Home Local Sports C.J. Jenkins big winner at the Rock’s 4th annual Holiday Jr. Jam

C.J. Jenkins big winner at the Rock’s 4th annual Holiday Jr. Jam

C.J. Jenkins, 14, of Jamestown, won the main event in the fourth annual Holiday Jr. Jam at Rockingham Dragway.
Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM — A steady, methodical C.J. Jenkins waded through a field of 148 of the nation’s best Jr. Dragster racers Saturday, beating Hailey Pumphrey of Waldorf, Maryland, in the final round to win the Main Event in the fourth annual Holiday Jr. Jam at Rockingham Dragway.

In an event showcasing the future stars of the NHRA series, Jenkins was in a class by himself. Locked onto a 7.90 target, the Jamestown sharpshooter used a Beeline ZR4 engine to put up times that didn’t vary by more than .052 of a second — from 7.895 to 7.947.

A three-time track champion who won this year’s Jr. championship at Coastal Plains Dragway in Jacksonville, “The Executer” was as good in the cockpit as his car, running off .037. 

Over the course of the weekend, the 14-year-old phenom, whose goal is to one day compete in the Top Fuel class, won 18 racing rounds on the way to claiming his 13th and 14th winners’ trophies of the 2021 season. In addition to the Main Event, he also won the 10-13 age group title on Friday.

Not a bad weekend’s work for someone who was introduced to the sport through television coverage of the NHRA pro tour.


Other winners included Louis Crockett of Hopewell, Virginia, who won the always entertaining golf cart race before losing to Jenkins in round six of the Main Event.

In the Index classes, Kaiden Groves of Mechanicsville, Md., hoisted the trophy in 7.90; Anthony Magliocco of Erial, New Jersey, beat Ava Ward of Anderson, South Carolina, daughter of reigning Rockingham Dragway track champ Matt Ward, in the 8.90 final; Rebekah Peterson of Martin, Michigan, claimed the 11.90 Index champ trophy to join her brother, Samuel, as a Holiday Jr. Jam champion; and Mason Maddox of Northboro, Massachusetts, outran Andy Anderson of York, Pennsylvania, in an all-Northeast final in 13.90.

Other performances of note were those of Kole Paone of Galloway, New Jersey, and Danika Cox of Bronson, Michigan. The latter was runner-up to Groves in the 7.90 Index class before advancing to the round of six in the Main Event where she lost to Mocksville’s Noah Cornatzer, a 2017 runner-up in The Rock’s old Southeastern Jr. Spring Nationals.

As for Paone, he reached the final round for the third straight year in the Thanksgiving weekend classic. The 13.90 Index winner in 2020 and the 13.90 runner-up the year before, he advanced to the 6-9 age group final this year before losing to Michael Groves Jr. of Mechanicsville, Maryland, on a foul start.

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