Bill Bader Jr. Talks About Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit

A heaping helping of horsepower will be served at the Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Sept. 13-16, 2018 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Making sure of that are drivers in Aeromotive Pro Mod, Atomizer Racing Injectors Outlaw 10.5, Speedwire Systems Radial vs. The World, Holbrook Racing Engines Top Sportsman, Wiseco X275, Callies Pro Street, UPR Ultra Street, Holbrook Racing Engines Factory Stock, DXP235 and Trick Flow Specialties Open Comp.

The purse is positively packed at $166,350 across the categories, and pouring on more coals are the G-Force Race Cars/Resolution Racing Services Money Shot, which will see the quickest participating Aeromotive Pro Mod driver receive $5,000 after qualifying, and the Horsepower Wars $10K Drag Shootout. Count on Lee Sebring to call the race, and Kurt Johnson and Total Venue Concepts to team up with the park’s crew to prep the track which recently underwent a $1.6 million reconstruction.

We talked with Summit Motorsports Park president Bill Bader Jr. about the ever-evolving event and everything it has to offer.

Dragzine (DZ): What makes the Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels such a popular event?

Bill Bader Jr.(BBJ): There are many attractive aspects to this event, led by the combination of classes. We have everything from Pro Mod to X275 and Vegas to COPO Camaros. It’s an experience, and if you’re a hardcore race fan and a hardcore door car fan, this event is going to resonate with you. On top of all of that, the Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Mod payout is $66,600, including $40,000 to the winner, and I think that’s one of the richest Pro Mod purses in the country.

DZ: There’s no shortage of on-track drama.

BBJ: This is indeed a drama-filled event that was started at Englishtown and rebuilt at Summit Motorsports Park. Its name is dramatic, and its attitude and competition are dramatic. Racers and race fans get into very heated discussions before, during and after the event. There are on-track incidents and records broken, and that’s all woven into the event’s DNA and it’s all part of the event’s lure. It’s a very special, powerful and emotional event.

DZ: There were many memorable moments from last year’s event. What’s one of your favorites?

BBJ: The first thing I thought of when you asked that question was Kurt Johnson of Total Venue Concepts watering the track when outside temperatures were nearing 90 degrees. It was an attempt to cool it. At first, I thought to myself ‘Why would anyone put water on a track when water on a track is so taboo?’, but it really worked and it really brought the temperature down about ten degrees. While we had unseasonably warm weather at last year’s event, it looks like we’ll have temperatures in the upper 70s to mid-80s this year. There will be opportunities for drivers to make those hero runs, and we’ll have the best equipment money can buy for an exceptional track surface.

DZ: DXP235 and Holbrook Racing Engines Factory Stock are poised to be popular additions to the already impressive line-up of categories.

BBJ: John Sears suggested we add Duck X Productions’ DXP235, and I’m excited about that. I’m also excited about Factory Stock, a class which is really hot right now. Among the COPO Camaros, Challenger Drag Paks and Mustang Cobra Jets in the category, there’s conceptually a level playing field, and it makes all the sense in the world for brand-loyal people who wonder whether the COPO Camaros can beat a Mustang Cobra Jet or vice versa. Honestly, DXP235 and Holbrook Racing Engines Factory Stock join a lot of great classes, and one of my favorites is Holbrook Racing Engines Top Sportsman. That’s probably because it takes me back to the days of the IHRA World Nationals, when we didn’t have a galaxy of stars to sell but we did have an experience to sell, and Top Sportsman drivers made it their mission to rotate the Earth and blow stuff up during qualifying on Friday night to get into the show. The Shakedown at the Summit Holbrook Racing Engines Top Sportsman category has a lot of that feel to it, and that makes it one of the gems of Shakedown at the Summit.

DZ: The Horsepower Wars $10K Drag Shootout, for which teams were given $10,000 to buy, build and race a car in 10 days, is another exciting element to the event. 

BBJ: When James Lawrence of Power Automedia presented the idea to me, I loved it. The genre of Horsepower Wars is a perfect fit for Shakedown at the Summit because Shakedown at the Summit is, in and of itself, a horsepower war with drivers seeing who can put the power to the surface. The participants have all been given budgets, and some help from companies like Summit Racing Equipment, and they’re all trying to figure out how to go fast on those budgets. This event and the Horsepower Wars go together like peanut butter and jelly, or peas and carrots.

Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels winners will pick up $40,000 in Aeromotive Pro Mod, $10,000 in Atomizer Racing Injectors Outlaw 10.5 and Speedwise Systems Radial vs. The World, $7,000 in Holbrook Racing Engines Top Sportsman and Wiseco X275, $5,000 in Callies Pro Street and UPR Ultra Street, $2,500 in Factory Stock and DXP235 and $2,000 in Trick Flow Specialties Open Comp. SpeedVideo will offer a live stream of the event courtesy of presenting sponsor ProCharger, along with COMP Cams, Penn Grade Oil, FuelTech, Moser Engineering, Flying A Motorsports, Doorslammers.com, and Lubrication Specialties. Summit Motorsports Park is at 1300 State Route 18, Norwalk, Ohio. For information, visit  www.summitmotorsportspark.com or call 419-668-5555.

(Photos by Mary Lendzion)

 

About the author

Mary Lendzion

Formerly a writer at the Detroit Free Press, Mary Lendzion writes for Power Automedia, NMCA and NMRA, is the director of media and public relations for Summit Motorsports Park and is happiest in the driver’s seat of her Mustang.
Read My Articles

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