How to Make a Late Model Hook

Words by Richard Kratz photos by Richard Kratz and Tim Marshall

Power is cool. Power is addicting. We all love power, in this case the power of a modified late model Hemi. Of course, dyno numbers are one thing—real world performance is another. This is a story about the real world.

When our Project Maulin’ Magnum was putting 540 horsepower to the rear wheels, a set of 17” rims with Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials on all stock suspension was all we needed to go racing.

Proper tire pressure and burnout procedure provided plenty of traction as long as there was some track prep. But, because power is addicting, we went and added more power. See our stories on our killer Arrington Street/Strip engine for details, but suffice to say here that we’re now laying down about 700 hp to the rear wheels. With 10.5:1 compression and 12+ pounds of boost upon the car’s debut at Mopars at the Strip in March, 2013 we discovered that all the power in the world isn’t going to do much for you if you can’t get that power to the ground.

Granted, the car made a big step from an 11.6 second car to breaking into the 10’s at MATS 2013 with a 10.98 second pass. With Senior Editor Alex Rogeo at the wheel she pedaled the car and the tortured Mickey Thompson’s screamed and spun to halftrack producing an 11.08 time on the car’s first pass. There’s a video of that pass on YouTube where you can see and hear Alex getting in and out and in and out of the throttle on the run. Not pretty, but the time was a hint at the potential of the new 6.4L blown engine.

Now, you may say, who cares about traction? Just roll into the power and you’ll still a get a pretty good ET. And that’s fine if you have a pure street car or a street car that sees occasional test and tunes and you don’t care about reaction times and extremely consistent passes. On the street, with 700 or 800 or more rear wheel horsepower, you’ll never get street tires to hook under full throttle from a standing start anyway, so rolling in is your only option.