WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- As the official Junior Dragster of the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), Half Scale Dragsters is a major supporter of IHRA junior dragster competitors through the IHRA contingency program.
Half Scale Dragsters based in Phillipsburg, N.J., is also building the most prestigious prize in junior drag racing awarded to the 2019 IHRA Summit SuperSeries Junior Dragster Champion October 17-19, at Memphis International Raceway, Millington, Tenn.
We sit down with Half Scale Dragster owner Randy Ditzel as he explains the history of Half Scale Dragsters, the differences amongst the junior dragsters he builds and why it is important to them to support the future of drag racing.
IHRA: Half Scale Dragsters opened its doors in 1992 in Phillipsburg, N.J., why was it important to you to build a junior dragster than what was on the market at the current time?
Randy Ditzel: Half Scale built the first Jr. Dragster in 1992. At that time Randy was building full size drag cars and was approached by Vinnie Napp with the idea of Junior Drag Racing. The cars made their debut at the Summer Nationals at Englishtown, N.J. Half Scale always intended for the Junior Dragsters to be real race cars and not a child’s toy. Junior Drag Racing is an opportunity for families to race together and involve everyone in the family.
IHRA: Half Scale Dragsters has four types of dragsters that customers can choose to build, what are the differences between each dragster? In addition, is there a specific dragsters parents should invest in for their children as they start racing depending on their age?
Randy Ditzel: The entry level car for the younger drivers is the Jr. Fueler. This car is designed for smaller drivers, it is 16” wide and has a shorter wheel base and wider rear tread width.
The Extreme Chassis is our hard-tail bracket car. This car is available from 18”-24” wide, has a fully adjustable seat and fill fit over a 6 ft. driver.
The Swing Arm Chassis is our suspension car. This car is also available from 18”-24” wide and also have the fully adjustable seat. This style chassis has many advantages some of which are bumpy race tracks, poor traction, and when using the brakes on the top end.
Both the Extreme Chassis and the Swing Arm Chassis are excellent bracket cars.
The Outlaw 330 Chassis is strictly built for heads up racing. This car includes light weight components and everything necessary for heads up racing.
IHRA: As the Junior Dragster market evolves, what are trends you have noticed in your product line?
Randy Ditzel: As the market evolves, we have noticed a need to expand the size range of our cars, in 1992 the average car was 16” wide. Today most of the cars we build are 20” or larger. Also, the customer base seems to want “bling”, lights, dashes, wings, cooling system, etc., on cars we are building.
IHRA: As an IHRA Junior Dragster Contingency partner, why is it important to you to support the future of drag racing?
Randy Ditzel: Drag Racing is not only our business but our passion. We feel as though the junior drivers are the future of the sport, and this sport allows children to be at the track with their parents racing.
For more information about Half Scale Dragsters and to browse the various parts sold and cars they build visit halfscale.com or call (908) 213-0111.