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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Mopar Mile-High NHRA National

Mopar Drivers Look to Celebrate Brand’s 80th Anniversary in Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals Winner’s Circle



38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals scheduled for July 21-23 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado
16th annual Mopar Mile-High Block Party fan event July 20 in downtown Golden will kick start race weekend and serve as Mopar 80th birthday celebration
Mopar Mile-High Block Party to feature Mopar NHRA driver autograph session, live music, vendors, interactive displays, show cars and more
Mopar NHRA drivers Matt Hagan, Leah Pritchett to battle in first-ever match races featuring 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demons
Mopar HEMI® power currently holds four of top five points positions in NHRA Funny Car standings, Mopar Funny Cars have won 12 of 13 events this year
“King of the Mountain” Allen Johnson looks to extend decade of Denver dominance in Pro Stock
Mopar to honor local first responders as event Grand Marshals
Event eliminations to be broadcast live on national FOX Network




July 17, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

The Mopar brand’s year-long 80th anniversary celebration will reach a fever pitch when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series begins its yearly Western Swing at the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, July 21-23. Drivers in the NHRA Funny Car, Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Sportsman ranks will showcase the brand’s long legacy of elite performance at its annual headline event located in the picturesque Rocky Mountains.

Entering the event near Denver, Mopar-backed drivers and teams from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) have dominated the 2017 season and will aim to maintain their success at the brand’s 29th consecutive year of sponsoring the popular stop at “Thunder Mountain.”

Mopar HEMI®-powered DSR Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars have claimed a whopping 12 of 13 event wins to date, with defending champion Ron Capps leading the point standings and the series win total, with six victories thus far. Matt Hagan and his Mopar Express Lane team have claimed three wins and sit second in points, while Jack Beckman has visited the winner’s circle twice with his Infinite Hero Dodge and is third in the standings. Tommy Johnson Jr. has also banked one victory with the Make-A-Wish team and currently holds the fifth points position.

The Mopar brand’s success on the drag strip this season extends to the Top Fuel category as well. Leah Pritchett has emerged as a bona fide star with three wins in her Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil dragster from DSR, while the winningest driver in Top Fuel history, eight-time champion Tony Schumacher, has collected one event win to date this year in the Mopar-powered U.S. Army car out of the DSR stable. Pritchett is currently second in the standings, while Schumacher is fourth.

Mopar-powered Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has tasted victory often in the Mile High City, including in 2016, and has won the event a total of seven times to claim the most “King of the Mountain” titles alongside Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden. Johnson will be hunting his fifth win in six years at Bandimere Speedway in the Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart and looking to extend an amazing streak of 10 consecutive final-round appearances at the venue.

The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will include racing in a variety of Sportsman categories in addition to the popular professional classes. In keeping with NHRA’s “Salute to First Responders” program in 2017, Mopar will honor several of these everyday heroes as Grand Marshals for the event.

Mopar Mile-High Block Party Celebrates Sweet Sixteen
On the evening of Thursday, July 20, the official “starter” event of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will commence with the fan-friendly Mopar Mile-High Block Party in downtown Golden, Colorado, from 6 to 10 p.m. MT. Mopar is partnering with Pennzoil to put on the 16th edition of the extravaganza featuring an autograph session with all top Mopar NHRA stars.

Live music, food and drink tents, merchandise, interactive displays, including the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators, and a car show, featuring plenty of Mopar muscle, are also on tap at the free-admission event. Popular Denver-area morning show host and Mopar fan Willie B. from KBPI 106.7 FM will serve as the event emcee. For complete information on the Mopar Mile-High Block Party, visit Mopar Mile-High Block Party Rolls into Golden, Colo. ? Mopar Blog.

Hagan, Pritchett to Duel in 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demons
Mopar racers Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett will have their pitchforks out as they prepare to battle in two new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demons in a pair of match races scheduled between qualifying rounds on Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 at Bandimere Speedway.

The match races will mark the official public drag strip debut of the limited-production 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the first-ever production car to do a front-wheel lift, as certified by Guinness World Records, and the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time of 9.65 seconds at 140 miles per hour, as certified by the NHRA. It also registers the highest g-force (1.8 g) ever recorded at launch in a production car.

