GLENDORA, Calif. (Dec. 20, 2011) – To help kick off the 20th Anniversary celebration of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League, NHRA announced today that the Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals will once again return to Bandimere Speedway in Denver and Bristol Dragway in Tennessee for the 2012 season.
The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals will head back to Bandimere Speedway, June 28-30 2012, while the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Finals will take place one month later, July 26-28 at Bristol Dragway.
As part of the 20th Anniversary celebration of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League both tracks will also be hosting activities and events throughout the weekend in addition to the racing action that will occur on the track.
“It’s hard to believe that 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the Junior Drag Racing League, a program started to introduce NHRA Drag Racing to young people around the country,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. “We want to thank our NHRA Member track network for their support of this very important program that has become the proving grounds for future stars in NHRA.”
The Western Conference Finals have been at Bandimere Speedway since NHRA adopted the Eastern/Western format in 2000 and Bristol Dragway first hosted the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004. Nearly 1,000 kids compete for individual and team honors at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern and Western Conference Finals, with nearly $100,000 in savings bonds given away at each event including a $5,000 savings bond and an NHRA Wally champions trophy to each individual winner.
“The growth of NHRA championship drag racing starts with today’s youth and we congratulate NHRA on twenty years of the Jr. Drag Racing League,” said John “Sporty” Bandimere, III, executive vice president and general manager, Bandimere Speedway. “Over the past twenty years we have seen Jr. racing become more intense and competitive and in turn develop some of drag racing’s top drivers. The competition, friendship and camaraderie that comes from the Western Conference Finals makes hosting the event an honor and we continually look forward to playing host to our racing family.”
“We are proud that the Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals once again will take place in Thunder Valley,” said Julie Bennett, vice president, Bristol Dragway. “Imagine the excitement of these kids knowing their first national event win could take place at a track with the history and tradition of Bristol Dragway. These drivers are our future and we can’t wait to show them a good time here in Bristol.”
Created in 1992, the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League allows kids between the ages of 8 and 17 to experience the thrill of motorsports competition in a controlled environment at tracks in each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League creates family involvement in drag racing at an affordable level. Many of the league’s former participants have gone on to compete in other NHRA classes. Top Fuel racers Shawn Langdon (a two-time Super Comp national champion), Morgan Lucas, and Spencer Massey and Pro Stock driver Erica Enders, are among the league’s graduates while current NHRA Lucas Oil Stock national champion Joe Santangelo II and the 2010 Lucas Oil Super Stock national champion Ryan McClanahan are former Conference Finals champions.