The other weekend, the MoparInsiders team traveled to Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada to attend an event put on by our friend Dave Hayes also known as BigBadAmericanMotors on YouTube and Instagram. Hayes rented the drag strip at Grand Bend Motorplex for the weekend of May 25th and 26th and opened the event up to other Mopars to come and race for an entry fee with an unlimited number of passes. Dave also offers a limited number of thrill rides where you get to ride as a passenger in his 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon for a full quarter-mile pass. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t co-operate on Saturday, the 25th forcing a rainout for the day, but Sunday saw much better conditions, combined with excellent track prep which served up some impressive times.
When we arrived at the track the event had already begun, with Dave giving out thrill rides to people that had specifically come to the track just for their chance to ride in his 840 horsepower SRT Demon. For $50.00 CAD, you get the chance to ride passenger in Dave’s Demon for an all-out pass, everyone that was getting out of the car had a huge smile on their face and was talking about how insane it felt.
While I used to be an avid drag racer (which is something I am getting back into with the arrival of our Challenger 1320), even I was not prepared for the G-forces and feeling of riding in a Demon for a pass down the dragstrip. When it was my turn, I threw on my helmet, strapped into the passenger seat with a 4-point harness and we proceeded to the burnout box. After a quick line-lock burnout to get some heat into the Nitto drag radials we rolled up to stage the car. After lighting the second bulb, Dave got the car up to 1,100 RPM on the launch control and we waited for the green light to drop. As soon as I saw green, Dave let go of the brake pedal and mashed the throttle. B-A-M, I instantly felt like we must have been rear-ended by a jet plane. My guts were somewhere up in my throat and I don’t think I could have kept my feet on the floorboard if I tried, but it couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
You can read all about the experience of being in a SRT Demon, but that is a whole different animal than actually experiencing the feeling if you are into fast cars or drag racing at all, this is something you NEED to experience. What makes the whole thing even more impressive is that Dave’s car made about 50 passes that day in roughly 8 hours, only stopping for tire changes and fuel stops. The cooldown features on the SRT Demon are so impressive that by the time we were picking up our time slips after the run the car was just about ready to go again. Of the 50 passes the car made, about 35 of them were thrill rides and I got 5 runs in the car with our best ET being a 10.47 at 136 MPH.
We also had the chance to talk with Dave, who is honestly probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. We asked him what made him decide to offer up thrill rides in the SRTHAYES Demon, he told me it was because he wants people to be able to experience the visceral thrill of the car. He went on to tell me, that he actually enjoys taking people for thrill rides more than he does just racing the car. According to Dave, his car has between 300 to 400 passes on it, needing nothing other than tires, gas, and oil changes.
Hayes’ goal is to get more people out to the track to experience the cars as well as the sport through his track rentals and thrill rides. I can tell you, I flew all the way from Vancouver, B.C. just for this event and it was completely worth it just for the ride in the car. If you are anywhere near Grand Bend, Ontario, are into Mopars, or just fast cars in general, you owe it to yourself to check out one of his events. He has one more event currently booked this year on September 22nd at Grand Bend Motorplex.
September 22nd, 2019
Private Track Rental Event, 9:00am – 5:00pm: Car / Guests 1 Event = $150 (all prices in Canadian)
Thrill Rides In The SRTHAYES 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon (Under 11 sec. or You Get A Second Pass Free) = $50***
***There Are Only A Limited Number Of Thrill Rides Available
The Moparinsiders team plans to be in attendance for the event and who knows, you might even see our new long-term 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 joining in on the fun.