Hagan and Pritchett will showcase the full potential of the Challenger SRT Demon at the drag strip – and its full 840 horsepower and 770 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon will start arriving at Dodge//SRT dealerships this fall at a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $84,995, including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, excluding $1,095 destination.

Mopar and Dodge Midway Displays Offer Fan-friendly Features
Throughout the weekend, fans will also have the opportunity to get up close to a number of Mopar Dodge vehicles and even take the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon for a “spin” in state-of-the-art Demon simulators at the Mopar and Dodge display trailers on Manufacturers Midway at Bandimere Speedway.

A variety of games, contests and other interactive activities will be on hand for fans, while another autograph session featuring Mopar drivers will be held at 2 p.m. MT on Saturday, July 22 on the Mopar display stage. The Mopar and Dodge displays are present at 15 of the 24 events on the NHRA calendar this season.

Event Eliminations Set to Air Live on National FOX Network
The Mopar brand’s 80th anniversary celebration will receive nationwide exposure, as eliminations for the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will air live on the national FOX network from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 23.

Qualifying will air on FS1 with a live show broadcast on Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m. ET and with the delayed second day of qualifying slated for broadcast at midnight on Sunday, July 22.

Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) FCA – Global
“The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals represents a special time for our brand, even more so during our 80th anniversary celebration this year. The event provides an opportunity to showcase our brand’s incredible success, both over eight decades and also with our current roster of drivers who have made us so proud this season. From the opening Mopar Mile-High Block Party to the final round of eliminations, the Mopar Mile-High Nationals demonstrate the best of what our brand has to offer.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
“Denver is a special race for us. The Bandimeres do an exceptional job of packing the stands every day of that weekend. You can’t find a place to sit down most of the time. It’s really cool when you do a burnout and you look up and that whole side of the mountain is packed with people. It’s just a great experience.

“Mopar also does the Golden Block Party and they have bands there and just get the people really kind of pumped on Thursday night. It’s an entire weekend full of festivities for our fans and for Mopar, and you just really see how people are very loyal to the brand. I’ve gotten close to winning. I got in the final and I redlighted (left the starting line too soon) against (John) Force one year. I would’ve loved to have been able to pull it down for our sponsors, but maybe this year’s the year, you never know. I’m excited to get out there.”

Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster
“Denver has always been so important because for eight years of my life that was (where) the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Nationals (were held). If you won that, that was like winning Indy for Juniors. It’s a beautiful track. We love going there despite the rigors of battling the heat and elevation. It’s one of our favorite stops on tour. Add in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals and Mopar Mile-High Block Party, and it’s one of the most exciting events on the NHRA schedule. If you’re a Mopar fan, you have to attend the Mile-High Nationals. We flew the Mopar colors there last summer and we want to put Mopar in the winner’s circle this year.”

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, thanks to Don Schumacher Racing driver Ron Capps, Mopar captured its fourth NHRA Funny Car World Championship in the last six years. As Mopar celebrates 80 years as a brand in 2017, it will focus its NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series efforts on NHRA Funny Car and, with rising star Leah Pritchett, NHRA Top Fuel Dragster. Mopar will also bolster its commitment to NHRA Sportsman racing with new contingency rewards, factory support and at-track technical advice and guidance.

Mopar-First Features
During the brand’s 80 years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:

Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool
Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals on a smartphone app


80 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was born on August 1, 1937, as the name of a line of antifreeze products. Mopar has since evolved over 80 years to serve as the total service, parts and customer-care brand of all FCA vehicles around the globe.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach 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 customer and dealer support worldwide.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

Rick

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hagan to Debut Mopar 80th Anniversary Funny Car Graphics

Hagan to Debut Mopar 80th Anniversary Funny Car Graphics at Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Leah Pritchett to Carry Mopar 80th Anniversary Logo on Top Fuel Dragster

