Set to celebrate its 30th season in 2022, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League, a popular racing league for kids ages 5-17, announced today that Summit Racing Equipment has renewed its title sponsorship as part of a multi-year extension.
Additionally, NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League competition in 2022 will include stops at Bandimere Speedway for the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals and at Bristol Dragway for the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals. The Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League also announced a series of exciting eight-car shootouts to be held at seven different NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series national events.
Summit Racing Equipment has been a standout partner with NHRA and a longtime supporter of the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League, where many top NHRA drivers got their start in drag racing, helping further the growth of the class.
“Summit Racing Equipment is proud to continue our support of the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League,” said Jim Greenleaf, motorsports & events manager for Summit Racing Equipment. “The level of competition is incredible, and the growth of the program is very rewarding. We are very excited to announce the addition of the Summit Racing JDRL National Shootouts, this will bring national exposure to Jr drag racing during the NHRA broadcast, what an incredible opportunity for the JR racers.”
The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals return to Bandimere Speedway in Denver on June 24-25, as the race takes place on Thunder Mountain for the first time since 2013. Long considered one of the tops tracks on the NHRA circuit, Bandimere Speedway will play host to hundreds of top young racers looking to grab a victory and a prestigious Wally trophy.
“Bandimere Speedway was established in 1958 as a place for young people to develop their automotive skills, learn responsible driving and enjoy the sport of drag racing. 64 years later those objectives are still priority,” said Sporty Bandimere, general manager at Bandimere Speedway. “The Bandimere family and staff look forward to again hosting the NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals. The Eastern and Western Conference Finals are prestigious events for youth racers across the country and the springboard for growing the sport and continuing to take the sport to the next generation.”
The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals will take place July 14-15 in Bristol, returning after a one-year hiatus in 2021. The picturesque track has played host to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2004, giving young racers the unique and exciting opportunity to compete at a marquee facility and hone their skills on the national stage.
“At Bristol Dragway we are very proud to have served as the longtime host to the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League’s Eastern Conference Finals,” said Jerry Caldwell, president of Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway. “We can’t wait to welcome the kids back to Thunder Valley this July for an event that always brings out the best in competition and teaches the sport’s future stars about teamwork, sportsmanship and fellowship as they pursue their racing dreams.”
The eight-car shootouts at seven NHRA national events are also new for the 2022 season. Events include NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series stops in Charlotte on April 29-May 1, Norwalk on June 23-26, Denver on July 15-17, Seattle on July 29-31, Reading on Sept. 15-18, Dallas on Oct. 13-16 and the finale at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on Nov. 10-13.
The final round for the NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing League shootouts at each event will take place on Sunday and will be featured on the national television broadcasts on FOX and Fox Sports 1.
“The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League has played such a vital role in ensuring the future of our sport, and it’s been incredible to see the continued growth and interest of young drag racers,” said Brad Gerber, NHRA vice president and chief development officer. “We’re thrilled to have Summit Racing Equipment continue its support of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League and we’re excited these young racers will have the chance to perform at a number of major events this year.”
NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League competitor’s race cars, called Jr. Dragsters, are half-scale versions of the iconic Top Fuel dragsters. They go as fast as 85 mph and as quick as 7.90 seconds in the eighth-mile using a five-horsepower, single-cylinder engine, though younger age groups are restricted to slower times and speeds.
Since its start in 1992, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League has provided a place for young racers to compete and been the start for many top NHRA professional drivers. The list includes world champions like Pro Stock’s Erica Enders and Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon, who won a JDRL national championship in 1997, as well standouts such as Top Fuel’s Leah Pruett; Funny Car driver J.R. Todd; Pro Stock competitors Deric Kramer, Chris McGaha and Vincent Nobile; Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Cory Reed and many more.