The NHRA drag racing returned to America’s Racetrack, Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio as fans packed the stands for the NHRA Summit Nationals. The stars and cars produced incredible action that kept everyone entertained for four days of amazing racing.
Last year, track owner Bill Bader made the difficult decision to cancel racing due to Covid-19, but famous track is back in full force and it didn’t miss a beat during our stay.
Attending a race at Summit Motorsports Park is a true experience. The facility is manicured, has great food, a friendly staff, and most importantly, an amazing racing surface. Of course there’s the delicious Velvet ice cream that is served at $1-per-pound! You read that correctly, and we pushed the calorie count way up with multiple scoops of Mint Chocolate Chip and Moose Tracks over the weekend.
While the ice cream was ice cold, the racing was red hot. NHRA mixed up the action with a multitude of sportsman and professional categories and as a special treat, fans enjoyed exhibitions racing the Nostalgia Pro Stockers, supercharged Gassers, and at 89 years old, Bob Motz lit up the night with his jet-powered Kenworth.
Those unpredictable Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown machines were also on the card, producing 7-second elapsed times on small 9-inch tires. With 27 entries for 16 spots, and Dodge, Chevy and Ford cars in competition, the FSS class is one of the favorites. The cars utilize supercharged engines based around production combinations and they produce upwards of 1,400 horsepower.
First-time winner Chuck Watson II came from the second qualified spot to take the win over FSS standout Bill Skillman. Skillman had a slight advantage on the tree (.055 to .067), but Watson II out powered Skillman
(7.76 to 7.80) in the all-Cobra Jet Mustang final. The win was emotional for Watson II, as his father Chuck Watson Sr., who recently passed away, won his first and only NHRA race four years earlier at the same event.
Another notable winner was Cruz Pedregon, who took the Funny Car championship, driving his Snap-On Dodge to his first win since 2018. Pedregon defeated Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight, Alexis DeJoria and then Bob Tasca III in the final. The Cruiser used his driving prowess, dropping a .053 light on Tasca III, who
was .100, which allowed his slower 3.95 at 324 mph pass to get to the line ahead of Tasca III’s quicker 3.91 at 332 mph.
Another holeshot win came in Pro Stock, where the sharp Erica Enders dropped a .005 light on Greg Anderson, who was .030. The advantage was what Enders needed for her 6.606 at 205 mph to beat Anderson’s 6.594 at 206 mph.
If there’s one thing we love about Summit Motorsports Park, aside from the ice cream, it’s the multiple vantage points offered to fans and we also took advantage for our photography. You can get down by the track, or go way up in the stands to see all the action. The track offers various VIP options along with a set of grandstands way down by the stripe for those who prefer to feel the top speed of the cars. There is a connected area for camping, which is a common sight at virtually any event at the track and as always, fans can walk the pits and get up close and personal to see how the cars are prepped for each round.