Mopar continues brand’s 80th celebration in 2017 with special anniversary graphics for Matt Hagan’s Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car
Mopar has evolved from its start in 1937, as name of a line of antifreeze products, to represent excellence on the drag strip, as well as global service, parts and customer care
Hagan to feature Mopar 80th/Express Lane as primary colors on his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in at least five events
Mopar 80th anniversary logo also highlights Hagan’s firesuit, team shirts
NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett to carry Mopar 80th logo on dragster and uniform at Mopar Mile-High Nationals and Dodge NHRA Nationals


July 20, 2017 , Denver -

Two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan will help wish the Mopar brand a happy 80th birthday in nitro HEMI®-engine fueled fashion, starting this weekend at the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals near Denver. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver and Mopar teamed up today to reveal special Mopar 80th anniversary graphics that Hagan will campaign on his Dodge Charger R/T in at least five NHRA National events during the remainder of the season.

Hagan will also debut a new firesuit featuring unique Mopar 80th anniversary branding, which will carry over to the team shirts for he and his crew. Hagan’s DSR teammate Leah Pritchett will also sport Mopar 80th logos on her Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster and firesuit at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and the Dodge NHRA Nationals in Pennsylvania in late September.

“Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett are great ambassadors to help us celebrate 80 years of our brand,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “Matt brought home NHRA World championships in 2011 and 2014 and has collected numerous wins and records in his career, while Leah has won multiple times this season and set the national elapsed-time record in the Top Fuel category utilizing HEMI power. It’s already been an amazing year for Mopar-powered drivers and it’s just going to get better as we cheer on Matt and Leah in special Mopar anniversary graphics.”

The special 80th anniversary graphics celebrate the birth of the Mopar brand in 1937. A contraction of the words “Motor Parts,” Mopar is marking an amazing evolution over eight decades. First introduced as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has since transformed to encompass total service, parts and customer care for FCA vehicle owners around the globe.

Performance on the drag strip has long played a starring role in the legacy and heritage of the brand. Legends and innovators, such as “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and Don Schumacher, helped established Mopar’s reputation for drag racing excellence, as did unique Mopar “package cars,” factory-built for drag race use. By the late '60s and early '70s, proud Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth performance enthusiasts had adopted the word Mopar to describe any and all of their vehicles.

Hagan, Pritchett and their DSR teammates continue to etch the Mopar brand’s name in the record books. Hagan has claimed three wins in his Mopar Dodge, is second in the standings and holds the current NHRA Funny Car National record for elapsed time at 3.802 seconds. Pritchett has also seized three wins, is second in points and owns the elapsed time record in Top Fuel at 3.658 seconds. Mopar-powered DSR drivers have combined for 16 wins in the Nitro classes in 2017.

“This new wrap is going to be really special for the 80th year of Mopar,” said Hagan, who has competed since 2009 in a Mopar-powered DSR Dodge Funny Car. “Just being able to do something special and show our fans a different look and a different scheme that they haven’t seen yet I think is going to be really cool. I’m pretty pumped about it. I know these Mopar fans are going to be geeked about it and I hope we can put this thing in the winner’s circle.”

Added Pritchett, “Mopar means Motor Parts, and to help carry the legacy of the Mopar brand is very important to me. It’s an honor. To fly the Mopar colors at the Mile-High last year was awesome. To be associated with names like “Big Daddy” Don Garlits gives me chills. I love the 80th decal and will be excited to have it on my firesuit for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals.”

About Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals

The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals event is scheduled for July 21-23 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, near Denver. Race weekend will kick off on Thursday, July 20, with the Mopar Mile-High Block Party from 6 to 10 p.m. MT in downtown Golden. The fan event is free to the public and includes a Mopar NHRA driver autograph session, live music, Mopar vehicles and displays, food and drink tents, and much more.

The Mopar brand’s headline event will receive nationwide exposure, as eliminations for the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will air live on the national FOX network from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 23.

