Mustang GT Battles Traction Troubles, Still Beats Challenger R/T

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Mustang GT would be a whole lot quicker with some better tires and a better launch.

The video above comes to us from the Wheels YouTube channel and it features a trio of quarter mile drag races between a 2017 Ford Mustang GT and a pre-2015 Dodge Challenger R/T. Each of these races show the importance of a good set of tires and a good launch, while also showing how a big power-to-weight ratio advantage can allow a racer to overcome a bad launch on crappy tires.


While we don’t have any details on either of these American muscle cars, they both appear to be relatively stock. In stock form, the 2017 GT packs 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque from the 5.0-liter V8 while the Challenger offers 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque, so the Mustang has a big advantage in power. The Challenger also weighs a few hundred pounds more than the Mustang, so not only is the Dodge at a big disadvantage in weight, but it is also way behind in power-to-weight ratio.

Mustang Vs Challenger Lined Up

On paper, the Mustang GT should destroy the Challenger R/T, but the numbers don’t always tell the story once the cars hit the track.

Racing Action

The video shows three runs between the Mustang GT and the Challenger and the first run goes how you would expect, with the Ford jumping out to a lead at the line and never looking back. On this first pass, the Mustang wins with a 13.00 at 110 miles per hour while the Challenger runs a 14.55 at 98 miles per hour.

Mustang Beats Challenger R/T

On the second run, the Mustang GT struggles with traction on the launch, giving the Challenger a hefty head start, but the Ford comes from behind for the win. On this run, the GT wins with a 14.35 at 108 miles per hour while the R/T runs a 14.30 at 97.

Finally, on the last run, the Ford spins a ton at the line and the Challenger gets out to a huge lead. It looks like this lead will be too much to overcome, but once again, the 5.0-powered Ford comes from behind to take the win. On this pass, the Mustang runs a 14.08 at 110 miles per hour to the Dodge’s 14.33 at 97 miles per hour.

Challenger Leading Mustang GT

With better tires or a better driver, the Ford Mustang GT will turn much better times, but with the advantage in both power and weight, the Challenger needs more than a big head start to win the race.

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A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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