MORRISON, Colo., July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
- Mopar teams and drivers get set for the 36th annual Mopar Mile-High National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals at Bandimere Speedway on July 24-26 near Denver, Colorado
- Mopar's marquee NHRA event kicks off with the 14th edition of the popular Mopar Block Party in downtown Golden, Colorado
- Mopar Road Ready Program's Doug Herbert to serve as Grand Marshal of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
- Honorary starter duties to be undertaken by popular Denver radio personality and loyal Mopar man Willie B.
- Mopar Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has six wins at Denver and aims for a ninth straight final-round appearance at Thunder Mountain
- New Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car flying high with 10 wins and 12 final round appearances
- DSR drivers Matt Hagan, Ron Capps and Jack Beckman are 1-2-3 in Funny Car championship points
Mopar is getting ready to rumble at Thunder Mountain this weekend for the 36th annual Mopar Mile-High National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Nationals at the Bandimere family's picturesque quarter-mile drag strip nestled in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. A vast array of fan-friendly festivities and highly competitive drag racing action is set to take place from July 23-26 near Denver, Colorado.
"Everyone at Mopar looks forward to this annual competition at our signature event on the NHRA circuit," said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO - Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA. "And it's evident that our drivers and teams rise to the occasion as well, judging by the success that we've had both on track and with the enthusiasm shown by fans at Bandimere Speedway over many years.
"Mopar has served as the event's title sponsor for 27 consecutive years, the longest continuous running sponsorship in the NHRA and one of the longest in motorsports. That's something we are very proud of and is very much in keeping with our long history of showcasing the ultimate power and performance of the Mopar brand," he added.
For this year's edition of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, veteran NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert has been invited to serve as the Grand Marshal. Herbert has raced for more than 17 years and is the founder of B.R.A.K.E.S (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe), a nonprofit organization that raises awareness among teens and parents about the importance of safe driving. Herbert transitioned from winning races to helping to save teenage lives when he founded B.R.A.K.E.S following a tragic car accident that killed his two young sons in 2008. Herbert and his organization, which has helped more than 13,000 teens learn safe driving techniques, were also part of the Mopar Road Ready program, sponsored by the FCA Foundation, which launched this year as a collaborative effort with the NHRA Motorsports Museum. Mopar Road Ready helped educate more than 700 teen drivers and their parents on the importance of safety behind the wheel.
Honorary Starter duties will be undertaken by loyal 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." A die-hard car lover, Willie B. has claimed "Best of Show" and numerous other car show awards for his stable of more than 20 Mopar muscle cars, which includes six vintage muscle-car era Dodge Charger rides.
Willie B. also will serve as master of ceremonies for the 14th edition of the Mopar Block Party, the annual street festival that kicks off race weekend festivities in downtown Golden, Colorado, on Thursday, July 23, from 6 to 10 p.m. (MT). This popular event takes place between 11th and 13th street and features a large variety of free activities for fans of all ages.
The Mopar Block Party event invites fans to peruse an exhibition of more than 30 classic cars and special display vehicles that include the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Dodge Charger Hellcat, two of the brand-new Mopar Challenger Drag Pak vehicles, and Mopar NHRA race cars, as well as Mopar product demonstrations. The evening's fun will include live entertainment featuring the Steve Thomas Band and free face painting for children, with plenty of local Golden vendors offering food and drink, as well as merchandise, for purchase.
The annual block party will include the ever-popular Mopar driver autograph session, an hour-long chance to meet NHRA racers, including six-time defending title winner at Denver and 2012 NHRA Pro Stock Champion Allen Johnson, as well as fellow Dodge Dart driver and hometown favorite, V. Gaines. Current NHRA Funny Car World Champion Matt Hagan will take part in the session and will be joined by his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammates, 2012 Champ Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., and DSR Top Fuel drivers Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey. Also on hand will be Jim Dunn Racing's Dodge Charger Funny Car driver John Hale.
From July 24-26, Mopar drivers in Pro Stock, Funny Car and Sportsman classes will take to the track, which sits 5,800 feet above sea level, to jostle for position in qualifying and fight for the Wally trophy in Sunday's elimination rounds while battling the challenge that altitude presents engine tune-ups and aerodynamics.
Mopar's own Allen Johnson will work to retain his crown as king of Thunder Mountain in his attempt to defend three consecutive Pro Stock wins with his "Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar" Dodge Dart. Johnson has earned a total of six wins (2007, 2009-10, 2012-14) in eight years at Bandimere Speedway, along with four No. 1 Qualifier awards, and is looking to advance to his ninth-straight final round appearance at this year's event. HEMI-powered hometown favorite Gaines will work to take his Dodge Dart to a final round all-Mopar eliminations battle against Johnson for a third time in four years.
A quartet of DSR drivers will hit the track, with Hagan, Ron Capps and Beckman holding the top three spots in the NHRA Funny Car standings, while Tommy Johnson Jr., who sits sixth, comes into this weekend's competition on the heels of his first win of the season at the previous event in Chicago. After spending a full year in development and since making its competition debut at the start of this season, the new 2015 Mopar Dodge Charger R/T has earned a combined total of ten national titles by DSR drivers, who will look to add to that tally by taking it to a 13th final elimination round appearance in 14 events at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals this weekend.
Mopar's marquee event also launches the NHRA's traditional three-week western swing, which includes stops in Sonoma, California, and Seattle, Washington.
Television coverage of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals from Bandimere Speedway will be broadcast on ESPN2 with two hours of qualifying highlights on Saturday, July 25 starting at 11 p.m. (ET) and three hours of elimination round coverage on Sunday, July 26, starting at 9 p.m. (ET).
About Mopar Motorsports
Mopar'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 2015, Mopar looks to add to its streak of five NHRA World Championship titles in the Pro Stock (2012 and 2013) and Funny Car (2011, 2012, and 2014) categories in four years. While Mopar remains involved in various professional motorsports series, it continues to honor its roots by being a proud supporter of amateur racing within the NHRA with its sponsorship of the HEMI Challenge and Mopar's Tom Hoover Sportsman Challenge.
World of Mopar
Mopar has evolved over more than 75 years into a brand with a mission to enhance the ownership experience for all FCA brand customers worldwide. The statistics below illustrate Mopar's global scope:
- More than 500,000 Mopar parts and accessories are distributed every year
- The Mopar brand has a presence in more than 150 markets worldwide
- 52 Parts Distribution Centers (PDCs) are in operation
- Mopar products reach 14,800 ship-to locations around the globe
- 27 Mopar customer-contact hubs are in operation worldwide
- The brand's global footprint includes 19.5 million square feet of warehouse space and 43 commercial offices
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 FCA's service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 27 customer-contact hubs 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.
Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
- Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with customers
- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals in a DVD and brief user-guide format. First to offer complete vehicle-information kits in Spanish
- 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 interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
- wiADVISOR: first to provide factory-connected tablet technology in the service lane for instant vehicle diagnosis
- wiTECH: first to support vehicle diagnosis and software updates leveraging off-the-shelf personal computers and a dedicated wireless tool network
- 2011 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak: first to introduce a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag-race package car
SOURCE FCA US LLC