This weekend, NHRA is coming in hot at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, for the 14th running of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. This event did not run in 2020, and that’s a terrible shame because it’s one of the biggest and most enjoyable events on the tour. From ice cream for breakfast (and all day long – IYKYK*) to a spectacular fireworks display at the end of the evening on Friday, the #NorwalkNats sandwiches a ton of spectacular NHRA Sportsman racing into what should be a very fun first weekend of summer.
This year, the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competitors will be treated to two-in-a-row to make up for the super-bummer that was 2020, with the national event in Norwalk followed one week later by Division 3’s first race of the season.
Here are a few things to know ahead of this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
Don’t Miss Friday Night
At the conclusion of Friday’s action, Bob Motz is going to bring his jet-powered Kenworth truck to the starting line. If you have never seen this before, you have not yet lived. From the ominous music to the blazing fire that bursts from the back of this wicked rig before it rockets down the racetrack, it’s a show you’ll be talking about when you’re 87-years-young and it’s “back in my day” story time.
This year’s race will be televised on FOX Sports 1 and FOX, including live final eliminations coverage starting at 2pm (ET) on FOX on Sunday, June 27. Look for the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series show to air on FS2 from 8-9pm (ET) on Thursday, July 8.
Watch NHRA’s Facebook Page
You never know when they’re going to go “Facebook Live” and have been known to do so in the lanes at national events during Sportsman qualifying/time trials or eliminations. Follow NHRA on Facebook.
He Who Reigns
We’ll have a Sportsman overview up shortly, but in the meantime, here are the most recent winners who claimed victory at the 2019 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals:
Top Alcohol Dragster – Troy Coughlin Jr.
Top Alcohol Funny Car – Sean Bellemeur
Super Stock – John DiBartolomeo
Stock – Chuck Beach
Super Comp – Phil Smida
Super Gas – Jeremy Mason
Top Dragster – Danny Nelson
Top Sportsman – Chris Osborn
Factory Stock Showdown – Drew Skillman
It’s Already Happening
This is a four day event, with Sportsman racing beginning on Thursday at 8am. Schedules are posted daily (usually the night before) at DragRaceCentral.com – but they are, of course, subject to change. Here’s what’s on tap for Thursday.
Numbers and Notes
And speaking of DragRace Central, did you know? You can find detailed results all weekend long on their website for every class. Here’s how that works: a reporter is positioned in the tower and watching each run down the racetrack. Said reporter (these days, it’s usually a pretty cool guy called Rick Green) posts the results, along with anything of note pertaining to specific passes, after the round is complete. It’s very cool stuff, and WinLight News uses this website a LOT in stories. The numbers come directly from the timing system, and often you will find cool stats tucked into the summaries of a run. Go here to see what they report from Norwalk.
What a Gas
If you’re in Norwalk, do not miss the midway display and exhibition passes from the ScottRods AA/Gassers and Nostalgia Pro Stock Association. These blast-from-the-past muscly beasts are nostalgia personified, and watching them dry hop and burnout is an instant trip in a time machine. The racing surface at Summit Motorsports Park is particularly adept at making these retro racecars look almost cartoon-like and insanely cool. One burnout and you’ll be hooked, TRUST.
It’s a Family Affair
Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult, so get in your car and get to Summit Motorsports Park this weekend. Suggestion: get each kid a notebook and have them collect autographs from racers in the Pro and Sportsman pits. Notebooks are cheap, autographs are free, and NHRA racers are more accessible than racers in most other forms of motorsports. Make those memories!
Get the Picture?
And finally, post-event you can check out the photos from every category at Auto Imagery. Not only can you cruise through a whole bunch of very cool images of some pretty badass racecars, but you can also purchase them right then and there.
More soon, so stay tuned.
*IYKYK is supposedly what the young folk dish out these days instead of the much more descriptive yet decidedly TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) “if you know, you know.” Whatevs.