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 |  Apr 11 2011, 11:16 AM

It’s only been out for a month, but now, thanks to the efforts of veteran racer Dave Thomas; the 2011 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak (Mopar’s spelling not ours), has blazed into the history books.

During a test session at Atco Raceway in New Jersey last week, in preparation for the NHRA Division 1 National Open; Thomas rattled off an Elapsed Time of 9.43 seconds at 143.90 mph in the quartermile, setting a new fastest record in the process.

Thomas, who’s been drag racing since 1971, took delivery of his turn-key drag spec Challenger just two weeks prior. Powered by a version of the Viper’s 500 cubic inch V-10 and equipped with a two-speed drag transmission and solid rear axle, plus a competition fuel system; Thomas says the only changes from what Mopar offers out of the box were adding weight bars.

“It’s a spectacular car,” he said. “On its first-ever run, the car went a 9.79 at 137 mph. It’s a turn-key operation. There are no headaches involved in setting it up at all. You just get in there and drive it. It’s neat that the factory can make something like this.”