The world’s biggest drag race and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series’ marquee event, the prestigious 68th annual Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals, is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 5 and ready to welcome thousands of racers and fans to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
“The Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals event is NHRA’s cornerstone showcase, providing a national stage on which to spotlight our Power Brokers program, the exclusive source for Dodge Direct Connection performance parts,” said Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer Tim Kuniskis. “This event has an incredible history and its evolution has been closely tied to the Dodge brand, our passion for performance and the development of both street and racing technology for our lineup of vehicles.”
The Labor Day classic is the second of two premier NHRA events with Dodge Power Brokers headline support this season. The first took place in July at the Dodge Power Broker Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver and was won by Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) pilot Leah Pruett aboard her Dodge Power Brokers dragster. That Top Fuel win, combined with the memory of her 2020 runner-up performance at Indianapolis still fresh, add fuel to Pruett’s desire to capture her first career Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals victory and an Indy Wally trophy for TSR in their inaugural season.
“The last time we hit the track in our Dodge Power Brokers dragster, we turned on all four win lights on race day and had exceptional qualifying,” said Pruett of her team’s first Top Fuel win. “We expect to do the same thing as we tested at Indy earlier in the year and we do have what we think is a pretty good handle on a warm track tune up very similar to what we had on the Western swing. We intend to be able to use that at the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals, and really just get back on to our high-performing Dodge train.”
Three-time Funny Car World Champion Matt Hagan returns to the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals with extra motivation after being sidelined at last year’s event due to COVID-19. While his successes this year to date include three wins, three runner-up performances and five No. 1 Qualifier positions, Hagan is also looking to overcome some recent elimination round struggles. The driver of the Dodge Power Brokers Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat currently sits second in the Funny Car standings ahead of the 15th edition of the NHRA’s “Countdown to the Championship” playoff series. Hagan is not just looking to muscle his way to the winner’s circle before closing out the regular season, but also hoping to take home his second Wally from the historic race and the team’s first.
“It’s going to be a big race going into this year’s Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals with Tony Stewart Racing,” said Hagan, who drove to the winner’s circle from the No. 1 qualifier position in 2016. “Winning Indy is a really special, magical feeling. Indianapolis is one of those races you never want to leave the sport without winning. It’s just a lot of excitement and build up through a long week for everybody. We definitely want to pull it down and have it be in the Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car at our sponsor’s title race.”
Winning a Wally trophy from the race known as the “Big Go” due to the magnitude and historic nature of the event remains a coveted addition for every racer and team across every class. However, for a group of drivers, there’s an additional race-within-a-race they’d like to win this year; Nitro qualifying will include the specialty Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Callout for both Funny Car and Top Fuel racers, with the top three competitors in each category getting a chance to call out their first-round opponent and vie for prize money.
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat machines of Hagan and Cruz Pedregon will take part in the Funny Car version on Sunday, Sept. 4, while the completion of the Top Fuel Callout will be contested on Saturday, Sept. 3, following its postponement due to rain after the first round took place at the NHRA Gatornationals earlier this season
“I’m looking forward to the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals, including the Pep Boys All-Star Callout on Sunday,” said Pedregon, who will join Hagan as one of the eight competing. “There’s a lot to race for. Indianapolis is a race that I’ve had the privilege to win three times but I’d love to win it again to end the regular season on a solid note.”
This year’s Dodge Power Broker’s U.S. Nationals will see the return of the longest running, continuous, specialty race in NHRA history; the 21st edition of the ever-popular Dodge HEMI® Challenge will once again spotlight Mopar and Dodge brands’ racing heritage with heads-up, wheel standing and side-by-side racing of vintage HEMI-powered 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda “package cars” that dominated the NHRA Super Stock (SS/AH) class for more than five decades.
When taking a break from all the on-track action, enthusiasts are invited to visit the 4,800-square-foot Dodge//SRT and Mopar exhibit in the Manufacturer’s Midway to check out a selection of performance parts and Dodge vehicles, along with additional information on the Dodge Power Brokers dealership network and the features it offers. 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.
Visitors to the exhibit will get to experience the thrill of a nitro run aboard a Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car simulator and test their virtual racing skills behind the wheel of a dueling pair of Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet and collect autographs from their favorite Dodge//SRT drivers on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 12:45 p.m.
The Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals will be broadcast on both the FOX network and FS1. Highlights from the initial qualifying sessions will be presented on FS1 1-3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 4, with coverage of the NHRA All-Star Callout airing 4-5:30 p.m., immediately followed by the balance of qualifying 5:30-7 p.m.
Coverage of eliminations will begin Monday, Sept. 5, on FS1 at noon ET, continue on FOX at 2 p.m., and conclude with live final round action. Fans can also view all on-track activity for all categories in real-time via NHRA.TV and its subscription-based, video-on-demand coverage throughout the event.