AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Mopar hosts longest continuous-running sponsorship in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series
- Allen Johnson aims for sixth straight final-round appearance at Bandimere Speedway in Pro Stock, fourth career win at Thunder Mountain
- Jeg Coughlin Jr. chases third Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals Pro Stock win
- Defending Funny Car champion Matt Hagan to carry special Mopar graphics
- Mopar Big Block Party to jump start Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
The past, present and future of Mopar will be celebrated near Denver, Colo., as the brand hosts the 33rd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., July 20–22.
Mopar fans, racers and enthusiasts have been meeting at the Bandimere family's scenic drag strip, set 5,800 feet high in the Rocky Mountains, for more than three decades. Mopar's sponsorship of the event is the longest continuous-running sponsorship in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, and serves as the opener of the 2012 NHRA Western Swing, which includes stops in Sonoma and Seattle.
"Thunder Mountain is the perfect place for Mopar to continue the celebration of our brand's 75th Anniversary," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand. "The Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals have played a key role in building Mopar's legendary racing tradition, and we look forward to visiting the Denver area once again and connecting with our friends at the NHRA, the Bandimere family and the passionate race fans that pack the drag strip."
Mopar-powered drivers look to stay at the front of the field in Mopar's flagship event. Mopar Dodge Avenger NHRA Pro Stock veteran Allen Johnson will be aiming for his sixth straight final-round appearance at Bandimere Speedway. The native of Greenville, Tenn., has been victorious in the Pro Stock class at Thunder Mountain three times in his career, with triumphs coming in 2007 and 2009-2010. Johnson has also earned the No. 1 Qualifier award three times at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
Joining Johnson in the Pro Stock field will be four-time champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., who pilots the Mopar/JEGS.com Dodge Avenger. The native of Delaware, Ohio, has two career wins at Bandimere Speedway, including in 1999 over his brother Troy. Vincent Nobile will be in action in a Mopar-powered Dodge Avenger, with HEMI® engines built by Johnson's J&J Racing team. V. Gaines, who also pilots a Mopar-powered Pro Stock car, will be in action at his home track.
Matt Hagan, the defending NHRA Funny Car champion, will sport special Mopar graphics on his Dodge Charger R/T. Hagan advanced to the finals last season during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Joining Hagan at Bandimere Speedway will be his Mopar-powered Don Schumacher Racing teammates Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Johnny Gray. Beckman and Capps have each earned Funny Car wins in Mopar's headline event. A large contingent of Mopar-powered grassroots racers will also compete in a number of NHRA Sportsman classes at Bandimere.
Mopar's popular display on Bandimere Speedway's Manufacturers Midway will return for the 33rd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Fans have the chance to enter to win a variety of Mopar contests, check out hot new Mopar parts and amazing "Moparized" rides and purchase the latest in Mopar gear and apparel.Mopar Big Block Party to Jump Start Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Festivities for the 33rd Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will kick-off on Thursday, July 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. MT with the 11th Annual Mopar Big Block Party, held on the streets of scenic downtown Golden, Colo.
The event is free to the public and will turn downtown Golden into a giant Mopar Nation celebration. Highlighting the Mopar Big Block Party will be a Team Mopar autograph session, giving fans the chance to get up-close-and-personal with their favorite Mopar-powered racers. The signing session will feature NHRA stars Allen Johnson, Jeg Coughlin Jr., V. Gaines, Vincent Nobile, Matt Hagan, Ron Capps, Jack Beckman and Johnny Gray, as well as Mopar drag racing legends "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and "Miss Mighty Mopar" Judy Lilly.
Fans can also stop by and view Mopar race cars, special Mopar display vehicles and Mopar product demonstrations. The Mopar Big Block Party will also feature a free live concert, and local Golden vendors will offer food and drink for purchase.
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
- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format
- Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
- Wireless charging: first to introduce in-vehicle wireless charging for portable devices
- 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
- 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
- Camper trailers: first to introduce off-road camper trailers
- WiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
About the Mopar Brand
Mopar is Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes 280,000 parts and accessories. With the creation of the Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A. partnership, Mopar is extending its global reach, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Combined with Fiat SpA, Mopar's global portfolio includes more than 500,000 parts and accessories that are distributed in more than 120 countries. Mopar is the source for all genuine parts and accessories for Chrysler Group and Fiat SpA brands.
Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler Group and Fiat S.p.A.vehicles — 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.
75 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for antifreeze product in 1937. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s — the muscle-car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "special parts" for super-stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use. The brand has expanded to include technical service and customer support.
SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC