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Bradley Dillon Reflects on Reaching New Records in Xtreme Front Wheel Drive

In the world of drag racing, breaking records is as much about persistence as it is about speed. Bradley Dillon, a determined driver with a vision, recently made history at the Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, during The Reunion. He piloted his Dodge Neon SRT4 to a groundbreaking seven-second pass, making him the first to achieve this feat in three different platforms: B-Series, K-Series, and SRT4.

“We did a couple of short track hits on Thursday, and leading into the event on Friday, our first qualifier, we went 8.08 at 185 MPH,” explained Dillon. “We still had the momentum, and that night when the temperatures got better, we were the first car at that event to go sevens in Xtreme Front Wheel Drive [XFWD] with a manual transmission, which was a 7.96 at 186 MPH. This also marked the first driver in XFWD to go seven seconds in three different platforms.”

The journey to this momentous event began earlier in the year when Dillon and his team visited FuelTech in Georgia. There, they tested Dillon’s Dodge Neon on the FuelTech’s mainline hub dyno, achieving an impressive 1,434 horsepower. This testing was crucial, laying the groundwork for what would become a record-setting weekend.

“It’s been four and a half years building this car to try to achieve that seven-second pass, so there was a lot of emotion involved,” he added, reflecting on the moment. “There was a lot of ‘when is this going to happen?’ I’ve driven multiple seven-second cars before, so I knew the pass was good, but I didn’t know it was as good as it was.”

The 30 Under 30 alum explained that when he got to the top end at BMP, a fellow driver knew what had just happened and pulled Dillon out of the car, as he was filled with emotion. 

In a class typically dominated by Hondas, Dillon’s success is a testament to his team’s innovation and spirit. Joseph Hendrickson (Jojo), William Hembrick, Garrett Chastain, and Tank Christmas have been instrumental in achieving this milestone.

“We always believed that it would happen, but we just had to wait for it to happen,” he said. “I always believe hard work always pays off. You’ve got to chase your own dreams no matter what other people say. I love proving people wrong, but I love proving myself right.”

As for what’s on tap for Dillon, he plans to compete at Import Revival May 17-19 at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania. Then, he’s going to take the summer off to make some changes to the car and come back later in the year to race at the World Cup Finals and FL2K. 

And, of course, Dillon has his sights set on the overall XFWD record, which is 7.69.

“Every record has been achieved in XFWD besides the overall record,” he said, “and that’s what we’re looking to do next.”

This story was originally published on May 9, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.