An In-Depth Look at ATI Performance Products’ Drag Pak Challenger

To sell high-performance products is one thing, but to use what you sell on your own car is another. While some companies don’t abide by the practice of using what they sell, ATI Performance Products is proud to use their race-built components on the company’s race cars. And the results are amazing. Check out the ATI Challenger Drag Pak in action in the video above.

The ATI Drag Pak Challenger is owned by J.C. Beattie, ATI’s Chief Operating Officer and is used by ATI to test some of their high-performance components. Beattie ordered the car the day after the Drag Pak package became available back in October 2008. Unfortunately, Beattie had to wait for 14 months to receive his car due to the financial hardship at Chrysler at the time. Although he tried to get his money back on the Challenger at one point, the wait was worth it when he finally got his car.

Despite what the advertisements suggested, the Challenger was basically just a rolling shell with all the Drag Pak components either barely bolted in, or just loose inside when Beattie got it. So the car was sent to Mike Pustelny of Mike Pustelny Racing (MPR) in Almont, Michigan, the guy responsible for writing the NHRA Drag Pak Challenger manual as well as building the prototypes.

There the car received modifications to get its chassis certified to 8.5 seconds, as well as the 8 ¾ Moser rear end, fuel cell and rear suspension installed. After getting the car back from MPR, Beattie and his crew tweaked the fixed 4-link suspension on the car with Santhuff shocks to give it more travel, and adjusted the weight distribution to get more weight in the rear. To shave off some weight the ATI crew replaced the SRT8 knuckles with those found on the R/T, replaced the oil pan with a lighter one from Moroso and made their own aluminum front hubs.

Not satisfied with the Challenger’s stock 6.1L engine, Beattie opted to upgrade to a 370cui HEMI engine built by Gary Stanton Racing. This engine is equipped with fuel injection via AEM Performance Electronics and Devin Pearce, and has a custom Super Damper created by ATI.

The engine is matted to ATI’s very own Superlite 904 transmission, which features high flow lube circuits, hard chrome oil rings, heavy duty sprags and low gear sets. The transmission is backed by an ATI 8-inch Treemaster MRT torque converter.

While you may have seen Beattie out at the track making some impressive runs in his Challenger Drag Pak last year, you might be surprised to find out that he hasn’t been racing by the quarter mile for very long.

While Beattie raced go-karts at a young age, racking up over 30 national wins, he never drag raced before owning his Challenger. That hasn’t stopped him from going far in drag racing competitions, however.

Last year, Beattie won both his class and the King of the Hill Shootout at the Late Model HEMI Shootout at Maryland International Raceway (MIR), in addition to achieving many other wins.

As the 2011 season wound down, Beattie and the ATI crew were still cranking it hard with the Challenger Drag Pak, throwing down a 9.58-second quarter mile at 137mph during testing at MIR. This impressive run can be seen in the video above.

Obviously, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what the ATI crew can do with the Challenger. With an ending like that to Beattie’s 2011 season, we can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for the killer ATI Drag Pak car.

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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