For the past 66 years, the NHRA U.S. Nationals have signaled the end of summer during Labor Day weekend. Held at the legendary Lucas Oil Raceway outside of Indianapolis, the event features some seriously fast drag racing machines. Taking place today and tomorrow, the event also serves as the home of the Dodge Hemi Challenge. This high-speed shootout involves Super Stock 1968 Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas battling for a $15,000 top prize and one sweet trophy
The Dodge Hemi Challenge has been going on for the past 20 years, after getting its start back in 2001. The drivers compete in the Sportsmans class, which highlights the very best of the vintage Mopar catalog: Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) cars powered by the famous 426 cubic-inch Hemi V8. Qualifying rounds will begin this afternoon, with four elimination rounds slated to take place Friday. One lucky winner will walk away with a $15,000 cash prize, as well as a 426 Hemi inspired trophy. The hardware features a genuine piston from a 426, with the whole thing weighing in at a hefty 42.6 pounds.
Driver Jimmy Daniels is the pre-race favorite, as he has managed to capture four consecutive Dodge Hemi Challenge titles. It also doesn’t hurt that the 24 year-old Daniels is currently on an 18-0 round win streak with his bad-to-the-bone SS/AH Hemi Dart. He also probably wouldn’t mind putting on a show for all-time legend Herb “Mr. 4 Speed” McCandless, who is this year’s guest of honor. McCandless gained notoriety for his own success in an SS/AH Hemi Dart back in the day, and remains one of the most decorated Mopar drivers of all time.
If you’re looking for something to watch this Labor Day weekend, tune on into the NHRA U.S. Nationals and the Dodge Hemi Challenge for some Mopar Madness. What could possibly make for a better holiday weekend than some old school Hemi V8s racing down the strip at full tilt.