East Tennessee Native Tucker Brown Finishes Second in Division Finals at NHRA Jr. Dragster Event
The future of drag racing was on display this weekend as the sport's up-and-coming stars faced off in Thunder Valley during the NHRA Junior Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals presented by Viperizer.
Teams of drivers in eight age categories powered their half-scale dragsters down the eighth-mile strip to earn team and individual awards, as well as a share of the almost $50,000 purse. A win in the 10-year-old division lifted the team from Huntsville Dragway to the overall championship, while Bristol Dragway regular Tucker Brown steered his machine to the 8-9-year-old division finale in his first showing at the ECF.
The Blountville, Tenn. native posted a .191 reaction time (RT) and 13.169 elapsed time (ET) on a 12.99 dial-in at 47.70 mph in his final pass, but was bested by Kalamzaoo, Mich. racer Alex Kish's 48.52 mph with a .062 RT and 13.139 ET (12.90 dial-in).
Blaine Marsh, Hayden, Ala., recorded a 9.016 ET (9.08 dial-in) with a .031 RT at 72.65 mph to defeat Chandler, Ind. Resident Alex Wagner's 65.61 mph pass with a .132 RT and 9.114 ET (9.08 dial-in) in the 10-year-old category.
Meansville, Ga. Resident Alec Harper took home the 11-year-old division trophy, posting a .033 RT and 8.943 ET (8.90 dial-in) at 73.56 mph in the final race. Jesse Marshall, Pendel, Penn., registered a .071 RT and 8.966 ET (8.92 dial-in) at 72.74 mph in her runner-up effort.
A pair of Florida residents faced off in the 12-year-old final elimination race with Bradenton resident Autumn Greene's 69.68 mph pass with a .038 RT and 8.977 ET (8.90 dial-in) earning her the victory over Katrina Carpenter. The St. Petersberg resident's second place run clocked in at 68.66 mph with a .089 RT and 9.03 ET (9.099 dial-in).
The 13-year-old-division title was claimed by East Rockaway, N.Y. resident John Croce who topped Carlisle, Penn.'s Caleb Holley with a .047 RT and 7.913 ET (7.91 dial-in) at 80.73 mph. Holley recorded a 80.96 mph pass with a .061 RT and 7.919 ET (7.90 dial-in).
Shelby Nelson, Fort Payne, Ala., earned the Wally in the 14-year-old division after her Crawfordville, Fla. opponent Drew Hostetter was shown the redlight in Saturday's final heat. Nelson's finished her winning pass with a 8.003 ET (7.90 dial-in) and .014 RT at 80.09 mph.
Norwalk, Ohio resident Owen Hoover went the distance in the 15-year-old division, posting a 81.73 mph run with a .011 RT and 7.957 ET (7.94 dial-in) in his winning effort. Sydney Coleman of Elkton, Md. placed second on the day with a .30 RT and 7.948 ET (7.94 dial-in) at 81.69 mph.
Shelby DiIorio, Burlington, N.J., recorded a .009 RT and 7.971 ET (7.90 dial-in) at 79.75 mph to turn on the win light and defeat Christain Waltson for the 16-17-year-old division title. The Crisfield, Md. resident's second-place run clocked in at 7.964 ET (7.90 dial-in) with a .043 RT at 79.94 mph.