The international reputation of the “Shakedown at the Summit” event was enhanced again last weekend following some impressive finishes by Canadian racers….
Ohio’s Summit Motorsports Park was enveloped with energy and excitement as a great field of American and Canadian drivers delivered nonstop action for fans during the Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels.
On the table was a guaranteed shared purse of $119,000 for disbursement, as well as a set of brass knuckles and cigars tucked inside of a wooden display box featuring the park’s logo.
For the second year in a row, invading Canadian drivers made headlines and scored significantly — including wins in two of the event’s marquee feature class categories; Pro Modified and Outlaw 10.5.
Nineteen drivers showed up to compete in headline Pro Line Racing Outlaw Pro Mod class and in the end for that title, it was two Canadian racers, Paolo Giust (from Osgoode ON) and his ’15 Corvette and Derek Hawker and his ’68 Firebird (Cobyville ON) who were scheduled to meet. Regrettably, the much anticipated match however was anti-climactic with Giust staging and taking the tree and then coasting to victory because Hawker could not make the final round call due to mechanical woes.
For Paolo’s Chew-That Pet Stores sponsored machine it was his 2nd major win of the season — he also won the IHRA Mopar Canadian Nationals at Grand Bend last month. His victory this time in the G-Force Race Cars built car came from the #9 qualified position and included rounds wins over Jeff Roth, Bruce Boland and low qualifier Steve Summers.
Summers, who is from Illinois and a true power within the regional NMCA Pro Mod circuit, had driven his turbocharged 70 ½-bodied Camaro to a super quick 5.702 and and super fast 263.62 mph, which simultaneously landed him in the top-qualified spot and ceremoniously re-set the track’s Outlaw Pro Mod record.
For Precision Turbo and Engine Outlaw 10.5 racing, twenty-three drivers vied for a spot in the sixteen-car field, and Jerry Mitrovic took top qualifying honors in his Toronto-based ’68 Camaro with a 4.042 secs. On race day he was determined in his driving, and in the final round defeated last year’s class winner Frank Pompilio (from King City Ontario) and his uber cool ’67 Mustang. Mitrovic won a super tight finale with a 4.04 at 188.49 mph and 4.05 at 196.24 mph decision.
Mitrovic, who had also won major Outlaw 10.5 events at Cayuga Dragway and Maryland International earlier this season, had beat Dean Parker, Wade Stevens and Joe Newsham in earlier competition.
Speedwire Systems Outlaw Limited Street saw fifteen drivers, and veteran DeWayne Mills flat-footed his ’68 Camaro to a 4.04 and 201 mph to find himself in the top-qualified spot. He kept his momentum and lined up against Canada’s Enzo Pecchini and his ’88 Mustang in the final, and in the oh-so-close race, Mills turned on the win light with a 4.00 at 202 mph while Pecchini (from Woodbridge ON) was right there with a 4.02 at 196.
“Everything thing worked out as-planned,” said Mills. “We were hampered just a bit in qualifying because of the rain, but the car ran flawlessly, and we were happy.”
Wiseco Performance Products X275 saw twenty-two drivers vying for a spot in the sixteen-car field, and Jamie Stanton drove his ’02 Camaro to a 4.51 and 158 mph for the top-qualified spot. He kept with it until the end, and earned the event win over Martin Connelley and his ’90 Mustang in a 4.49 at 159 mph versus 4.56 at 157 mph matchup.
“It was a tuners’ weekend in terms of trying to figure out the car and what the car wanted, but it was also a great weekend,” said Stanton.
Sixteen drivers filled the Callies Pro Street field, and last year’s winner, John Fisher drove his ’69 Camaro to a 4.32 and 178 mph for the top-qualified spot. He went on to become this year’s winner, too, as in the final, he recorded a better reaction time than Tom Tarsia did in his ’70 Camaro, and Fisher won with a 4.31 at 179 mph to Tarsia’s 4.29 at 172 mph.
In Team Z Motorsports Ultra Street, Alex “Calypso Kid” Hays positioned his ’92 Mustang in the top-qualified spot in the eleven-car class after trapping a 4.94 and 140 mph. But it was veteran driver Butch Kemp who stood in the winner’s circle with his ’98 Mustang after defeating class regular Jeff Kinlser – who Kemp referred to as a “great sportsman” – and his ’68 Firebird in a 4.91 at 141 mph to 4.96 at 142 mph battle.
“Kurt Johnson, Bill Bader, Jr. and the entire staff did an excellent job running the race and the track was phenomenal,” said the Kemp, who kept busy during the weekend changing rear gears, pulling his transmission to access the converter for an adjustment and tracking down a miss in his ignition with support from his parents, Dan and Janice Kemp, son, Cameron Kemp, and fellow racers and friends Shawn Pevlor, Keith Engling, Tim Oakes, Darren Hilterbran, Van Geibel, Patrick Barnhill, Dean Marinis and Rick Dodge. “I had a great time.”
A whopping sixty-four drivers entered Holbrook Racing Engines Top Sportsman in hopes of making the thirty-two car field, and Fred Dejonge showed he was determined to take the top-qualified spot in his Canadian-based ’08 Cobalt, and he did with a 6.23 and 242 mph. In the end, though, it was Mike Sowards, who dialed a 6.78 in his Camaro and lifted to a 6.93 and took the stripe after recording a better reaction time than Boyd Beyer, who dialed 6.34 in his Mustang and trapped an off-pace 7.37.
Seventy hardcore drivers showed up for Trick Flow Open Comp, but it was Ryon Berkel and his Firebird and Cary Tiburzi and his Chevy II in the final. Berkel dialed 10.36 and was ready on the tree with an .011, and he grabbed the win at the get-go when Tiburzi, who was dialed 8.81, turned on the red.
Five drivers opted to forego a qualifying run in order to take part in the Resolution Racing Services and G-Force Race Cars The Money Shot to see if they could be the fastest car on the property, and in the end, ProLine Racing Outlaw Pro Mod driver John Stanley drove his killer Cadillac to a whopping 5.72 at 233 mph to earn the $5,000 prize.
It was the U.S Fastest Street Car feature which prompted Rick Trunkett to bring out his ’72 Duster. The car, powered by a small-block Mopar engine amped up by a turbo, ran a best of 8.61 at 162 mph, and he took the win.
In the Summit Racing Junior Dragster Shootout at the Shakedown, Taylor Zietlow defeated Courtney Grisez in Advanced, while Ava Lawson defeated Michael Crowell in Intermediate and Zach Smith defeated Zachary Doell in Novice.
Posted with files by Mary Lendzion and Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Brennan Shortall and Courtesy of Summit Motorsports Park