Searching For the World's Quickest Viper

From the Viper Quarterly Winter 1995

Back in October, the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) held the first "Viper Shootout" as part of it's season ending World Finals at Motorsports Park in Memphis, TN. Jeff Koch of High Performance MOPAR Magazine covered the Inaugural Event and filed this report.

Only Five Vipers showed up for the quarter-mile Shootout, but they put on a heck of a show, running in two classes: The "ET Shootout" a braket event and "King-Of-The-Hill," an all-out, heads-up, top speed banzai run. For the record, the attendees (includeing the model years of their Vipers) were:

Don Cossey, Memphis, TN (1994)
John and Carol Bartle, Caseyville, IL (1994)
Ron Misjak, Lombard, IL (1993)
Mark Morris, Atlanta, TX (1994)
and Patrick Cervone, Oakland Park, FL (1993)

Qualifications were held in daylight, but the actual racing was under the stars and the lights in the cool October night air, just like racing in the good old days. The Shootout was nostalgic yet modern - just like the Vipers themselves - and the stands were packed with shivering fans, watching, snarling V-10-powered bullets shoot down the track by guys with itchy trigger feet - and loving every second of it.

At evening's end, John Bartle had won the ET Shootout, recording a 12.67 on a 12.65 dial-in behind the wheel of his wife Carol's bone-stock black 1994 daily-driver. On street tires! Since most magazine jockeys can't get a Viper out of the 13s, we have to believe John's just got the knack, and the practice.

The "King-Of-the-Hill" crown was taken by another Illinios car, as Bill Hahn drove Ron Misjak's red Hahn Racecraft-prepared twin-turbo (750hp!) 1993 and left everyone else in the dust. Hahn smoked the nearest competitor by nearly 1-1/2 seconds, running and 11.52 at 127 mph during racing, and dipping into the 11.20s at 134 mph during qualifying.

Don Cossey of Memphis took second place in both categories running 13.10 on a 12.85 dial-in for ET, and a 12.93 at 107 mph for King-Of-The-Hill.

In the End, the Viper Shootout was impressive, and would have been better if more than five owners had come out to race. I know you're out there somewhere.

"King Of The Hill" Viper Owner Ron Misjak, Sr was pleased with the Title his Viper earned. The run was made on street tires and pump gas. Hahn said he couldn't go full throttle until half-track because of the street tires.

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