MINIMUM AGE RESET FOR NHRA SUMMIT RACING JR. DRAG RACING LEAGUE
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 31, 2014) – Today at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the birthplace of the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League, NHRA officials announced that, effective June 15, the minimum age for kids eligible to participate in the league will be 5 years old.
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League was founded in 1993 by NHRA and Raceway Park founder Vinnie Napp. Napp developed the first small-scale replica dragster for his son in 1991 and the first pair of NHRA Jr. Dragsters launched down the Raceway Park dragstrip in 1992. Today the league has grown dramatically and the program is offered at most NHRA Member Tracks across the United States.
In the 5-year-old classification, the Trainee category, participants can begin running a Jr. Dragster with a crate engine from Briggs & Stratton with a slide valve limiting the power output of the engine. Trainee participants will make single passes down the dragstrip to get familiar with the car and track surroundings in a non-pressure environment.
Another separate classification for 6-and-7-year-olds also has been created, the Youth category, which will allow participants to begin competing head-to-head on the track at the 13.90-second index with a crate engine and slightly increased power output from the Trainee category engine.
“It is important to provide competition opportunities for children in these age groups so they can become exposed much earlier to the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League and the sport of NHRA Championship Drag Racing,” said Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration. “With similar introductory programs available in stick and ball sports for ‘pee-wee’ competitors, we wanted to put an NHRA drag racing option into that mix for families to consider.”
NHRA also instituted a new licensing process for all new Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League participants that require each driver to complete a cockpit orientation, basic driving test, track orientation and test passes.
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League also offers different categories for age groups up to 17 with speed and elapsed time restrictions for participants based on age and experience. Those categories are novice (8-9), intermediate (10-12) and advanced (13-18).
In addition to the weekly programs offered at NHRA Member Tracks, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League offers two marquee events. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals is set for July 10-12 at Utah’s scenic Rocky Mountain Raceways and the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Finals will be held July 24-26 at Tennessee’s famed Thunder Valley, Bristol Dragway. Nearly 1,000 kids compete for individual and team honors at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern and Western Conference Finals, with nearly $50,000 being awarded at each event including $2,500 and an NHRA Wally champion’s trophy to each individual winner.
The NHRA Summit Racing 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 current NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens, are among the league’s most accomplished graduates.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Youth Racing for teens and the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Yes, we recognize you may not have a large turnout of the other age groups and by combining the Youth category will assist in running the event, prizes, etc..
2. Is the Youth category able to participate in the 2014 Jr. Conference Finals?
No, however we are exploring the idea of adding the Youth category to the 2015 Jr. Conference Finals.
3. Can a competitor in the Trainee (5 year olds) and Youth category use any engine?
No, we have limited the engine for the Novice and Youth category to the Briggs and Stratton 206 (p/n: 124332 8201 01)
4. Is the license application applicable to only Novice and Youth categories?
No, the license application is applicable to all new competitors entering the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League.
5. How will our tech officials determine if the participant is using the correct slide valve?
Each slide valve is anodized. The approved slide valve for the Novice category is red (p/n: 555733) and the approved slide valve for the Youth category is blue (p/n: 555733).
6. Do the parents need to present anything to the track officials prior to making test runs?
Yes, the parent must present to the track official notarized waiver which is included in the application. Application can be downloaded from NHRARacer.com and the application must be printed in color. Link to application.
7. Who can sign off the test passes?
An adult with a current NHRA Competition license or qualified track official (for example starter, race director, tech official).
8. Do existing Jr. Participants need to go through the license application process?
Jr. participants with a current NHRA Jr. Competition license will not be required to go through the new application process. However; if you feel a participant would benefit from the new application process, this we would support your decision.
9. What is the reason for the license application process?
The NHRA wants to ensure the participant is given every opportunity to put their best foot forward when entering the sport. The application provides a cockpit orientation, basic driving test and track orientation to help overcome any concerns the participant may have about their first test pass. In addition, the NHRA considers this time an investment into the future of our sport. Without the process the participant may not overcome their fear and we all could lose a potential participant for the future.
10. Where do we send completed applications for processing?
NHRA; 2035 Financial Way, Glendora, CA; 91741; ATTN: NFO Dept
11. If a new participant has completed their test passes can they compete the same day?
12. If I have questions who should I contact?
Please feel free to contact your respective Division Director, Eric Lotz, Brett Lyons or Josh Peterson
13. If the participant’s parents have a question who should I direct them to?
Hopefully this quick reference guide will help you address many of the questions you might receive, if not please feel free to direct them to your respective Division Director, Eric Lotz, Brett Lyon or Josh Peterson.
14. Where can I get the latest updates about the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League?
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League website and facebook page are the best sources of information about the series. In addition we encourage you visit http://www.NHRARacer.com periodically for any updates to competition procedures and rules.
15. Where can I direct a parent of a potential participant to purchase a Briggs and Stratton motor?
The Briggs and Stratton website has a link to a dealer locator: http://www.briggsandstratton.com/engines-racing/support/dealerlocator. If anyone is having difficulties or has engine questions feel free to contact Briggs and Stratton directly at BriggsRacing@basco.com.
16. Can a participant use the Briggs and Stratton motor in other age groups?
Yes, during preliminary testing we have found by removing the slide valve the performance of the Briggs and Stratton 206 engine the engine will be competitive in the Novice category.
17. If a new participant in Novice, Intermediate and Advanced categories has submitted the old application and NHRA receives it after the 15th will it be returned?
No, we will process the application up until August 31, 2014.
18. What is the base price of the Briggs & Stratton Junior 206?
The engine cost approximately $500.
19. The application calls for six test passes; can we require them to do more if deemed necessary?
Yes, if you feel the participant will benefit from additional test passes you have the ability to require additional test passes.
20. Are there any other NHRA Youth Program?
Yes, Jr. Street, Street Legal and Summit Racing Series.