Maple Grove Raceway will launch an exciting new program for aspiring young drag racers. The program, called NHRA Youth Racing, was designed by the National Hot Rod Association to give teenage boys and girls – ages 13-16 – the opportunity to race against their peers in full-bodied street vehicles with an adult co-driver as their teammate. The new program will combine racing with car safety and will be sponsored at MGR by Universal Technical Institute. NHRA Youth Racing allows teens to learn to drag race safely, in a full-size car, without having to purchase a purpose-built race car.
“This is another tool in our sport’s toolbox to attract youth and their parents to drag racing,” said MGR Vice President and General Manager Lex Dudas. “The program will be conducted during our local bracket racing events and is an excellent way for parents to bond with their children.”
Competitors will go through an orientation and licensing procedure on an eighth-mile drag strip in their vehicles, which must meet program requirements. Approved vehicles must be registered, insured, street-legal vehicles with mufflers and street tires and limited to 10 seconds and slower. All runs must be made with an approved licensed supervising adult, who must be the participant’s parent or legal guardian or 25 years of age or older with a valid state driver’s license. The licensed supervising adult must be seated in the passenger seat of the vehicle anytime the participant is in the driver’s seat. The licensed supervising adult must drive the vehicle in the pits, into the staging lanes, and on the return road past the time-slip booth. Helmets are mandatory for the participant and the licensed supervising adult.
It is an inexpensive program and a way for families to use drag racing as a learning tool. Race dates will be announced soon on www.MapleGroveRaceway.com.
The link to the online application may be found at: http://www.nhraracer.com/content/general.asp?articleid=46983&zoneid=175
NHRA Youth Racing Rules
NHRA YOUTH RACING: As part of its wide variety of racing series, NHRA offers the Youth Racing program, in which teenagers who are 13 to 16 years old can race one another in street vehicles, be they vintage machines or models straight from the showroom floor. The cars must be full-bodied street-legal vehicles that meet program requirements. Participants must have a licensed supervising adult in the car on all runs, which are made on the eighth-mile track using an elapsed time dial-in format and limited to 10.00 seconds and slower.
Participants may not compete in any other class except Jr. Dragster. As part of the membership purchase necessary for this program, participants also receive the digital edition of National Dragster, access to NationalDragster.net, and excess medical insurance (coverage may be different outside the United States).
NHRA Youth Racing is for drivers of full-bodied cars, trucks, vans, or SUVs. Prohibited vehicles include open-top SUVs or open-top SUV-type vehicles. Convertible tops are allowed but must be closed at all times. Motorcycles and race cars are prohibited. All vehicles must be street-legal and driven in and carry proof of vehicle registration and valid insurance. Vehicles also must display valid license plates and be able to pass all state highway safety requirements for the state in which the vehicle is registered.
REQUIREMENTS & SPECIFICATIONS
SUPPORT GROUP OPERATION: Participant may only drive the vehicle from the staging lanes to the starting line, on the track, and on the return road as far as the time-slip booth. The licensed supervising adult must drive the vehicle at all other times.
DRIVER AGE REQUIREMENTS: Licensed participants must be at least 13 years old and may participate through the year of their 16th birthday.
LICENSED SUPERVISING ADULT: All runs must be made with an approved licensed supervising adult, who must be the participant’s parent or legal guardian or 25 years of age or older with a valid state driver’s license. The licensed supervising adult must be seated in the passenger seat of the vehicle anytime the participant is in the driver’s seat. The licensed supervising adult must drive the vehicle in the pits, into the staging lanes, and on the return road past the time-slip booth.
CREDENTIALS: A valid NHRA Youth Racing program participant card and membership are mandatory. License application must be fully completed and submitted to NHRA in Glendora, Calif., for processing. License application available at NHRARacer.com. All new license applications must include a certified copy of the participant’s birth certificate and a completed and notarized minor waiver and release.
Six (6) approved passes are required by the participant: a minimum of five (5) with a licensed supervising adult and one (1) with an NHRA track official, who will determine the safety and eligibility of the vehicle per elapsed time limits. After six (6) successful runs by the participant, the official and licensed supervising adult will sign the license application. An NHRA track official may deny a license to anyone he or she believes cannot handle the vehicle. If an NHRA track official denies an applicant, he or she must repeat the entire licensing procedure.
As part of the licensing process, an NHRA track official also will conduct a vehicle orientation test (to demonstrate mastery of vehicle’s controls), a basic driving test (to demonstrate mastery of vehicle operation), and track orientation (to identify track fixtures, starting line, timing system, return road, time-slip booth, etc.). A vehicle orientation test is required for each vehicle entered in competition. An NHRA track official or licensed supervising adult must be in the vehicle at all times during the licensing procedure.
To add a vehicle, the participant must complete a vehicle orientation test, basic driving test, and safety and eligibility vehicle test and make two (2) approved runs with a licensed supervising adult and one (1) approved run with an NHRA track official. Participant must hold an active membership in the NHRA Youth Racing program.
DRIVER RESTRAINT SYSTEM: Use of seat belts is mandatory for both the participant and licensed supervising adult.
HELMET: Helmets are mandatory for the participant and the licensed supervising adult. Helmet can be either an open-face or a full- face helmet meeting Snell M2005, M2010, K2005, SA2005, or SA2010 or SFI 31.1/2005 or 41.1/2005 certification.
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: No shorts, bare legs, tank tops, or bare torsos permitted while racing (applies to both participant and licensed supervising adult).
Maple Grove Raceway’s 52ndseason will open April 5-6 with its annual spring swap meet. Drag racing begins on Saturday, April 12, with grudge racing and a Test ‘n’ Tune session. Maple Grove Raceway’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national event will take place on Oct. 2-5.
About Universal Technical Institute, Inc.
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