September 10, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season is over and the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs begins with the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania, Sept. 12-15, 2019.

For the fourth consecutive year, the event kicks off with the Mopar Mega Block Party from 4-10 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. The free admission event features a home run derby with NHRA Stars, NHRA driver autograph session, Mopar car show, Raminator monster truck rides and more.

On the track, four Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) will begin their quest for the 2019 championship, powering Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars. Two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, 2012 titlist Jack Beckman, 2016 champion Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson, Jr. begin the Countdown inside the top six positions while DSR’s Leah Pritchett will take her HEMI®-powered Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster into battle from the seventh position.

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers are coming off a tremendous regular season, scoring seven wins in the 18 national events. Capps won three in his NAPA Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat while Hagan, driver of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, and Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat pilot Johnson Jr. each put their Funny Cars in the winner’s circle twice. Beckman reached four finals, including last weekend’s U.S. Nationals, to make it 14 final round appearances by a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver.

Beckman and Johnson Jr. lead the Dodge//SRT Mopar contingent back to Maple Grove Raceway with two previous wins in the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals. Beckman won in 2008 and 2015 and Johnson scored Reading wins in 1999 and 2016. Hagan was victorious in 2014 and Capps triumphed in 2017. Pritchett is seeking her first Reading win.
 
The results from the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals have played a significant role in the Top Fuel championship outcome over the last few seasons. Since 2013, the winner of the Top Fuel Wally in Reading has gone on to hoist the Top Fuel championship hardware. In Funny Car, last year’s Reading winner snapped a string of four consecutive wins by DSR and Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers and went on to win the championship as well.

Fox Sports 1 will air coverage of qualifying Friday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. ET and Saturday from 9 – 10 p.m. ET. The network will broadcast live coverage of eliminations Sunday from 2 – 5 p.m. ET.

Mopar Mega Block Party kicks off Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
For the fourth consecutive year, the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals race weekend will be kicked off by the Mopar Mega Block Party. The free admission event, set to roll into FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading from 4 -10 p.m. ET on Thurs., Sept. 12, will offer a full slate of fun activities for families as well as Dodge//SRT and Mopar enthusiasts. NHRA stars and TV personalities will step to the plate and take their cuts in the annual Mopar Mega Block Party home run derby. Dodge//SRT Mopar NHRA drivers Matt Hagan, Leah Pritchett, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. are scheduled to slug it out alongside NHRA on Fox play-by-play announcers Tony Pedregon and Brian Lohnes to determine who will wear the home-run crown. 

NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart will provide the play-by-play. Donations to the Make-A-Wish and Infinite Hero Foundations will be made in the name of the winner of the elimination-style competition. Mopar Mega Block Party attendees can also interact with their favorite drivers during a one-hour autograph session, jump inside the cab of the 10-ft.-tall Raminator monster truck for a once-in-a-lifetime ride and test their virtual racing skills in the “Drag Strip Showdown,” a head-to-head competition in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators. A HEMI-fueled, 100-plus Mopar car show, giveaways, food and drink booths, vendor displays and live concerts by bands Liquid A, Go-Go Gadjet and TJ Bebb are also on tap, with a mega fireworks display to close out the night. For more information on the Mopar Mega Block Party, visit www.moparblockparty.com.

Higher Education at 300 mph: Mopar CAP Students to visit Maple Grove Raceway
For the third NHRA national event in 2019, the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) will host next-generation service technician students at Maple Grove Raceway, Friday, Sept. 13 as part of the “Assemble Your Future” initiative. Through a partnership with Pennzoil, students from five area schools – ATC Warminster, ATC Exton, Mercer County Community College, Pennsylvania College of Technology and Northampton Community College – will have the opportunity to visit with Hagan and Pritchett, tour the DSR pit areas and interact with area FCA US dealership representatives.

The program is the third of four Mopar CAP “Assemble Your Future” initiative programs at NHRA national events in 2019, with the Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in late October, being the final event.
 
Mopar CAP, established in 1984, prepares students to begin their automotive technician careers upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution, such as a university, college, community college or technical center. Currently, FCA has more than 9,000 active students enrolled in its Mopar CAP program, with students completing more than 100,000 class courses.

There are an estimated 750,000 auto technicians working nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Across the industry, another 46,000 will need to be hired between 2019 and 2026 to meet increased demand.
 
For more information on the Mopar CAP program, visit https://www.mopar.com/en-us/mopar-cap.html
 
About Dodge//SRT
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is America’s performance brand and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
 
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the brand in 1914. Their influence continues today. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. Powered by the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat V-8 engine, the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.
 
The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. Its 797-horsepower supercharged HEMI® high-output engine makes it the most powerful, quickest and fastest muscle car, reaching 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.4 seconds, and the fastest GT production car with a ¼-mile elapsed time (ET) of 10.8 seconds at 131 mph. It also reaches a new top speed of 203 mph.

Joining the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with its more powerful 717-horsepower engine, and the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, featuring fender flares from the SRT Hellcat Widebody, which add 3.5 inches of width to the 485-horsepower Scat Pack’s standard body. Also new for 2019 is the Challenger R/T Scat Pak 1320 with exclusive drag strip technology from the iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is a drag-oriented, street-legal muscle car and a blank canvas for the serious grassroots drag racer. The 2019 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with a best-in-class tow rating of 8,700 lbs., completes the brand's performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2019 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger — a showroom that offers performance at every price point.
 
Follow Dodge, SRT and FCA US news and video on:  
Company blog: http://blog.fcanorthamerica.com
Media website: http://media.fcanorthamerica.com
Dodge brand: www.dodge.com
Dodge Garage: www.dodgegarage.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dodge or https://www.facebook.com/FiatChrysler.NorthAmerica/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dodgemoparmotorsportswww.instagram.com/dodgeofficial or  www.instagram.com/FiatChrysler_NA
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dodge or www.twitter.com/FiatChrysler_NA
YouTube: www.youtube.com/dodge or www.youtube.com/fcanorthamerica
 
About Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com. Mopar is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.