Dodge Throws a Power Party | V8-Powered Thrill Rides for the Masses

Steven Cole
By Steven Cole Smith
Jan 21, 2021 | Dodge, Autocross

For the vast majority of the 150-plus people who registered for the two-hour, Thursday afternoon Dodge Power Party during Mecum Auctions in Kissimmee, Florida–just south of Disney World–it was the first time behind the wheel of a genuinely powerful car, and the first time they’d autocrossed.

Yes, it was a pretty basic autocross, just a figure-8 in a parking lot that took about 20 seconds to navigate, but the vehicles were Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcats, with the full 700-plus supercharged horsepower available under the accelerator pedal.

Instruction from head driver Mike Burris, who has worked with Dodge giving thrill rides in Vipers, and then in Hellcats, for 12 years, was perfunctory but apparently adequate, because everyone–young and old alike–managed to successfully and safely circumnavigate the track.

You couldn’t help but wish that along with a black SRT T-shirt, competitors–and times were indeed posted, and prizes awarded–also received a brochure from the SCCA about autocrossing basics, and if you liked this little taste, log on and find a local autocross to go watch. And as most of us know, watch one, and you’ll likely compete in the next one on the calendar.

The Power Party is in addition to the constantly sideways thrill rides Burris and his five co-drivers, all with competition experience ranging from karting to sprint cars provide, but with COVID-19, the Power Party autocross is one more way to get customers in cars in complete safety, no instructors beside you, and each car disinfected between use.

But the cars are also disinfected during the smoky thrill ride, and masks are mandatory. Temperature checks are given, and even a breathalyzer test for the Power Party drive.

The thrill rides are memorable, even for the most experienced driver. While the six cars–three Challenger and three Charger Hellcats–are the same for the entire year, box-stock and apparently bulletproof, the rear tires are not. “We get about two hours of running out of the back rubber,” Burris said. They reset the odometer for one set of tires. “They were worn out in 14 miles,” he said. And by “worn out” he means down to the cords.

For more information about the Power Party and when the next one might be in your neighborhood, log onto Oh, and SCCA, there may be a partnership opportunity here….

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alfabeach New Reader
1/21/21 1:06 p.m.

Times 19.89 and 20.09

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