Rick

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80 Years of Mopar: Passion for Performance



Published on Jul 20, 2017

Mopar drivers Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett discuss the brand’s legacy of success at the drag strip and their debut of special Mopar 80th anniversary graphics at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals

Rick

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Schumacher Leads Mopar Drivers

Schumacher Leads Mopar Drivers After Day One of Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals Qualifying


Tony Schumacher currently sits third in HEMI®-powered Top Fuel dragster from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) to lead Mopar drivers at Bandimere Speedway
Ron Capps is best of Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers from DSR
Leah Pritchett defeats Matt Hagan in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon match race
16th annual Mopar Mile-High Block Party kicks off race weekend in downtown Golden, Colorado

July 21, 2017 , Morrison, Colo. -

The first day of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals is in the books, with Tony Schumacher leading Mopar-powered drivers after two qualifying sessions at Bandimere Speedway. Schumacher made a 3.776-second pass at 326.63 mph during the second session in his HEMI®-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster. The run was good enough to put him No. 3 currently at the track just outside of Denver.

Schumacher’s Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate in the Top Fuel ranks, Leah Pritchett, sits in the sixth position.


The Mopar-powered Dodge Charger R/T Funny Cars from DSR, driven by Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., and Matt Hagan, are eighth, ninth, 11th and 16th, respectively, on Thunder Mountain.



Hagan unveiled a new paint scheme this weekend celebrating Mopar’s 80th anniversary, but struggled in both qualifying sessions on Friday. He and his teammates will all look to improve during Saturday’s final two qualifying attempts.

This weekend’s race kicks off the Western Swing and is the 14th event overall on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.




Pritchett Defeats Hagan in First Demon Match Race

Mopar drivers Leah Pritchett and Matt Hagan also took part in the official public drag strip debut of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on Friday at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. The two battled for bragging rights in the 840-horsepower machines, with Pritchett just besting Hagan in the quarter-mile contest. The two drivers will go head to head again on Saturday, July 22, between the third and fourth qualifying sessions.



16th Annual Mopar Mile-High Block Party

The 16th edition of the Mopar Mile-High Block Party kicked off this weekend’s festivities in downtown Golden, Colorado, on the evening of Thursday, July 20. The event was hosted by Willie B. of 106.7 KBPI FM and featured a Mopar driver autograph session, live music, a Mopar car show and dozens of giveaways on packed streets in the historic Colorado town.

Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes


Matt Hagan, Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
“It was a rough day on the mountain. Obviously at the sponsor’s race we’d like to do a little better than that, but maybe we’ll get all these issues out of the way the first day and then tomorrow will be all right. So we’ll get back after it again tomorrow and see what happens, but obviously we’d like to do better than what we did today.”

Tune-in Info
The 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals continue on Saturday, July 22, with FOX Sports 1 slated to broadcast the final two qualifying sessions that evening at 12:30 a.m. ET.


Leah Pritchett is running special decals celebrating Mopar's 80th anniversary on her Papa John's Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster during this weekend's Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

Rick

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Tony Schumacher sits third in the Top Fuel category with his Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster after the first day of qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

Rick

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Mopar Driver Pritchett Sets Track Record,

Mopar Driver Pritchett Sets Track Record, Claims No. 1 Qualifying Position for Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals


Mopar Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett sets track record with pass of 3.733 seconds at 326.24 mph during qualifying for 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway
HEMI®-powered Top Fuel dragsters from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) have qualified No. 1 seven times this season
DSR Mopar Nitro teams have been No. 1 qualifiers 11 times in 2017
No. 1 qualifying position is fourth of season for Pritchett and fifth of her career
Ron Capps is best Mopar Funny Car driver with fifth-place qualifying effort
Six Mopar Dodge Funny Cars qualify for 16-car field
Allen Johnson leads Dodge Dart Pro Stocks, qualifying sixth as he attempts to win event for eighth time
Pritchett defeats Matt Hagan for second day in a row in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon match race


July 22, 2017 , Morrison, Colo. -



Mopar Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett set a track elapsed-time record during qualifying for this weekend’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, meaning she will lead all machines featuring HEMI® power into Sunday eliminations as they vie for the “King or Queen of the Mountain” crown.

Pritchett turned in a best lap of 3.733 seconds at 326.24 mph in her Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster out of the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) stable during Saturday evening’s second qualifying session and the fourth and final one of the weekend. The No. 1 qualifier is her fourth of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and the fifth of her career. Mopar Top Fuel cars have been No. 1 on seven occasions this year.

