Dodge Power Brokers and Direct Connection take center stage this weekend as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series brings the thunderous sound and feel of 11,000 horsepower back to the Rocky Mountains for the high-altitude challenge presented by the 42nd edition of the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway on July 15-18.
Dodge//SRT and Mopar continue the decades-long relationship that began in 1989 with the Denver-area Bandimere family-owned track by spotlighting Dodge Power Brokers within this year’s event title sponsorship and on the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) HEMI®-powered nitro cars of Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett.
“The Dodge brand is excited to bring the horsepower back to Bandimere Speedway with one of the premier events in all of racing, the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. “We take a lot of pride in being part of the longest standing event sponsorship in motorsports history — 33 years and counting — and a big reason for that is the amazing race fans in the Denver area who turnout each year and pack Thunder Mountain. We’re excited to interact with enthusiasts and share some details about our new Dodge Power Brokers program, which serves as the exclusive source for Dodge Direct Connection performance parts.”
As the 11th of 22 NHRA events on the circuit, the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals weekend marks the halfway point of the season and kicks off three consecutive weeks of racing with the traditional trio of western-swing races that include stops at the Sonoma Nationals in California and the Northwest Nationals near Seattle. The Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals event is also the first of two marquee title sponsorships for the Dodge//SRT and Mopar brands this year along with the prestigious Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.
Three-time world champion Matt Hagan returns to the picturesque mountainside drag strip with his first-year TSR team to defend the Funny Car event win he earned last year from the No. 1 qualifier position to take home his first Wally trophy from Thunder Mountain. Hagan looks to make even more noise this year as his Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat has already amassed three wins, three No. 1 qualifier positions and advanced to six final elimination rounds.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Denver for the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals,” said Hagan, who after being a mainstay atop the Funny Car category for most of this season comes into the weekend second in the points standings. “We’ve been able to build upon our data and (crew chief) Dickie Venables has been putting a great car underneath me. We’ll be taking a different car combination to Bandimere in regards to the motor, clutch and blower. You can wick your blowers up and the compression is crazy with the elevation.
“We have a great car set up that we won there with last year, so we put that on the shelf, didn’t touch it and we’re going to bring it back out and put it on the race car,” added Hagan. “I look forward to having a successful weekend in Denver, which is what we need to do. With it being a Dodge Power Brokers race, we want to give them a strong showing.”
TSR Top Fuel pilot Leah Pruett rolls into Denver with some positive momentum after her Dodge Power Brokers dragster’s semifinal performance at the last event in Norwalk, Ohio, put her back into the top 10 in the championship standings.
“Our minds are on Mile-High and the necessary changes the car needs from different pistons, the uniqueness of the event, how the car has cooperated in the last couple races, to fuel adjustments are all just precursors for the Dodge Power Brokers event,” said Pruett, who is also familiar with turning on win lights at Bandimere Speedway after powering from the No. 1 qualifier position to victory in 2018. “It is going to be one to win, I’ve always said it. Some people think the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals are a big one. Winning the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals would be the pinnacle of the year, in my opinion. That is where our backbone is, on top of that mountain.
“We performed well in Norwalk and we intend to do the same and build on that for Denver,” added Pruett. “We needed a bit of this rejuvenation. We have a healthy program and that’s also very important. There are teams out here running on the edge and hurting a lot of parts. Our healthy program will allow us to push, which will allow us to qualify better and get on top of that mountain.”
Also looking to garner some attention for Dodge//SRT performance this weekend aboard his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car is two-time event winner (1993 and 2013) Cruz Pedregon who is fifth in the category points tally to date, has consistently qualified in the top half of the eliminations ladder this year, and is chasing his first Wally of the season.
“Bandimere is a great race track and great facility with great fans,” said Pedregon. “I love that Dodge continues to support the Bandimere family and this event as it really has been a marquee event for many years. We’re looking forward to getting back on track after a two week break that was perfect for getting ready for the mid-season run when things get really busy. We’ll keep working on getting good results and improving our performance and position in the standings through the summer.”
Fans are invited to visit the 4,800-square-foot Dodge//SRT and Mopar exhibit in the Manufacturer’s Midway. Not only will they find a selection of performance parts and Dodge vehicles to peruse, they’ll have a chance to meet their favorite Dodge//SRT drivers for autographs, test their virtual race skills aboard the dueling pair of Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators, or climb in the Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car simulator to experience the thrill of a nitro run.
The display will also provide additional information on the Dodge Power Brokers dealership network and the features it offers performance enthusiasts. The network is the exclusive source for new Direct Connection performance parts and has dealership staff with comprehensive knowledge and expertise in high-performance areas. Customers can purchase a vehicle with Direct Connection upgrades directly from a Dodge Power Brokers dealership and benefit from maintaining the balance of the three-year/36,000-mile vehicle warranty. More information is available at DCPerformance.com.
Additionally, the display will host the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) booth which features a subject matter expert and program information about the immersive service technician courses offered through 100 certified training institutions. The curriculum is designed to immediately place students in Stellantis dealerships upon graduation to meet the demand for new service technicians. More information on the program and activation is available at Moparcap.com.
Sunday’s Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals elimination rounds will air on FOX’s broadcast network commencing at 4 p.m. ET and will include live coverage of the finals. FS1 will provide two highlight shows covering the four nitro qualifying sessions. Friday’s two sessions, including qualifying under the lights, will air on July 15 from 10-11 p.m. ET, while a recap of Saturday’s two runs will air Sunday, July 17, from 11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. ET. Fans at home can also follow all the racing action at Bandimere Speedway via the NHRA.TV livestream throughout the weekend.