Pre-Race Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals

After advancing to the Finals in the previous event at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, what momentum does that give you heading into Denver?

“Denver is its own special place, so the momentum we had coming out of Norwalk in the Final is big. We always take a different combination to Denver that we’ve done well with. It’s given us one win and three number one qualifiers. Denver is its own animal. The mountain is incredible to conquer, but it’s tough to do. The momentum of the guys working together and being in sync is huge. One of our crew guys, Josh, was recently in a car accident, so he won’t be with us. We’re going to miss him and be thinking about him and praying he recovers well. Anytime you have one of your key guys out, it is tough. We do have a lot of momentum with the rounds we were able to go in Norwalk. We’re always learning, so you carry that into every race.”

You’ve collected one Wally at the Mile-High Nationals. With 2023 marking the final event on the mountain, talk about what the track means to you and how significant another win in the final event would be.

“Denver is going to be such a heartfelt and special race. You always want to win there. It makes my heart sad to know we won’t be going back there. Dodge has been such a longtime sponsor there, so winning would be huge. I feel like we have the combination to get it done, so I’m excited to get there. It’ll be a long week with a Dodge Drive Event, but anytime you can get on the track, you realize how special it is. It’ll be a big weekend overall.”

Denver kicks off the NHRA’s Western Swing and it marks the halfway point of the season. Even though Bandimere is unique in regard to car setup, what advantages do three events in a row have on continuing good routines?

“Three weeks in a row is always tough on the guys. They’ve had a couple weeks off to prepare, so it’s nice they got to take some deep breaths and spend time with their families. The Western Swing is a grind, but I know they’re always up for it. We’ll see how it all shakes out. I’ve never swept the Swing and you have to win the first one to win the other two. It would be cool to be able to do that in my career and it’d be an extra feather in your cap.”

  • The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado, marks the 10th event on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 21-race calendar. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) brings its two fulltime entries – one in Top Fuel for Leah Pruett and one in Funny Car for 46-time Funny Car winner and three-time champion Matt Hagan. Pruett delivered TSR’s first Top Fuel victory of the season and fourth overall team win in the prior event at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, driving her Dodge Direct Connection Top Fuel Dragster to her 11th career victory in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
  • Bandimere Speedway kicks off the Western Swing – three consecutive races where after the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals, the series heads to Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington, July 21-23 for the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals and then to Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway July 28-30 for the DENSO NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
  • Hagan is leading the Funny Car standings, four points ahead of Ron Capps.
  • Direct Connection is the primary partner of Pruett and Hagan this weekend in Denver. With muscle car enthusiasts looking for “ready to run” parts, Direct Connection serves as the source for high-performance parts and technical expertise straight from the factory. The Top Fuel Dragster and Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car are featured in Sublime green. Sublime was first introduced during the 1970 model year. The Dodge Charger and Challenger, in current form, are coming to an end after this year. Dodge is bringing back the iconic color for consumers to bring nostalgia to the highways and purchase their own commemorative last call vehicle.
  • The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals will be Pruett’s 196th career Top Fuel start and her seventh at Bandimere. For Hagan, this will be his 321st career Funny Car start and his 14th at Bandimere.
  • Hagan enters the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals with one Funny Car victory. In 2021, Hagan’s 4.105 ET at 305.70 mph defeated Alexis DeJoria (4.227 ET at 297.68 mph). Hagan has three No. 1 qualifiers at the event, which came in 2010 (4.161 ET at 301.33 mph), 2021 (3.966 ET at 319.22 mph) and 2022 (3.908 ET at 323.12 mph).
  • Hagan is a three-time winner already this season, collecting Wallys March 12 at Gainesville, Florida; April 2 at Pomona, California; and April 16 at Las Vegas.
  • By advancing to the Semifinals at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Pruett and Hagan qualified to participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals. The challenge brings competitive racing to the qualifying schedule at 12 regular-season events during the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series campaign, pitting semifinalists from the previous race against each other in a pair of rematches, with the two winners then matching up in the final qualifying session. Pruett earned a rematch against Austin Prock in Round 1. Hagan earned a rematch against J.R. Todd in Round 1. There is a bonus purse and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship on the line.
  • Pruett and Hagan will participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty autograph session on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. MDT. The session will take place at the Mission Foods Display.
  • Pruett and Hagan will participate in a Dodge autograph session on Friday from 3:15-3:45 p.m. MDT and again on Saturday from 2:15-2:45 p.m. MDT. Both sessions will take place in the pits at the Dodge display.
  • DYK? The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series heads to the iconic “Thunder Mountain” at Bandimere Speedway for the 43rd and final time. Bandimere Speedway is celebrating their 65th anniversary this year, with the facility first opening in 1958. The Mile-High Nationals began in 1979 as a sportsman only national event, but was elevated to full national event status in 1980. The Bandimere family has agreed to sell the current property and land, with the 2023 racing season marking the end of drag racing at the Morrison, Colorado location. TSR partner, Dodge, is celebrating a 35-year partnership with Bandimere Speedway, which is the longest-running active event or race sponsorship in all of motorsports.