WEST VALLEY CITY — Josh Jones not only has a shot a national championship — but the first of its kind.
Jones, a 17-year-old from West Jordan, Utah, will race 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 Tennessee this weekend, starting on Friday. Drag racing fans can watch Josh and the other competitors’ race live from IHRA.com.
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 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,” Josh said in a press release.
“Josh had a fantastic season this year and was very deserving on his wild card selection,” RMR general manger Mike Eames said. ”He is a great representative of our young racers and is respectful while mentoring our Junior Dragster competitors.”
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,” Josh said.
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,” said 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.
Jill and her husband Tim Jones have two younger sons that also race junior dragsters Jake (15) and Jared (12). 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,” Josh said.
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 three each and Josh had not won one yet. We were really excited for him when he won, our collection is now up to seven Ironman trophies,” Jill said.