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For local drag racing fans, this weekend is like Christmas in July as the Mopar Mile-High National Hot Rod Association Nationals rolls into Bandimere Speedway, with drivers from around the country looking to dominate the competition. The event features four racing classes—Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle—and marks the penultimate stop in the NHRA’s season.
Many racers couldn’t be happier about heading into the final stretch at Bandimere.
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“I wish I could race here all the time,” Top Fuel driver Cory McClenanthan tells The Denver Post. He’s already a two-time winner at Bandimere and is looking to bolster his third-place overall point standings with a good weekend. “This is one race track where the family has done something cool every single year we come here.”
McClenanthan’s family isn’t the only one that will be enjoying the smell of burnt rubber this weekend. All four members of the Rhodes family tell the Post, in a separate article, they enjoy racing locally. Even 14-year-old Branden Rhodes has been racing powerful cars since he was eight years old. The family’s older child, 17-year-old Megan, drives a car that can reach speeds of 165 miles per hour.
Both Rhodes teens are products of the NHRA’s beginner series, which grooms children to be future drivers. Their parents, Tim and Karla Rhodes, also race, and Tim is one of the top local drivers.