Cline wins second title; seven others pick up first championships at Western Conference Finals
June 16, 2017

Hayley Cline won the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals presented by Huddleston Performance for the second time in her career to highlight the 2017 edition of the first of two national events in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League. Cline, the 2012 8-9 class champ, won this year’s 13-year-old age group and was joined in the winner’s circle by seven first-time winners: Nolan Baker (age 6-9), Gage Wilson (10), Jonathan McClain (11), Graeme Rufenacht (12), Caylyn Cunningham (14), Monica Roberts (15), and Colin Broermann. Host track Osage Tulsa Raceway Park dominated the team competition to earn its first team championship.

WCF Champions2017 Western Conference Finals champions
WCF Runners-up2017 Western Conference Finals runners-up
WCF team champion2017 Western Conference Finals team champion

Underwood, Iowa’s Baker, a representative of I29 Dragway, outlasted Larned, Kan., competitor Caleb McDonald to win the 6-9 age-group title. McDonald, who raced for SRCA Dragstrip, got the reaction-time edge in the final but carried too much momentum on the top end and broke out with a 12.54 (12.63 dial). That opened the door for Baker, who won with a closer-to-the-mark 12.25 (12.28).

Wilson, who has had several late-round showings at past Western Conference Finals events, was finally able to go the distance and earn his first Wally, besting Wesley Young in the 10-year-old bracket. Wilson, a Moore, Okla., competitor who was part of the Thunder Valley Raceway Park team, got the automatic nod in the final when Pearland, Texas’ Young red-lighted. Wilson ran an 8.95 (8.90) on his victory pass.

McClain, a member of the Thunder Road Raceway Park team who lives in Bosier City, La., turned a starting-line advantage of more than five-hundredths into victory over Owatonna, Minn., racer Gabbie Poole in the 11-year-old title round. McClain clocked in with an 8.96 (9.00) to defeat Grove Creek Raceway’s Poole, who broke out with an 8.96 (9.00).

Texas Motorplex runner Rufenacht outmaneuvered No Problem Raceway Park’s Kacee Guedry at the stripe to win the 12-year-old age group. Guedry, who hails from Brusly, La., had the advantage on the starting line, but Round Rock, Texas’ Rufenacht was able to drive around him at the stripe and win on a 9.03 (9.00) to 9.02 (8.97) count.

Seminole, Okla., resident Cline earned the second Western Conference Finals Wally of her career when she topped the 13-year-old field. Cline, a member of Thunder Valley Raceway Park’s team, got the automatic nod when 2014 Western Conference Finals champ Braden Bettis, a DeLeon, Texas, racer who represented Texas Motorplex, went red. Cline cruised to an 8.83 (8.78) victory.

Cunningham scored one for host track Osage Tulsa Raceway Park when she outlasted Texas Motorplex’s Shelby Jones for the 14-year-old class Wally. Cunningham, who lives in Collinscille, Okla., got a sizeable starting-line advantage and turned it into an 8.08 (8.05) to 8.11 (8.00) win against Godley, Texas, competitor Jones.

After finishing as the runner-up here last year, Detroit, Mich., competitor Roberts was able to turn on one additional win light, taking top honors in the 15-year-old category. Van Vleck, Texas’ Ty Casey made things easier for Roberts when he left the starting line .001-second too soon. That turned on the win light in the lane of Roberts, a Gateway Motorsports Park competitor who ran 8.46 (7.90) on her winning lap.

Broermann won an all-Tulsa Raceway Park final in the 16-17 age group, defeating teammate Preston Tanner for the title. Broermann, who hails from Sand Springs, Okla., got the edge at the Tree by about two-hundredths, and that pushed Tanner, a Rensselaer, Ind., competitor, into an 8.01 (8.05) breakout. Broermann ran a clean 7.91 (7.90) for the win.

Led by the 16-17 age-group finalists and several other late-round finishers Tulsa Raceway Park Team 2 won the team championship, the first team title for the Tulsa, Okla., track. Tulsa tallied 19 points to handily defeat Thunder Valley Raceway Park Team 1, which finished second with 13 points. SRCA Team 1 (12), Texas Motorplex Team 1 (11), and Texas Motorplex Team 2 and Royal Purple Raceway Team 2 (tied — 10) rounded out the top five.

