Hello again everyone. We just finished the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, one of our favorite tracks on tour. And while the 2014 Mile-Highs weren’t a banner event for Team DSR, it was still a very fun weekend in Colorado to begin the Western Swing.
Things began early Thursday morning for Matt Hagan and the Mopar Funny Car team. Real early. Crew guys typically don’t love 5:30 a.m. wake-up calls, but our Wake Up Denver event at Red Rocks was not only unique, but fun.
The brainchild of Ted Yerzyk in the DSR front office, we took Matt’s Hemi 50th Anniversary Dodge Charger R/T flopper to the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre to start the car for morning TV. We had two Denver TV stations on-site and KUSA did live shots all morning which culminated with Don starting the Mopar FC around 8:30 a.m. It was so cool to see Don again sitting in a nitro Funny Car. It’s been a number of years since he started a nitro car, he thinks maybe Whit Bazemore’s car in the 2000s.
After the morning shows, we did a photo shoot with Matt, the team and our Mopar friends at Red Rocks Park. What an amazing back drop for a Funny Car photo shoot.
It also was neat to see the new 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat. We had Matt’s Mopar Funny Car and the Hellcat nose-to-nose. The bright red Challenger is beautiful and would make a fun weekend cruiser.
The day progressed with Matt, Jack Beckman and Spencer Massey attending the pre-event press conference at Morton’s in downtown Denver. A day earlier, Jack did a media tour in Colorado Springs to promote the Mile-Highs. With Jack being ex-Air Force, he’s the perfect driver to represent the NHRA in Colorado Springs.
And finally, our Thursday concluded with the annual Mopar Block Party in downtown Golden, Colo. Our good friend Willie B from KBPI radio in Denver was the host and we had MOPAR President Pietro Gorlier at the Block Party.
The Mopar Block Party is the best in-market sponsor activation on the NHRA tour. It’s a fun event with a live band, classic Mopar cars, current rides like Vipers and Dodge Challenger Hellcats, and thousands of fans. It’s amazing to see tons of people flock to Golden for this event.
At DSR, we’re very proud to represent Dodge and Mopar. It was great to see Mopar extend the title-rights sponsorship of the Mile-High Nationals and we’ve got some exciting things in store with MOPAR for 2015, so keep your eyes open for some announcements.
On Saturday morning, Willie B did a live remote trackside in our Army hospitality tent and we got to host Mopar legend Tom Hoover. Tom is considered the father of the Hemi, so to have him at the Mile-Highs as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Hemi was really neat.
If it wasn’t for the Hemi engine, nitro racing wouldn’t be what it is today.
Late Saturday morning before qualifying we hosted the NHRA community for an education event on the Infinite Hero Foundation. We had Oakley CEO Colin Baden and IHF director Laurie Baker on hand to educate the NHRA community on what Infinite Hero does. We also hosted veterans Gary Linfoot, who demonstrated the Exoskeleton that allows him to walk, and Neil Duncan, a double-amputee who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. It was very emotional to hear the stories Gary and Neil. Thank you Oakley for funding the Infinite Hero Foundation and thank you NHRA community for support a very amazing cause. To learn more, please visit www.whatisahero.com.
Most of you know that Jack Beckman is signing and selling IHF challenge coins. You can purchase a challenge coin that has taken a ride in Jack’s Funny Car for $100 with all proceeds going to IHF. Jack takes 10 coins on each pass down the track.Now, we’re going to help fans who can’t make it to the track purchase a coin.
Jack will now sign and number (1/5, 2/5… 5/5) five coins from each of the remaining 2014 NHRA races and we will put them on the DSR eBay store. The ‘Buy It Now’ price will be $120 and that includes your signed challenge coin and Oakley Infinite Hero Foundation t-shirt. All proceeds will go directly to the Infinite Hero Foundation.
We hope to have the coins from Denver on the eBay store later this week. Stay tuned for a quick press release and follow both the DSR and my Twitter accounts for details.
We head to Sonoma on Thursday and hope for a rebound weekend. Racing on the mountain is tough and it’s really tough when it’s 90 degrees out. We’re excited for another strong Team DSR performance at Sonoma where Ron Capps and the NAPA Auto Parts team won last July.
Thanks for reading and we’ll check in again next week before Seattle.