Mario Gonzalez wins the DragChamp Jr. Racer Rookie of the Year title presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance
01/25/23 – Welcome to the 2022 DragChamp Jr. Racer Rookie of the Year Top 10 List presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance. This week we crown the 2022 Jr. Racer Rookie of the Year!
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DragChamp Jr. Racer Top 10 List
1 – Mario Gonzalez
Mario Gonzalez jumped head first into 7.90 racing last season and excelled. Racing against kids that have competed for years, Mario over performed beginning with his very first race. There he made his way to the quarterfinals at the Great American New Years race. From there Mario consistently drove both ends of the track like a pro which propelled him to a $1,000 victory in March at the Southern Big Buck Nationals. He continued to compete against talented fields and by the summer, Mario went on the road with the Rufenacht family. He earned a runner-up finish at the NHRA Western Conference Finals and the NHRA Division 4 Jr. ET Finals. Mario is a bright, upcoming star as evidenced by his natural ability to drill the tree and drive the stripe with the best racers in the country.
2 – Hutchinson Harger
Hutch Harger is another young racer with a bright future. In his first season behind the wheel Hutch won five times in 10 finals. This included all-run events against much older, more experienced kids. Hutch made the semifinals at the CP Racing Jr. $10K in Dallas and was on the winning team in at the BMP Thanksgiving Jr. Nationals $5K Team race.
3 – Titus Wolfe
Titus Wolfe is third on the Top 10 after winning five times in eight final rounds last season. Wolfe began racing in February of 2022.
4 – Alissa Fargo
Alissa Fargo started in the 8.90 class last season. She won 4 times in 5 finals which culminated with in a 5th place points finish at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
5 – Will Hager
Will Hager won the NHRA Division 3 6-9 championship in his first season. Hager won multiple races on the season at finished 4th at Jeffers Motorsports Park in the all-run class. According to his dad, Will always goes rounds and win or lose keeps a very positive attitude, as well as keeps great grades in school. He also plays the drums as well as travel baseball, and does well in both.
6 – Leighton Kreyer
Leighton Kreyer in his first full year finished 5th in points at Byron Dragway out of 45 kids. He went to 7 finals and won on 2 occasions. Leighton also earned a runner-up in the 6-9 year old final at Indy for the Midwest Jr. Super Series.
7 – Clay Coffey
9 year old Clay Coffey finished 3rd in points at Bristol Dragway in his first year of competition. He earned Div. 1 & 2 wins, swept the weekend taking home the Tennessee state championship trophy, and made 4 finals & 6 semifinals. Clay also finished 2nd in points at Wilkesboro Dragway.
8 – Greyson Hagood
In his first full racing season Greyson made a number of quarterfinal appearances, 5 semifinals, and 4 finals. He was the House of Smoke “Battle at the Beach” 2022 WINNER, Christmas on the Coast participant, and Halloween Spooktacular participant. According to his mother, “he is obsessed with the sport and is his own worst critic. He strives every race to get better. Being deaf does not limit him at all, it fuels his fire. He chooses not to wear his cochlear implants while he races because he wants it to be him, his car, the tree, & the finish line.”
9 – Giovonni Oliver
Giovonni Oliver enjoyed a successful first season by making seven final round appearances. He won two Wally’s on the season and finished 2nd in the NHRA National Open series.
9 – Brayden Kelly
After picking up a Jr. in June, Brayden Kelly raced to five finals during the remainder of the racing season and also earned his first event victory. Brayden finished 6th at Elk Creek in 2022.
10 – Maddox Lockhart
Maddox Lockhart is following in his famous father’s footsteps as he begins his racing career. In his first season, the 5 year old won twice in three finals and finished 7th in points at Gleason.
10 – Luke Hutchinson
7 year old Luke Hutchinson finished 2nd in the points at Bristol Dragway with 1 win,v6 runner-ups, and 5 semi’s. According to his family, all Luke thinks about is drag racing. He wakes up talking about it and goes to sleep talking about it. He is looking forward to running the Division 2 points as well as Bristol points races.
10 – Maddie Winkle
7 year old Maddie Winkle finished 4th in points in her first season at MotorMile Dragway. Maddie competed in the all-run field which pitted her against kids that were much older and more experienced. Even so, Maddie made two final round appearances to propel her to a top 5 points finish.
10 – Aurelia Camarena
Aurelia Camarena endured a crashed racecar to come back and post some great finishes in her first season. Camarena won a big money race at Albuquerque Dragway while also posted some late round finishes. Even after missing 3 races, she finished 12th in points.
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And remember, look for our DragChamp Jr. Top 10 List nominations Facebook post every Monday evening. You can nominate your favorites in the comments of the post for consideration on the list.
If you nominate a racer, please include their name, their accomplishment, which track(s), and a winners circle photo. Some racers have missed the list because we didn’t have enough information and couldn’t find anything online.
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