Boost season is definitely upon us. Track events and track rentals are popping up every other day. Racers and would-be record breakers are trekking the highways every chance they can get to take advantage of the last events of the year. Earlier this week a brand-new record was set and it only lasted a few days before he bested it.
Just last month we gave you all an in depth look into the journey of Kevin Helmick and his car, “GRMPY CAT”. The short story is that Kevin is a madman and went from never owning a Dodge to having the second fastest SRT® Hellcat in the world. The World’s Fastest Hellcat is a title that has been held onto tightly by the Epling family who lead the way as being the fastest for the past four years. Many have tried to snatch that title from the Epling crew and their car, “007”, but all thee who dare tryith; bleedith. Back in May of 2021 Helmick ripped out his fastest pass to date with a 7.5 @172mph but he was still shy of Epling’s world record of 7.39 that no one had come close to beating until that pass. The Epling crew even pushed the world record slightly further at the beginning of September with an insane 7.33 @186
When we talked with Kevin last month, he noted that his goal from the day he purchased his Challenger SRT Hellcat was to build the fastest Hellcat in the world. He also promised that his May 2021 personal best was just the start, and he wasn’t stopping until he had the title. Picking up .2 in the 7’s is not an easy task. The amount of time/money/engineering/power/weight loss/change that is required in that E.T range is exponential.
Since Helmick’s personal best back in May, he and his team have hauled GRMPYCAT all over the country to a variety of events, including Roadkill Nights in August, and the Modern Street HEMI® Shootout race the following weekend at Lapeer Dragway. Unfortunately, while attempting to make a run at Roadkill, the cylinder heads decided they no longer wanted to be partners with their iron HEMI block. In order to pick up .2 to take out the Epling record Helmick would have to make some changes to the car. After the Michigan trip and the mishaps suffered on that outing, Helmick made a pit stop at TKM to have the car retuned and some small adjustments made. It proved to be worth the detour and the car picked up some more power. The car has been outfitted with weights that are bolted to the car to keep it heavy enough to compete in the MSHS class that the Helmick competes in all season. Helmick decided to have the weights removed after Lapeer & Roadkill. For those who have never seen Kevin, he towers in at 6’ 4” and is not exactly built like a horse-jockey. The team made a last-minute change on tires to try to fine tune where the car shifts going down the track.
September 13, 2021 is the date, just behind Epling’s new 7.33 world-record, and Virginia Motorsports Park is the track. Helmick and team head out to an NHRA test session for a chance to try the latest changes out.
7.07@ 184.98 was laid down on the slip. Not only did Helmick and his team beat the world record, but they also put a pretty good gap on it. From a 7.5 in May to a 7.07 on this outing, the car outperformed what they were hoping for. That is a HALF SECOND in the 7s by just a tune change, weight reduction, tire change, and some suspension tweaks. I would also like to point out that Helmicks car is still running an iron block.
As the infomercials say…but wait there’s more…just tonight at MoParty in Kentucky, Helmick laid down an impressive 7.0 @199! In just a few days he has bested his own time and securing his title as the World’s Fastest Hellcat…well at least for now.
I asked Kevin what we can expect next. The crew plans on making a few more events the remainder of this year with a goal of something in the neighborhood of 200mph. So far Kevin has delivered on all his commitments which makes me believe that we will see a 6.7@200 slip before the end of the year. The team plans to make some changes in the offseason and aim to be the first Gen 3 HEMI in the 5’s in 2022. ARE YOU INSANE?!
It’s Boost Weather folks- I suspect the next 2 months will be a wild ride while others try to take the title away from Kevin. The Epling crew is the likely contender, but you never know who might be lurking in the shadows waiting for the right time to make an entrance. Congrats to Kevin Helmick and his team on the accomplishment and we can’t wait to see what unfolds the rest of the season.