Stop Saying The 2018 Dodge Demon Is Banned From The Dragstrip


On April 11th, Dodge dropped an 840hp bomb in the shape of a wide-fendered Dodge Challenger, the long awaited Dodge Demon. The car is amazing, it’s super fast, it lifts the tires and it’s street legal. All of that is great, but what has been dominating the news feeds is Dodge’s claim that the quick car is banned from NHRA.

“Why build a car you can’t race?” cried the internet.

Well, let’s unpack the marketing from the facts.

“It’s not the make that is banned,” says Scott Smith of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). “You can bring a Dodge Demon to an NHRA track, but if you run under that 10-second barrier, they’re going to require that you meet the safety standards.”

Let’s repeat that. The Dodge Demon is NOT “banned” from dragstrips. It just has to follow the same rules that any other 9-second car needs to follow. That means that if you want to make multiple runs or run in competition with a Demon in race tune, you’re going to need to put a cage in it—not a harness bar, not a roll bar, but a full ‘cage, which includes door bars. This would make the car less than comfortable as a street driver, but not impossible. If you don’t want to do that, you can still run 9s at the dragstrip, you’ll just have to go to a new dragstrip whenever the old one figures out your game and kicks you off track.

If you just want to take your Demon out to a test-n-tune night, leave it on pump gas and you’ll be likely to run 10s all evening unless your track is very sticky and you are exceptionally good. On 91 octane the Demon runs 9.96, which is in optimal conditions with a Dodge engineer or Top Fuel driver testing it. In average conditions on an average track, we’d put our money on 10.10 all day. No bar required for 10.10s.

“You can bring the car to any NHRA member track and go out, it’s only once you hit below that 10-second number that they’d talk to you about the ‘cage,” Smith explained. “You’d also need fire clothing (jacket and pants) and a Level 6 competition license at that point.”

Getting a comp license isn’t a big deal, it’s just some paperwork, $150 and the witness signature of an already licensed driver on a series of launches and half passes to prove you aren’t a complete numbskull at speed.

“Banned” is good bragging, but it’s not really true, so if you’re one of the lucky folks who will be able to afford the Demon, go ahead and buy one. You’ll be able to race it.

Something to Say?

11 thoughts on “Stop Saying The 2018 Dodge Demon Is Banned From The Dragstrip

    1. The NHRA “supercar” rule allows any stock production car to run as quick as 10.0 and 135 mph without needing any additional safety equipment so out of the box it’s legal to 10.00. They changed it for 08 and newer cars.

      Report user
  1. One more reason to make it into a track car.

    Also, why the passenger door card? They went to the lengths of removing the passenger seat “to add lightness” but they still left the power windows in.
    Is the second seat a optional extra of what is up with that?

    PS. this car is pointless and pretty boring. You run 10’s with a factory built car? How cute, that dude runs low 9’s with his home built daily driver. Furthermore running the same times will get boring and the car will be too slow the next time your rival from last time rolls round with a new turbo.

    Report user
  2. Curious why Dodge didn’t incorporate mount points for a cage, what with the track intentions of this car. Seems like that could’ve been a value-added feature for not a lot more money.
    Also, what was the E/T of a Thunderbolt or an A990?

    Report user
Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover