One of the best events on the NHRA tour is at Bandimere Speedway, just outside Denver, Colorado. The folks at Mopar are ready for the 37th Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and their Mopar Block Party in Golden. If you’re in the area, you should definitely check it out. And, if you are not, check out track general manager, John “Sporty” Bandimere on this week’s WFO Radio NHRA Nitro. It looks like Mopar is going to bring the house down with this event. See the Press Release below.
- Mopar teams and drivers get set for 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, July 22-24, 2016
- Mopar Mile-High Nationals to be first NHRA event in history shown live on FOX Broadcast Network
- Festivities surrounding Mopar’s premier NHRA event begin with 15th annual Mopar Block Party in downtown Golden, Colorado
- U.S. Army veteran, actor, author and dance champion J.R. Martinez appointed Grand Marshal for Mopar Mile-High Nationals
- Longtime Mopar campaigner in NHRA drag racing, car owner, sponsor and Southland Dodge dealership owner Jeff Teuton named Honorary Starter
- Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars blaze trail into Denver on seven straight wins, eight total trophies in first 13 events
- DSR drivers Ron Capps, Jack Beckman 1-2 in championship points in Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars, teammates Matt Hagan No. 4, Tommy Johnson Jr. No. 5
- Two-time Mopar Mile-High Nationals Pro Stock winner Jeg Coughlin Jr. seeking first win of season in Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar Dodge Dart
- Reigning Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders going after first Mopar Mile-High Nationals victory in Mopar Performance Dodge Dart
- Mopar-powered Dodge Dart Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has six wins at Denver, aims for 10th consecutive final round at Bandimere Speedway
July 20, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The weekend ahead is slated to be filled with thunderous activity at Bandimere Speedway near Denver as the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns for the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
The yearly event is a highlight of the NHRA tour for drivers and teams as they venture to the scenic quarter-mile dragstrip cut right into the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Fan support has historically been extraordinary for the Mopar-sponsored event, and on the Thursday ahead of this year’s race, July 22-24, those fans will be treated to quite a party to kick it all off with the 15th annual Mopar Block Party in downtown Golden.
“We are proud to have served as title sponsor for 28 consecutive years at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, the longest continuous-running sponsorship in NHRA and one of the longest in all of motorsports,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “This showcases our commitment to a sport that’s ingrained in the Mopar brand’s DNA and to the fans that continue to make this a key milestone on Mopar’s calendar.”
Eliminations and qualifying coverage have been broadcast live this season at select events, but Sunday, July 24, will mark the first time that eliminations will be shown live from an NHRA event on network broadcast television. Three hours of coverage will be shown on the FOX Broadcast Network, beginning at 3 p.m. (ET)
“We are thrilled to have the Mopar Mile-High Nationals as the first race in the history of the sport from which eliminations will be shown live on network television,” added Gorlier.
J.R. Martinez to Serve as Grand Marshal
The Grand Marshal for the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals will be Jose Rene “J.R.” Martinez, a U.S. Army veteran, American actor, author and motivational speaker. While serving in Iraq, Martinez sustained severe burns to over one-third of his body. Since his recovery, he has become a popular motivational speaker and shares his experiences with veterans’ groups, schools, corporations and other organizations nationwide. He was also Season 13 champion on the television program “Dancing with the Stars.”
Martinez has been a long-standing supporter of the Infinite Hero Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that combats mental and physical issues facing returning military heroes and their families. Jack Beckman also promotes the organization’s mission, with the financial support of sponsor Terry Chandler, by carrying the Infinite Hero logo on his Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.
Honorary Starter duties will be performed by Jeff Teuton, a native of Houma, Louisiana, with over 55 years of NHRA drag racing experience. Throughout his association with racing, Mopar enthusiast Teuton has been a driver, car owner and sponsor, as well as a longtime Southland Dodge dealership owner. Teuton began with seven employees and now employs over 400 at the dealership that he opened in his hometown in 1968. A drag racer since 1960, Teuton has been a key contributor to the development and continued success of the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak program. He has campaigned a variety of Mopar Drag Pak vehicles and won Stock Eliminator at the U.S. Nationals in 2011 as well as the Stock Eliminator world championship as a team owner in 2015 – both firsts for a modern-era package car.
Mopar Block Party Celebrates 15 Years
The 15th annual Mopar Block Party will kick off the weekend with the once-yearly street festival in downtown Golden on Thursday, July 21, from 6-10 p.m. (MT). The popular event features a large variety of free activities for fans of all ages. Fans will be invited to view a large exhibition of classic cars and special display vehicles, as well as Mopar NHRA race cars, and enjoy Mopar product demonstrations. The evening’s fun will include live entertainment and plenty of local Golden vendors offering food, drink and merchandise for purchase.
Master of Ceremonies for the Mopar Block Party will be Mopar aficionado and popular Denver-area radio personality Willie B., host of KBPI 106.7 FM’s “Your Morning Show” and “Willie B’s Garage,” who will introduce the drivers before the ever-popular autograph session that allows an entire hour for fans to meet NHRA racers.
Drivers scheduled to appear at the meet-and-greet include two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan and his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates Beckman (2012 Funny Car champ) and Tommy Johnson Jr. Reigning and back-to-back Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, five-time Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr., and 2012 Pro Stock champion Allen Johnson will all be in attendance, as will DSR Top Fuel drivers Tony Schumacher and Leah Pritchett, Dodge Charger Funny Car driver John Hale and Dodge Dart Pro Stock drivers Deric Kramer and Richie Stevens Jr.
Mopar at the Drag Strip
Friday, July 22, NHRA drivers will descend upon Bandimere Speedway to commence qualifying, and on Sunday, eliminations will pit drivers in both Professional and Sportsman classes against one another for the coveted Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals trophy. Tuners are challenged to coax maximum horsepower from their machines in the thin air at 5,860 feet above sea level, and drivers are asked to rise to the occasion and tame race cars that behave altogether differently at such great heights.
Four Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars will be racing for Mopar Mile-High Nationals glory out of the Don Schumacher Racing stable, including incoming points leader Ron Capps (2009 Mopar Mile-High Nationals winner), No. 2 man Beckman – hot off his Chicago win at the last NHRA event – Bristol winner Tommy Johnson Jr. and Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger pilot Hagan, who was No. 1 qualifier in Denver in 2010 and runner-up at the event in 2011.
To date, the quad of DSR Dodge Charger Funny Cars has accumulated eight victories in the first 13 NHRA events of 2016 and rocketed to nine poles. In Topeka, Kansas, this season, Hagan blasted to the quickest and fastest Funny Car pass on record, a 3.862-second run at a massive 335.57 mph in his HEMI®-powered Dodge, and has yet to be unseated as best of the best in terms of speed and horsepower. A Dodge Charger Funny Car has been in the winner’s circle at the conclusion of each of the last seven races, and in six of those events, it was an all-Mopar standoff for the title.
Capps took over the points lead in Englishtown, New Jersey, this summer and has kept a tight grip ever since. Beckman is No. 2 and 126 markers behind, while Hagan is No. 4 (240 points back) and Johnson Jr. is No. 5 (trailing the lead by 265).
Reigning Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion Enders has yet to seal the deal in Denver and will be in hot pursuit of the trophy in her Mopar Performance Dodge Dart, while Elite Motorsports teammate Coughlin will be going after Mile-High win No. 3 in his Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar HEMI-propelled Dodge Dart. He also has three final-round finishes there in the books. Both are seeking their first win of the year.
Dodge Dart campaigner Allen Johnson leads all Mopar-powered drivers in any professional category with six victories “on the mountain,” and he has been to the final round in each of the most recent nine Mopar Mile-High Nationals. Last season, he was runner-up after three consecutive wins at Mopar’s premier NHRA event. He has four No. 1 qualifier awards at Bandimere Speedway.
About Mopar Motorsports
The Mopar brand’s commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits, resulting in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in HEMI®-powered vehicles over the next several decades. In 2016, Mopar will look to once again vie for a NHRA World Championship title in both Pro Stock and Funny Car categories. While Mopar remains involved in a various professional motorsports series, it continues to honor its roots by being a proud supporter of Sportsman racing within the NHRA with its sponsorship of the HEMI Challenge and Mopar’s Tom Hoover Sportsman Challenge.
About Mopar Brand
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked in 1937 with the launch of an antifreeze product, but it truly made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era. From Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, the brand soon expanded to include technical service and customer support.
Today, Mopar is the service, parts and customer-care brand of FCA US LLC and distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for FCA brands.
Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles. This offers a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at www.mopar.com.