Pritchett’s teammate Tony Schumacher qualified No. 4 in the U.S. Army car as he looks to win at Bandimere for the second year in a row and fourth time overall.

Ron Capps will lead Mopar-backed Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car teams from DSR with a fifth-place qualifying effort. Jack Beckman will begin the day from the sixth spot on the elimination ladder in the Infinite Hero machine, Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish team qualified 12th and Matt Hagan will begin the day from 15th in the Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T.

Mopar Funny Car teams have won from a variety of qualifying positions throughout the 2017 season en route to 12 of 13 wins. They also have claimed four No. 1 qualifying positions on the season.

In Pro Stock, Allen Johnson will start from the sixth spot as he looks for an unprecedented eighth victory in the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Johnson will lead four Dodge Dart Pro Stock entries on Sunday.

Pritchett Defeats Hagan in Second Demon Match Race
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon made its official public drag strip debut on Friday at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, with Leah Pritchett besting her Mopar teammate Matt Hagan in a match race. On Saturday the two drivers swapped the two equally prepared cars in a rematch. However, Pritchett again came out on top, this time in a near photo finish.

Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes
(best elapsed time in bold)


Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 1, will face No. 16 Troy Coughlin Jr.
Friday: (4.041 seconds at 222.03 mph – Q1); (3.801/318.00 – Q2)
Saturday: (5.044/144.44 – Q3) (3.733/326.64 – Q4)

“We were definitely swinging from the fence. We did a 7.3 but we said mid 7s was what we were going after. My guys yelled on the radio, ‘it’s a .33!’ It surprised us. We struggled in qualifying earlier. We got it right though so I feel good.

“Tomorrow will tell. I just hope that at the end of Sunday we can help Mopar blow out their birthday candles for their 80th birthday.”

Mopar celebrated its 80th anniversary with birthday cake at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Pictured left to right: Bill Harry (Head of Marketing, Mopar), Leah Pritchett, Willie B. of 106.7 KBPI FM, Matt Hagan, Ross McGinnis (VP, Mopar Parts Sales and Field Operations) and Dale Aldo (Mopar Motorsports Marketing Manager).

Matt Hagan, Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 15, will face No. 2 John Force
Friday: (5.544 seconds at 113.27 mph – Q1); (9.322/74.80 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.942/160.10 – Q3); (9.697/72.43 – Q4)



“All can say is I’m sorry. Obviously our performance is not what we hoped and planned for up here on the mountain. We’ve really never been in this situation where we’ve been this far back. We’ll get it figured out tomorrow.

“We just haven’t been down the racetrack and that’s just uncommon of this race car and obviously it’s our sponsor’s race. We want to put on a show. It just hasn’t happened so far.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 5, will face No. 12 Tommy Johnson Jr.
Friday: (4.016 seconds at 303.37 mph – Q1); (4.676/175.11 – Q2)
Saturday: (5.466/131.46 – Q3); (3.965/313.73 – Q4)

“This place is such an anomaly to come up here and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s a one-off race for everybody and it is the most demanding, the most brutal on a Sunday race day. That is why I think when you win here you feel like you’ve conquered more than most races.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 6, will face No. 11 Alex DeJoria
Friday: (7.990 seconds at 87.61 mph – Q1); (4.024/319.60 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.037/314.75 – Q3); (3.978/316.97 – Q4)

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
Qualified No. 12, will face No. 5 Ron Capps
Friday: (4.266 seconds at 219.47 mph – Q1); (7.755/81.14 – Q2)
Saturday: (4.507/191.73 – Q3); (4.058/304.87 – Q4)

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified No. 4, will face No. 13 Steve Chrisman
Friday: (3.821 seconds at 321.19 mph – Q1); (3.776/326.63 – Q2)
Saturday: (3.784/324.12 – Q3); (4.199/197.54 – Q4)

Tune-in Info
The FOX Network will broadcast the elimination rounds from the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway LIVE at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 23.

