Osage Tulsa Raceway Park will host the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals event presented by Huddleston Performance June 14-16. NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League racers from across the United States, ages 6 to 17 years, will compete for team and individual honors and a share of the event purse.
Teams of drivers in eight age categories drive half-scale dragsters powered by five-horsepower engines that may reach speeds up to 85 mph. They can cover the eighth-mile track in as quick as 7.90 seconds. Also in competition is the Jr. Comp class for racers 16 years and older, which run as fast as 110 mph in 6.90 seconds.
Each of the ten members of the Team Champions at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals event will receive the coveted NHRA Wally trophy. Individual champions will each earn $1,500 along with a NHRA Wally trophy and champions jacket.
Gates at Tulsa Raceway Park open at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Each age category will get two time trials on Wednesday, starting at 8 a.m. followed by additional time trials on Thursday, and Final Eliminations on Friday morning starting at 9:00 a.m.
Tulsa Raceway Park is located at 3101 North Garnett Rd, Tulsa, Okla. For ticket information contact the track, (918) 437-7223, or visit www.tulsaracewaypark.com.
NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League History
2017 marks the 25th anniversary for the NHRA Summit Junior Drag Racing League. For 25 years now, NHRA’s Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League (JDRL) has given kids as young as five years old the opportunity to participate in the sport they love. And the sport of drag racing is better for it, as graduates of the league have proven themselves to be formidable competitors in NHRA’s other racing series. Top Fuel racer Shawn Langdon as well as 2015 Pro Stock National Champion driver Erica Enders are among the league’s graduates competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Langdon was a two-time Super Comp national champion in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series before making the jump to the Mello Yellow Series where he won the 2013 Top Fuel championship. Numerous NHRA national and division champions have also come out of the JDRL ranks, including Super Stock National & Divisional Champion Ryan McClanahan and Top Dragster Divisional Champion Kara Stricker.
When Vince Napp, an NHRA member-track owner with a passion for drag racing, built a half-scale dragster for his son David in 1991, he never imagined what would follow. Early in 1992, Napp showed his invention to NHRA officials and the Jr. Dragsters were unveiled to the public July 9, 1992, during the 23rd annual Mopar Parts Nationals at Napp's Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. The capacity crowd witnessed the first Jr. Dragster exhibition race.
Two more dragsters were built, and the exhibition tour continued through the remaining national events of the 1992 season. At each site, an information tent was used to determine interest and solicit information sign-ups. The response was overwhelmingly positive. NHRA member tracks began adding JDRL programs, and builders began filling orders for Jr. Dragsters.
Racers began competing at local tracks in 1993 as the League grew at an astounding rate. Jr. DRAGSTER, the official magazine of the JDRL, debuted in September of that year.
In 1994, NHRA sponsored the first Jr. Drag Racing League National Championships at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. More than 500 young drivers qualified and participated.
Each season, the JDRL continues to achieve new levels of success. After 20+ years after the first exhibition run, the JDRL has approximately 3,000 participants, who compete at over 100 tracks across the country. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern and Western Conference Finals are the premier events of the JDRL season.