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By a margin of just .015-second, less than the blink of an eye, Josh Schwartz missed out on the first place trophy in Saturday’s Hemi Shootout held at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Schwartz wheeled his ’18 Hellcat Challenger to consecutive runs of 8.676, 8.880, and 8.872 providing a final average of 8.809 seconds. An impressive average to be sure, but slightly slower than Ed Springstead’s 8.794 average. Schwartz might normally be upset to lose by such a narrow margin, but in this case, he’s not overly worried since Springstead is his teammate. Both cars were prepared at Schwartz’s business, High Horse Performance in Smyrna, Del., which is a recognized leader when it comes to the Mopar Gen 3 Hemi package. 
“This car is really good and it’s really versatile,” Schwartz said of his 2018 Widebody Hellcat, which is owned by Darrel Faulk. “This car has a Whipple 3-liter blower and a nitrous system from Nitrous Outlet. The engine came from BES ad hit’s got Thitek cylinder heads which are really good. We’ve got 18 years of experience with this platform, so I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on it.”
Schwartz’s Challenger is limited by rollcage rules to 8.50-seconds, but it’s capable of running much quicker than that. For the sake of consistency, Schwartz de-tuned the car for Saturday’s Hemi Shootout since the car is required to make three back-to-back-to-back runs without lifting the hood. That’s a tough task for many so-called street cars, but not for Schwartz. 
“We ran an 8.56 during testing but for the [Hemi Shootout] we just turned down the launch a little bit and the car responded with three pretty consistent runs,” Schwartz said. “This is still a very streetable car. All we need to do is change the blower pulley and we can run it on pump gas. Otherwise, we use VP Q16, which we’ve had a lot of success with. It’s has a lot of protective qualities which makes it almost impossible to detonate.”
With the top two spots in the Hemi Shootout secured, Schwartz will now turn his attention to the Quick 8 class, which happens to be sponsored by HHP Racing.
“I think we’ve got a good chance to win this [Quick 8] deal today,” Schwartz said. “Depending on who I have to race, I can hopefully take it a bit easy in the first round or two and then really get after it if we make it to the final. We came back to NMCA this year and it’s been a really positive experience. The Challenger platform is supposed to go away after next year, but these cars are so popular. I’m sure people will still be racing and modding them for 10 years or more. They really are great cars.”

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