- Published on Sunday, 28 April 2013 00:44
Fans fill the track and meet the stars of the show.
NORWALK, Ohio – Of course we launched the 2013 Golden Anniversary season of Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio with a retro event that ended the evening fire show with Bader family signature fireworks!
At the Funny Car Fox Hunt on April 27, 2013 we also invited fans onto the race track to meet the stars, and raced Bear Motorsports Junior Dragsters presented by Wiseco as part of the Jet Dragster and nostalgia Funny Car fire shows.
Then local points racers in the Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series continued to race until about 3:30 a.m.
Thank you for joining us!
Speaking of the courageous entertainment lineup, Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park, described nostalgia Funny Cars.
“In the ‘70s and ‘80s, these cars were not billboards; they were race cars with attitude,” said Bill Bader Jr. “And they had people with attitude driving them.”
Dennis Salzwimmer, director of the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit, said nostalgia Funny Cars must show period correct bodies with names.
“We’ve had a lot of fun every year bringing our shows to the tracks,” Dennis Salzwimmer said. “Every year it’s more exciting. You’re going to see a great show tonight. We have some burnout kings...”
Bill Bader Jr. said Funny Cars exude a mystique not found in other race cars.
“Without question the alcohol Funny Car is the most difficult category,” Bill Bader Jr. said. “These aren’t for the weak of heart.”
Dennis Salzwimmer agreed, “You get in it and you don’t know what kind of attitude it’s going to have tonight.”
Speaking of attitude, Dazed and Confused, driven by Jerry Streb, and Old and Fuelish, driven by John DeCort, pulled side-by-side smokey burnouts to the finish line, then cut down seven-second runs.
Then Ron Ooms, driving the Streaker’s Ride 1969 Camaro, blistered the track in the first Funny Car six-second pass of the evening.
Jill Canuso, Pottstown, Pa., presented awards to 2012 Champions of the Mr. Gasket $50,000 Super Series during prerace ceremonies, and wowed the crowd with her first pass of the 2013 season in the Hanna Motorsports Queen of Diamonds Jet Dragster at 5.43 seconds in the quarter mile and 288 mph.
For another fan treat, the Senile Delinquents, a nostalgia Top Fuel front engine dragster, served up heart-pounding licensing runs by Kenny Vanderpool, Kent, Ohio.
For nine years Denny Corso, Kent, Ohio, owned the Senile Delinquents, which Prostreet Chassis, Norton, Ohio, built in 2004.
“We have four or five races this year,” Denny Corso said. “This is our favorite place to come. We get treated so well here.”
The Gunslinger, a 2010 Pridemore American-made Nitro Harley-Davidson motorcycle, hit 177 mph at the eighth mile, and turned in a 7.22-second elapsed time in the quarter mile.
At the Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser May 17-19, 2013 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, about a dozen Nitro Harley-Davidsons compete in a new NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series, said Bill Bader Jr.
Fans praised the entertainment at the Funny Car Fox Hunt and the Fan Fest.
“Awesome,” said Emalee Dudley, 17, Mt. Gilead, Ohio, who graduates from high school this year. Emalee’s favorite is Jill Canuso.
“We came to the Cavalcade of Stars last year,” Emalee Dudley said. “My birthday is May 18. (Connor McKirgan) brought me for my birthday last year. We’re coming back again this year.”
Nitro tops the list of faves for Connor McKirgan, 17, Mt. Gilead, Ohio, along with the Fan Fest.
“It’s pretty cool,” Connor McKirgan said. “I’ve been to a couple like that, and I love them.”
Nick Eberflus, 16, Montpelier, Ohio, praised the Fan Fest, and chose dragsters as his favorite.
“I love it,” said Kevin Sallee, 47, Toledo, Ohio. “Love it every year. I’ve been racing since ’93, Pro Malibu.”
Richie Sallee, 25, Toledo, Ohio, doesn’t race, he said, “I want to though.”
Jessica McLaughlin, Amherst, Ohio, said her husband lines up in the ranks of huge race fans. But even she enjoyed the Fan Fest.
“It’s pretty cool looking at everything,” Jessica McLaughlin said. “I’ve never been on the race track before.”
Bill Galloway, Tallmadge, Ohio, a den leader in Cub Scout Pack 3361, who attended in uniform, liked the Funny Car Fox Hunt Fan Fest, too.
“It’s fun,” Bill Galloway said. “It’s the first time most of these kids have been here, and they want to come back.”
Dustin Gibson, Tallmadge, Ohio, the cubmaster for Pack 3361, said about 35 people with the pack attended the Funny Car Fox Hunt.
“The kids love it,” Dustin Gibson said. “We’re really enjoying ourselves. And we really want to thank Mr. Bader for the tickets he sent us. We’re having a great time.”
Ed Neal, Akron, Ohio, a Bear den leader of boys ages eight and nine, organized the trip to Summit Motorsports Park.
“This is a whole new opportunity that we don’t normally do,” Ed Neal said. “I wish you could see the look on the boys’ faces when the cars start off the line.”
“We look forward to coming back again next year,” Dustin Gibson said.
During the prerace ceremony, a United States Army Color Guard presented the flags, while Katie Gorsuch, a senior at Edison High School, sang the National Anthem.
Racers for Christ Chaplain Hugh Goodale prayed for God’s blessing and protection on the racers, the guests and the Bader family.
In the Hanna Motorsports Queen of Diamonds pit, Chris White, Toledo, Ohio, showed the Jet Dragster to his grandson, Christian Stiles, nine, Toledo, visiting Summit Motorsports Park for the first time.
“It was cool,” Christian Stiles said.
“I come here every year for Night Under Fire and Nationals,” Chris White said, adding that he doesn’t race. “I used to race motorcycles, though. I have a 2000 Corvette now I drive to the track.”
Dave, Collin and Logan Phillips, Paynesville, Ohio, and Isaac Wylie, Lisbon, Ohio, walked through the staging lanes carrying toy dragsters.
“We just came to see the cars,” Dave Phillips said. “We were invited up by Kelly Services, and we’d like to give a big thank you to Kelly Services.”
Sandy Osborne, North Ridgeville, Ohio, sat with her son, Shane, seven, in the grandstands to watch the Mr. Gasket $53,100 Super Series.
“Our favorite thing is his daddy racing,” Sandy Osborne said of her husband, Gary Osborne, driving the Osborne Racing 1974 Plymouth Road Runner. “Shane is here to cheer him on.”