When you talk to Jaylee, it’s hard to believe she is 6 years old. She can spiritedly recall her family’s birthdays better than most adults. Jaylee is the daughter of Angie and Jason Bird. Jaylee was the first 6-year-old to receive a competition license at Rocky Mountain Raceways. Effective June 15, the minimum age for kids eligible to participate in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League is 5 years old.
“In the 5-year-old classification, the Trainee category, participants can begin running a Jr. Dragster with a crate engine from Briggs & Stratton with a slide valve limiting the power output of the engine. Trainee participants will make single passes down the dragstrip to get familiar with the car and track surroundings in a non-pressure environment. Another separate classification for 6-and-7-year-olds also has been created, the Youth category, which will allow participants to begin competing head to head on the track at the 13.90-second index with a crate engine and slightly increased power output from the Trainee category engine.“It is important to provide competition opportunities for children in these age groups so they can become exposed much earlier to the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League and the sport of NHRA Championship Drag Racing,” said Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration. “With similar introductory programs available in stick and ball sports for ‘pee-wee’ competitors, we wanted to put an NHRA Drag Racing option into that mix for families to consider.” NHRA.com
Jaylee is part of her dad’s crew and enjoys watching him race in Super Pro and Performance Place Top Dragster. She looks forward to the time when she can race just like her dad. “When I went down the track, I was really excited,” said Jaylee of her first licensing pass. “My car goes fast and it has a wing.”
“She completed all of her passes perfectly,” said Ron Craft, Rocky Mountain Raceways Drag Strip Manager. For more information about Rocky Mountain Raceways’ Junior Dragster Program, contact Ron at (801) 252-9557 x. 106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jr. Drag Racing League Quick Facts:
- Jr. Dragsters are half-scale dragsters powered by five-horsepower engines that can produce speeds up to 85 MPH
- Founded in 1992, the NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing League (JDRL) has approximately 3,000 drivers
- Anyone from the ages of 5-17 may compete, but you must be a member of the NHRA JDRL
- About 35% of of NHRA JDRL members are female
- “Big car” standouts who got their start in the Jr. Drag Racing League include 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon (also a two-time Super Comp national champion); Top Fuel racers Spencer Massey, Leah Pritchett, and J.R. Todd; Funny Car competitor Blake Alexander; Pro Stock drivers Erica Enders-Stevens (the first woman to ever win in Pro Stock), Danny Gruninger, Chris McGaha, Vincent Nobile, and Shane Tucker; Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Katie Sullivan; 2013 Stock national champion Justin Lamb; 2013 Super Comp national champion Luke Bogacki; 2011 Stock national champion Joe Santangelo; 2010 Super Stock national champion Ryan McClanahan; and 17-time national event winner Brad Plourd. –jrdragster.nhra.com