NHRA WILL STAGE DODGE HEMI SHOOTOUT DURING NHRA US NATS
The Dodge brand announced title sponsorship of the NHRA Dodge HEMI® Challenge, returning the fan-favorite event to the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals for the 18th consecutive year. The 2018 NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, scheduled to take place August 30-31 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mopar-powered 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that compete head-to-head in the event.
The announcement arrives on April 26 — the date (4/26) celebrated by Dodge and Mopar enthusiasts as HEMI Day, in honor of the historic 426 HEMI engine that powers the classic Super Stock cars, as well as all current NHRA Funny Car and Top Fuel machines. A special HEMI Day celebration video can be viewed at Dodge Garage (http://www.dodgegarage.com).
The NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge showcases Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) NHRA Sportsman class competitors battling on the quarter-mile in 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda machines. The legendary 1968 Mopar “package” cars — so named because they were purpose built as a distinct “package” for use solely on the drag strip — serve as precursors to the modern-day package car, the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak.
“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America. “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”
On the line will be bragging rights and the unique 42.6 lbs NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created as a callout to the 426 HEMI engine. All 16 drivers to reach the elimination rounds will receive cash rewards, including the ultimate prize of the $15,000 winner’s purse.
“The Dodge HEMI Challenge is one of the most hotly contested events for our Sportsman racers during the season,” said Brad Gerber, NHRA Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “The interest Dodge has in this program is greatly appreciated by the competitors.”