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Home » DT Racing Chronicles – Vol 5

DT Racing Chronicles – Vol 5

Dusterhoff Racing Chronicles: February 2024 Edition

Dusterhoff Racing’s Monthly Chronicle: February 2024

Revving Up: Pro Tips For Hellcat Drag Racing, Unleashing the Dark Roar Of Luke Matthews’ 2019 Challenger Redeye, And Bradenton Motorsports Park Testing Updates

Volume No. 05

Welcome to the January edition of the Dusterhoff Racing Chronicles!!!

Hey there, speed enthusiasts! It’s that time again – time to dive into the high-octane world of drag racing with your favorite crew at Dusterhoff Racing. This month, we’re revving up the engines and gearing up for some adrenaline-pumping action.

In this edition, we’re sharing some insider tips and tricks for dominating the drag strip in your Hellcat platform Charger or Challenger. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a newcomer to the scene, our drag racing tips will help you unleash the full potential of your beastly machine.

But that’s not all – we’re also shining the spotlight on Luke Matthews and his ferocious 2019 Challenger Redeye. Get ready to drool over the specs and hear the story behind this mean machine.

And of course, we’ll be bringing you the latest updates from our testing sessions at Bradenton Motorsports Park. From track conditions to performance tweaks, we’ve got all the behind-the-scenes details straight from the asphalt.

So buckle up, folks! It’s going to be a wild ride. Let’s hit the gas and dive into another thrilling edition of Dusterhoff Racing Chronicles!

Happy Racing!

Dusterhoff Racing Team

Unveiling The Secrets Of Drag Racing A Hellcat:

Tips And Tricks For Beginners

As I brainstormed this month’s tech article, I pondered what our readers might find intriguing or beneficial. One idea that stood out was offering some insights into the world of drag racing, particularly for beginners. Having been through the nerve-wracking experience of learning to race myself, I understand the apprehension and fear that can come with stepping onto the track for the first time. It’s daunting, to say the least, especially when you’re faced with crowded lanes and limited time to practice.

One invaluable piece of advice I’d like to impart, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned racer, is to seek out private testing opportunities. These sessions provide a more controlled and relaxed environment for honing your skills and gaining confidence behind the wheel.

Over the years, racing Charger and Challenger Hellcats has taught me a few tricks that can significantly improve your drag racing experience. Let’s dive into some of these techniques.


First up, tire pressure. I typically max out the pressure in the frontrunner, sticking to the manufacturer’s recommendation of 40 psi for my Hoosier tires. For the rear, the majority of my experience is with a MT radial. Either the Street R or ET Street Radial Pro. I have had the best luck with around 21 psi. On both the Demon and Hellcat I run 21.5 in the rear on a Street R. Once I can get the tire to hook on a decent surface, I will typically change pressure a half a psi at a time and watch the video as well as 60 foot time without changing anything else. These cars are heavy and they tend to wad the tire pretty bad at lower pressures. I know many people will argue 19 or even 17 on this tire on one of these cars but I’d be willing to bet if they watched a slow-motion video of the tire they would see it wads quite a bit. I have personally had the best luck between 20.5 and 21.5 on either of those two tires.


On a stock Hellcat converter and 2.4 IHI I ended up settling at 1250 through extensive testing in the blue car. Once I got pressure dialed in, I spent almost an entire day varying launch rpm. 1250 is what I found delivered the best 60 foot on that setup. On demon/redeye combos that rpm tends to be 1400. I’ve found the same on my 170. I tried everything from 1000 to 1800 and the car would 60 the best at 1400.


First and foremost, when I roll into the box, the first thing I’m looking for is where I want to line up. In a radial car on a radial prepped surface, I’m typically looking for a little bit of shine just left or right of the groove.

I’ll then roll through the water box lined up with those marks. I do not like to spin the tire over in the box. I’ve found that’s not necessary and can often sling water up into the inner fenders that may drop down on the surface or tire later.

If the car has a 3.09 with a 29.5 in tall tire or so, I typically start my burnout in 1st and shift up into 3rd to get some wheel speed. You want to get the tire spinning right away with some heavy throttle and then back the throttle down a tad. The differentials in these cars can burn up from just one bad burnout, and whacking the throttle initially to get both tires spinning is the best thing you can do to prevent that. I like to take my driver’s side mirror and point it at the tire and watch it. Once I see the tire start to smoke a bit, I let off the brake and start easing up on the throttle right until the tire catches rolling out of the box.

If you want to get a little extra glue, try and keep the car straight and go through the tire lines you had in your mind at the beginning of the burnout through the beams to try and pick up a little bit. Then roll straight back through your tire tracks past the beams and get ready to stage. 


Before I go to hit the first beam I like to give everything one last check. Seatbelt on. Face mask shut. Gloves on. Vehicle is in the right mode. Intercooler on. Etc.

Once I have everything ready I will nudge up until I hit the first beam and hit the brake hard. You don’t want to accidentally roll into the second beam. Then with my left foot I hold the brake firmly and I stall the vehicle up with my right foot to the desired launch rpm. Do this while still in the first beam. I then use my left foot on the brake to bump myself into the second beam. Just letting up on the brake pedal slightly by bumping it. At that point I’m already stalled up and ready to launch at any moment. From there, release the brake on the last yellow on a sportsman or as soon as you see yellow on a pro tree.

