Mile High Nationals are on tap

Scott Stocker
Posted 7/19/12

MORRISON -- Needless to say our state and communities can certainly use a few more blasts of rain. But at least, for a short time this weekend, …

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Mile High Nationals are on tap

MORRISON -- Needless to say our state and communities can certainly use a few more blasts of rain.
But at least, for a short time this weekend, racing fans can hope the only “thunder” on the side of Bandimere Speedway’s Thunder Mountain, will be that of dragsters and motorcycles blasting off the starting line.
Competition in the 33rd Annual Full Throttle National Hot Rod Association’s Mopar Mile High Nationals gets underway Friday on the Speedway’s quarter-mile track and continues through the final eliminations Sunday. The Mile Highs begin a three-week swing through the western states.
The Mile High Nationals is the 13th of 23 events on the schedule and also one of the final regular season races where the NHRA teams can qualify for the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. Racing will take place in all four of the NHRA categories - Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Funny Car icon John Force won the 133rd race of his career in last year’s Mile Highs and was followed to victory lane by Spencer Massey in Top Fuel Dragster, Mike Edwards in Pro Stock and Karen Stoffer in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Giving Force, the all-time winner in Funny Car and six time winner at Bandimere, all the competition he asks for will be his daughter Courtney Force, son-in-law Robert Hight, and Ron Capps. All of whom have had outstanding days at Bandimere. Rookie Alexis DeJoria has also been making her mark this season in the class.
Hight leads the Funny Car standings heading into the Mile Highs with 1,001 points. He is followed by Capps (914) and Mike Neff (807). John Force, who has now won 134 races and 15 NHRA championships, is 10th (569).
Stoffer made her professional racing debut at Bandimere Speedway, July 19, 1996, along with Angelle Seeling and Stephanie Reaves. Last year’s win ended a four-year winless drought for the swift lady and was her sixth career victory on her GEICO Suzuki.
Massey comes into Bandimere as the points leader in Top Fuel (984), but he’s certainly being paced hard by second place Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher (955) and third place Antron Brown (941).
Three-time Mile High winner Allen Johnson will once again try to hold of Greg Anderson and Jason Line in Pro Stock. But also in the field will be V. Gaines and nothing would serve the Lakewood resident better than to come away with a victory before the hometown crowd. Anderson leads the way in points (1,033), followed by Jason Line (998), Johnson (974) and Edwards (835).
It’s been a two-man race in Pro Stock Motorcycle where Andrew Hines, who grew up in Trinidad, and Eddie Krawiec hope to keep a hold on trips to the winners stand. They have each won three of the six races this season with Krawiec holding the points lead with 597, Hines, 571. Hector Arana Jr is third (484) while Stoffer sits in sixth (324).
In addition to the racing action there are a host of activities. On Thursday will be the MOPAR Block Party in downtown Golden from 6-11 p.m. On hand will be a live band, car displays and a driver autograph session.
There will be a “Go Red for Women Track Walk” to bring awareness to heart disease, on Saturday prior to racing which is schedule to begin at 8:30 a.m. This gives fans a chance to walk the same track the drivers will compete on and those who partake will be joined by several of NHRA favorite drivers. The Walk is free for all Saturday ticket holders.
• Location -- Bandimere Speedway is 10 miles west of Denver, north of Morrison. From Denver, take I-70 west to C-470 and travel south to the Morrison Road exit. Take Morrison Road west to Rooney Road and go north to the track.
• Schedule -- Full Throttle qualifying, Friday 4:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.; Saturday, 12:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.; Sunday, final eliminations begin 11 a.m.
• Track records -- Top Fuel -- 3.862 seconds, 318.39 mph by Antron Brown, July 2009.
Funny Car -- 4.095 seconds, 307.51 mph by Cruz Pedregon, July 2011.
Pro Stock -- 6.955 seconds, 198.64 mph by Allen Johnson, July 2011.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 7.238 seconds by Michael Phillips, July 2010; 186.54 mph by Ryan Schnitz, July 2005.
• Tickets -- Tickets are available by calling 800-664-UWIN, by visiting and at the Speedway.


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