NHRA made the announcement that the 2016 NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals will be held at Osage Tulsa Raceway Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals will take place at Bristol Dragway in Tennessee.
The Western Conference Finals will take place June 23-25 and will be visiting Osage Tulsa Raceway Park for the first time, and the Eastern Conference Finals will take place June 21-23.
“The future stars of NHRA Drag Racing are showcased at these two events and we are pleased to have these two exceptional facilities as host tracks,” said director of field marketing for NHRA, Eric Lotz. “Both are rich in drag racing history and are excited to be a part of he NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing League.”
For the past two seasons, Utah’s Rocky Mountain Raceways hosted the Western Conference Finals, while Bristol Dragway has hosted the Eastern Conference Finals since 2004. Both tracks will be hosting activities and events earlier in the week leading up to the Finals.
Todd Martin and Keith Haney, Osage Tulsa Raceway Park owners, are highly optimistic about growing this event and have already reached out to the City of Tulsa and the surrounding communities. “To have the opportunity to host such an event is an honor and we are looking forward to showing the fans in the Tulsa area what the future of Drag Racing looks like,” said Martin.
The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Conference Finals features nearly 1,000 kids competing for individual and team honors. Each winner will take home the NHRA Wally champion’s trophy as well as a share of the event purse. Tracks that belong to NHRA’s divisions 1, 2, and 3 will send teams to the Eastern Conference Finals while tracks belonging to divisions 4, 5, 6, and 7 will compete at the Western Conference Finals.
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League was created in 1992 and allows kids between the ages of 5 and 17 to experience motorsports competition firsthand in a controlled environment at tracks in each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions. Many of the league’s former participants have gone on to compete in other NHRA classes, such as Top Fuel racer Shawn Langdon and two-time and defending NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders.
Kids get their experience behind the wheel of half-scale versions of Top Fuel dragsters that use a five-horsepower, single-cylinder engine. These Jr. Dragsters can go as fast as 85 mph and as quickly as 7.90 seconds in an eighth-mile, although younger age groups are restricted to slower times and speeds.
The program takes place at NHRA’s 130 member tracks and most offer weekly Jr. Drag Racing League programs where kids can race to earn points toward the track championships in their age group. The points are then used to determine who is chosen to represent the track at the Conference Finals.