Summit Motorsports Park Not Opening In 2020

Summit Motorsports Park President Bill Bader, Jr.issued the following statement last night, confirming that his track would remain closed in 2020 in response to challenges presented by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

While planning what was to be a standout season of racing at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, the Coronavirus hit. Our country halted and hunkered down, and yet, I was hopeful that I would be able to open, as soon as possible, the facility that has been the source of pride and passion for my family for more than 50 years.
I was prepared to do whatever I needed to do to ensure that every guest who came through our gates would be safe while still experiencing everything that has helped Summit Motorsports Park stand out in the motorsports industry for so many years. I was eager to present the fast cars and fireworks, the entertainment and excitement, and most of all, “The Norwalk Experience.” My team wanted the same. I was confident that this year’s offerings, including the highly anticipated 43rd Annual Kelly Night Under Fire, would help us reach record attendance as we have so many times before. But it was becoming apparent that I was not going to be able to accomplish all of that, as our country was still so adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
While faced with trying to produce events that would not, under current circumstances, hold up to the high standards that I set years ago when I took over the family business from my father, I was well aware that we had already lost 83 percent of our revenue for the year, and we wouldn’t be able to make the money we need to make to successfully sustain operations if we opened. In fact, we would lose money, and I can’t responsibly take that financial risk. So I decided that I owed it to Summit Motorsports Park racers, race fans, sponsors and supporters to cancel this season, and start planning to make the 2021 season the most magnificent and monumental yet. The majority of my team — whom, like you, I consider to be family — is laid off, so please be patient as I work to regroup and plan a most remarkable rebound that will show racers, race fans, sponsors and supporters why we’re America’s Racetrack.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support and for standing by me, my family, my team and Summit Motorsports Park in these turbulent and trying times. Here’s to a tremendous 2021 together.
May God Bless you and your family, and God Bless America!

Earlier: According to trusted industry sources, the Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, one of drag racing’s most prosperous facilities that in the eyes of many serves as the bar upon which all other dragstrips are measured, will not open its gates in 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic that has precluded it from conducting business as usual in the state. Despite his very public and popular proclamation in April that he was “not asking for permission, we are opening,” track President Bill Bader, Jr. and his team have cancelled many of its annual staples, including the Blue Suede Cruise, the Pontiac Nationals, No Box Bonanza, Monster Mopar Weekend, and the Nostalgia Drag Racing League event. These followed the announcement that the NHRA’s Summit Racing Equipment Nationals would not be held this season, due to aggressive schedule adjustments as a result of the Coronavirus.

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About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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