Dueling Direct Connection-Equipped Dodge Challenger Super Stocks

Following the success of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT® Demon, the adrenaline-fueled brand introduced the Challenger SRT Super Stock for the 2020 model year for those who wanted a more track-focused package than the SRT Hellcat Redeye. The SRT Super Stock package included an 807-horsepower calibration for the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® engine, specially tuned Bilstein dampers, lightweight Brembo brakes, a 3.09 rear gear set, lightweight 18-inch wheels wrapped in Nitto NT05R drag radial tires and a unique Track Mode that is optimized for the best possible performance on the drag strip – along with including drag race-focused features like Line Lock, Launch Control, Power Chiller, Race Cooldown and the Torque Reserve system.

In short, the Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock offered many of the features of the 2018 SRT Demon, just without the ability to run race gas and the extra power that comes with the higher-octane fuel. As expected, the SRT Super Stock quickly proved to be very popular with those folks who wanted a drag strip-ready muscle car right from the factory. Once the Direct Connection Stage 1 kit was introduced, SRT Super Stock owners were able to equip their cars with the SRT Demon-like race gas tune, leading to 840 horsepower. Direct Connection also introduced the Stage 2 kit, leading to 885 horsepower for those who wanted even more power, and this warranty-friendly power package has been popular with members of the Brotherhood of Muscle since hitting the market.

One of those Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock owners who has spent some time enjoying the Direct Connection Stage 2 kits is Ricky Holcomb, who actually has two Super Stock models with the 885-horsepower package – and one is the current record-holder for the quickest quarter-mile time with the dealer-installed go-fast parts. We reached out to Holcomb, and he provided the details on how he came to own a pair of Direct Connection Stage 2-equipped SRT Super Stock Challengers.

A Pair of SRT Super Stock Challengers

Ricky Holcomb owns two modern muscle cars – a 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock in Frostbite and 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock in Destroyer Grey. The 2021 model, nicknamed Slayer, was one of only 21 painted that blue hue for that year and one of 559 overall. The 2023, nicknamed the Grey Ghost, is the rarest SRT Super Stock configuration, being one of just 13 painted Destroyer Grey. He initially purchased his 2023 Challenger with the plans to race it, but when he learned that only 13 examples of the package in that color were offered, he wanted to find a second Super Stock to take racing. He had his eye on a 2022 model from a dealership when he had the opportunity to buy a used 2021 Super Stock in Frostbite, but not just any Super Stock.

This particular blue Dodge Challenger once held the record for the quickest quarter-mile time by a stock SRT Super Stock or SRT Hellcat Redeye with a 9.95. The previous owner of the car then added the Direct Connection Stage 2 kit before selling it, so when Holcomb acquired it, it was already packing 885 horsepower. In fact, this Frostbite 2021 Challenger SRT Super Stock was the first of its kind to get the Direct Connection Stage 2 kit, having been installed on April 21, 2023 at Bluebonnet Motors in New Braunfels, Texas. Shortly after getting this 2021 Super Stock, Holcomb got to racing with great success.

“On December 1 and 2, 2023 at Texas Motorplex for the Streetcar Showdown, the [2021 SRT Super Stock] set the new record for the fastest Dodge car with a DC Stage 2 kit. The car had a 1.411 60-foot with a 9.883-second 1/4-mile ET at 135.04. The previous record was set by Ron Greene is his Redeye with a 9.95-second 1/4-mile ET with a DA +219. Ron is still number 2 currently but has me in his cross-hairs,” said Holcomb.

“At the Streetcar showdown, I was swapping tires from DOT to Drag Radials for the different events and was able to capture the 10.0 True Street Championship after a 30-mile cruise and three back-to-back runs on DOT’s with a 10.29-second 1/4-mile ET average (even after forgetting to turn on my tuner to 100 octane high performance on the first pass).

“Next up was the Legions 6 event on January 12 and 13, 2024. The car was consistently running 138 to 140 mph on a well-prepped track with great DA. The car set a new record on January 12, 2024, with a 1.386 60-foot with a 9.715-second 1/4-mile ET at 139.81 mph with a DA of -215.”

As this piece is published, Holcomb’s 9.715 is still the quickest quarter-mile time by a car running the Direct Connection Stage 2 kit for Redeye and Super Stock models. In addition to being quick, it has a handful of aesthetic upgrades to give it a distinct look for a Super Stock, including an Air Grabber hood from a 2018 SRT Demon.

“All records I have set in the 2021 have been at the Texas Motorplex with a well-prepped track and low to negative DA, running Hoosier Drag Front 27.5×4.5-17, Hoosier Drag Radials 28×10.5-17 with Billet Specialties Win Lite Wheels (17×5 front / 17×10 rear).”

