The NHRA professional tour comes to Denver once a year to race at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado for the Dodge Mile High NHRA Nationals powered by Mopar and it’s the chance for fans to feed their need for speed with race cars excelling over 300+ mph.

Nicknamed ‘Thunder Mountain,’ Bandimere is in it’s 60th year of operation on the side of the hogback in Morrison on the other side of Red Rocks. It’s the natural beauty and state of the art facility that makes Bandimere an incredible site to watch a race at. Family owned and operated, Bandimere will host the Dodge Mile High NHRA Nationals powered by Mopar is in it’s 39th year — one of the longest standing partnerships between sponsor and race in motor sports — and the final rounds of racing will also be broadcast on Fox nationally, live on Sunday.

Bandimere over the years has developed unique and state of the art systems from tire-dragging tractors that act like drag racing Zamboni’s, to coolant systems underneath the race track to cool the track temperatures in the hot summer, which often can exceed 130+ degrees and the man behind the development of these machines is Executive VP of Operations Larry Crispe.

“We have a drag strip here that’s innovative,” Crispe told 9News in an interview Wednesday.

“Our whole goal in what we wanna do, is to operate a state of the art facility and please our fans with the best way we can.”We designed a tire-rotating machine…it basically becomes a track zamboni. Everything we’ve come up with is to put on a better show and to keep cars going down the track.”

It’s that state of the art equipment that allows for race teams to rocket down the race track at speeds of over 300+ mph, with top fuel dragsters setting the pace as one of the fastest accelerating man-made objects on the planet, even faster than Space Shuttles used by NASA.

Drag racing presents new opportunities for fans to get behind-the-scenes access as every ticket is a pit pass. Fans are welcomed to roam around the property viewing the race teams as they set up, work on their vehicles and get ready to rocket down the quarter-mile. Many drivers hold autograph sessions, take photos with fans and hold ‘nitro school,’ where fans get to learn about the race cars from the drivers themselves.

The presence of high-altitude may allow baseballs to fly through the air better at Coors Field, but when it comes to cramming air into race cars to speed them up. The limited air to do it at in Denver challenges crew chiefs of Top Fuel and Fuel Funny Car teams to the limits to create as much horsepower as possible as the professional teams start what’s considered the famed “Western Swing” when teams travel three cities (Denver. Sonoma, Cali. Seattle, Wash.) in three weeks, all on the western side of the United States.

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Antron Brown (Top Fuel,) Robert Hight (Funny Car,) Drew Skillman (Pro Stock Car,) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Bike,) will all attempt to defend their championship from last year in Denver. Sportsman racing will run all weekend long next to the professionals as local Colorado racers Kris Whitfield, Bradley Johnson, Troy Grant and Randy Cruickshank will attempt to defend their championships from 2017.

A full schedule of events is listed below.

Friday, July 20th.

  • Gates Open 10:00 am
  • Sportsman Qualifying 11:30 am
  • Pro Stock Qualifying 5:15 pm & 7:30 pm
  • Nitro Qualifying 6:00 pm & 8:00 pm
  • Comp. Eliminator Qualifying 6:45 pm
  • Jet Dragsters 9:15 pm
  • Secure Track 9:30 pm
Saturday, July 21st.
  • Gates Open 10:30 am
  • Sportsman Eliminations 11:30 am
  • Comp. Eliminator Qualifying 3:30 pm
  • Pro Stock Qualifying 5:15 pm & 7:30 pm
  • Nitro Qualifying 6:00 pm & 8:00 pm
  • Comp. Eliminator Eliminations 6:45 pm
  • Jet Dragsters 9:15 pm
  • Inspire Health Street Party 8:45 pm
  • Secure Track 10:00 pm
Championship Sunday, July 22nd.
  • Gates Open 7:30 am
  • Pre-Race Ceremony 10:00 am
  • Nitro Eliminations 11:00 am
  • Pro Stock Eliminations 12:00 pm
  • Sportsman Eliminations 1:30 pm
  • Sportsman Finals 2:35 pm
  • Pro Stock Finals 3:25 pm
  • Nitro Finals 3:35 pm
  • Winner’s Circle 3:45 pm
  • Secure Track 4:00 pm