The future stars of the National Hot Rod Association will compete at zMAX Dragway, July 10-18, when the “Bellagio of Drag Strips” hosts the wildly popular Jr. Drag Racing Week that will conclude with the prestigious NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals.
More than 500 of the best NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League competitors from the East Coast, including competition age groups for 6-12 year olds and 13-17 year olds, are expected to compete in the annual event that has been held at Bristol Dragway since 2004. The location for this year’s event had to be moved to North Carolina due to a last-minute scheduling adjustment made between the two Speedway Motorsports racing facilities.
“Event scheduling has been a very fluid situation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and due to some recent schedule adjustments at Speedway Motorsports we are announcing today that the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Week, which includes the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals, is now moving down the road to our sister track, zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Dragway.
“It was important to all of us to keep the Jr. Drag Racing Week on its original dates of July 10-18 rather than modify the schedule,” Caldwell continued. “We understand that these are the future stars of the sport and they have been planning for this July event for many months now. We are happy that zMAX Dragway will be able to provide a great championship experience for all of the kids in a first-class facility with a beautiful setting. We wish all of the competitors good luck and we look forward to seeing everyone back at Thunder Valley in 2021.”
The fun begins Friday-Sunday, July 10-12, with the Huddleston Performance Jr. Dragster Nationals presented by Mike Bos Chassis Craft. New for 2020, Friday night will include both the inaugural Mike Bos Memorial Parents Race as well as the new Prelude to the Shootout race. Time trials for both events will be conducted prior to eliminations.
A $40 entry fee is required for the Parents Race, with a trophy going to the winner. In order to be eligible for the race, each competing race vehicle must be driven in competition by a junior racer during the week. A $225 entry fee is required for the Prelude to the Shootout. This 32-car field will receive one time run prior to eliminations, and preregistration for the race will open on Thursday, June 25 at 2 p.m. The winner will receive $2,000 plus automatic entry into the Huddleston Performance Shootout on Monday evening. The runner-up will earn $1,000 and the two semifinalists will pocket $500 apiece.
Moving into the Huddleston Performance Fun Races portion of the week, NHRA tech inspection and registration opens on Monday morning, with all racers required to complete both before Thursday’s main event starts.
Monday’s schedule offers a slight change with a new Quick 32 race being held in place of the traditional 330 Outlaw Race. The entry fee is $50 and two qualifying rounds will set the 32-car field. Much like Top Dragster within the Sportsman ranks, this 32 car qualified field will become a bracket race within eliminations. The winner will earn $400, while the runner-up will claim $300 and the two semifinalists will get $200 each. A test-n-tune will also be offered from Noon-5 p.m. on Monday in concurrence with the Quick 32 event.
The big-money 64-car Huddleston Performance Shootout will begin Monday at 5 p.m. The winner will claim a $5,000 prize and the highly coveted Huddleston Performance Shootout Championship Belt, while the runner-up will take home $2,000 and the two semifinalists will earn $1,000 apiece.
The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals presented by Huddleston Performance begins Thursday, July 16, with final eliminations for the NHRA JDRL Eastern Conference Finals presented by Huddleston Performance will be held Saturday, July 18 starting at 9 a.m. Winners of the NHRA JDRL Eastern Conference Finals will take home prestigious NHRA Wally champion’s trophies as well as a share of the event purse.
“Bristol Dragway has offered a home to the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League’s Eastern Conference Finals for almost two decades and has always been a bucket list item for participants nationwide,” said Josh Peterson, NHRA Vice President-Racing Administration. “For 2020, NHRA has introduced the Wally Parks team, offering this first-time experience at zMax Dragway to all junior competitors across the nation to earn a spot on a team. We want all Jr. Drag Racing League members to have the full experience of attending the conference finals events and being a part of the team atmosphere. All competitors interested in joining the 2020 Conference Finals as a part of the Wally Parks team should sign up on jrdragster.nhra.com. Everyone at NHRA is looking forward to working with both speedways to offer a full week of fun and competition at zMax Dragway.”
Created in 1992, the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League allows kids between the ages of 5-17 to experience the thrill of motorsports competition while maintaining a fun atmosphere with family involvement. Many of the league’s former participants have went on to compete at the NHRA Pro and Sportsman level, including 2013 Top Fuel champ Shawn Langdon, 2018 Funny Car champ J.R. Todd and multi-time Pro Stock champ Erica Enders.
Online registration for the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals at zMAX Dragway is available now. Please click here to register.