You can’t keep a good man down, and Rob Goss can’t keep his Challenger down, either. Hailing from Sheridan, Wyoming, the longtime NMRA/NMCA Street Outlaw and X275 star put his familiar black and green ’09 Dodge Drag Pak (serial number 33) through the wringer over the winter and knocked out a long list of changes.
Goss partnered with Bruce Maichle of High Horse Performance around 2012 when he first started putting together his then-750 horsepower Challenger street car. Over the years, the build (and its performance) ramped up significantly from its initial NHRA-legal status, and Goss went on to set many records – including the title of having the world’s quickest Gen III Hemi-powered car, a feat he set in February of 2017 and which still stands today.
During the off season, Goss’s Challenger was completely stripped down and rebuilt. “Everything but the quarter panels are new. We’ve changed everything in the car,” noted Goss. “We originally started with a 10-point cage, then it went to a 25.3, then we did a back half, the year after that we did the front half, so, it’s been a chassis that was pieced together over the years.” Not satisfied with how the car was keeping up with what he was trying to do horsepower- and race-wise, Goss knew it was time for an upgrade or twenty.
After the 2017 World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic race in November, Goss sent the car to Mike Carbone at MPH Fabrications in Connecticut. “He had it for three months, and when we got it back, it was basically a brand-new chassis and a couple hundred pounds lighter,” Goss happily explained of the expert work Carbone provided. “I can’t say enough how good a job he did. The car is nicely put together and it’s all quality work – he really knocked it out of the park.”
The Challenger then returned to its home-away-from-home at Maichle’s High Horse Performance. An aluminum block based 404 ci Gen III Hemi, built by BES Racing Engines and topped with Thitek billet Gen III cylinder heads, was bolted to a Proformance three-speed Turbo 400 transmission. Additionally, a new dry sump oil system from Moroso was installed, and Goss’s familiar ProCharger F1X-12R blower was reinstalled along with a Chris Alston’s Chassisworks CDS gear drive.
A custom-fabricated ladder bar-style suspension can be found out back, and a TRZ Motorsports 9” floater axle was bolted up. Depending on track conditions, they’ll switch between either Santhuff or Menscer Motorsports shocks in the rear, with Santhuff struts in the front. Once the powertrain was finally complete, it was time to focus on the next items on the “To Do” list.
Abdullah Alshatti at Pro Wire had the honors of plumbing and wiring the Challenger, and the work was top notch. “Next, Bruce [Maichle] did the brake lines, water lines, and put the car back in running order,” said Goss, who flew out to the shop in Delaware for a few weekends to help out.
“Once it was done, we drove down to Florida and went to Hartline Performance to work with Cal Hartline on the chassis dyno,” Goss stated of the four-day wrench-fest to work out the new combo’s bugs. Once everything in the FuelTech FT500 engine management system was dialed in – courtesy of crew chief and tuner, Miachle – the guys rolled into Florida’s Bradenton Motorsports Park for the 2018 NMCA season opener.
There, Goss was able to make one test pass before qualifying. “We had an issue in round one, then broke an intake rocker in round two that resulted in a burned up head gasket, a torched head, and a little damage to the block,” explained Goss, “but because of the rain delay we were able to get it back together round 1:00am on Sunday and didn’t miss a round.”
Goss qualified sixth in NMCA Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw when he went 4.513 at 163.90 mph. It was a far cry from his personal best of 4.36 (July, 2017) and although he didn’t make it past round one of eliminations, Goss still felt it was a successful shakedown outing.
“We know there’s plenty more left in it. We plan to run all the NMCA events the rest of the season, and when that winds down, we’ll run as many X275 races as we can in the fall,” he elaborated of his plans to further improve his personal best and capture some wins along the way.