The boys and girls of the Junior Drags were back in town at Barona 1/8th Mile Dragstrip! And it was the last two races of the Junior Drag season, with Wallys going to Sunday's winners. With only a few more chances to gain position and take home the championship, these racers are going to push their skills and vehicles to the limits to try and take home that hardware!
Starting with Saturday, we have the Jr. Comp bracket, for those eliminated early who want a second chance at glory. The final came down to Derrick Hegwood and Leigha Miller, meeting with matching 6.90 dials for a heads-up race! Derrick had better control of his car all throughout, as his 7.001 on a 6.90 dial far beat Leigha's 7.913, giving Derrick a comfortable Jr. Comp win.
Now, comes the Juniors themselves. Going from youngest to oldest, Group 1 went to it's final first, as Reese Poe and Kade Renoll matched up. Reese was small, but she was ready to go, launching off the line in a mere 7 thousandths of a second, leaving Kade playing catch up. Kade would push too far, breaking out with a 12.056 E/T on a 12.10 dial, giving Reese the Group 1 win.
In Group 2, Dylan Hegwood was going for the gold, and was matched up against Macie Gordon trying to do the same. Both racers were a little too quick, though, as they both broke out. However, Macie's 8.937 E/T on a 8.94 dial was only 3 thousandths early, while Dylan's 8.881 E/T on a 8.90 dial was 19, as Macie gets a well earned Group 2 win.
In Group 3, Braiden Chesleigh only needed to get past Cole Rouse to take a victory home. And much like Macie and Reese before him, Cole wanted to get off the line fast. However, the gamble did not pay off, as Cole launched 4 thousandths of a second early, fouling out and giving Braiden the Group 3 win.
And now, for the teenagers of Group 4, looking to become Drag Racing's next greats. Hannan Cook and Keoki Desa wanted to settle the score. Kaoki specifically wanted to take a dominating victory, as they pushed their reaction time to the breaking point. Alas, said breaking point was 11 thousandths of a second early, fouling out and giving Hannan the Group 4 win.
And with Saturday done, next is the final race of the Junior Dragster season... and this time, each of the winners was going to bring home one of the coveted Wally trophies, so you know everyone is gunning for the top here!
The Junior Comp was first again, though, with no gold on the line. Joey Petrone was up against Nolan Oliveirza. Both racers pushed their cars past the limit, getting a double break out. But, Joey's 6.885 on a 6.90 dial was closer than Nolan's 6.881, as Joey takes the Jr. Comp win.
Down in Group 1, Kade Renoll was seeking redemption for her Finals loss on Saturday, and Jacelyn Gonzanga was the only one in her way stopping her from making that revenge a Wally Gold. Jacelyn was not ready for Kade's fire, as Kade's .053 reaction time far surpassed Jacelyn's .321, giving her over two tenths of a second advantage. This gave her plenty of time to sandbag at the end, and still get a victory with a 12.168 E/T on a 12.05 dial. Kacelyn was closer with her 11.941 E/T on a 11.90 dial, but those two tenths of a second were too much for her to overcome, as Kade gets the first Wally of the night.
Kade Renoll and his family, together after their Group 1 win.
Next up, Group 2, where Dylan Hegwood wanted to make like Kade earlier and get revenge for a Saturday final loss. Jessica Boardman would be his rival. And much like Kade, Dylan would get a good advantage off the line, having 5 hundredths of a second advantage, and he'd take that to an inferior E/T, but one that Jessica could not match. And in Group 2, one again, the Saturday runner up became the Sunday winner, as Dylan got to take home some Wally gold.
Dylan Hegwood (Far) against Jessica Boardman (Near) in the Group 2 Final
In Group 3, we had two newcomers going at it. Joey Petrone, fresh off a Junior Comp victory, was going up against Cody Garceau. Both were near perfect matches before the lights dropped, but Joey wanted to go a bit too early, leaving 2 thousandths of a second sooner, a blink of an eye too early, giving Cody the Group 3 win, and a Wally of his own.
Cody Garcia and his family posing after taking home a Wally with a Group 3 win.
And finally, up in Group 4, Savannah Coates was up against Dylan Oliveira. Savanah got off the line quicker with a .036 reaction compared to Dylan's .068, leaving Dylan playing catch up. And catch up he did, past Savanah and to afast 8.040 E/T. Problem was, his dial was 8.06. With that break out, Savannah takes the Group 4 win, and the Group 4 Wally!
Samantha Coates (Near) against Dylan Oliveira (Far) in the Group 4 Final. Samantha would race to the win.
But now that the kids have it all figured out, it's time for the big boys to do the same. Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, the NHRA Summit Series has it's last two races of the year, and much like the Juniors today, Sunday is when they'll be passing out the Wallies. See you there!