Rick

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Helms Wins Stock Eliminator

Mopar-powered Drivers Pritchett, Johnson Runners-Up at Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Helms Wins Stock Eliminator


Leah Pritchett is runner-up in Top Fuel, Tommy Johnson Jr. goes to Funny Car final round during 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway
Both HEMI®-powered Top Fuel dragsters reach semifinals
Two Mopar Dodge Funny Cars advance to semis
Mopar Funny Cars maintain four of top five points positions in Funny Car, claim third and fourth spots in Top Fuel
Kevin Helms wins Stock Eliminator in 2013 Dodge Challenger
Helms named Dodge Top Finisher in Stock, Kayla Mozeris wins award in Super Stock


July 23, 2017 , Morrison, Colo. -

Mopar-powered drivers Leah Pritchett and Tommy Johnson Jr. each went to the final round of their respective categories during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway this weekend. However, both Pritchett in Top Fuel and Johnson in Funny Car came up just shy of providing birthday presents for Mopar as the brand celebrated its 80th anniversary at the picturesque mountainside track outside of Denver.

Mopar still claimed an event win at the brand’s premier event, with four-time Stock Eliminator world champion Kevin Helms bringing home a Wally in the category in his 2013 Dodge Challenger.

The runner-up finishes for Pritchett and Johnson snapped a streak of 14 consecutive event wins for Mopar HEMI® power in both Nitro categories dating back to the end of last season, and a run of 10 consecutive victories in the Funny Car class.

In the final round of Top Fuel, Pritchett turned in a pass of 3.816 seconds at 324.90 mph from the left lane after a .059-second reaction time in her Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil dragster from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR). Yet she was just bested by Antron Brown’s 3.792 at 319.82 paired with a .047 reaction time. The final-round appearance was Pritchett’s fifth of the season (plus a final quad appearance in the Four-Wide Nationals), which has included three victories. Pritchett began her relationship with Mopar during last year’s event at Bandimere.

Pritchett started her day by taking down Troy Coughlin Jr. on a clean run. She next chased down Clay Millican in round two to advance to the semis when Millican’s car lost power, then rocketed past her Mopar teammate Tony Schumacher on a holeshot to reach the final round.

Pritchett’s Mopar and DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team appeared in their second consecutive final round this weekend, but came up short once again. Johnson made a lap of 4.099 at 297.16 from the right lane after a reaction time of .055, but Hight pulled away on the strength of a 3.995 at 317.57 with a .046 reaction time off the starting line.

Johnson first drove past Mopar teammate Ron Capps in a re-match of the final round from two weeks ago at Route 66 Raceway, with Johnson winning this battle on a holeshot. Johnson next bested Jonnie Linbderg on a clean pass as the Swedish driver struggled to find traction. The Make-A-Wish team then knocked out fellow Dodge driver Jim Campbell on their quickest pass of the weekend in the semis as Campbell got out of the groove, allowing Johnson to reach the final.

None of the other DSR Mopar Funny Cars were able to advance past the second round. After a tough qualifying effort that led to the squad starting the day in the No. 15 position, Matt Hagan and the Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T team bested John Force in round one despite Hagan suffering an explosion as he crossed the finish line. Hagan’s team thrashed to make the second round but their day came to an end at the hands of Cruz Pedregon. Still, Hagan qualified for the year-end Countdown to the Championship with his efforts at Bandimere.

Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero team put their Mopar Dodge Funny Car past Alexis DeJoria on a side-by-side run in the first round, but were bested by Hight in round two after Beckman was forced to pedal around the 200-foot mark.

Also in Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher and the Mopar-powered U.S. Army team were forced to bring out a brand new car after hurting the chassis on an unplanned wheelstand during Saturday qualifying. Schumacher first defeated Steve Chrisman and then took down Terry Haddock on a clean pass as Haddock had mechanical issues at the starting line. Schumacher made another clean run in the semis but still fell to Pritchett.

In Pro Stock, Mopar-powered Allen Johnson was looking for his eighth win at Bandimere in his Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart. However, Johnson’s day ended early after a close first-round loss to Bo Butner. Johnson had advanced to an amazing ten consecutive final rounds at Bandimere.

