Hellcat Driving Great Grandma Will Own You At the Drag Strip
Of all the adrenaline-filled activities on earth, nothing compares to bolting down a drag strip like you’ve been shot out of a cannon. Few know this feeling better than 75-year-old Carolyn Batteas who has spent the last several decades drag racing.
In a sport typically dominated by men, Carolyn has shown what a strong woman can do behind the wheel. Her daily driver is a reflection of her desire to dominate anyone on the road – a 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat and 50th anniversary Challenger. She describes having a love affair with her Challenger and says nothing compares to the look, sound, and cold start of the motor.
The Texas-based great-grandmother embraces potent engines, so much, in fact, she would have chosen the Redeye but describes not caring much for the name. We only wish we could be this cool.
Batteas is currently waiting for a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon that another fan is trading for a Hellcat Redeye, but she’s not stopping there – she’s still waiting on delivery of a Launch Edition 2021 Dodge TRX she ordered a few months ago.
For as long as she remembers, Batteas describes herself as a “speed demon.” She recalled a memory where she purchased a Ford Maverick in her mid-twenties. In a Mustang if you took a corner too fast, it’d roll, but her Maverick? It was much more stable, leading her to the Maverick with a V8 in yellow and tan interior. Did she outrun the police a few times in the Maverick? That secret is safe with her.
“I really wish I hung onto that. It was fast and fun.”
All older cars hold special memories, but what they don’t hold is the horsepower modern cars like the Hellcat are equipped to handle. When this great-grandmother took possession of her first 2019 Hellcat, she named it “White Lightninn” and drove from her hometown of Lubbock, Texas, to Phoenix, Arizona. If you’ve done that drive, you know it’s nothing but wide open space.
However, the drive wasn’t to test out the car on the remote desert highway, it was to attend Bondurant high-performance driving classes that were included with her high-powered Hellcat purchase. She opted for the three-day class and paid extra, which is when she fell in love with the Demon. She test drove it during a drag racing class and couldn’t find one thing bad about the car. She describes the eight and quarter miles passing by so fast she didn’t get enough time in the car. Her solution? Buy one!
When her daughter told her ex-husband about the purchase, his response was simple and speaks volumes of the great-grandmother. “Well, she’s always driven like a bat out of hell!”
When she turned 75, she took the Hellcat onto the drag strip to race in nearby Odessa, Texas, where she put the skills to the test she learned at her driving school. “The car is so versatile. They are heavy, but if you hit the brake hard and turn the wheel, the car stays with you.” The best comment of all was that you can race with the air conditioning on!
The instructors and classmates from Bondurant describe the great-grandmother as someone who wasn’t shy about stepping on the gas pedal. “She’s not afraid to go fast, that’s for sure,” says Bondurant instruction William Hawkins.