West Coast Challengers made an appearance at the Mojave Mile this past weekend, October 8-9, 2011. Club members Bill (aka Crank Case) and Jon (aka Thingfish) both registered to race their Inaugural Edition 392’s in the event.

The Mojave Mile is a standing one mile, top speed, racing event that takes place twice a year out at the Mojave Air and Space Port, a private airfield in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, CA. Together with its 12,000 foot runway and open terrain, the space port makes for an ideal location in which to hold such an event.

The night before the event, I attended a small car show in Lake Forest, CA, with club members Curt (and Dad), Mike, Nik and Jim (aka Diceman) of SoCal Challengers. When I mentioned that I was heading out early in the morning to watch the races at the Mojave Mile, Jim expressed a desire to caravan along with me. We met each on the freeway just south of Los Angeles and caravaned over the mountains and into the Mojave Desert.

Mojave Mile

Staging lanes at the Mojave Mile

Upon arriving, Jim and I found the cars were already staging and beginning to run. The air was clear and cool and it looked to be a great morning for racing.

One after another — cars, motorcycles, trucks and even a Go Kart made their way down the 12,000 foot runway at full throttle.

Mojave Mile

Bill (aka Crank Case) running the Mojave Mile

Bill’s first run was a 155.3 mph. After about a 45 minute cool down, he made a second pass at the same 155.3 mph mark. The 155.3 mph set a record for the 392 and the bar for future races. As the day went on and temperatures began climbing, so did Bill’s speed. With each pass after the first two getting better and better by 1/10 mph.

As chance would have it, Jon wasn’t able to make the race. Karl (aka lowlife) of SoCal Challengers also ran into problems prior to the race in that his builder did not complete his car in time to compete.

Dave (aka REDDOG) of SoCal Challengers brought his Hemi Orange R/T 6-speed out to chase the record for the 5.7L class that eluded him by 1/10 mph this past March. His first run was in the 148 mph range and seemed to fluctuate up and down as the day went on. Finally, he pulled everything out of the car that wasn’t bolted down, including the rear seat, floor mats, etc., and hit 150.3 mph setting a new record for the 5.7L Hemi in the standing mile. The previous record was 149.3 mph set by Tom of the CenCalLX club in his B5 Blue Challenger R/T.

Mojave Mile

Dave coming off of the Mojave Mile

At about 10:30 am, Karl showed up more than a little peeved that his car wasn’t completed in time to participate. So, Karl had a paid entry fee and no car to race. After watching the cars whiz by at over 150 mph, Jim said he wished he had registered his car for Saturday and that he might run on Sunday if they have an opening. He was curious and wanted to see what his car would do. He came up with the idea of having Karl drive his car for him being that Karl was already registered. So, after some sweet talking and a tech inspection, Jim’s car was cleared to race with Karl behind the wheel. Karl ran the race last March and hit 187 mph in his SRT, so he was kind of a veteran to this race and the location. With a borrowed helmet, Karl headed down the runway. His first pass, 157.8 mph. A new record for the 392 Hemi class, and which, unfortunately, knocked Bill and his 6-speed into second place. Karl made a few more runs over the next few hours, wanting desperately to hit the 160 mph mark. On his last run, he hit 160.3 mph and met that goal, which now stands as the record to beat in the standing mile for the 392 Hemi.

Mojave Mile

Karl coming off of the Mojave Mile and being congratulated by fellow club members

On Sunday, day two of the Mojave Mile. Bill continued to creep up in speed, with each pass 1/10 mph better than the last. Bill’s best speed was 155.9 mph. As He and Karl discussed the event and the cars, Karl asked if he could have try behind the wheel of Bill’s car. More of less to see if it was Bill’s driving or the car itself after what we witnessed between the automatic transmission equipped 392 and the 6-speed equipped 392. After some more sweet talking, Karl was giving clearance to drive Bill’s car — and down the track he went. He ran a disappointing 153 mph. Most of us have witnessed already that the Dodge Challengers with the automatic transmissions seem to be about 1/2 second faster than its 6-speed counterpart on the 1/4 mile track. It would seem that this may hold true for the standing mile as well. Only time will tell.

All in all, it was a great few days of racing. We saw some incredible cars, some fast speeds and saw the track record broken by a motorcycle who trounced the old record by 20 mph, running the mile at 274 mph.

Congratulations to all of those who ran the Mojave Mile, to all of those who set records and to all of those who broke records. Way to go!

You can view some pictures of the Mojave Mile in our club photo gallery.

You can check out the speed results from the 2011 Mohave Mile Shootout here.

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