The 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals featured cool and overcast conditions on Friday including several rain delays, while Saturday and Sunday were contested under hot and sunny skies. The ever-changing conditions at Bandimere Speedway, combined with the high elevation, are known to wreak havoc with race teams as they kick off the three-race Western Swing.

This year’s event also was the 29th consecutive for which Mopar served as the title sponsor.

Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes

Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) FCA – Global
“Sportsman racing is the backbone of the NHRA, so it’s very special when a Mopar-powered driver takes home a trophy. Congratulations to Kevin Helms on the Stock Eliminator win in his 2013 Dodge Challenger during this weekend’s Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.”



Leah Pritchett, Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.733 seconds at 326.24 mph)

Rd. 1: (.103-second reaction time, 3.797 seconds at 321.58 mph) defeated No. 16 Troy Coughlin Jr. (.070/3.966/256.31)
Rd: 2: (.072/3.817/320.28) defeated No. 8 Clay Millican (.068/3.927/254.47)
Semis: (.060/3.794/323.43) defeated No. 4 Tony Schumacher (.071/3.790/324.36)
Final: (.059/3.816/324.90) lost to No. 7 Antron Brown (.047/3.792/319.82)

"We were bleeding (Mopar) blue all weekend long, like we normally do. The passion of the fans here on the mountain doesn’t get any higher. I think they were a driving force in our success this weekend and keeping us going throughout some of our woes. I can’t tell you any other race that I’ve ever wanted to win so much for a partner. Home turf, top of the mountain in the final round, giving it all we’ve got. It just stinks a little bit. I think I could have done a little better. The best way that (crew chief) Todd (Okuhara) put it was the car just doesn’t like to react like it normally would when you’re up on the mountain. It doesn’t listen. It’s a bad listener up here. It listened really well on Friday and really well on Saturday night. Today it listened okay, kind of like a toddler. We’re incredibly proud to represent Mopar and wish we could have won today.”

Matt Hagan, Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 15 Qualifier – 4.942 seconds at 160.10 mph)

Rd. 1: (.043-second reaction time, 4.102 seconds at 310.55 mph) defeated No. 2 John Force (.055/4.339/247.66)
Rd. 2: (.077/4.057/313.95) lost to No. 7 Cruz Pedregon (.045/4.053/291.01)

“We built a new car and blew both bodies off so a tough weekend up on the Hill. We’ll roll back down to sea level in Sonoma next weekend and get back out there. Obviously, we wanted to do better here for our sponsors. We tend to struggle up here but everybody does so it’s the same for everybody. I don’t know, maybe we’ll test up here next year and see if we can have a little better outcome and result.”


Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 12 Qualifier – 4.058 seconds at 304.87 mph)

Rd. 1: (.040-second reaction time, 4.040 seconds at 311.20 mph – holeshot win) defeated No. 5 Ron Capps (.093/4.017/311.99)
Rd. 2: (.102/4.052/301.87) defeated No. 4 Jonnie Lindberg (.044/4.471/210.80)
Semis: (.078/3.988/306.19) defeated No. 16 Jim Campbell (.118/4.768/176.35)
Final: (.055/4.099/297.16) lost to No. 3 Robert Hight (.046/3.995/317.57)

“I really like the way the car has been performing, especially on race day and going rounds. You know you have to peak at the right time with the Countdown coming. This always seems to be when we turn the corner and start making a move. We want to get some wins but I’m not unhappy with the way we’ve been going a lot of rounds lately.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 6 Qualifier – 3.978 seconds at 316.97 mph)

Rd. 1: (.067-second reaction time, 4.027 seconds at 320.20 mph) defeated No. 11 Alexis DeJoria (.083/4.056/316.90)
Rd. 2: (.064/4.319/289.63) lost to No. 3 Robert Hight (.062/4.146/305.22)

“We had to scramble to change engines before the second round, we had an issue where we didn’t even get to warm (the car) up on nitro, so we got behind the eight-ball and that really affected the performance of the car. And it’s really unfortunate because I think we had a car that could’ve won.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.965 seconds at 313.73 mph)

Rd. 1: (.093-second reaction time, 4.017 seconds at 311.99 mph) lost to No. 12 Tommy Johnson Jr. (.040/4.040/311.20 – holeshot win)

