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Wilson Wins Fourth Title to Highlight Western Conference Finals at Texas Motorplex

Gage Wilson collected his fourth Conference Finals Wally when he outlasted the 16-17 age-group field at the NHRA Right Trailers Western Conference Finals presented by CAPCO Contractors at Texas Motorplex. Wilson adds this year’s trophy to the ones he earned in 2017 (Western), 2021 (Eastern), and 2022 (Eastern). With the win, Wilson now ranks second in National Championships/Conference Finals wins, behind only Cade Poe, who earned five during his career.

 

Joining Wilson in the winner’s circle were first-time champions Clay Burrell (age 6-9), Dawson Rogers (10), Mason Tuck (11), Parker Freeman (12), Kenzie Wells (13), Landon Grayson (14), Caleb McDonald (15), and Ardmore Dragway (team).

 

The 6-9 class final was a battle of Texans with Claude-based Burrell battling Tomball’s Maxtyn Pavlock. Burrell got off the starting line first, .020 to .094, then ran right on his 14.48 dial to defeat Pavlock’s breakout 12.023 (12.05 dial).

 

Burke, Texas’ Rogers got the automatic nod in the 10-year-old bracket title round when Sterling, Colo., racer Josy Scheopner red-lighted. Dawson posted a 9.004 (8.94) en route to victory.

 

A red-light start also determined the outcome in the 11-year-old category final. This time, De Leon Springs, Fla., competitor Lincoln McMaster left early, turning the win light in the lane of Edgewood, N.M., driver Tuck. Tuck finished with an 8.938 (8.96).

 

Friendswood, Texas’ Freeman tallied another win for the Lone Star State when he outlasted Apache, Okla., native Mace Crandall in the 12-year-old age group. Freeman left the starting line first, .049 to .0019, and never looked back, winning on an 8.919 (8.90) to 9.003 (8.90) count.

 

The 13-year-old bracket came down to a pair of Oklahoma competitors with Edmond’s Wells bettering Oklahoma City’s Brylea Tilson in a great final-round battle. Tilson had the slight edge at the Tree, .008 to .011, but she carried too much momentum on the top end and broke out with an 8.134 (8.15). That opened the door for Wells, who won with an on-the-dial 7.908.

 

Grayson added another Conference Finals Wally to his family’s trophy case when former Western Conference Finals champ Kane Kern, of Pierre Part, La., fouled in the 14-year-old class final. Grayson, who hails from Murfreesboro, Tenn., posted a .050-initiated 8.560 (7.98) on his victory lap. Grayson’s brother, Logan, was the 16-17 champ at last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.

 

Larned, Kan., driver McDonald, a runner-up at the 2017 Western Conference Finals, earned his first Conference Finals Wally when he bested Bruce Township, Mich., competitor Samantha Miodowski in the 15-year-old bracket final. After taking a .020-second lead at the starting line, McDonald eased his entry to a 7.948 (7.96) to beat Miodowski’s further-under 7.880 (7.90).

 

A starting-line lead of more than a tenth, helped carry Moore, Okla.’s Wilson to his fourth Conference Finals win. Canyon, Texas’ Hannah Thompson carried too much momentum while trying to make up the starting-line deficit and broke out with an 8.239 (8.29). Wilson ran a clean 7.993 (7.94) to turn on the win light.

 

Special-award winners were Collin Russell (Best Appearing Car), Blake Combs (Best Engineered), Pine Valley Raceway (Best Appearing Track), and Julesburg Dragstrip (Team Spirit). Trophies were also presented for Best Reaction Time and Closest to Dial. Best Reaction Time winners were Maxtyn Pavlock (6-9 – .010), Scheopner (10 – .008), McMaster (11 – .008), Molly Doepel (12 – .002), Greycee Belt (13 – .001), Avery Bolding (14 – .006), Joshua McDaniel (15 – .000), and Alyson Reynolds (16-17 – .002). The Closest to Dial trophies went to Burrell (6-9  – .001 over), Scheopner (10 – .024), Jason Johnson Jr. (11 – .009), Tanner Mocny (12 – .005), Kash Green Wilkinson (13 – .001), Taylor Freeman (14 – .009), McDaniel (15  – .002), and Madalyn Poplawski (16-17  – .000).

 

Results from the 2024 Western Conference Finals

 

6-9

W: Clay Burrell (Claude, Texas): .020, 14.489 (14.48 dial)

R/U: Maxtyn Pavlock (Tomball, Texas): .094, **12.023 (12.05)

Semi’s: Liam Lopez (Fort Worth, Texas)

Quarters: Blane Carrell (Ardmore, Okla.), Cash Pennington (La Vernia, Texas), Austin Hammers (Kaufman, Texas)

 

10

W: Dawson Rogers (Burke, Texas): .062, 9.004 (8.94)

R/U: Josy Scheopner (Sterling, Colo.): -.013, *9.077 (9.05)

Semi’s: Coltin Lindquist (Lakeland, Fla.)

Quarters: Jase Sterling (Noble, Okla.), Brenna Shannon (Elizabeth, Colo.)

 

11

W: Mason Tuck (Edgewood, N.M.): .083, 8.938 (8.96)

R/U: Lincoln McMaster (De Leon Springs, Fla.): -.007, *8.967 (8.98)

Semi’s: Carson Wied (Neenah, Wis.)

Quarters: Billy Pulis Jr. (Wynnewood, Okla.), Blake Folts (Chino, Calif.)

 

12

W: Parker Freeman (Friendswood, Texas): .049, 8.919 (8.90)

R/U: Mace Crandall (Apache, Okla.): .119, 9.003 (8.90)

Semi’s: Holden Pavlock (Tomball, Texas)

Quarters: Tanner Mocny (Venice, Fla.), Camden Teel (Newcastle, Okla.)

 

13

W: Kenzie Wells (Edmond, Okla.): .011, 7.908 (7.90)

R/U: Brylea Tilson (Oklahoma City, Okla.): .008, **8.134 (8.15)

Semi’s: Abigail Wilson (Moore, Okla.)

Quarters: Cayson Walker (Mont Belvieu, Texas), Henry Holland (Lewisville, Texas)

 

14

W: Landon Grayson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.): .050, 8.560 (7.98)

R/U: Kane Kern (Pierre Part, La.): -.036, *12.087 (8.04)

Semi’s: Allison Bolle (Tucson, Ariz.)

Quarters: Avery Bolding (Rock Island, Tenn.), Lucas Graves (Burleson, Texas), Dylan MacNicol (North Port, Fla.)

 

15

W: Caleb McDonald (Larned, Kan.): .026, 7.948 (7.96)

R/U; Samantha Miodowski (Bruce Township, Mich.): .046, **7.880(7.90)

Semi’s: Kayden Salter (Baytown, Texas)

Quarters: Addysan Rogers (Burke, Texas), Andie Rizner (Longmont, Colo.), Joshua McDaniel (McDonough, Ga.)

 

16-17

W: Gage Wilson (Moore, Okla.): .056, 7.993 (7.94)

R/U: Hannah Thompson (Canyon, Texas), .181, **8.239 (8.29)

Semi’s: Gavin Pine (La Mirada, Calif.)

Quarters: Breyden Scholtz (Lakewood, Colo.), Alyson Reynolds (Melbourne, Fla.)

 

*red-light

**breakout

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