A total of 121 junior dragsters drivers donned their equipment and waited in the lanes for their turns at the starting line during the Western Divisional Championship Race held Jan 22-23 at Bandimere …
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A total of 121 junior dragsters drivers donned their equipment and waited in the lanes for their turns at the starting line during the Western Divisional Championship Race held Jan 22-23 at Bandimere Speedway.
The pop-pop-pop of the one cylinder engines filled the air as teams from Colorado and a number of surrounding states entered the race.
Jagr Anderson fastened the top of his fire suit, pulled on his gloves and put on his helmet as he waited his turn in at the starting line.
“I really like drag racing,” the 15-year-old Westminster resident said. “I like the competition and I like working to improve my reaction time to the starting light and driving the best I can every time I go down the track.”
His dad Scott said he enjoys being able to help his son enjoy a sport he loves.
“I like working on the car and it is fun to watch him race,” he said. “It required dollar investment because it would cost you about $15,000 for a new car like he is driving. Of course a large part of that cost is the special racing engine. It is a one cylinder engine that has been customized for junior dragster racing.
“But that isn’t important. What is important is my wife and I are having a ball being here with our son, seeing all the friends we have made in the sport and enjoying the family atmosphere that is junior drag racing”
Drag racing is a family tradition as Scott competed in the top sportsman class and his wife Shelly drove a dragster. He said they put their cars away for a while to help their son compete in junior dragsters.
Greg Oenes also waited in the staging lanes for his turn at the starting line.
“Driving a junior dragster is a lot of fun,” the Thornton resident said. “I like the feeling of coming off the starting line and I like going fast. Of course what I like best is winning races.”
Junior dragster drivers range in age from five- to 17-years old. The field is divided into age groups to make the competition as far as possible. At the June 22-23 races there were three in the division for 6 and 7-year-olds, 19 in the 8 and 9-year-old division, 45 in the 10 and 11-year-olds division, 23 in the 13 and 14-year-old division and 21 in the 15 to 17-year-old division.
At this division championship race the event winner in each age division received a Wally. A Wally is the championship trophy named in memory of National Hot Rod Association founder Wally Parks. It is a bronze statue of a race driver with a helmet in one hand and the other hand on a racing tire.
Each driver makes time trial runs down the track. The best time set in the time trials establishes the best time the driver is called a dial-in and is the fastest time the car and driver can run in competition.
The races are single-elimination competitions as the cars go head-to-head. The cars leave the starting line based on dial-in times. The car that has a slower dial-in leaves the starting line first. However, a driver may lose the race if he or she runs faster than the dial-in.
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