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Mopar and Bandimere Speedway will be celebrating their Silver Jubilee at the 34th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals held at the scenic Rocky Mountain drag strip on
July 18-21. The brand's 25-year relationship with the Bandimere's family Thunder Mountain track and continuous support of the national event is the longest running title sponsorship in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, and among the longest in all of motorsports.
"We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with the Bandimere family, their wonderful facility and the passionate fans that attend the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals every year," said
Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC's service, parts and customer-care brand. "Since 1989, this historic track has become our home-away-from-home because of a common passion for this family-oriented sport, grassroots racing and commitment to sportsmen. Through thick and thin over the past 25 years, the Bandimere Family, their track and this annual national NHRA event have become an integral and valued part of our Mopar racing tradition."
To help celebrate the quarter-century mark as title sponsor, Mopar has invited drag racing legend
Gary Scelzi to take on the role of Grand Marshal, and Hall of Fame driver and owner
Don Schumacher to serve as Honorary Starter at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
A fan favorite,
Gary Scelzi, nicknamed the "Wild Thing," enjoyed a 12-year run as a professional NHRA racer earning enough wins, championships and milestones to cement his reputation as a legend in the sport after completing his racing career behind the wheel of a Mopar HEMI-powered Funny Car at the conclusion of the 2008 season.
"I'm humbled and excited to be asked by Mopar to serve as Grand Marshal and be part of such an amazing event once again," said Scelzi who earned a win at Bandimere Speedway in a Don Schumacher Racing Mopar Funny Car in 2006. "There are only a few NHRA nationals that have prestige and meaning and where winning really means something extra special. I'd put the Mopar Mile High Nationals amongst the Gatornationals and Englishtown. It's special not just because it has been around forever and is extremely difficult and challenging, but also because of the Bandimere family. They go out of their way to make everyone, from the fans to the competitors, feel at home. They think of everything and make you really feel like you are part their family and their home."