NHRA and the Bandimere family jointly announced that the 2023 Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals on July 14-16 at Bandimere Speedway will be the last NHRA national event at the historic track just outside of Denver.
First opened in 1958, 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, Colo. location. For the past few years, the family has been working with other investors to locate another possible location in the Denver area where a new facility could be built.
“Our family has been involved in the automotive business for the past three generations through parts sales and machining, individual racing competition, industry innovations and the operation of our speedway in the beautiful Colorado foothills,” said John Bandimere Jr., second-generation owner and operator. “We have been blessed to occupy one of the most unique places in our state and feel that our commitment to the sport is not done yet. It’s part of the fabric of our family’s life and we’re hopeful that another equally unique location can be found to continue the legacy that was started by my parents over six decades ago.”
The NHRA leadership team continues to have conversations with current NHRA member tracks not on the Camping World Drag Racing Series circuit to host future national events, including replacing the Denver date on the 2024 schedule.
“We at the NHRA want to thank the Bandimere family for their remarkable commitment to drag racing over the past 65 years,” NHRA President Glen Cromwell said. “NHRA drag racing at Bandimere Speedway has provided so many incredible moments for our drivers, race teams, fans and partners. We look forward to celebrating the 65th anniversary this year to close out this chapter at Bandimere Speedway and remain optimistic about future opportunities to have NHRA drag racing stay in the Denver area and to continue to work with the Bandimere family in the future.”
For more than four decades, the place affectionately known as “Thunder Mountain” has offered one of the biggest and most unique challenges on the NHRA tour. With competitors racing at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet, it affects everything from engine tune-ups to aerodynamics, posing a major test each year for drivers and race teams. Racing in the Rocky Mountains has also provided some of the biggest thrills of the season, with the standout fanbase annually packing Bandimere Speedway to see all the top NHRA stars over the years.
The Bandimere family has also been dedicated to providing a memorable experience for race teams and fans on Thunder Mountain, making several improvements to the track, including a renovation in 1988. Before the 2008 season, the entire track was also redone, creating an all-concrete surface and the installation of the track cooling system for the first 330 feet which greatly improved racing action at the facility.
John Force’s eight wins in Denver is the most for all drivers, while Bob Glidden and Allen Johnson’s seven wins lead the way in Pro Stock. Joe Amato’s six wins are the top in the Top Fuel ranks at Denver, and Andrew Hines’ five Pro Stock Motorcycle victories are the most for the class in Denver. Last year’s NHRA Mile-High Nationals winners were Leah Pruett (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Matt Hartford (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).
“This year’s Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals will be a memorable celebration of more than 40 years of NHRA drag racing at a historic facility,” Cromwell said. “We know the race weekend in July will be filled with amazing moments and will be an event fans won’t want to miss.”