Of course, there’s much more to drag racing than can be covered in one article. Variables like gear and tire size will influence your approach. However, these basic techniques should provide a solid foundation for beginners looking to dip their toes into the exhilarating world of drag racing. With practice, patience, and a willingness to learn, you’ll be tearing up the track in no time.

Curt Dusterhoff

Dark Roar:

Luke Matthews’ Journey With His Pitch Black 2019 Challenger Redeye

In the exhilarating world of speed enthusiasts, Luke Matthews’ story with his 2019 Challenger Redeye stands out as a gripping tale of passion, perseverance, and raw horsepower.

Luke’s fascination with cars traces back to his early years, captivated by the sight of powerful machines tearing down the asphalt. With muscle car shows as his playground, the allure of the iconic Hellcat sparked a relentless desire within him to own one and push its limits to the edge.

Fuelled by his ambition, Luke embarked on a mission to transform his Challenger Redeye into a dominating force on the drag strip. Armed with a lineup of mods that reads like a gearhead’s dream, Luke spared no expense in decking out his ride for peak performance. From CP Carillo rods and pistons to a Dusterhoff custom grind cam kit, each upgrade brought him closer to his ultimate goal.

But Luke’s journey is more than just garage tinkering; it’s a saga of triumph on the track. His Challenger Redeye boasts an impressive racing resume, making waves at multiple events like the SCT Edgewater and the Legion of Demons. With semi-finalist accolades and blazing speeds, Luke’s presence on the drag strip is nothing short of electrifying.

At the heart of Luke’s journey lies his partnership with Dusterhoff Racing, a team of experts who share his passion for speed. Together, they’ve navigated the complexities of performance tuning, fine-tuning every aspect of his Challenger Redeye for unparalleled performance. With their guidance, Luke has turned his dream into reality, leaving competitors in the dust and setting new records along the way.

With a best ET of 8.98 at 151 MPH, Luke’s achievements speak volumes about his dedication and skill behind the wheel. As he continues to push the boundaries of speed, his story serves as an inspiration to all who dare to dream. With passion, determination, and the support of Dusterhoff Racing, Luke proves that anything is possible on the road to victory. So fasten your seatbelts, because Luke’s journey is far from over, and the best is yet to come

Mods That Transform:

  • CP Carillo rods
  • Ross Pistons
  • Dusterhoff Racing Custom Grind Cam Kit
  • Stainless Works Longtube Headers
  • Griptec 2.75 upper
  • ID1300 injectors 
  • Kenne Belle Dual BAP
  • Legmaker intake 
  • AAD wheel hop eliminator kit
  • P4D front and rear diff braces
  • JXB driveshaft carrier


  • Best ET of 8.98 @ 151 MPH
  • 2022 SCT Edgewater Semi-Finalist
  • 2023 Legion of Demons 9.0 Semi-Finalist
  • 2024 Legion of Demons 9.0 Semi-Finalist

Shop Talk:

Testing and Triumph’s at Bradenton Motorsports Park

This month, our team embarked on an exciting two-week testing adventure at Bradenton Motorsports, aiming to fine-tune our setups and push the limits of performance. In the first week, we teamed up with the folks from TNA Motorsports, bringing along a fleet of high-performance vehicles to put through their paces.

Among our lineup was a Durango Hellcat boasting a built stroker motor and a formidable 3.8 Whipple supercharger, along with two Trackhawks equipped with similar setups. However, our enthusiasm was met with a hiccup as all three vehicles experienced rear-end issues during testing. Two of them suffered broken ring gears, while the third encountered a broken housing on the new billet differential. It became apparent that the combination of the 3.8 Whipple and the weight of these vehicles proved to be too much for the stock differential.

Undeterred by the setbacks, we immediately initiated discussions with the company responsible for manufacturing the billet differentials, seeking ways to enhance the design and address the underlying issues. Our goal is to develop a robust solution that will withstand the rigors of drag racing, particularly for vehicles with the kind of torque that these ones produce.

In the following week of testing, our focus shifted to fine-tuning the Demon 170, with the aim of perfecting the tune for the stock setup. Despite facing challenges, including struggles with the 60-foot launch in second gear, we remained committed to pushing the boundaries of performance. Through rigorous testing and meticulous adjustments, we managed to achieve several more 8-second passes, with our best ET clocking in at an impressive 8.94.

As we continue to refine our setups and explore innovative solutions, one particular area of consideration is the launch strategy. While we’ve experimented with launching in second gear, we’re having trouble getting the 60 foot down to what is capable in first. We’re evaluating the possibility of reverting to a first-gear launch, although past experiences have shown mixed results due to the intense forces involved leading to inconsistent launches and broken driveshafts. If you talk to any 170 owner who has raced their vehicle, most of them have experienced similar issues. We have been able to go quicker to the quarter mile with a slower 60 foot launching in 2nd than a comparable stock 170, all while launching consistently and not breaking. Maybe the slower 60 foot is worth the trade-off?

Despite the challenges encountered during testing, our team remains dedicated to pushing the boundaries of performance and overcoming obstacles through innovation and collaboration. Stay tuned as we strive to elevate the capabilities of our vehicles and deliver exceptional performance on and off the track.


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