NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Champions crowned at JDRL Eastern Conference Finals in Bristol

Camden Teel headlined the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals presented by Mike Bos Chassis Craft, outlasting the 6-9 age group to sweep the 2021 Conference Finals events in that category
17 Jul 2021
Candida Benson, Jr. Dragster Contributor
Camden Teel Jr. Dragster

Camden Teel made it a clean sweep of 2021 Conference Finals events when he outlasted the field in the 6-9 age group at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Eastern Conference Finals presented by Mike Bos Chassis Craft. Teel added the Eastern Conference Finals Wally to the one he won at the Western Conference Finals in June. Ava Smith (age 10), Ava Ward (11), Morgan Harp (12), Phillip Radford (13), Gage Wilson (14), Ian Burt (15), Gage Rachford (16-17), and Atlanta Dragway Team 1 (team) were also victorious at Bristol Dragway.

Teel became the first driver to ever win both Conference Finals events in the same year when he outlasted Autumn Wright in the 6-9 age bracket. Teel got off the starting line first in the final turned the advantage into a 12.227 (12.18 dial) to 11.917 (11.90) win against Wright.

In the 10-year-old class final, Myles Heatherly was better at the Tree, but he carried too much momentum on the top end and broke out with an 8.919 (8.94). That opened the door for Smith, who turned on the win light with an 8.993 (8.95).

Ward paired a .047 light with an 8.954 (8.94) to claim victory in the 11-year-old bracket final against Ava Badgett, who broke out with an 8.867 (8.90).

Harp picked up his second Eastern Conference Finals championship, adding this year’s 12-year-old title to the one he earned in the 10-year-old class in 2019. Harp got a .014 to .082 lead at the Tree in the final and used the advantage to defeat Dylan MacNicol, 8.950 (8.92) to 8.895 (8.92).

Radford got the automatic nod in the 13-year-old age-group final when 2020 Eastern Conference Finals champ Kade Renoll fouled by .007-second. That turned on the win light in the lane of Radford, who celebrated with a 7.932 (7.92) victory lap.

Former Western Conference Finals champion Wilson added an Eastern Conference Finals Wally to his trophy case when he won a tight match with Gavin Shoemaker in the 14-year-old title round. Shoemaker had a slight edge on the starting line, .052 to .055, but he broke out with an 8.092 (8.10). Wilson ran right on his 7.90 dial to turn on the win light.

The 15-year-old final was another close battle with Burt edging out fellow Ohio racer Kaitlyn Morgan. After getting a slight .004-second advantage at the Tree, Burt eased his entry to a 7.935 (7.91) to defeat Morgan, who broke out by .001-second.

The 16-17 title round was decided at the starting line when Addyson Owen left .007-second too soon, turning on Rachford’s win light. Rachford cut a .004 light and ran a 7.893 (7.93) on his way to victory.

Atlanta Dragway Team 1 tallied the most points during eliminations to claim the 2021 team championship.

Special-awards winners were Christian Handwerk (Best Appearing Car), James Libby (Best Engineered Car), Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park (Best Appearing Team), and Huntsville Dragway (Team Spirit).


Camden Teel, Newcastle, Okla., 0.103, 12.227 (12.18 dial) def.
Autumn Wright, Blountville, Tenn., 0.165, 11.917 (11.90)

Ava Smith, Taylorsville, Ky., 0.097, 8.993 (8.95) def.
Myles Heatherly, Inman, S.C., 0.065, 8.919 (8.94)

Ava Ward, Anderson, S.C., 0.047, 8.954 (8.94) def.
Ava Badgett, Mount Airy, N.C., 0.128, 8.867 (8.90)

Morgan Harp, Souderton, Pa., 0.014, 8.950 (8.92) def.
Dylan MacNicol, North Port, Fla., 0.082, 8.895 (8.92)

Phillip Radford, Riner, Va., 0.017, 7.932 (7.92) def.
Kade Renoll, El Mirage, Ariz., -0.007, 7.946 (7.90)

Gage Wilson, Oklahoma City, Okla., 0.055, 7.905 (7.90) def.
Gavin Shoemaker, Hunlockcreek, Pa., 0.052, 8.092 (8.10)

Ian Burt, Grove City, Ohio, 0.040, 7.935 (7.91) def.
Kaitlyn Morgan, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, 0.044, 7.939 (7.94)

Gage Rachford, California, Ky., 0.004, 7.893 (7.93) def.
Addyson Owen, Corsicana, Texas, -0.007, 7.938 (7.93)