The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series heads to legendary Bandimere Speedway for the last time, as the final Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals is set to take place July 14-16 on famed Thunder Mountain.
Marking the 10th of 21 races during the 2023 season, the fan-favorite event also marks the start of the NHRA’s three-race Western Swing, which also includes stops in Sonoma and Seattle. The weekend in Denver is also the 65th anniversary of Bandimere Speedway, and the NHRA and the Bandimere family invites racers and fans to be part of the last Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals as this chapter of amazing drag racing history ends at the spectacular facility.
The event on Thunder Mountain has been considered a special race with competitors racing at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet in front of a packed house in Denver. Massive crowds are expected all weekend to help close out racing at Bandimere Speedway in style, as race fans will look to celebrate all the special moments at the facility with one final weekend of incredible 11,000-horsepower, 330-mph action. Add in racing under the lights on Friday, the new Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge bonus race on Saturday, and eliminations on Sunday, and with tickets going fast, it’s an event no fan should miss.
Leah Pruett (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the 2022 event, and this year’s race will be broadcast on both the FOX broadcast network and FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations coverage starting at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 16 on FOX.
A year ago, Pruett handed Tony Stewart Racing its first Top Fuel victory, rolling to the win at their sponsor’s race. Pruett has a chance to close out Bandimere Speedway in style, and she comes in with plenty of momentum, winning last weekend in Norwalk. But it won’t be easy on Thunder Mountain, as Pruett will face off with the likes of defending world champ Brittany Force, points leader Justin Ashley, who has four wins this year, Antron Brown, Austin Prock, Tony Schumacher, Steve Torrence, and Doug Kalitta.
Funny Car’s Hight picked up his fifth career win in Denver a year ago, which is second-most in the class behind only the eight from teammate John Force. He would love to be the final Funny Car winner in Bandimere Speedway’s illustrious history, but it won’t be easy against a category that includes points leader Matt Hagan, back-to-back world champ Ron Capps, Alexis DeJoria, Bob Tasca III, two-time world champ Cruz Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson, J.R. Todd, and Chad Green.
Hartford enjoyed his first Pro Stock win at Bandimere Speedway last season and has enjoyed the best year of his Pro career in 2023. He won in Norwalk and is currently second in points. Dallas Glenn is the points leader in the category, and other standouts include defending world champ Erica Enders, Greg Anderson, Aaron Stanfield, Denver native Deric Kramer, Troy Coughlin Jr., Camrie Caruso, and Cristian Cuadra.
Smith won in Denver for the second straight year a season ago, spurring his run to a sixth world championship. The standout is looking for his first win of the season and will aim to make it happen in Denver against a talented group of riders in the class, including points leader Gaige Herrera, Norwalk winner Hector Arana Jr., Angie Smith, Steve Johnson, Eddie Krawiec, rookie Chase Van Sant, and Jianna Evaristo.
The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the Dodge Charger/Challenger Shootout, which features an eight-car field. The fan-favorite Mountain Motor Pro Stock category will also race in Denver. After nitro qualifying on Friday and Saturday, fans can enjoy a spectacular jet car racing exhibition featuring the Team “Muy Caliente” Jet Cars followed by a special fireworks display.
The race also features the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League Shootout, as well as autograph sessions at the Dodge and Mission Foods Midway Displays, along with performances from the Mountain Vista High School marching band and “The Skyline Drumline.”
Race fans at Bandimere Speedway can enjoy the special pre-race ceremony that introduces and celebrates each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan-favorite SealMaster NHRA Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the final Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals event winners.
Fans are invited to the Nitro Alley Stage, which will help create a festive atmosphere leading into Nitro Alley. The Nitro Alley Stage will be the main entertainment hub in the pits when the Camping World Drag Racing Series competitors are not on the track, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, and much more. As always, fans get a pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. Fans can see their favorite teams in action and servicing their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. They can also visit NHRA’s Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food, and fun.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 3:30 and 7 p.m. MT on Friday, July 14, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, July 15 at 2:30 and 6 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. MT on Sunday, July 16. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FOX at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday.
To purchase tickets to the 43rd and final Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals on July 14-16 at Bandimere Speedway, fans can visit www.bandimere.com.