The One Lap of America is winding through the sunshine state and our bright white Challenger SRT8 showed up at the Daytona International Speedway wearing hundreds of miles of road grime. Erich and Adam arrived at NASCARs hallowed ground at 1:30am after an evening run from South Carolina. They got a few winks at the hotel and headed out to the track at 7:30 am.
This stage of the One Lap had the guys making three laps around the high banks of Daytona which included the 24 Hour road course and the oval and infield portions. The 392 HEMI® was able to stretch its legs on the super speedway and hit 166 mph on the straightaway. Erich must have felt like Richard Petty or Buddy Baker driving their winged warriors from the late 1960s and early 70s. The honking HEMI® finished 11th overall and 2nd in class. The boys also did another run with the driving lights rotated 180 degrees for better aerodynamics and clicked off an amazing 168.8 mph. Needless to say, our bone stock Challenger SRT8 was pulling like a freight train in high gear! The attrition rate among One Lap competitors continued as a Porsche GT3RS smoked its clutch and did not finish the event. Its a less than glamorous exit from the infield where they had it strapped down on a flatbed wrecker going through the speedways tunnel.
Our Dynamic Duo had time to give the Challenger SRT8 a much needed bath and pack everything up for the days next stop. They headed 100 miles North to Gainesville Raceway, home of the NHRA Gatornationals. This fabled quarter-mile drag strip surface has seen its share of nitro powered HEMI® Dragsters and Funny Car ground pounders since 1970. Its also drag racing pioneer and former NHRA World Champion Big Daddy Don Garlits home away from home when hes not giving guided tours at his Museum of Drag Racing just down interstate 75 in Ocala.
Now Adam was behind the wheel and had to finesse getting the 392 HEMIs 470 lb.-ft. of torque off the starting line. He only got one shot to put up a good elapsed time on the scoreboards before going into eliminations. With the temperature and humidity climbing and the lack of traction, he was able to run a respectable 13.20. The rest of field also felt the sting of the less than stellar conditions as everyone was at half second off. The bad news is Adam lost in round one of the bracket race but the good news so did the other SSGT2 competitor, no harm no foul. The guys finished 23rd overall and 2nd in the SSGT2 class for the drag racing portion of One Lap.
They departed Gainesville Racing at 8:30 pm and grabbed another pizza – we see a theme forming here. The Challenger SRT8 then headed out the gates of the drag strip towards bayou country and drove 600 miles to Belle Rose Louisiana. They hammered down while dodging Road Cobras, those nasty tire retreads strewn all over the highway courtesy of 18-wheelers. The rugged Challenger took a couple of hits but luckily the front spoiler was still in one piece. They arrived at the hotel at 4:00 am Wednesday and took a two hour nap before heading over to Circuit Grand Bayou.
After Tuesdays event, the Dynamic Duo moved up from 19th place to 15th in overall standings thanks to the Challengers great performance and their talented driving skills. Although their steady diet of pizza and caffeine might have something to do with it!