NHRA's Junior Dragsters highlight Holiday Bracket Drags at Infineon Raceway Dec. 1.

SONOMA, Calif. - Young children normally aren't allowed behind the wheel of a motor vehicle until their teenage years, but that isn't the case for the NHRA Castrol GTX Junior Dragster Racing League, which will visit Infineon Raceway's world-famous quarter-mile drag strip on Dec. 1.

Children as young as 8 years old will get behind the wheel of low-powered dragsters traveling at speeds of 45 mph during the Holiday Bracket Drags at Infineon Raceway. This will mark the first appearance of the NHRA Junior Dragster program at Infineon Raceway in more than three years.

The Junior Dragsters will be joined by bracket racing in six other categories as more than 350 racers are expected to compete at the final bracket event of the 2002 season at Infineon Raceway. Gates open at 7 a.m. and eliminations begin at 9 a.m. Spectator admission is $15.

Competitors in the Junior Dragster class will be competing for 10th Anniversary Trophies supplied by the NHRA. The class will feature three divisions: Minor (ages 8-9, 12.90 seconds or slower); Major (ages 10-18, 8.90 seconds or slower); and Advanced (ages 13-17, 7.90 seconds or slower). All cars must meet current NHRA JDRL rules and regulations, and all drivers must have a current NHRA JDRL membership. Performance parameters will be in place during time trials, qualifying and eliminations.

In addition, there will also be racing in the standard bracket classes: Pro, Sportsman, Motorcycle, Street, High School and Trophy. The bonus is that winners in these divisions - with the exception of Trophy - will earn a "Wally," traditionally awarded at NHRA national and divisional events around the country. NHRA member tracks are able to award "Wally's" just once per year at a bracket event as part of the National DRAGSTER Challenge.

Prior to the start of eliminations, Infineon Raceway will also crown its "King of the Track," as 2002 points class champions Mike Eling (Pro), Steve Caldwell (Sportsman), Scott McKenna (Street) and J. Craig Holsey (Motorcycle) square off on the quarter-mile. Entry fee for competitors is as follows: Pro ($50), Sportsman ($50), Street ($40), Motorcycle ($40), High School ($20) and Trophy ($20). Entry fee for car/driver in the JDRL is $10 (family arriving in vehicle with JDRL competitor is free).