Denver: Team Mopar evemt preview

Center Line, Mich. - The 29th Annual Mopar® Mile-High Nationals, the longest-running NHRA sponsorship, will rock Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. on July 11-13. A vast lineup of NHRA Funny Car, Pro Stock and sportsman racers will represent...

Center Line, Mich. - The 29th Annual Mopar® Mile-High Nationals, the longest-running NHRA sponsorship, will rock Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. on July 11-13.

A vast lineup of NHRA Funny Car, Pro Stock and sportsman racers will represent Team Mopar. Allen Johnson, Mopar's factory-backed Pro Stock pilot, will defend his 2007 win. Jack Beckman, who claimed the 2007 Funny Car class win, will defend his title as well.

Don Garlits and Judy Lilly will serve as Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter Mopar will recognize two legendary drag racers at the Mile-High Nationals. Don "Big Daddy" Garlits will serve as Grand Marshal. Judy "Miss Mighty Mopar" Lilly will serve as Honorary Starter. Both competed with Mopar power to build the brand's storied motorsports heritage.

In 2001, the NHRA proclaimed Garlits "the greatest drag racer of all time" by naming him "number one of the Top 50 drivers from the NHRA's first 50 years." The majority of his 144 national event wins, eight U.S. Nationals championships and 17 World Championship titles came while competing with a Mopar power plant. Inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1998, Lilly is recognized as one of the female trailblazers in the sport of drag racing.

"Mopar's long partnership with the NHRA and the Bandimere Speedway team has made the Mile-High Nationals the premier event for Mopar and our legion of fans," said Sunil Lahoti, Mopar's Senior Manager - Marketing & Strategy. "From Don Garlits and Judy Lilly who carried the Mopar banner in the past to our current HEMI-powered drivers, they demonstrate that the performance and reliability of Mopar parts has spawned quarter-mile success for generations of racers."

Added John Bandimere, Jr., "Bandimere Speedway is honored to celebrate its 50th-anniversary season with Mopar. We're thankful for the long-standing relationship we have with everyone at Chrysler, and are proud to be the 'Home Track' for Team Mopar."

The Mopar Big Block Party kickoffs Mile-High Nationals on Thursday, July 10 in Golden, Colo.

Kicking off the Mile-High Nationals weekend, Mopar Nation will invade the downtown streets of Golden, Colo. for the Mopar Big Block Party on Thursday, July 10 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

There will be an autograph session for fans from 7 to 8 p.m. Scheduled to participate are:

-NHRA POWERade stars: Gary Scelzi, Allen Johnson, Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, Jerry Toliver, Melanie Troxel, Tommy Johnson Jr., Larry Morgan, V. Gaines and Max Naylor

- Garlits and Lilly

- SCORE Desert Series drivers: Brian Collins and Chuck Hovey

- Cindi Lux, Team Mopar's driver on the SPEED World Challenge GT Series

Team Mopar race cars and Chrysler LLC vehicles will be on display. For the fourth year, Chicago-based rock cover band, Maggie Speaks, will perform. Kenny Sargent, host of SpeedFreaks Motorsports Radio Show, will emcee the event. Race Central T.V. and Race Central Radio's host Kurt Hansen will bring his ESPN Radio program to the Mopar Big Block Party. The motorsports insider will host a live remote and talk with Team Mopar drivers live from the Big Block Party.

29th Annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
NHRA POWERade Drag Racing action is scheduled for July 11-13 at Bandimere Speedway. Two hours of qualifying coverage will air on Saturday, July 12 starting at 10 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD. Three hours of eliminations coverage will air on Sunday, July 13 starting at 8 p.m. (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD.

-credit: mopar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Larry Morgan , Don Garlits , Jack Beckman , Melanie Troxel , Allen Johnson , Jerry Toliver , Max Naylor , Cindi Lux , Tommy Johnson Jr.