williams.

Epling Hellcat Challenger 7.39

Other Upgrades Inside and Out:
While the car uses factory sheet metal, the front end has been converted into a one-piece design. The parachute is from Stroud with a bracket that was built by Bill Gamble. The power cutoff is from Jegs and the parachute level is from Liberty. As mentioned above, this car has the factory Hellcat passenger seat with a Kirkly drivers seat and a carbon fiber rear seat delete panel. Darrell Cox provided a pair of lightweight batteries and MPR and Firepunk worked together on the safety cage.

Thanks from Leon

Finally, Leon Epling would like to thank a great many people for their helping in making this Hellcat Challenger the on-track beast that it has been over the past few years.

-Baby Jesus.

-My wife – She is my rock.

-My son – He has laid under and over this car and lived the dream with me. Priceless.

-Grandkids – They have helped a bunch.

-Matt Hensley and Ken Hensley – Their knowledge is second to nobody, their balance of the motor has enabled it to run for 4 years at higher than normal rpm.

-Tim Barth – He has point blank become a family member along with his wife Rhonda. Every text, every phone call, weekends of testing with us. We have grown together.

-Ram clutches – Instant responses every time.

-Thiteks heads – The leader in hemi heads .

-Liberty gears – Transmissions that won’t quit. It’s been in car for 4 years with no problems.

-Driveshaft Shop – Frank has been there every time I call.

-Cox Batteries – I’ve never had an issue, I run 2 of his batteries, still alot lighter than 1 stock one.

-Jim Bell of Kenne bell superchargers – Always there to help me every time.

-Cage and chassis work by MPR and Firepunk.

-Hot shots secret oils.

Others…. Mike Williams chassis… Mike wolfe, and so many others that have helped on the weekend, in a pinch, to get this car out again.

-Patrick Rall for all the nice articles.

-Dan VanHorn for a great hemi series.

-Kentucky Dragway and London Dragway for all the test sessions.

-I know I have forgotten some, but thank them also.

Finally, Leon has told us to stay tuned for the next chapter of 007, which will be the “most talked about one yet”. He hints to another racing series and a faster car in the future, with the plans to be the first Hellcat car to run in the 6s.

Patrick Rall is a professional writer and photographer with a passion for all things automotive. Having grown up in his father’s performance shop, he spent extensive time at the oval track and drag strip – both driving and wrenching on various types of vehicles. In addition to working as a writer, Patrick previously worked as an automotive technician before moving on to a business office position with a chain of dealerships, and this broad spectrum of experience in the industry allows him to offer a unique look on the automotive world. Follow Patrick on Twitter, Facebook and on Youtube. Contact him at (973) 925-6058.

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