17-year-old Josh Jones from West Jordan, Utah is about to embark on a race of a lifetime at the Summit SuperSeries Junior Dragster World Championships during the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals. This premier sportsman drag racing event will be held at Memphis International Raceway in Memphis, Tennessee on October 12-14.
Jones has been piloting a junior dragster since he was 8-years-old and has been racing in the Junior Dragster program at Rocky Mountain Raceways, an International Hot Rod Association member track, almost every week during the racing season. He will now take his 08’ JR Hercules junior dragster down the eighth-mile for what could be the most impressive race of his career. “This is an opportunity that not many people will get, it’s one in a million,” says Josh.
Racers from across the United States and Canada have been competing every weekend to accumulate points in the IHRA Summit SuperSeries Program that leads up to the Summit SuperSeries Team Finals. Summit SuperSeries Team finalists then travel to Memphis to square off for the world championship in a 16-car tournament.
Rocky Mountain Raceways is not in a Team Finals area but Jones was the 2012 Junior Master Track Champion making him eligible for a random drawing as a “wild card” entry. In 2010, IHRA No Box competitor Chris Hall was selected as a “wild card” entry for the World Finals and went on to claim the IHRA No Box World Championship.
Jones will travel more than 1,500 miles to Memphis with his family to compete as the “wild card” in the brand new Summit SuperSeries Junior Dragster program, in hopes of being the first Junior Dragster World Champion. “I feel pretty special because I will be one of the first racers to compete in the Junior Dragster World Championship and I have the opportunity to represent Rocky Mountain Raceways,” says Josh.
“Josh had a fantastic season this year and was very deserving on his wild card selection. He is a great representative of our young racers and is respectful while mentoring our Junior Dragster competitors,” says Mike Eames, Rocky Mountain Raceways General Manager.
This will be the family’s first trip to Tennessee but they will not be doing any sightseeing because Josh’s junior dragster will need adjustments for altitude. “We will be bringing plenty of spare parts and tools,” says the Jones family, who will be leaving earlier in the week to make plenty of time for test and tunes. The Juan Diego senior will miss some school but one of his teachers, in the words of Mark Twain, feels that school should never interfere with an education.
“Josh grew up in the racing community and at a young age jacked his power-wheels truck up to work on it with his plastic tools,” says Jill Jones, Josh’s mother. Josh recently used his junior dragster to ask out his homecoming date, writing Taylee, Homecoming with Me along the side as she sat in the stands. “She knew I was going to ask her but she didn’t know how,” Josh said of the dance proposal.
Jill and her husband Tim Jones have two younger sons that also race junior dragsters Jake (15 years-old) and Jared (12 years-old.) Tim was a racer who retired when the boys were old enough to race in the junior program.
“When it comes to sports, we have brotherly competition,” says Josh. The three boys are accomplished racers winning several Rocky Mountain Raceways championships and NHRA Divisional events. This year alone, Josh has claimed the track championship, the Junior Master Ironman and the Race of Champions title. Jared has won the Junior Advanced track championship and the Junior Advanced Ironman.
“The family was rooting for Josh to win the Ironman because Jake and Jared both have 3 each and Josh had not won one yet. We were really excited for him when he won, our collection is now up to 7 Ironman trophies,” says Jill.
The Jones family also cheered when IHRA called Josh to invite him to the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals. “I was coming home from school and it hadn’t really sunk in yet, by the time I got home I was really excited. My dad was cheering for me when he heard the news,” says Josh. “I want to thank my mom and dad for their time and support. They have shaped my racing career.”
“Josh is a great young man, a true sportsman and is very competitive in the JR. Dragster class. I wish him and his family all the luck and success,” says Ron Craft, Rocky Mountain Raceways Drag Strip Manager.
Drag racing fans can watch Josh and the other competitors’ race live from IHRA.com. IHRA and Motor Mania TV will be broadcasting the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals live on IHRA.com the weekend of October 12-14.
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