Roadtripping to the NMCA Drag Racing Series season opener, the NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines, JLT Performance proprietor Jay Tucker had one thing on his mind for those 550 or so miles, to run a 9-second pass in his brand new 2020 Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody.
By the time Tucker had arrived at Bradenton Motorsports Park, his Hellcat had been equipped with Metco pulleys, Injector Dynamics 1050 squirters, a Jokerz ported blower snout, a VMP Performance 105mm throttle body, a JLT Performance cold air kit, and a custom ECM calibration courtesy of Brent Hughes and DTP Racing. The result was 830 rwhp on pump gas and a tire-spinning 860 on race gas.
“There’s maybe $2,500-$3,000 worth of parts on the car,” Tucker quipped. He had just taken delivery of the Indigo Blue Charger in January and by the time he rolled into the track, it had logged just 1,500 miles on the odometer.
To put the power down properly, Tucker swapped out the factory rubber for a set of Race Star wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson ET Street R tires, sized 305/45/17 in the back. His first runs were just about learning the car and what it wanted from a launch standpoint, and a 10.1 right off the bat meant he was already very close to his goal.
Topping the tank off with VP Racing Fuels VP109 race fuel was next on the agenda, and then it was back to the track.
“It launches pretty easy, but I had some spinning issues,” Tucker said. “I was datalogging and going back and forth with Brent to fine tune it.” Tucker finished 3rd quickest in the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout on Saturday and was given the 10-second award for his 10.19-second three-run average. That also qualified him for the heads-up Arrington Performance HEMI Quick 8 presented by Redline Oil on Sunday, but he had a decision to make. Running in the 9s without the required safety equipment meant he would be disqualified from competition, but he wanted that time slip more than anything.
In the first round of eliminations, Tucker laid into the throttle and never lifted, blowing through the traps at 142.25 mph and stopping the ET clock in 9.65 seconds. And a little while later, he switched tires and drove the Hellcat 550 miles back home.
“It’s a big fast, fat leather couch,” Tucker said of his 8-speed automatic-equipped luxobarge, which for the record weighed in at 4,700 lbs with driver. Getting that much muscle moving across the 60-ft clocks in just 1.40 seconds should not be an easy feat, but the blown HEMI sure makes it look that way. Check out the video below to see the run.