While Holcomb’s 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock does not get raced as much as the 2021 car, it has spent time on the track.

“The 2023 had its best run stock with a 1.7829 60-foot and a 1/4-mile ET 11.07 @ 127 mph on a poorly prepped track in high [density altitude] +2623. After the Stage 2 kit was installed, the car started running consistently in the low 10s with the best run being a 1.4510 60-foot and a 1/4 ET of 10.10 at 138.63 mph on a poorly prepped track with a DA +1702. At the time, the car was the fifth fastest Dodge car with a DC Stage 2 kit but has now slipped to number six. The car has no weight reduction, full interior with DOT tires. It has not had the opportunity to run in low DA, nor has it had the chance to run on a well-prepped track. I plan to bring the car to Texas Motorplex for the Streetcar Showdown in December of 2024 and possibly to Legions 7 in January of 2025 to see if the car can become number 1 or 2.

“The ’23 has not had the same opportunities as the 2021. It has only run at Little River Dragway, which is a small local track that shuts down in November and the DA is usually high. The track is also next to a river and has issues with dew which drowns the supercharger with the moisture being sucked in, especially at night. The owners do their best to keep the track prepped but lots of street cars come out and really tear up the prep and play havoc. The 2023 ran its best time with Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R 28.6-18 front, Mickey Thompson Street R P305/45R18 with Billet Specialties Win Lite Wheels (17×5 front) (with the Stock Super Stock wheels18x10 rear). When I need to replace the Mickey Thompsons, I plan on getting another set on 17×10 Win Lites for the rear and replacing the tires with another set of Mickey Thompsons but this time with 315x55R17s.”

Like the Direct Connection kits on his 2021 Super Stock, the dealer-installed upgrades on his 2023 Challenger were installed at Bluebonnet Motors in New Braunfels, Texas. When Holcomb first got his 2023, the Direct Connection stage kits were not yet approved for the 2023 model year, so he had to wait a bit longer than he planned, but as soon as he got the word that they were also warranty-friendly for 2023 models, he called the dealership. They were installed on October 6, 2023, making him one of the first 2023 model year owners to have the Stage 2 kit installed.

In addition to racing both of his Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stocks, Ricky Holcomb and his wife drive both cars on the street. “Both cars are still registered, inspected and road ready. A quick change of the tire on the 2021 back to the stock rims, tires, passenger set and on a cruise the wife and I go. I usually trailer the 2021 to the track, however sometimes I like to bring both cars to the local track, so my wife loves to drive the 2023 Grey Ghost 80 miles round trip to the track. It’s her favorite, however she has never driven the 2021and if she is not driving the 2023 Super Stock, she is jumping in my TRX (aka Red Rex). The 2023 was driven 625 miles home from the dealer in El Paso, Texas, at different speeds to officially break in the car. I actually placed the car in ECO mode and got 22 mpg, which has got better after being broken in and I have recently gotten 26 mpg in ECO mode with 93 octane when I am not racing. When I do race the cars, I run Sunoco 100 octane 260 GT fuel. Both cars get an oil change after every race with the recommend SRT filter and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic SAE 0W-40.”

Holcomb told us that he plans to keep both of his current Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stocks and his Ram 1500 TRX, and that he would actually like to add a 2020 and 2022 model year Super Stock to his collection at some point – essentially completing the Super Stock collection. As for his current models, he plans to add the Direct Connection Stage 3 kit to his 2021 model year car once they become available.

“I love the fact that the Direct Connection kits allow you to improve the horsepower and performance of the Super Stock without the loss of your factory warranty. It’s amazing that Dodge stands behind the kits and the reliability of their cars. With the 2023 being a Last Call and only 1 of 13 in Destroyer Grey, I am not planning on further changes to the car currently and plan to keep it as close to original as possible. I only plan to upgrade the 2021 to stage 3 when they become available. I will have to review the performance numbers at this time of the release to see if the HP gains are worth the investment, but I am very excited about their release.”

Finally, Ricky Holcomb explained some features of the Direct Connection stage upgrades that he enjoys. “The Tuner is simple to use. Either select 93 Octane mode for 835 HP or 100 Octane mode for 885. A quick swipe down and tap the red button and you are ready to record your run. After the run, tap the icon again to stop recording, enter a file name or take the default name. When you are done with your run, simply unplug the tuner from the ODBII-to-HDMI cable and plug your tuner into your PC with the supplied USB cable on your PC to review your data collection. When you are near a WiFi connection, simply connect to the WiFi and check for over-the-air updates.”

Holcomb is spending much of this summer traveling around the country to compete in the NMCA HEMI Shoot-Out and TrueStreet classes, and at the first event of the season at Rockingham Dragway, he was just 0.003 of a second out of the first spot in the 10.00 HEMI class with the help of his Direct Connection stage kits.