Kristen Stacy is officially the quickest person on four battery-powered wheels. On Friday night at Virginia Motorsports Park just south of Richmond, Virginia, she swung the Lawless Industries dragster "Hammerdown" the quarter-mile length of the dragstrip in a blistering 7.89 seconds at 161.87 miles per hour. She then nailed down the NEDRA record with a backup run of 7.94 seconds at 159.80 mph.

Now, you may recall that Don Garlits was even quicker during shakedown runs in his Swamp Rat 37 machine last week, laying down a 7.26-second time at 184.01 mph. In that case, though, there wasn't a qualifying backup trip down the strip, so no official record. Interestingly, Lawless Industries also played a role in putting his dragster together, engineering the powertrain of the six-motored monster, among other things.

The result removes the crown from long-reigning king Dennis Berube, who's held the top spot since 2007. One might guess that she may not hold it for long, with Garlits ready to soon return back to the track in his Quest For 200 MPH. Still, for now she is our queen of electric speed and her "Hammerdown" ride still has lots of potential for lower elapsed times. Scroll below for the official NEDRA press release with more details along with video of her backup drive. Make sure you have the sound turned up because, although you may not hear much noise from the car, the patter from the track announcer is not to be missed.

Show full PR text
Kristen Stacy puts the Hammerdown and breaks a new electric dragster record!

NEDRA NEWS - Richmond, VA (May 2, 2014) Kristen Stacy is showing the guys how to put the "hammer down" at Richmond Motorsports Park with a new NEDRA DR record of 7.89 seconds at 161.87 mph on her second run of the night! Click the photo above for a larger picture of Hammerdown's burnout.

Kristen's warm up run was 8.81 seconds at 142 mph. Her back-up run was a respectable 7.940 seconds at 159.80 mph. The 7.89 record makes Kristen the quickest woman in an EV to hit the drag strip. Check out the video of Kristen's 159.80 run.

Hammerdown features the one and only Zilla Z4K in existence. Yes, that's right. A 4000 amp speed controller which was producing over 3000 Amps for these runs! Who knows what it could do a full power!

Hammerdown is an electric dragster built by Lawless Industries who also built Don Garlit's Swamp Rat 37. Hammerdown, when it was called Matrix, was featured in an episode of Top Gear in the 2013 season. With Kristen at the wheel and her top notch crew at Lawless Industries we can expect to see more records this racing season.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      atc98092
      • 10 Months Ago
      Interesting that the ET is outstanding, but gas powered dragsters (OK, nitro, not gas) with times like that have a speed well over 200 MPH. Is there something inherent to the electric motor that is limiting the top speed? Just an honest question...
        nitrostreet
        • 10 Months Ago
        @atc98092
        @atc the mph is really not that far off from a typical gas car 7.90 which would be 160 to 170 mph, the difference in the HP/torque curves of a gas vs electric would make the difference (Torque accelerates the car; HP makes the car MPH) Also another thing about the high MPH cars is that most bracket racers use throttle stops to slow their cars ET's down while still running the high mph to make it harder for the person in the other lane to judge where you're at. I've seen dragsters set up with throttle stops so that it will run 10.90's at over 200 mph. Normally a car running 10.90's is only running around 125 to 130 mph so it makes it pretty hard to tell at what point on the track a 200 mph dragster (running the same 10.90 ET) is going to blow by you. As far as the nitro dragsters go they're making about 8000 HP so you really can't compare that to a 1000 to 2000 HP electric dragster.
        itsme38269
        • 10 Months Ago
        @atc98092
        EVs tend to have lower speeds at the trap than gas cars at similar times, because EVs get off the line faster. Gas cars take longer to get up to speed, but have higher top speed generally (so far). This is true for most EVs - for example a Tesla will hit 12.5 @ 110 or so, when gas cars are usually at 120-130 with times like that I think.
        itsme38269
        • 10 Months Ago
        @atc98092
        EVs tend to have lower speeds at the trap than gas cars at similar times, because EVs get off the line faster. Gas cars take longer to get up to speed, but have higher top speed generally (so far). This is true for most EVs - for example a Tesla will hit 12.5 @ 110 or so, when gas cars are usually at 125-130 with times like that I think.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 10 Months Ago
        @atc98092
        Limits: 1) Batteries can be ludicrously powerful these days, but still are not nearly as power dense as even just gasoline. There's a lot of weight holding back the early acceleration. 2) Many electric motors used for drag racing are still subpar - brushed, low tech industrial motors; sort of the equivalent of a huge displacement truck engine rather than a F1 motor that spins up to 10,000rpm or beyond.. This is just due to the fact that there is no demand for super huge, extremely efficient, and very light high efficiency motors like we see in high end brushless RC motors or high end AC induction motors. 3) given that #2 does not exist, there also isn't anything along the lines of a controller that could handle the above.
          Domenick
          • 10 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          The controller in Hammerdown is a custom Zilla capable of handling 4,000 amps. (Not sure at what voltage at the moment). Also, the 60-foot time was pretty good 1.28 seconds. Here's a pic of the slips. http://goo.gl/AYtdxb
          • 10 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Interesting comments. You are partially correct. The drive system in Hammerdown is 180 degrees from the one we built for Swamp Rat 37. Hammedown is like a big V-twin Harley dragbike. One large diameter 1000 HP motor that derives its HP from massive amounts of torque and very little RPM. It spent most of its life as a 22 HP 48 volt parade float motor. It uses one 400 volt - 4000 battery, and 4000 motor amp controller. Single speed, direct chain drive to a solid rear axle shaft. OLD SCHOOL! SW-37 is more like a Japanese inline 6. It gets its motive force from 6 high small motors capable of over 12,000 rpm turning a single driveshaft feeding a two speed air shifted trans to a hypoid rear Lot's of gear reduction and moving parts. It needs RPM to make it's HP and requires three 400 volt- 2000 amp motor controllers to get the job done. We use AC induction motors in many of our products. They are very efficient in most cases bit this is not so true for their drives/inverters under heavy load. They are very good for GP an oval track racing such as in our Buckeye Current bike which is competing at Isle of Man next month where lower, more consistent power and torque is required.
      SublimeKnight
      • 10 Months Ago
      Even in EV form, "cars" designed to go a 1/4 mile in a straight line still don't interest me.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 10 Months Ago
      Hey! that's an actually decent record! hats off, sirs.