While last year’s Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels was one of the most enticing and exhilarating offerings in the event’s long and lofty history, even more action and massive payouts are promised for this year’s event.
It will be Sept. 14-17 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
Categories contested at the ever-growing event include ProLine Pro Mod, Precision Turbo and Engine Outlaw 10.5, Wiseco X275, Speedwire Systems Radial vs. The World, Holbrook Racing Engines Top Sportsman, Callies Pro Street, Team Z Motorsports Ultra Street and Trick Flow Specialties Open Comp and Open Comp 8.5 Shootout.
They are, after all, the ones who listen to the drivers and listen to the cars before tackling whatever it takes to get them from the starting line to the finish line in the finest of forms.
But standing out among all of the stellar crew chiefs who are renowned, respected and revered around the world is Rahn Tobler.
His relationship with racing began more than 40 years ago, and in those four decades, he has earned a reputation for repeatedly reaching for the top – and repeatedly getting there – with various drivers from Funny Car’s Cruz Pedregon and Jack Beckman to Top Fuel’s Shirley Muldowney.
They were there for Funny Car drivers John Force, Del Worsham, Ron Capps, Robert Hight, Cruz Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson, Dale Creasy, Jr. and Jack Wyatt; Chris Darnell and his Shockwave jet engine-powered truck; Sarah Edwards, Scotty Heat, Robert Albertson, Ernie Bogue and their jet engine-powered dragsters; Rich Hanna and Ken Hall and their jet engine-powered Funny Cars and Jim Brewer and his wheelstander.
The Nostalgia Drag Racing League’s Pro 7.0 category and ScottRod’s AA/Gas vehicles also commanded attention.
“Our 40th celebration did not disappoint,” said Bill Bader, Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. “The feedback from our guests has been glowing, and we clearly raised the bar for future years. I could not be more proud of our team. They delivered an incredible evening of entertainment.”
For Hight and his John Force Racing team, the Night Under Fire on Saturday was a chance to out-run seven other Funny Cars and bring home another trophy. And Hight did just that, beating Cruz Pedregon in the final to win the special event for the third time.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re running a foot race: You want to beat these other guys,” Hight said as the smoke cleared from another epic fireworks show at Summit Motorsports Park. “We came here to put a great show on for the fans, but, really, we wanted to win this thing – and we did.”
Ron Capps, who currently has the lead in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car points, is on his way to take part in the 40th Annual Kelly Services Night Under Fire, Saturday, Aug. 12 at Summit Motorsports Park.
“I had always heard about and read about the Night Under Fire, and when I was invited to take part in it for the first time a few years ago, I found out that it was even bigger than I expected, and when (Summit Motorsports Park president) Bill Bader, Jr. says this year’s event will have the best fireworks show ever, I believe it,” said Capps, whose son, Caden, 16, will be at the event with him. “Of course, in addition to the fireworks, there also will be some good side-by-side competition, and I’ll tell you, I want to kick some butt and leave with a Night Under Fire win.”
Championship-winning NHRA Funny Car driver John Force and his John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight will bring a heaping helping of horsepower and heat to the 40th Annual Kelly Services Night Under Fire, this Saturday, Aug. 12, at Summit Motorsports Park.
Right in step – and right in the spotlight – with them will be Funny Car drivers Del Worsham, Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson, Dale Creasy, Jr. and Jack Wyatt, who will do their talking 300 mph at a time.
“We’re excited to be coming back to the Night Under Fire,” said Force. “It’s a great show, and we’re going to pack the house! I love being there with the professionals racing. I’ll be there with the Peak Coolant & Motor Oil Chevrolet, along with Robert Hight, who drives the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet. I’m looking forward to the big fireworks show and all the race cars.”
While Chris Darnell has driven everything from go-karts and motorcycles to sand dragsters and stock cars, he’s famous for flying in the flashy and fiery triple jet engine-powered Shockwave truck at venues across the country.
He says there’s something about the way it soars to 300 mph, and the way it smokes, sounds and shakes that satisfies every one of his senses, and now, he’s preparing to put on a show as part of the highly anticipated 40th Annual Kelly Services Night Under Fire, Aug. 12, 2017 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
Darnell, who lives in Missouri with his wife, Brooke, and daughters, Reese, 9, and Taylor, 7, talked with Summit Motorsports Park about Shockwave, its sizzling performances and what fans can expect when he pulls the brightly-colored behemoth to the starting line at the event expected to draw a capacity crowd.