Those tight-knit connections came back around to help Martin though; when Musto secured an invitation to the 2011 OUSCI for his Daytona, race director Jimi Day asked him if he knew of any other worthy vintage Mopar owners who would be up for a trip to Pahrump and a little track time. Without hesitation, he called Martin. Luckily, the Charger had gone from roller to runner in short order, and Martin had been driving it for a while. But there was only a month to get it up to par and prepared for actual competition. With the help of buddies Steve Collins, Dan Basher, and Brad Drawhorn, the Charger was upgraded to higher-rate Hotchkis springs with RideTech adjustable shocks, custom subframe connectors, and a set of Viper calipers on the front brakes. After all, he had to make sure his B-Body could run harder than Musto’s!

So how did it work out for him? Martin ended up being the fastest of the big Mopars on the 2.2-mile Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch road course by a strong margin; he covered one similarly prepped car by a full 3 seconds. “If I did not have to feather the throttle on some of the long sweepers due to an oiling issue,” Martin told us, “I would have been even faster!”

We think that taste may have hooked Martin for good. ’Round about sunrise the following morning, as we stood in an empty area of the Las Vegas Speedway shivering from the 30-degree temperature to shoot the photos for this feature, Martin and fellow conspirators Collins, Basher, and Drawhorn were overheard doing quite a bit of bench racing. Plans were bandied to completely reinvent the Charger and try to make their way back to the OUSCI in 2012. More aggressive suspension, lighter wheels, maybe a 6.1 Hemi underhood … the wheels were definitely turning.

If he follows through, we think Martin has good odds for the invite. That’s one of the big benefits of following a road less traveled; it may provide more resistance, but he’ll still probably be one of the few Mopars in contention. Then again, maybe he’ll inspire more Mopar lovers to throw their hats in the ring. That would be fine with Martin though, he’d love to see more Mopars support the brand and carry the banner.

By The Numbers

1968 Charger

Martin Sokulski; Woodinville, WA

Engine

Type: Mopar RB 440 big-block, .030-over

Displacement: 446ci (4.350-inch bore x 3.750-inch stroke)

Block: ’71 Dodge

Rotating assembly: stock crank, Eagle H-beam rods, 11:1 TRW forged racing pistons with 140-inch dome

Cylinder heads: 440Source aluminum Stealth, mildy ported

Camshaft: Lunati .513-/.533-inch lift, 242/242 degrees duration at .050

Valvetrain: Crane Gold roller rockers, 1.5 ratio

Induction: Edelbrock RPM intake, FAST EZ-EFI with 80 lb/hr injectors, Spectre Performance tubing and joints

Oiling: Milodon oil pan, custom oil passage work

Exhaust: Hedman 1¾-inch long-tube headers, Dynomax mufflers, custom 3-inch pipes

Fuel system: Weldon A-600-A pump, Aeromotive filter, black braided lines with AN fittings, Mallory fuel pressure regulator

Ignition: Mallory Unilite distributor, Crane LX-92 coil

Cooling: 440Source high-flow water pump

Output: 422 hp at 5,300 rpm, 510 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 (at the wheels)

Built by: Jay’s Automotive Machine; Everett, WA

Drivetrain

Transmission: ’68 Chrysler 727 TorqueFlite with Gear Vendors over/underdrive

Rearend: Mopar 8.75 with Sure-Grip diff and 3.23 gears

Chassis

Front suspension: 1.22-inch torsion bars, RideTech adjustable shocks, Hotchkis 1⅜-inch sway bar, Firm Feel tubular upper control arms

Rear suspension: Hotchkis 2-inch drop 160 lb/in springs with RideTech adjustable shocks and Hotchkis ⅞-inch sway bar

Brakes: 12-inch second-gen Viper four-piston brakes up front, 11-inch factory GM disc brakes on the rear, Wilwood master cylinder with Hydraboost conversion

Wheels & Tires

Wheels: 18x9 and 19x10 Budnik “Shock”

Tires: 255/45R18 and 295/35R19 BFGoodrich KDW 2