If you haven’t seen a Jr. Dragster, then you haven’t seen the future of NHRA Drag Racing.
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League offers kids ages 5-17 a chance to race half-scale dragsters in a controlled environment at many of NHRA’s 130 member tracks throughout the United States and in Canada long before they can obtain a state driver’s license. Membership in the Jr. Drag Racing League is required for competition.
The cars that Jr. Drag Racing League competitors race are called Jr. Dragsters and are half-scale versions of Top Fuel dragsters. Using a five-horsepower, single-cylinder engine, a Jr. Dragster can go as fast as 85 mph and as quick as 7.90 seconds in an eighth-mile, though younger age groups are restricted to slower times/speeds.
Many of NHRA’s 130 member tracks offer weekly Jr. Drag Racing League programs where kids can race to earn points toward track championships in their age group. The points leaders in each class are then chosen to represent their track at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western or Eastern Conference Finals depending on the location of the track.
The starting cost of a new basic Jr. Dragster is about $5,000. Though it may not go from 0 to 85 right away, investing in a basic Jr. Dragster is a great way to get started. You’ll learn the basics of the sport and still get moving right along at about 45 mph.
In addition to having the parts and pieces needed to make a Jr. Dragster run, NHRA requires that racers be licensed members of the JDRL and have necessary items such as an approved helmet, jacket, neck collar, and gloves. All drivers must also wear long pants and arm restraints while behind the wheel of their Jr. Dragster. Depending on the style of the items you choose, these items will cost about $500.