A week ago today, we brought you the news of the first privately owned 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 to break into the 8-second range. That car, owned and driven by Lee Saunders and prepared by Gearhead Fabrications, got down to an 8.947 at 150.33 miles per hour with the full leather interior, aftermarket wheels and a mild transmission tune, just 37 thousandths of a second behind the official Dodge time. Yesterday, Saunders and the Gearhead team were back at the track and while they only made one good run, they claimed the world record for the quickest 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 in the quarter mile – beating the official Dodge time.
When Lee Saunders became the first private Demon 170 owner to run in the 8s, he did so with a full leather factory interior and the full premium sound system, so even though he was running aftermarket wheels with skinnies up front, the single-seat Dodge test car still has a weight advantage. You can read more about his car and his first 8-second runs by clicking here. To try to counter that weight difference, Saunders removed the passenger seat, the speaker assembly from the trunk and replaced the stock battery with a lightweight unit. No other changes were made since he first got into the 8s, so his full list of modifications are include aftermarket spark plugs, aftermarket wheels with skinny front tires, lightweight battery, the passenger seat was removed, the speaker assembly was removed and the transmission was adjusted to move the shift points up by roughly 300 rpm.
With that short list of changes over stock, Lee Saunders laid down an 8.896 at 150.60 miles per hour. On that run, his Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 pulled a 1.235 60-foot time and got to the 8th mile marker in 5.671 seconds at 122.1 miles per hour. For comparison, on the official Dodge run of 8.91, the car driven by Jim Wilder pulled a 1.244 60-foot time and got to the 8th mile in 5.677 seconds at 121.77 miles per hour.
While the minor modifications made to this Demon 170 will remove it from the “stock time” conversations, in beating the official Dodge time, Lee Saunders’ Challenger is the quickest of its kind in the world. Saunders and Gearhead have set the bar for the title of the world’s quickest Demon 170, but they are far from finished. They plan to install a lightweight Kirkey racing seat for the next trip to the track, which will cut a fair amount of weight when compared to the stock leather seat. According to AirDensityOnline, the density altitude at the time of the run was around 77 feet, so it is a bit closer to the air quality (308), but as time goes on, we are guaranteed to see some of these cars run at big negative DA, so it will be interesting to see what a Demon 170 will do at -1000 feet or better.
In the meantime, Lee Saunders and the team from Gearhead Fabrications have set the record as the quickest 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 in the world – beating the Dodge time. Although he is lightly modified, I am still confident that we will see stock cars in the 8s as more owners receive their cars.