It begins with the 37th Annual Spring Warm-Up, which is now two days rather than one day, April 28-29, followed by the 12th Annual Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser, which is billed as the largest NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in the country, May 18-20.
Super Summit, featuring cars shined up to show and souped up to go, is June 8-9, and the 12th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, with everything from Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars to fireworks, is June 21-24.
The Cometic Gasket Halloween Classic XLV presented by Harland Sharp will be Oct. 13-21, 2018 at Summit Motorsports Park – a week earlier than usual – and it’s poised to feature even more than the 1,200 entries of this year’s event, and even more tricks, treats and titillating racing.
“In an attempt to capitalize on what has historically been a warmer week, we’re moving the Halloween Classic up one week earlier in October,” said Bill Bader, Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. “With my luck, it will probably snow.”
Cometic Gasket is a leading worldwide supplier of gaskets and engine sealing solutions for the automotive performance, powersports, original equipment, marine and remanufactured engine industries.
As part of the arrangement, Cometic Gasket will be the title sponsor for Summit Motorsports Park’s popular Halloween Classic presented by Harland Sharp, a week-long extravaganza featuring more than 1,300 race cars, costume contests, games, trick-or-treating, music and more. This year’s event, the 44th annual, will be Oct. 22-29.
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.”