More bad news for Dodge Hellcat: Trounced by all-electric Tesla in drag race


When we first heard about the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat (and its sister, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat), we were pretty excited.

Both versions of the Hellcat are the fastest factory-produced street cars in the U.S., clocking in with 707 horsepower.

That’s only about 40 horsepower less than what’s under the hood of a NASCAR Sprint Cup car.

But for all the buzz and excitement that preceded the Hellcat, let’s just say things aren’t going quite the way Dodge may have hoped – in at least two instances.

First there was the guy in Colorado who, just one hour after leaving the dealership with a brand new $60,000 Hellcat Challenger, lost control of it and totaled it on a rural country road northeast of Denver.

MORE: Driver wrecks Hellcat one hour after buying it from dealer

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Now comes a report out of Florida’s Palm Beach International Raceway, where a Hellcat was trounced last Sunday in a drag race by – get this – an all-ELECTRIC Tesla S P85D!

Oh, trust me, the news gets worse for Hellcat and Mopar fans. The fine folks at, who put on the event, told the whole story.

Not only did the Hellcat spin its tires – too much gas and too little traction – at the starting line, the Tesla set a new world record as the quickest and fastest electric-powered production car, covering the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds at 114.6 mph.

Both marks were certified as world records by the National Electric Drag Racing Association.

Admittedly, the Tesla was helped by the Dodge spinning its tires. But the Tesla is also no shirk in the horsepower department: its two electric motors combine for a rather stout 691 horsepower under the hood.

The Hellcat driver finally got going and ended up covering the quarter-mile at over 82 mph. Heck, people go faster than that on the freeway.

According to, the Hellcat driver had an excuse: It was his first time at PBIR, as well as his first time driving the potent supercharged Hemi-powered car on a dragstrip.

Both cars are due to return to PBIR in the next few weeks for a rematch. Can the Tesla make it 2-for-2, or will the Hellcat driver learn how to control all that power and potentially come close to hitting 200 mph?

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Winner Josef Newgarden earns $3.666 million from a record Indy 500 purse of $17 million


INDIANAPOLIS — The first Indy 500 victory for Josef Newgarden also was the richest in race history from a record 2023 purse of just more than $17 million.

The two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, who continued his celebration Monday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earned $3.666 million for winning the 107th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The purse and winner’s share both are the largest in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Indy 500 purse set a record after the 2022 Indy 500 became the first to crack the $16 million mark (nearly doubling the 2021 purse that offered a purse of $8,854,565 after a crowd limited to 135,000 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The average payout for IndyCar drivers was $500,600 (exceeding last year’s average of $485,000).

Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske, whose team also fields Newgarden’s No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet, had made raising purses a priority since buying the track in 2020. But Penske but was unable to post big money purses until the race returned to full capacity grandstands last year.

The largest Indy 500 purse before this year was $14.4 million for the 2008 Indy 500 won by Scott Dixon (whose share was $2,988,065). Ericsson’s haul made him the second Indy 500 winner to top $3 million (2009 winner Helio Castroneves won $3,048,005.

Runner-up Marcus Ericsson won $1.043 million after falling short by 0.0974 seconds in the fourth-closest finish in Indy 500 history.

The 107th Indy 500 drew a crowd of at least 330,000 that was the largest since the sellout for the 100th running in 2016, and the second-largest in more than two decades, according to track officials.

“This is the greatest race in the world, and it was an especially monumental Month of May featuring packed grandstands and intense on-track action,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “Now, we have the best end card possible for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500: a record-breaking purse for the history books.”

Benjamin Pedersen was named the Indy 500 rookie of the year, earning a $50,000 bonus.

The race’s purse is determined through contingency and special awards from IMS and IndyCar. The awards were presented Monday night in the annual Indy 500 Victory Celebration at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

The payouts for the 107th Indy 500:

1. Josef Newgarden, $3,666,000
2. Marcus Ericsson, $1,043,000
3. Santino Ferrucci, $481,800
4. Alex Palou, $801,500
5. Alexander Rossi, $574,000
6. Scott Dixon, $582,000
7. Takuma Sato, $217,300
8. Conor Daly, $512,000
9. Colton Herta, $506,500
10. Rinus VeeKay, $556,500
11. Ryan Hunter‐Reay, $145,500
12. Callum Ilott, $495,500
13. Devlin DeFrancesco, $482,000
14. Scott McLaughlin, $485,000
15. Helio Castroneves, $481,500
16. Tony Kanaan, $105,000
17. Marco Andretti, $102,000
18. Jack Harvey, $472,000
19. Christian Lundgaard, $467,500
20. Ed Carpenter, $102,000
21. Benjamin Pedersen (R), $215,300
22. Graham Rahal, $565,500*
23. Will Power, $488,000
24. Pato O’Ward, $516,500
25. Simon Pagenaud, $465,500
26. Agustín Canapino (R), $156,300
27. Felix Rosenqvist, $278,300
28. Kyle Kirkwood, $465,500
29. David Malukas, $462,000
30. Romain Grosjean, $462,000
31. Sting Ray Robb (R), $463,000
32. RC Enerson (R), $103,000
33.  Katherine Legge, $102,000

*–Broken down between two teams, $460,000 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, $105,500 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports