- Published on Saturday, 20 April 2013 01:25
Spring Warmup stretches and flexes the 2013 season for fun.
NORWALK, Ohio – You’ve earned the right to call yourselves hard core drag racers.
You thumbed your nose at fickle, undependable Ohio weather and shopped, swapped and mashed gas in 40-degree temperatures with snowflakes!
And might we add, you called that fun!
And it was. It’s great to see you again at the Spring Warmup on April 20, 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. Welcome back!
At least one racer didn’t mind the overcast skies.
Kevin Comer, Fostoria, Ohio, packs a ray of sunshine everywhere he races his bright yellow 1957 Chevy 210 Sedan.
“I’ve had it 30 years,” Kevin Comer said. “It’s my first car. I got it when I was 16, I’m going to be 50.”
And who said guys don’t like to shop!
The Budweiser pits witnessed a whole bunch of serious chin scratching and wallet stretching at booths specializing in everything automotive, new and used.
John Fondale, Medina, Ohio, parks his 1968 Chevelle every couple of years to pay attention to his swap meet booth.
Nearby, Paul Gearhart, Lodi, Ohio, caught another case of the racing bug.
“I haven’t raced for awhile, but I’m getting back into it,” Paul Gearhart said. “I’m building a 2000 Trans Am, a tube chassis car.”
Digging in a plastic tub, Caeden Pfeifer showed his dad, Darren Pfeifer, Bucyrus, Ohio, how persistence finds the best hot rods.
“Caeden turns 11 tomorrow,” Darren Pfeifer said. “We come up here every year for his birthday.”
Vendor Mike Floeter, Howell, Mich., parked his 1968 Camaro to focus on selling, a ritual he follows every year.
“It’s great,” Mike Floeter said. “You guys always do a good job.”
Some new 2013 events bring Mike Floeter back to Summit Motorsports Park for more fun.
“I’m going to do the Renegade series here, and the new Shakedown here, and the Halloween Classic,” Mike Floeter said.
Dan Medice, from western Pennsylvania, arrived at 7:30 a.m. to set up his first swap meet booth at Summit Motorsports Park. Snow flurries caused reflection.
“I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’” Dan Medice said. “I’m selling some stuff. We had a bunch of old dragster parts. Those sold pretty well.”
Head and valve cover spacers manufactured by Dan Medice stopped browsers for a double take, too.
Keith Bartlett, Ashtabula, Ohio, sold tires, engine stands and racing parts.
With him, Carl West added 30 years of experience racing an alcohol Funny Car, "The Rogue."
For the last six years, Carl West ran two cars named, “Untouchable:” a nitro nostalgia Funny Car, and a Fuel Altered.
Curt Roberts, Bellevue, Ohio, sat on a trailer during his first time selling at this swap meet, though he frequents flea markets and swap meets often.
“Cold,” Curt Roberts said. “It’s OK. I have fun.”
On the dragstrip Devin Potter, 18, Huron, Ohio, a freshman high performance major at the University of Northwestern Ohio, mashed gas the old fashioned way, in his grandfather’s blue 1948 Studebaker Starlight Coupe.
“He ran that car at the High School Nationals last year,” said Frank Potter, Berlin Heights, Ohio, retired from the Ford Motor Co. “That’s an old drag car. That car was built years and years ago for drag racing. It’s got a Chevy engine. It’s still got a lot of drag car stuff on it. It’s just a fun car to drive.”
Frank Potter found the Studebaker in Parkersburg, W.Va. He intends to pass it down to Devin, and enjoys the time they spend together with the shared interest in the old car.
“I’ve had it for a couple years,” Frank Potter said. “I drive that one more than I do anything else I’ve got. I haven’t done hardly anything to it since I got it. We’ll probably restore it here in the next year or two. Right now it’s just fun driving it.”
Watching the track action from the retaining wall by the water box, Jessica Larson, 14, Holly, Mich., wasn’t sure about her first visit to Summit Motorsports Park.
“We’ll find her a ride,” said Robert Gibson, Waterford, Mich., who raced before a motorcycle accident.
Shane Gibson, 9, Robert’s son, hopes to add a Junior Dragster to his list of motorized vehicles, which includes motorcycles and go carts.
“He’s been coming here since he was five years old,” Robert Gibson said, adding every year their group called, “the Banner People,” claims Campsite 21 for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Auto Plus Night Under Fire presented by Kelly Services, and Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser.
Steve Seredich, Strongsville, Ohio, staged a red, orange and black dragster painted by Mike Kubiak.
“I had it, someone crashed into me,” Steve Seredich said. “Got it back together at the end of last year for a couple of races, and now I’m ready to go.”
Steve Seredich and his brother own Paramount Security, a security alarm company for homes and small businesses.
“Years ago I was a two-time track champion out here in Pro,” Steve Seredich said. “I had a 1969 Dodge Dart. I sold it. I wish I still had it.”
Nearby, Tom Cuson, New London, Ohio, lined up in a 1972 turquoise and Wimbledon white Chevy Custom C-10 with a stock 350 motor.
“I’ve had it 25 years,” Tom Cuson said. “It was the first truck I actually drove. We haven’t raced for a few years, so we figured we might get back into it.”