“It’s tough to lose that way (on a holeshot). We had a great car, and you win by the sword and you lose by the sword. Today I lost by the sword. So, we’re going to go on to Somona still with the points lead and are just having a great season. I’m so proud of our guys and the hard work they do.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.776 seconds at 326.63 mph)

Rd. 1: (.090-second reaction time, 3.837seconds at 323.97 mph) defeated No. 13 Steve Chrisman (.104/4.240/238.09)
Rd. 2: (.098/3.806/325.37) defeated No. 12 Terry Haddock (.292/10.469/90.44)
Semis: (.071/3.790/324.36) lost to No. 1 Leah Pritchett (.060/3.794/323.43 – holeshot win)

“That was a great race right there. We were separated by seven-thousandths of a second. Those are the runs you just keep your chin up. What are you going to do? I couldn’t have found any bit more out of me and the car was just on a rail. It was a good race. It is what it is. The guys did an excellent job getting this backup car ready, working late into the night last night.”

Mopar/Dodge NHRA Sportsman Spotlight
Several Mopar drivers went multiple rounds in the Sportsman categories during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, with Kevin Helms of Plant City, Florida, taking the Stock Eliminator win to add to his dozens of Wally trophies.

Helms drove his A/SA 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT featuring a 392 cubic-inch HEMI engine to the win over Scott Wells with a pass of 11.296 seconds at 106.82 mph on an 11.25 dial-in. He left the starting line with a .036-second reaction time. Helms’ win at Bandimere was his second national event victory of 2017. He is the motorsports manager at Jeff Tueton’s Southland Dodge dealership.

“We built this car as a tribute to Mr. Jeff Teuton’s wife,” Helms said of his stout Furious Fuchsia Challenger. “She’s a 42-year cancer survivor and she drives one just like it on the street, so we made race car out of it. It’s been a pretty good car so far … we have a lot of fun.”



Kayla Mozeris meanwhile put her ’93 GT/KA Dodge Daytona in round three of Super Stock. Despite going red at the starting line in the round, Mozeris made a lap of 11.107 on an 11.02 dial-in at a speed of 107.02. Mozeris hails from Phoenix and is a former junior dragster racer.

Helms and Mozeris were each awarded the Dodge Top Finisher award for the weekend. The program is in place at all 24 NHRA national events in 2017 and awards $500 to the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock competitor advancing the farthest in a Dodge or Plymouth vehicle.


Stock Eliminator and Super Stock drivers also took part in class eliminations at Bandimere Speedway. Helms took the Super Stock FSS/E win in his 2010 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, while Barry Pollard from Regina, Saskatchewan, won the H/SA class in the Stock category with a ’76 Plymouth Road Runner.

Next Event
The Western Swing of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series rolls on next week with the 30th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California. Last year Mopar Funny Car driver Ron Capps went to the final round in wine country. Capps has claimed four wins in the event over his career, while Mopar teammate Jack Beckman has one win to his credit. Mopar’s Matt Hagan holds the speed record for Funny Car with a pass at 330.15 mph in July of 2015.


Mopar-powered Tony Schumacher has won at the track twice in the Top Fuel category.

The 30th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals are scheduled for July 28 – 30. FOX Sports 1 will provide television coverage throughout the weekend, with the elimination rounds airing LIVE on the network at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 30.



2017 NHRA Championship — Point Standings After Round 14 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)


NHRA Funny Car
1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (6) – 1,244
2. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 1,058

3. Robert Hight (1) – 973
4. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T (2) – 970
5. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 925

6. Courtney Force – 793
7. John Force (1) – 757
8. Tim Wilkerson – 634
9. J.R. Todd – 612
10. Cruz Pedregon – 538

NHRA Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence (5) – 1,253
2. Antron Brown (3) – 1,199
3. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (3) – 1,183
4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI (1) – 974

5. Doug Kalitta – 873
6. Brittany Force (1) – 871
7. Clay Millican (1) – 826
8. Terry McMillen – 541
9. Scott Palmer – 528
10. Troy Coughlin Jr. – 496

Rick

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