Mega Mopar Action Series – Extra CoverageMOPARS AT THUNDER MOUNTAIN
Denver dries out to kick off the summer with a great Mopar event.
Story and photos by Jeff Sipes
A warm and dry Colorado day welcomed Mopar fans to Bandimere Speedway on Sunday, May 31st. Nestled in the foothills of Denver, this event showcased the best of Chrysler family automobiles in the show, as well as on the track.
A cackle car collection was a fun surprise to fans at the event, with a pair of cackle show. Cackle cars included front engine Hemi-powered dragsters and altereds, as well as a recreation of the famous Assassination funny car. “Airborne AJ” Fiorelli brought is wicked wheelie contest winning 1968 Barracuda to wow the crowd. The second impressive wheelie by AJ landed a little too close to the wall, which clipped the wings and caused some repairable damage to high-flyin Cuda. A surprise appearance by Miss Mighty Mopar herself, Judy Lily, made for a fun time with fans. She attended for a brief time as a spectator and had not been billed as a feature attraction.
Local radio personality, and co-host of “Two Guys Garage, Willie B, took top honors with a Best of Show win with his 1958-1/2 Dodge Custom Royal D-500. Other top winners included Mark and Leigh Kahre with their 1970 Super Bird (Best Wing Car), Robert Kerbs with his 1969 Dodge Daytona (Best Hemi), Mike Oliver with his 1970 Dodge Challenger (Best E-Body Dodge), and George Terpenning with his 1971 Hemicuda convertible (Best E-Body Plymouth). The amazingly restored “Project Six Pack” 1969-1/2 Road Runner of Richard Holdsworth from Powell, WY was on display, as well.
The swap meet area nearly doubled in size from the year prior, with everything from performance parts to rare trim pieces, and a handful of vehicles looking for new owners.
Racing action featured five classes of competition. Allen Pugh took the Street Eliminator win in his low 11-second 1972 Dodge Dart over Amanda Sipes and her 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. John Fisher was runner-up in Pro-Mopar with his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda to the champion, Kyle Tripp, with his 1969 Dodge Coronet. Arik Frost took his Cummins-powered Ram to the win in the Truck class over Mark Rigli and his 438-powered Ford F-100 pick-up. Deena Pardee was the winner of the New Hemi Challenge in a battle of Dodge Challengers, beating out Chris Hayward. Kellian Strey, from Scottsbluff, NE took the win in Front Wheel Driver with his Neon SRT-4 over Jamie Pomana.
Mopar had a large display of vehicles from all of the Chrysler product lines, and awarded tickets to the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals that was held in July to fans in Mopar branded gear. Fans in clown suits got nada.
Nearly 200 vehicles filled the show field, from 60s Hemi cars to 2015 Hellcats.
The New Hemi Challenge race class featured battles between late model Chargers, Challengers, Magnums, and Jeeps.
The Front Wheel Drive category was mainly Neon’s showcasing their tuner abilities in front of the muscle crowd.
New vehicles from Dodge, Ram, and Jeep were available to see with product specialists on hand to answer questions
DOT Street was the largest race class of the event
Erik Frost took the win in the Truck race class
Kyle Tripp won the Pro-Mopar class with his street driven 1969 Dodge Coronet
Amanda Sipes used great lights to make it to the final of DOT Street
Alan Pugh had a big day, winning DOT Street, and runner-up in Pro-Mopar.
The show was up about 30% in all categories compared to last years event.