Tuesday, 26 November 2019 17:54

Second Junior Jam this weekend at the Rock; schedule adjusted for weather

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Defending champion Samuel Peterson will make his final appearance as a junior before graduating to full-time racing at the “big car” level. Defending champion Samuel Peterson will make his final appearance as a junior before graduating to full-time racing at the “big car” level. Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM — Next generation drag racers from 15 states and Canada will descend on Rockingham Dragway this Thanksgiving weekend for the second annual Holiday Junior Jam featuring age group showdowns, pro tree shootouts, a host of special awards and a Saturday main event with a $5,000 top prize.


Because of the potential for rain and in consideration of the travel challenges confronting so many long-distance racers, the original three-day racing program has been reduced to two. Despite the change, track owner Steve Earwood emphasized that all eight junior races originally scheduled will be contested Friday and Saturday.

“It is so gratifying to see this becoming a destination event for junior racers not just from the Southeast but from Canada and states as far away as Alaska,” Earwood said.  “Our goal was to make it a fun race for everyone involved and the response this year tells me that we’re headed in the right direction, for sure.”

To accommodate early arrivals, the track will be open from 4-10 p.m. Thursday for parking leading into a Friday program featuring separate $1,000-to-win Gamblers races for 6-9, 10-13 and 14-18-year-olds with the popular golf cart race to follow.

On Saturday, a full complement of Pro Tree Shootouts featuring $400 payouts to the winners in 7.90, 8.90, 11.90 and 13.90 Index classes will precede the $5,000 to-win Main Event in which defending champion Samuel Peterson of Richlands, Michigan, will make his final appearance as a junior before graduating to full-time racing at the “big car” level.

Wrapping up the weekend, time permitting, will be the Parents Race followed by the presentation of three long-distance awards, a best appearing award and five recognition awards for best holiday-themed pit area and best holiday-themed pit vehicle, a cookout free to all participants and a chance to have pictures taken with the event’s special guest, Santa Claus.

Admission is $30 for adults, kids 12-and-under free.