The Mopar Mega Block Party will jump start the Dodge NHRA Nationals for the second consecutive year, with a full slate of fan-friendly activities set for Thursday, September 21, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania. The free-to-the-public event is scheduled from 4-10 p.m. Eastern and will feature a home run derby, the unveiling of Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett’s dragster featuring a wrap celebrating the Mopar brand’s 80th anniversary, Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators, an NHRA driver autograph session and much more.
The Dodge NHRA Nationals event is slated for September 21-24 at famed Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, with the Dodge brand also marking its second year of sponsoring the prestigious race, part of the six-event NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
2nd Annual Mopar Mega Block Party
The Mopar Mega Block Party will once again offer NHRA drivers and personalities the opportunity to translate their reflexes and steely nerves from the racetrack to the baseball diamond in a home run derby. Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers Matt Hagan, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr., Mopar Top Fuel pilots Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher, and Mopar Dodge Dart Pro Stock stalwart Allen Johnson will participate alongside NHRA on FOX play-by-play announcer Dave Rieff and color commentator and former driver Tony Pedregon.
NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart is scheduled to call all the action. Donations to the Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero Foundations will be made in the name of the winner of the elimination-style competition.
The Mopar Mega Block Party also will feature plenty of classic and modern HEMI® power with a massive all-Mopar car show hosted by the Modern Mopar car club, opportunities for fans to drive the popular Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators, appearances by Raminator Monster Trucks, concerts by Liquid A, Go-Go Gadjet and TJ Bebb, on-site food and drink vendors, kids’ activities, giveaways and much more. In addition, Mopar NHRA drivers will be on-hand to sign autographs, with several race cars on-site for fans to take an up-close look. A massive fireworks display will be part of the evening as well.
Festivities kick off at 4 p.m. Eastern, with home run derby batters scheduled to take the plate at 5 p.m. and the autograph signing set for 6:30-7:30 p.m. A Mega Fireworks show sponsored by Pennzoil will launch at 8:45 p.m., with a closing concert to follow.
For more information on the Mopar Mega Block Party, visit www.moparblockparty.com.
Hagan and Pritchett to Square off in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Match Races
In addition to driving their 11,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled machines throughout the weekend, Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett will participate in match races in the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the most powerful muscle car ever, with 840 horsepower and 770 lb.-ft. of torque.
Pritchett helped with R&D on the powerful new machines, and bested Hagan twice during the pair’s first two showdowns earlier this year during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver. Pritchett will look to keep her streak alive, while Hagan will be out for revenge as he tries to even the score.
Mopar to Honor Retiring Pro Stock Driver Allen Johnson at Block Party
The 2017 edition of the Dodge NHRA Nationals will also represent 2012 Pro Stock champion Allen Johnson’s last trip to Maple Grove Raceway as a Pro driver, following the longtime Mopar brand ambassador’s retirement announcement at the U.S. Nationals earlier this month. To date, Johnson has claimed 27 victories and 37 No. 1 qualifier positions in his 22-year career. Mopar will honor Johnson’s long-standing commitment to the brand during the Mopar Mega Block Party at FirstEnergy Park on Thursday evening with a special ceremony and presentation.
Hagan, Pritchett Named Event Grand Marshals
Hagan and Pritchett will also help the racing action get underway in Reading as event grand marshals and honorary starters. Hagan, driver of the Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, has won the Funny Car title twice and is a 25-time race winner in the category, Pritchett has had a superb season thus far in her first full year with Mopar power as she pilots the Papa John’s Pizza/Mopar Pennzoil dragster. She has won four races this season alone and taken her place as one of the brightest stars on the NHRA landscape.
Mopar and Dodge on Manufacturers Midway
Both the Mopar and Dodge display trailers will be present on Manufacturers Midway throughout the Dodge NHRA Nationals. The Dodge display will feature more opportunities for fans to test their skills in wheel-standing simulations of the quickest production car ever built – the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. A variety of games and giveaways will be available at both the Mopar and Dodge displays, while fans can also get an up-close look at what’s new from each brand. In addition, Mopar Funny Car driver Jack Beckman will host Nitro School from the Mopar display alongside NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart at 10:45 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, September 23. The displays are present at 15 of 24 events on the NHRA national event calendar this season.
About Mopar Motorsports
The Mopar brand’s commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits, resulting in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in HEMI-powered vehicles over the next several decades. In 2016, thanks to Don Schumacher Racing driver Ron Capps, Mopar captured its fourth NHRA Funny Car World Championship in the last six years. As Mopar celebrates 80 years as a brand in 2017, it will focus its NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series efforts on NHRA Funny Car and, with rising star Leah Pritchett, NHRA Top Fuel Dragster. Mopar will also bolster its commitment to NHRA Sportsman racing with new contingency rewards, factory support and at-track technical advice and guidance.
During the brand’s 80 years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
- Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
- wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool
- Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
- Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
- Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals on a smartphone app
80 Years of Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was born on August 1, 1937, as the name of a line of antifreeze products. Mopar has since evolved over 80 years to serve as the total service, parts and customer-care brand of all FCA vehicles around the globe.
Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.
Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.