Before we go too much farther, we should explain exactly why the Demon is illegal for NHRA competition. The car is capable of a sub-10-second quarter-mile time both on racing fuel and 91-octane pump gas. Cars that fast are required by the NHRA to have a full, certified roll cage, and the Demon doesn't.
Now there are certainly ways to get around this. The most obvious would be for a Demon owner to have a company install a roll cage. Using less grippy tires than the barely street-legal Nitto cheater slicks would probably help bring that time down, too. There's also the option of putting the car into Eco mode, and, yes, the Demon has one. In Eco mode, the Demon makes just 500 horsepower, and trips the lights at the quarter-mile in 11.59 seconds, which will avoid the roll-cage requirement.
However, none of these options are ideal. For one thing, if you bought an 840-horsepower car, you're not going to want to limit it when you get to a closed course such as a drag strip. Similarly, you're not going to want to ditch your super-sticky tires at the strip, especially when they're standard equipment. Finally, having to go aftermarket for a roll cage is an inconvenience at minimum, and it seems like a strange oversight considering the rest of the car.
This is a car from the factory that comes with drag radials, no passenger seats, a racing fuel tune, air conditioned intercooler, and even skinny front wheels for drag racing. Its purpose is clear, but for some reason, Dodge stopped short of giving it a roll cage that would allow it to compete. Perhaps adding a roll cage would've made it difficult to pass safety regulations, and we would be more disappointed if the car wasn't allowed on the street. Even so, it seems like an odd stopping point.
With that being said, we should point out that we do still think the Demon is a pretty stunning machine, and we certainly hope we'll have a chance to drive one. We just wish that a car that's ready for drag racing out of the box was legal out of the box.