NHRA announced that the 2017 NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals will be held at Osage Tulsa Raceway Park in Tulsa, Okla., and Bristol Dragway in Tennessee, respectively.
The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals will visit Oklahoma’s Osage Tulsa Raceway Park for the second time, June 15-16, while the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals will return to Eastern Tennessee’s famed Thunder Valley, July 20-22.
“The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Conference Finals showcase the future stars of NHRA Drag Racing and we couldn’t be happier to have two top-notch facilities host these events,” said Eric Lotz, director of field marketing, NHRA. “These racetracks are full of tradition and take a lot of pride in being a part of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League. We cannot wait to return to Osage Tulsa Raceway Park and Bristol Dragway next year to again crown young champions.”
Osage Tulsa Raceway Park is located on the northeast side of downtown Tulsa, Okla. It is part of NHRA’s Division 4, South Central Division. Osage Tulsa Raceway Park acquired the Western Conference Finals last year from Utah’s Rocky Mountain Raceways, which hosted the event from 2014 to 2015.
“Fellow Osage Tulsa Raceway Park owner Keith Haney and I are very excited to be hosting the Western Conference Finals for a second year,” said Todd Martin, co-owner of Osage Tulsa Raceway Park. “We had over 300 entries last year and look forward to growing that number this year. We learned a few things from last year and will improve on the overall experience these young racers and families will have at Tulsa Raceway Park. This was one of my favorite experiences as a racer, track owner and a father: To watch all the kids become friends and build lifelong relationships was incredible. We have a lot of Jr. activities planned leading up to the Western Conference Finals that will make this the one you will not want to miss.”
Bristol Dragway has played host to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2004. The track also hosts the very popular NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
“Bristol Dragway is honored that the Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals will once again return to Thunder Valley,” said Julie Bennett, vice president of Bristol Dragway. “Bristol Dragway is full of racing history and the Eastern Conference Finals give these future stars a chance to make their mark on the sport. We can’t wait for these young drivers to return for another fun weekend of racing.”
Both tracks will also be hosting activities and events throughout each of their respective events earlier in the week leading up to the 2017 Conference Finals.
Nearly 1,000 kids compete for individual and team honors at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Each winner will take home the NHRA Wally champion’s trophy as well as a share of the event purse. Tracks in NHRA’s divisions 1, 2 and 3 will send teams to the Eastern Conference Finals while tracks in divisions 4, 5, 6 and 7 will compete at the Western Conference Finals.
Created in 1992, the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League allows kids between the ages of 5 and 17 to experience the thrill of motorsports competition in a controlled environment at tracks in each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League creates family involvement in drag racing at an affordable level. Many of the league’s former participants have gone on to compete in other NHRA classes. Top Fuel racer Shawn Langdon (the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series Top Fuel world champion and a two-time Super Comp national champion in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series) and two-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, are among the league’s most accomplished graduates.