County Fair with a Nitro Flair
The county fair feeling with nitro flair, the Summit Motorsports Park harkens to a time of how drag racing used to be. The unique and splendid Ohio vista of speed and greenery combine to make it a weekend most fans will never forget.
Track owner, Bill Bader makes sure that happens.
The Summit Motorsports Park has an individuality that racers look forward to coming to every year. The courteous staff is about accommodating people and offering a fun time to everyone.
SMP’s signature feature is getting a pound of ice cream for one dollar. The fans flock in droves waiting their turn and that’s just the start.
The track concessions are second-to-none. It’s a potpourri featuring the best hotdogs, hamburgers, French fries, pizza, cotton candy, and if you walk out hungry, it’s your own fault. The track prides itself on service.
Don’t just take my word for it. I’ll let the racers tell you.
“We’re definitely looking forward to getting to Norwalk. It’s one place we love going to every year with the Bader family and their staff doing everything they can to make it a tremendous experience for both the racers and the fans. There’s a lot of good karma for us at that racetrack, which could be exactly what the doctor ordered. We’re ready to get back on the winning track.” Greg Anderson
“I’ve got to lose some weight this week so I can stock up on some ice cream when I get there and I know this might not sound too exciting, but I will fill the freezer in the motorhome with vanilla – plain-old vanilla because vanilla’s good!”
"The Bader family is great. They're a lot like our family in that they truly love the sport and have dedicated themselves to make it the best it can be. They put on a great show for the fans and it's just a fun atmosphere at a beautiful complex. I drive myself up there and we always try to find time for Cedar Point (amusement park) for some goofing off. The whole weekend has a nice, laidback feeling to it and you need that sometimes.
“I'm looking forward to racing at Norwalk because I love the track and the fans. We're hoping for a hot racetrack where our Snap-on Funny Car runs fast. The Bader family, who run the track, are always thinking of the fans and racers and that's why we like running there.” Cruz Pedregon
Summit Racing Motorsports Park also hosts the K&N Filters Horsepower Challenge for the best eight Pro Stock race cars in the country and a fortunate fan will take home a 2011 Ford Explorer.
The pairings heading into Saturday’s special event are Jason Line vs. Erica Enders; Allen Johnson vs. Shane Gray; Mike Edwards vs. Roger Brogdon; and Greg Anderson vs. Ron Krisher. The top four have lane choice in the first round of eliminations. The winner claims $50K and the runner-up gets $10K.
Greg Anderson is the defending Pro Stock champion of both the Horsepower Challenge and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
Top Fuel’s Larry Dixon is going for the three-peat performance in Norwalk. He’s won the last two races there and his crew has won the last three out of four when you count their time being associated with Don Schumacher Racing taking Tony Schumacher to his win there in 2007.
Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals at five of the nine races this season including four of the last six races. He has one win in three final-round appearances this season and is fresh off his recent win at Raceway Park.
“I’m certainly looking forward to Norwalk, said Dixon. “We’ve won the last two races there, and we have a lot of good data from those races. We’ll just go in there and try our best again. We race 1,000 feet at all the racetracks, but what makes certain teams do better at some than others? I really think it has to do with the weather conditions and the time of year we go there.
“Alan (team manager Alan Johnson) and Jason (crew chief Jason McCulloch) seem to have a setup that works well in warm weather. It’s no different than the setups that Dick LaHaie used in cars I’ve driven in the past. There are tuners that seem to do better in some conditions than others. Dick was known for being able to get a car down the track in not-so-perfect conditions. Alan Johnson and Jason McCulloch have that same knack for success in these types of conditions.”
Tim Wilkerson is returning to Norwalk as defending Funny Car champion and will have to deal with the John Force Racing brigade of Mike Neff and Robert Hight and DSR’s Jack Beckman, who have been dominating the ranks in the first half of the season.
“We’re coming to Summit Racing’s event, and it’s their home race at a track that has their name on it, so our goal is to just stay focused and do what we’re doing,” said Wilkerson. “If we just run like that, good things will happen. If good things happen, there’s no reason we can’t repeat what we did last year, although I’d like to do it on a nice dry day and not have to beat the weather and John Force all at the same time.”
Greg Anderson did the double up last year and there’s not any reason he couldn’t repeat as champion.
“Our weekend in Norwalk last year was just one of those special moments,” said Anderson. “We had gone into the weekend not running well and hoping not to embarrass ourselves in front of everyone from Summit. Fortunately, we learned a few things in the week leading up to the race and ended up winning both the K&N Horsepower Challenge on Saturday and the Summit race on Sunday. That proved to be the spark we needed, kick starting our season and putting us on the road that would bring us the championship.
“As strange as it may sound, we seem to be going into Norwalk in the same type of situation this year, struggling with my race car, trying to get it to perform. We’ve been racking our brains trying to come up with a solution that has so far evaded us, but know we’re one tick away from having something really good. I hope that history will repeat itself and we can get the job done in Norwalk. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.”
Matt Smith is the Pro Stock Motorcycle champion from last year. He won the last race for the two-wheelers in Englishtown’s Raceway Park and it’s normally about this time of the season, he comes into his own. Although, he recently learned the news his Al-Anabi sponsorship would not continue.
Officials of the Al-Anabi Racing organization notified Smith, of King, NC, they were pulling his sponsorship effective immediately.
“I got a call this past week from the Al-Anabi Racing Organization stating that they were done with me and many other teams,” Smith said in a prepared statement. “I’m not sure exactly what is going on, but I do know that we now have no sponsor. I am sure there will be more details to come, but that’s all I know at this point.”
The first lady of drag racing, the lovely Shirley Muldowney will be the grand marshal for the race in commemoration of NHRA’s 60th anniversary season and will give the command on Sunday
Qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals begins on Friday, June 24 at 4:15 p.m. EDT.
- K&N Pro Series West News & Notes: Sonoma Holmes Hopes To Finally Taste Victory At Sonoma Raceway DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Eric...
- Rick Hendrick said on Sunday that he’s “close” to announcing a new sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his No. 88 NASCAR Sprint...
- ANN ARBOR, Mich. Is Sunday’s Greg Biffle victory a sign of Ford Racing’s resurgence? Certainly, the question of the...