Results from the 2017 NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals presented by Huddleston Performance:
6-9
 
Quarterfinalists: Nolan Baker (Underwood, Iowa); Mia Rhodes (Allen, Texas); Collin Russell (Rockwall, Texas); Carli Welch (Haysville, Kan.); Caleb McDonald (Larned, Kan.); Danielle Gibson (Dayton, Texas); Colt Saum (Norman, Okla.).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Baker .025 12.379 (12.25)
Rhodes .220 12.170 (11.96)
 
Russell .049 12.192 (11.96)
Welch .602 **11.841 (11.90)
 
McDonald .032 12.669 (12.50)
Gibson .200 12.182 (12.07)
 
Saum .090 12.014 (11.91)
bye      
 
Semi's
McDonald .099 12.665 (12.60)
Saum .066 **11.939 (11.99)
 
Baker .054 12.345 (12.25)
Russell .246 12.063 (11.96)
 
Final
Baker .169 12.281 (12.25)
McDonald .050 **12.544 (12.63)
 
**breakout

10
 
Quarterfinalists: Gage Wilson (Moore, Okla.); Aiden Peres (Galva, Kan.); Braden Peninger (Derby, Kan.); Simon Shinski (Olathe, Kan.); Wesley Young (Pearland, Texas); Doobie Collins (Lincoln, Neb.); Camron Nelson (Pearland, Texas).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Wilson .065 9.020 (8.90)
Peres .111 9.170 (9.06)
 
Peninger .170 9.020 (8.97)
Shinski -.003 *8.989 (8.90)
 
Young .138 9.228 (9.13)
Collins -.004 *8.977 (8.94)
 
Nelson -.109 9.048 (8.90)
bye      
 
Semi's
Wilson .040 9.923 (8.98)
Nelson .107 **8.925 (9.03)
 
Young .118 9.162 (9.22)
Peninger .309 **8.945 (9.05)
 
Final
Wilson .070 8.950 (8.90)
Young -.028 *9.269 (9.13)
 
*red-light **breakout

11
 
Quarterfinalists: Gabbie Poole (Owatonna, Minn.); Rylie Trumble (Pasadena, Texas); Jonathan McClain (Bosier City, La.); Ryker Cromnell (Giesmar, La.); Casidy Terry (Yukon, Okla.).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Poole .093 9.013 (8.98)
Trumble .087 9.006 (8.93)
 
McClain .l037 8.969 (8.91)
Cromnell .032 9.026 (8.94)
 
Terry .072 8.961 (8.90)
bye      
 
Semi's
Poole .028 9.047 (9.00)
Terry .103 8.945 (8.94)
 
McClain .035 8.977 (8.97)
bye      
 
Final
McClain .063 9.014 (8.96)
Poole .119 **8.960 (9.00)
 
**breakout

12
 
Quarterfinalists: Kacee Guedry (Brusly, La.); Cristiana Bennington (Clyde, Kan.); Brianna Chancey (Bixby, Okla.); Daniel Jones (Godley, Texas); Graeme Rufenacht (Round Rock, Texas); Sara Grace Reid (Humble, Texas); Hannah Mitchell (Rockwall, Texas); Logan Abernathy (Willis, Texas).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Guedry .125 8.929 (9.12)
Bennington -.127 *8.961 (8.93)
 
Chancey .086 8.921 (8.90)
Jones .444 8.922 (8.90)
 
Rufenacht .136 8.949 (9.00)
Reid -.044 *9.009 (9.00)
 
Mitchell .009 8.946 (8.90)
Abernathy .083 8.970 (8.95)
 
Semi's
Rufenacht .053 8.990 (8.96)
Chancey .061 **8.910 (8.92)
 
Guedry .074 9.100 (8.97)
Mitchell .186 **8.892 (8.90)
 
Final
Rufenacht .071 9.031 (9.00)
Guedry .048 9.028 (8.97)
 
