Numidia, PA – On Friday August 11th a weather-shortened event and a field of 40-plus tough Junior Dragster competitors was not enough to stop Braylon Kuhn from capturing his first NHRA Division One 13 to 14-year old Jr Dragster Championship. The experienced Jr Dragster driver from Douglassville, PA relied on solid reaction times, a consistent race car, and precision top-end driving skills to slice and dice through six rounds of stiff competition at the Summit Jr Drag Racing League Division Finals contested at Numidia Dragway in Numidia, PA.
Kuhn began his march to the D-1 title with testing on Thursday, bowing out early in the 7.90-index class and the third-round of the Gambler event. The Thursday testing gave the Kuhn Racing team some valuable data to head into Friday’s championship race with confidence. With impending weather approaching, event officials decided to complete the event in one day, which placed additional pressure on teams to efficiently cool down their Jr Dragsters, vital for quick reaction times and consistent performance in this ultra-competitive category.
Eliminations started exceptionally well for Kuhn with good lights and finish line driving. He earned a bye-run in the fourth round by virtue of a good reaction time the round before. The team decided to fire the car up just before the starting line beams and break the beam under power at the green light and back out in an effort to keep the engine cool.
Eventually, Kuhn paired up against a red hot Maddie Stephens in the final. Stephens dialed her car at 7.96-seconds, while Kuhn dialed a 7.90. At the flash of the tree, Stephens gained a significant starting line advantage. However, Kuhn pressured his competitor near the 660-foot timing block finish line to break out, running 7.934-seconds on her 7.96 dial-in, with Kuhn good by 0.016-seconds on his 7.90.
“Heading into the finals, we noticed that Maddie ran a 7.94 about 20-minutes earlier in the semi-finals, which got me thinking they might be holding a few hundredths in that final,” noted Braylon Kuhn, who earned a runner-up finish in the 10 to 11-year old division in 2014 at this event.
“The car was really hot, prior to the finals, so I thought we wouldn’t cut a good light, which eventually happened, so I decided to try and push her under at the top end. Fortunately, our strategy paid off.”
“I need to thank my parents, and Jason Brinckman for being my crew chief on Thursday. They were able to keep our Craw’s Racing Engine running smooth and consistent all weekend,” stated Kuhn. “I also would like to thank Hoosier Tire for their continued support of our program. We’ve been trying very hard to finally win a Division title, and I’m happy to finally break through.
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