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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Wilson Repeats, Several Others Earn First Titles at Eastern Conference Finals

Bryning, Cramer, Tilghman, Hughes, Pruett, Cleary, Wilson, and Moore claimed wins at the 2022 NHRA RightTrailers Eastern Conference Finals presented by Mike Bos Racing.com.

Press Release by NHRA Jr Drag Racing League

BRISTOL, TN- Gage Wilson repeated as an NHRA RightTrailers Eastern Conference Finals presented by Mike Bos Racing.com when he outlasted the field in the 15-year-old age group during the 2022 edition of the national event for racers in the NHRA Summit Racing Series Jr. Drag Racing League. Wilson, last year’s 14-year-old titlist, was joined in the winner’s circle by seven first-time Eastern Conference Finals champions: Evan Bryning (age 6-9), Gavin Cramer (10), Ayden Tilghman (11), Douglas Hughes (12), Kaden Pruett (13), Conor Cleary (14), Gage Wilson (15) and Dylan Moore (16-17). Mason-Dixon Dragway Team 1 won the team competition.

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6-9 Age Group

In the 6-9 age-group final, Venice, Fla., racer Kylie Mocny got off the starting line first, but Sapulpa, Okla., runner Evan Bryning was able to drive around her and win on an 11.93 (11.90 dial) to 12.006 (11.90) count.

Evan Bryning, 6-9 Age Group Champion
Evan Bryning, 6-9 Age Group Champion
Kylie Mocny, 6-9 Year Old Runner-up
Kylie Mocny, 6-9 Year Old Runner-up

10-Year-Old Age Group

The 10-year-old class final was decided on the starting line when Ferdinand, Ind., competitor Callie Fischer went red. That turned on the win light in the lane of New Market, Md.’s Gavin Cramer, who ran right on his 8.95 dial en route to victory.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Gavin Cramer, 10-Year-Old Age Group Champion
Gavin Cramer, 10-Year-Old Age Group Champion

11-Year-Old Age Group

In a tight match that was decided by just .004-second, Henrico, Va., driver Ayden Tilgham overcame a reaction-time deficit of about two-hundredths to get the win against Rowan Parlett, of Mechanicsville, Md., in the 11-year-old bracket title round. Tilghman ran a .001-over 8.90 to turn on the win light vs. the 9.036 (9.01) of Parlett.

Ayden Tilgham, 11-Year-Old Age Group Champion

12-Year-Old Age Group

Pasadena, Texas’ Douglas Hughes got off the starting line first in the 12-year-old age-group final and never looked back, defeating Pennsburg, Pa., racer Anna Willing on an 8.942 (8.94) to 8.934 (8.93) count.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Douglas Hughes, 12-Year-Old Age Group Champion
Douglas Hughes, 12-Year-Old Age Group Champion

13-Year-Old Age Group

What started as a promising heads-up 13-year-old class final in which both racers dialed 7.90 ended in heartbreak for Alvaton, Ky., runner Eli Wiggins when his car experienced mechanical troubles as he left the starting line and he was unable to finish the pass. That gave Appling, Ga., driver Kaden Pruett a free run to the title, and he eased his car to an 8.112 (7.90) to take home the Wally.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Kaden Pruett, 13- Year-Old Age Group Champion
Kaden Pruett, 13- Year-Old Age Group Champion
Eli Wiggins, 13-Year-Old Age Group Runner-up
Eli Wiggins, 13-Year-Old Age Group Runner-up

14-Year-Old Age Group

A reaction-time advantage of more than a tenth helped lift Taunton, Mass., competitor Conor Cleary to victory in the 14-year-old age group. Cleary carried that lead to a 7.941 (7.90) to 8.015 (7.98) win against Markle, Ind.’s Gage Byerly.

Conor Cleary, 14-Year-Old Age Group Champion
Conor Cleary, 14-Year-Old Age Group Champion

15-Year-Old Age Group

Oklahoma City, Okla.’s Wilson tallied his second straight Eastern Conference Finals win and third overall Conference Finals title (2017 Western Conference Finals) when he outlasted Leicester, Mass., racer Kyle Rice in the 15-year-old bracket. Rice made Wilson’s job a little easier when he fouled at the Tree. Wilson posted a 7.981 (8.02) on his victory pass.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Gage Wilson 15-Year-old Age Group Champion
Gage Wilson, 15-Year-old Age Group Champion
Kyle Rice, 15-Year-Old Age Group Runner-up
Kyle Rice, 15-Year-Old Age Group Runner-up

16-17 Age Group

In the 16-17 age group, Hanover, Md., runner Moore denied Round Rock, Texas’ Graeme Rufenacht a clean sweep of this year’s Conference Finals events when he edged the Western Conference Final winner by .001-second in the title round. Rufenacht had the advantage at the Tree, but Dylan Moore, a runner-up at the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, was able to outmaneuver him at the stripe, winning on an 8.124 (8.10) to 7.954 (7.95) count.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Dylan Moore
Graeme Rufenacht, 16-17 Year Old Age Group Runner-up
Graeme Rufenacht, 16-17 Year Old Age Group Runner-up

Team Competition

In the tightly contest team competition, Mason-Dixon Dragway Team 1 came out on top. Both Mason-Dixon Team 1 and Maple Grove Raceway Team 1 finished with 36 points, but Mason-Dixon came out on top in the tiebreaker thanks to the victories by Cramer and Moore. Capital City Motorsports Park Team 1 and Mobile Dragway Team were tied for third with 25 points apiece, and Ohio Valley Raceway Team 1, Huntsville Dragway Team 1, and Mason-Dixon Dragway Team 2 rounded out the top five with 23.

2022 Eastern Conference Finals Mason Dixon
Mason-Dixon Dragway

Special Award Winners

Special-award winners were Maddie Head (Best Appearing Car), Shawn Nardi (Best Engineered Car), Mason-Dixon Dragway (Best Appearing Team), and Huntsville Dragway (Team Spirit). Best Reaction Time awards went to Sadie McDaniel (6-9), Mallory Dietz (10), Dylan Carr (11), Jace Enseault (12), Hunter Craig (13), Head (14), Anna Canfield (15), and Katherine Craft (16-17). Drivers receiving Closet to Dial trophies were Madison Boyd (6-9), Paisley Anderson (10), Daniel Pettit (11), Blake Toler (12), Carleigh Garceau (13), Byerly (14), Patience Carrier (15), and Sebastian Hickey (16-17).

Congratulations to all winners and finalists from the 2022 NHRA RightTrailers Eastern Conference Finals.

For more NHRA news from DragChamp, click here.

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