Gallery: Kate Toutkoushian Carries On the Top Cat Family Racing Tradition


The odds are good that if you have paid any attention to the progress made by the early Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat owners who were the first to add big power, you know the name John Toutkoushian. Better known by his online handle Top Cat, John teamed up with Josh Schwartz from High Horse Performance to build and race one of the world’s quickest Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats. Sadly, John passed away from the effects of aggressive lung cancer in 2016, but the Toutkoushian name is still very active in the world of racing.

John’s wife, Linda, still owns and drives a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat which spent a long time as the quickest of its kind in the world, but she still owns John’s record-setting Hellcat Challenger. Also, after serving as a pit crew member for John and Linda when she was younger, their daughter Kate has made a name for herself in the racing world in the Furious Fuchsia Challenger shown here. With her metallic pink muscle car, Kate Tout is carrying on the family racing tradition in impressive fashion.

Top Cat Family Racing
Prior to campaigning the record-setting Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, John Toutkoushian held ET records for the Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak with the Viper V10 engine. The family race team then bought a pair of Furious Fuchsia Dodge Challenger SRT8s with the plans of building one into a race car and keeping one a street car. While the race car was being built, Linda was hitting the track with the other metallic pink muscle car and Kate would come along to help her parents in the garage area and in the lanes.

In 2014, John asked Kate if she wanted to make a pass and she jumped on the chance. According to Gary Rhudy, Kate’s boyfriend and well-known drag racer, that first run planted the racing seed and she was hooked. After that, Kate and Linda shared the Furious Fuchsia Dodge Challenger SRT8 until John and Linda got their Hellcats.

The eye-catching muscle car shown here became Kate’s full time ride while John and Linda were setting Hellcat records. John and Linda also faced off once in the Modern Street Hemi Shootout Hellcat class, with John taking the class win.

In addition to John’s Hellcat setting records, Linda also set some records of her own. Her red Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat was the first of its kind in the 9s and for a long time, served as the quickest Hellcat Charger in the world. After making a pass in his Hellcat Challenger, John would rush back to the starting line to assist and watch Linda in the red Charger and Kate in the pink Challenger.

As much as he loved racing, he loved watching his wife and daughter shine on the track even more. Although Linda established herself as a celebrity in the modern Mopar racing world, John was her biggest fan and, when Kate started racing, no one cheered her on as much as John.

Unfortunately, aggressive lung cancer took John on September 1, 2016. Since John’s passing, the Challenger Hellcat that he raced, which is now commonly referred to as the “TopCat” is still owned by his wife, Linda.

The car is kept in the possession of Schwartz from HHP, where it is continually modified and raced. Most recently, Schwartz ran an 8.54 at the Modern Street Hemi Shootout HEMI’sanity in Michigan, which is a new record for the legendary Challenger.

Meanwhile, Kate has continued to hone her skills in her Furious Fuchsia Dodge Challenger SRT8, setting her sights on bigger races in the coming years.

Details on the Katerade Challenger
The members of the Toutkoushian have become better known for the shortened version of the last name, so most people who recognize this multiple-time Modern Street Hemi Shootout class-winning car may connect it to the name Kate Tout. That is the name on the side of this Furious Fuchsia Dodge Challenger, which also has the name of the car – Katerade.

This Furious Fuchsia Dodge Challenger SRT 8 is powered by a 6.1-liter Hemi equipped with a ProCharger D1S supercharger, HHP fuel rails and injectors, a Fore dual pump fuel system and a tune from High Horse Performance using Diablosport software.

Sending the power to the wheels is a Southern Hot Rods War Viking transmission and a 3.91 rear gearset while a set of 305/45/18 drag radials on Weld wheels put the power to the ground. The only real aesthetic modification is a set of Lighting Trendz halos, installed by Evil Customs.

This metallic pink Dodge Challenger has run a best time of 10.77 at 129 miles per hour, allowing Kate Tout to have a ton of success in 11.50 index classes. She has won twice in the True Street programs along with 4 class wins in the Modern Street Hemi Shootout series between the Legmaker Intakes Super Stock class and the East Coast Moparts Bracket class. The event success has allowed Kate to finish runner-up twice in the Modern Street Hemi Shootout season championship.

Going forward, Kate Tout plans to attend more bracket racing and index racing events with her Challenger SRT8, alongside Rhudy, who has been helping her fine tune her skills with his years of experience in bracket racing.

While the legacy that John Toutkoushian established with his white Challenger Hellcat has been carried on Linda and the team from High Horse Performance, the “Tout” name will continue to pile up wins with Kate for years to come.

All images provided by the Toutkoushians and used with permission

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Patrick Rall

Industry News Editor Patrick entered the Mopar world when he bought his 1983 Mirada back in 1994, installing a mild 340 a year later that would eventually be built up into the range of 500 horsepower. Today, Patrick daily drives a Hellcat Challenger, but he still has his 340-powered Mirada, as well as a 1972 Demon 340 and a Hemi Ram.

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