Youngsters Drive Fast
Aug 10, 2015 11:30AM
● By Bryan Scott
By Greg James
South Valley - The 2015 Junior Drag Racing Western Conference Finals invaded Rocky Mountain Raceway July 16-18. Nearly 300 cars from 12 states swarmed the track with a chance to take home a coveted “Wally” trophy.
Junior drag racing offers kids ages five-17 a chance to race half-scale dragsters in a controlled environment long before most can legally hold a driver’s license. The cars use a five-horsepower, single cylinder engine that can go as fast as 85 mph in 7.9 seconds in the eighth-mile.
The juniors compete in eight age group categories. Drivers 14 years and under are limited to speeds up to 85 mph. Racers over 14 years old can run as fast 110 mph in 6.9 seconds.
West Jordan’s Jake Jones won the 16-17-year-old division. It was his second Western Conference Finals victory. He got a reaction-time edge (starting line jump) of more than a tenth of a second over Trey Vetter of Henderson, Nev. He ran a 7.95; Jones also won his age group in 2008.
The trophy for the best team spirit went to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Other special awards were given out for best overall appearing car (Jordan Dyer), best theme car (Dylan Horridge), and coolest car (Cason Segundo). Trophies were also given to drivers in each racing class for the best reaction time.
“This is the future of drag racing and this took an incredible amount of work from our staff and crew. This is a great opportunity for us to host the future stars,” Rocky Mountain Raceway General Manager Mike Eames said on the track’s Facebook page.
The starting cost of a new basic junior dragster is about $5000. The National Hot Rod Association requires each driver to be licensed and have approved helmets and safety equipment. The drivers must make safety runs on the track that are supervised by track officials.
I feel like I never will. I like that I get to have fun in my car and make new friends,” Maddison Laws said.
Maddison is competing in the juniors for her second season. She is currently in second place in the junior rookie division at Rocky Mountain Raceway. Herriman’s Parker Stewart is in fourth and Sandy’s Shane Selig is currently in eighth overall.
Samantha Laws is currently in fourth place in the junior minor division at RMR. Jessica Selig from Sandy is sixth overall.
Jared Jones currently is in first place in the junior major division. His brother Jake is in fourth.
“The Nationals is only Shane’s third race ever. He won his first time out. His car is 20 years old and he does all of the work on it. I have not changed a spark plug on it all season,” Mark Selig, Shane’s father, said.
The juniors are scheduled to race Aug. 21 at RMR and close their season Sept. 19.