Reaching the Summit
Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio is widely known as a showplace for incredible drag racing action. For decades, the pristine facility has given racers and fans a true “experience” providing excellent viewing, tasty food, clean facilities, a sticky track and they’re known for serving up that famous $1.00-per-pound ice cream.
Center stage is the grippy quarter-mile flanked by tall, colorful grandstands that were packed this past weekend as NHRA racers in the Mello Yello series at the Summit Motorsports Nationals battled on track.
NHRA provided fans with a full plate of racing, plus interactive displays on the midway such as the Dodge Demon full-motion drag racing simulator, where anyone could climb behind the wheel and make virtual passes in the newest 800-plus horsepower Challenger.
Fans were treated to the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology Factory Stock Showdown, tire frying supercharged Gassers, jet cars, and Bob Motz insane jet truck that blistered the quarter-mile with a 30-foot flame pouring from the afterburner.
The stars of the NHRA lit up the scoreboards with incredible performances—and not just the pros. Long-time sportsman racers Nick Folk and Jeff Strickland pulled off unlikely double wins, with Folk nailing titles in Super Stock and Super Comp and Strickland winning in Stock Eliminator and Top Dragster.
Seventeen drivers attempted to qualify for the 8-car SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, which is the showcase for Chevy COPO Camaros, Dodge Drag Paks and Ford Performance Cobra Jets. Standout driver and engine builder David Barton secured the pole with his 2017 COPO Camaro running 8.23 at 163 mph, but he was out run in the semi-finals by Chuck Watson Sr. in a 2016 Cobra Jet. In the other semi, Mustang driver Kevin Skinner defeated the COPO of Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders to set up the all-Ford final. Skinner got the jump at the light, but he struggled with traction and Watson Sr. marched by, claiming his first FSS victory and setting low elapsed time of the race with an 8.19 at 165.25 mph. Pro winners were Steve Torrance in Top Fuel, “Fast” Jack Beckman in Funny Car, Bo Butner in Pro Stock and LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Bike.
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