DAVID THOMAS LOVES BEING THE CHALLENGER
Within NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock eliminator categories, there are certain racers who have a high propensity and reputations for setting national records. Driving his 2011 Dodge Challenger, Pennsylvania’s David Thomas is one of those racers.
Since first debuting this 512 CID V10 Challenger in early March 2011, Thomas has set and reset some of NHRA’s national record standards on multiple occasions. His first record setting effort came just 11 days after the car was first purchased (in Stock eliminator’s AA/SA class). Since then the versatile machine has held official records (both MPH and elapsed time) in a variety of Super Stock class designations including SS/EA and SS/DA.
Currently, Thomas holds NHRA’s national records for elapsed time in two of the Factory Super Stock class categories: 9.11 secs for FSS/E and 9.15 secs for FSS/F. His career fast 142.94 mph speed is also the official MPH record for FSS/E.
Thomas purchased his car from John Ghastman’s Roanoke Motor Company dealership, located in Roanoke, Illinois. Later modified for Super Stock racing at MPR Race Cars, his Challenger was painted to resemble the legendary Ramchargers motif, one of the most famous team names in drag racing history, which has roots that date back into the 1960’s.
“Throughout my racing career I have raced a number of Mopar® drag cars,” Thomas said. “I started off with a 1967 Belvedere HEMI® engine in the early 1970s and also raced a 1968 HEMI engine Barracuda from 1985-1992. I had always loved the Ramchargers team history so when I acquired this car I decided to approach Dave Clabuesch, who owns the rights to the name, and got his permission.”
Thomas’ amazing machine is, in fact, one of only a handful of V10 Super Stock cars currently in regular competition.
“It is also probably one of only six V10 Challengers which are actually raced,” he added. “Most of the others that were built sit in car collections.”
Thomas, who owns and operates a Dairy Queen franchise restaurant (with his wife Deana), races his car mostly within NHRA’s Northeast Divisional circuit and at select East coast NHRA national event races.