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Innovation Performance Technologies Jr. Street Set For Rockingham NMRA/NMCA

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
Innovation Performance Technologies Jr. Street Set For Rockingham NMRA/NMCA
By Evan J. Smith
A special feature of the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by Mahle this upcoming weekend (April 13-16), is Innovation Performance Technologies Jr. Street, a class designed to get 13-16-year-old racers on track and competing in a safe environment.
According to NHRA, which developed the category a few years back, Jr. Street gives teenage boys and girls the opportunity to race in full-size vehicles against their peers with an approved licensed supervising adult as a teammate. Approved vehicles must be registered, insured, and street-legal with mufflers and DOT approved street tires (slicks prohibited) tires, and run 9 seconds and slower in the 1/8-mile. If a racer runs faster than 8.50 seconds, he or she will be disqualified for the remainder of the event.
While the NHRA Jr. Dragster program is a fantastic starting point, Innovation Performance Technologies Jr. Street offers young racers the chance to compete at the exciting NMRA and NMCA National event level with prizes of a $100 gift certificate to the NMRA/NMCA Powermall going to the winner and a $50 gift card going to the runner-up. Innovation Performance Technologies is also sponsoring the Top of the Rock Appreciation Party Saturday evening in Rockingham.
“We’re excited to introduce a new group of teenage racers to NMRA/NMCA drag racing,” said Rollie Miller, General Manager and National Event Director. “This is a fantastic program for young racers and we’re happy to give them the chance to compete on our stage.”
NHRA has designed the rules to keep this an entry-level category for honest street-legal vehicles. Legal vehicles include full-bodied cars, trucks, vans, or SUVs. Prohibited vehicles include open-top SUVs or open-top SUV-type vehicles. Convertibles are allowed, but the top must be closed at all times. Motorcycles and race cars are prohibited. Car may not be equipped with drive wheel tubs, or be back- halved. All vehicles must be street-legal and driven in the gate. Vehicles must also have the correct state issued license plate (dealer tags, paper tags, temporary tags, etc. prohibited), a valid state vehicle registration, a valid state inspection (if required), and proof of current insurance. Vehicles must be able to pass all state highway safety requirements for the state in which the vehicle is registered.
“This is an inexpensive program to help meet the demand for teenagers wanting to drive fast but, best of all, it’s a way for families to use drag racing as a learning tool and a conduit for family bonding,” said Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration.
Wally Duperon is the race director at Mission Raceway in Mission, B.C., which has one of the strongest Jr. Street programs in Division 6. “As soon as we plugged Jr. Street on our website and Facebook page, we started getting calls,” he said. “The next year, we had 7-10 cars licensed, and last year, we licensed more and had 12 cars that ran for points. This year, we’re knocking on the door of 20. It’s grown tremendously for us. The word of mouth has been good, too, and the parents are enjoying it.
“The feedback we get from parents is that it was so much cheaper and easier to do than Jr. Dragster racing, and it’s not just the kids of people who are already racing. We licensed a kid recently whose dad had nothing to with the racetrack, but came as a spectator once in a while and thought it would be good for his son to get involved in.”

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