*red-light **breakout

13
 
Quarterfinalists: Aleah Peres (Galva, Kan.); Kinley Wolfford (Orange, Texas); Braden Bettis (DeLeon, Texas); Jace Head (Hobb, N.M.); Hayley Cline (Seminole, Okla.); Hayden Trumble (Pasadena, Texas).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Peres .065 8.082 (8.05)
Wolfford .088 8.104 (8.07)
 
Bettis .015 8.003 (7.96)
Head .056 7.980 (7.91)
 
Cline .025 8.821 (8.81)
Trumble .093 7.969 (7.95)
 
Semi's
Cline .078 8.799 (8.80)
Peres .113 **8.045 (8.05)
 
Bettis -.011 7.929 (7.94)
bye      
 
Final
Cline .085 8.834 (8.78)
Bettis -.013 *7.946 (7.94)
 
*red-light **breakout

14
 
Quarterfinalists: David Stice (Cheyenne, Wyo.); Mitchell Weida (Tulsa, Okla.); Mia Schultz (Woodbridge, Va.); Chandler Brandenburg (Olathe, Kan.); Caylyn Cunningham (Collinscille, Okla.); Skyler Wright (Ardmore, Okla.); Shelby Jones (Godley, Texas); Alexis Tanner (Rensselance, Ind.).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Stice .047 8.284 (8.12)
Weida .216 7.995 (7.90)
 
Schultz .026 7.946 (7.90)
Brandenburg .094 7.961 (7.92)
 
Cunningham .091 8.031 (8.03)
Wright -.022 *7.984 (7.96)
 
Jones .027 7.998 (7.96)
Tanner -.069 *8.049 (8.06)
 
Semi's
Jones .239 8.089 (7.96)
Schultz -.019 *7.932 (7.90)
 
Cunningham .170 8.140 (8.05)
Stice .156 8.280 (8.12)
 
Final
Cunningham .021 8.083 (8.05)
Jones .209 8.110 (8.00)
 
*red-light

15
 
Quarterfinalists: Carson Wheeler (Wichita, Kan.); Brayden Staab (Enid, Okla.); Monica Roberts (Detroit, Mich.); Ryan Skaggs (Oak Grove, Mo.); Ty Casey (Van Vleck, Texas); Sterling Cleveland (Lubbock, Texas).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Wheeler .091 7.930 (7.95)
Staab -.004 *8.004 (8.04)
 
Roberts .033 7.949 (7.90)
Skaggs .153 **8.012 (8.08)
 
Casey .073 8.226 (7.92)
Cleveland .086 9.350 (7.90)
 
Semi's
Casey -.002 7.881 (7.93)
Wheeler -.023 *7.943 (7.94)
 
Roberts .366 22.215 (7.90)
bye      
 
Final
Roberts .084 8.467 (7.90)
Casey -.001 *11.742 (7.95)
 
*red-light **breakout

16-17
 
Quarterfinalists: Cameron Foreman (Williams Port, Ohio); Bethany McLemore (Pasadena, Texas); Colin Broermann (Sand Springs, Okla.); Morgan Torres (LaPlace, La.); Preston Tanner (Rensselaer, Ind.); Jerome Hilton (Maud, Okla.); Alexis Sherman (Donaldsonville, La.); Allison Wood (Broken Arrow, Okla.).
 
Driver R.T. E.T. (Dial)
Quarters
Foreman .009 7.898 (7.90)
McLemore .055 **7.897 (7.90)
 
Broermann .044 7.928 (7.90)
Torres .063 8.032 (8.01)
 
Tanner .028 8.058 (8.06)
Hilton .091 **7.995 (8.00)
 
Sherman .022 8.069 (8.03)
Wood .061 7.924 (7.90)
 
Semi's
Broermann .031 7.896 (7.90)
Foreman .056 **7.884 (7.90)
 
Tanner .016 8.108 (8.04)
Sherman .053 8.117 (8.03)
 
Final
Broermann .067 7.919 (7.90)
Tanner .088 **8.015 (8.05)
 
**breakout