The longest-running active event or race sponsorship in all of motorsports is coming to an end, and Dodge — America’s performance brand — is planning to bring the thunder to the Rocky Mountains one last time at the final Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals, scheduled for July 14-16, 2023, at famed Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.
A Stellantis brand has sponsored the Mile-High Nationals since 1989, with the 2023 edition marking 35 years of partnership with the NHRA and the Bandimere family, owners of Bandimere Speedway for 65 years. This year will mark the final NHRA national event at Bandimere Speedway, as the track will close at the conclusion of the 2023 racing season.
The Dodge and Mopar brands have created memories and milestones at the drag strip, also known as “Thunder Mountain,” with passionate support from Denver-area racing fans who have turned out to fill the grandstands without fail each year. Dodge will help make the final event memorable by displaying the brand’s new 1,025-horsepower 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, the quickest, most powerful muscle car in the world.
Defending Top Fuel Denver event champion and recent NHRA Norwalk winner, Leah Pruett will look to repeat in her Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Dodge Direct Connection dragster while TSR teammate and current Funny Car points leader Matt Hagan will search for his second win at Bandimere Speedway in his Dodge Direct Connection Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car.
“For decades, the Dodge brand has made magic at Thunder Mountain, racking up race wins and revealing new Dodge muscle cars, and while it’s bittersweet to see it end, we’re going to send out the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals with as much horsepower as is humanly possible,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge CEO. “With the 1,025-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 on display, the seventh and final Dodge “Last Call” special-edition model, and with Leah and Matt battling to bring home the final event trophies, we’re hoping to make a few more memories at Bandimere Speedway as we celebrate the end of an era.”
The Bandimere family, track innovators that have implemented new features such as an all-concrete track surface with a cooling system that lowers the surface temperature up to 20 degrees for improved racing action at Bandimere Speedway, will also help mark the end of an era.
“Bandimere and the Dodge and Mopar brands have become synonymous with each other over the past 35 years,” said John Bandimere Jr. “Logos have changed, but the partnership and relationship is as strong today as it was in 1989 when the relationship started. The commitment Dodge has made not only to us as a facility but to the sport of drag racing is unparalleled and shows the deep-rooted commitment to performance that has spanned decades. Dodge and the people that work for the brand are more than sponsors; they are family. Family goes through the good times and tough times together and builds strength along the way. If there is one word that describes Dodge, it’s loyalty, and as a family, we have been blessed beyond measure.”
“We’re thankful for the Bandimere family for the longtime commitment they’ve shown to drag racing for 65 years,” said NHRA President Glen Cromwell. “There have been so many memorable moments at this event, and to have Dodge as the race sponsor of the NHRA Mile-High Nationals for 35 years also shows their great dedication to NHRA drag racing. We’re looking forward to celebrating this historic facility and event together as we close out this chapter of racing at Bandimere Speedway, and we also remain optimistic about future opportunities to work with the Bandimere family and continue NHRA Drag Racing in the Denver area.”
Action for the 2023 Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway begins on Friday, July 14, with two nitro qualifying rounds set for 6:30 p.m. EDT and 10 p.m. EDT. Saturday’s nitro qualification rounds are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. EDT and 9 p.m. EDT. Final eliminations on Sunday, July 16, will get underway at 1 p.m. EDT, with FOX network coverage scheduled to air from 4:00-7:00 p.m. EDT.