What Really Goes Into a Jr. Dragster Build?

They may not be airing on ESPN 2 every weekend, but one thing’s for sure, Jr. Dragster competition is one of the best places to get a head start on a drag racing career. Being miles more affordable than a Top Fuel dragster helps a bit too. So what goes into building one? While most are familiar with what these dragsters look like, many have yet to have a real in-depth close up look at what makes them go.

We had a chat with Bill Zietlow about the recent rebuild and upgrade of the Jr. Dragster that’s raced by his daughter Taylor. You can also follow the build thread on the Moparts Forum.

Where does the build begin? As we all know, you can have the biggest baddest engine in the world, but without a well working chassis to put the power through it’s virtually worthless. When Bill and his daughter wanted the best chance to win, they sought after a 2000 Mike Bos Chassis Craft Jr. Dragster. Adding some flames up front and the title of “Wild Thing” on the side gave it some personality. Their old powerplant was a Blockzilla 2.750″ bore with a 3″ stroke, but for some reason just didn’t have quite the grunt the team was seeking, so it was time for a rebuild and upgrade.

The new bullet for this ride is an all new billet ZR 3 Stage 8 from Jr Race Car. Improvements from the old engine include upping the bore to 3″ while retaining the 3″ stroke. Moving the air in and out of the combustion chamber is a .476 lift camshaft. It may be a single cylinder, but these aren’t just souped up lawnmower engines folks. Just for a crazy size comparison, Bill set the motor on top of the biggest one in the shop – an 810″ Titan Hemi:

Taylor usually races at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk,Ohio, but she has made the team for the Eastern Conference Finals in Bristol,TN for the past 2 years. Most recently her team won 2nd place in points and received a silver wally. Hopefully with the help of this new engine the wins will come often and plentiful, good luck Taylor!

Also check out the Gallery below for more pictures:

About the author

Chris Taylor

Chris is an avid drag racing enthusiast. He follows closely anything related to door car series racing and prides himself on finding unique content.
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