Words and photos by Richard Kratz

Jesse Iwuji attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he played football and ran track for his four years there. In the summer of 2010 he graduated and was commission as a Surface Warfare Officer. His daily ride was a 2007 Chrysler 300 powered by a V6. Since Jesse has always loved fast cars he decided it was time to get one. He test drove a bunch and had almost decided to get a Camaro SS when he stopped at a Dodge dealership to check out the Challenger RT.

Jesse test drove the RT but compared to the SS it just wasn’t enough. Jesse told the dealer that and prepared to leave when the salesperson offered him a test drive in the Challenger SRT8. The instant Jesse floored the loud pedal on the on-ramp to the highway he fell in love with the car. Happens a lot, that big 392ci/6.4L engine will do that to you.

After doing some hunting Jesse found a used 2009 Challenger SRT8 with only 14,000 miles on it and bought it and took it home. He put a Flowmaster cat-back exhaust on it and took it to the drag strip at Capitol Raceway in Maryland and ran a 13.7 quarter mile on street tires. Time for more power, so in went an Inertia SRT Max camshaft, OBX long tube headers, underdrive pulleys, a K&N CAI and a Diablosport Predator. With no custom tuning the car now ran 12.67 on street tires and Jesse was pretty impressed with his car.

In December of 2010, he transferred duty stations to Naval Base San Diego. Jesse packed up his belongings in the Challenger and drove across the country from Maryland to San Diego, California, a

journey of over 2,500 miles. Upon arrival one of the first orders of business was to find a good Mopar Car club to join. Jesse was warmly embraced by the SoCal Challengers club and he quickly made many friends. He noticed that a lot of the Challengers in the club were supercharged and a few weeks after joining he purchased a Magnuson Supercharger with an 8 lb pulley. The car made 533 rwhp on the dyno and really came alive on the street. On the track it was now down to 11.96 ET on drag slicks.