Geoff Turk’s 2017 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak was affectionately named the SR354 Blackbird to pay homage to the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet of all-time. Proving it has the right stuff to carry the SR-brand, Turk wheeled the racecar to the quickest pass in NHRA Stock Eliminator history with a stout 8.029 at 170.43 mph while qualifying for NHRA Stock Eliminator during the Fall Classic National Open at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. The previous low elapsed time mark was held by David Barton in his supercharged COPO Camaro, which ran 8.073 last year during the Dutch Classic in 2016. Turk’s 8.029 is the quickest run in Stock Eliminator history, however, it isn’t the class record because he didn’t make an attempt during the designated record round.
The SR354 was entered in FS/A, which allows entries to be lighter than the popular FS/XX division of Stock Eliminator and NMCA Holley EFI Factory Super Car heads-up eliminators. For those unaware, the FS/XX designation is reserved for the Factory Showdown class and puts the supercharged racecars at a minimum of 3,550 pounds, NMCA rules are identical. Those are the classes where the Drag Pak mixes it up with the Chevrolet COPO Camaro and Ford Mustang Cobra Jet. The FS/A designation determines race weight in the more traditional weight/HP configuration for Stock Eliminator. Turk’s particular combination, a supercharged 354ci Gen III Hemi, put his minimum at 3,410 pounds. Despite the FS/A weight being lower than the FS/XX and NMCA competition, Turk competed at Indy while tipping the scales at 3,500 pounds.
Setting the all-time low ET in Stock Eliminator doesn’t come easy and Turk acknowledged several shops and people for their assistance. His wife Sandy Olszewski Turk is the car’s chief and a big part in keeping the MR2 Performance-built Challenger on the straight track. BES Racing Engines is responsible for the horsepower, these aren’t exactly “stock” engines and the BES crew provided a legal engine that has passed NHRA tech inspection on several occasions. Transferring the supercharged power to the rear wheels is the job of a Coan Engineering transmission and torque converter. Other notable performance names that are involved with the SR354 Blackbird are Holley Performance Products, Santhuff Suspension Specialists, and JR1 Racing Oil.