NRP SEASON OPENER
You would never guess from looking at Jessie Harris, an attractive 25-year-old woman with a wholesome personality, that she has an obsession about going fast.
In fact, she climbs into a special dragster powered by a military jet engine that produces 6000 pounds of thrust. Although it’s the same jet engine used in the first F-117 stealth fighter prototype, and can take a two-passenger jet to 30,000 feet in one minute, Jessie’s challenge is just to stay on the ground as she reaches speeds of over 300 miles per hour in around five seconds.
And that’s only one part of the exhibition you’ll see as Donald M. Graham & Associates present the Annual Norwalk Reflector/Ohio Lottery Season Opener at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, formerly known as Norwalk Raceway Park. The Opener is this Saturday, April 21 and along with racing action, fans will see a new name on the facility and the results of a $6 million expansion project.
“These plans are a continuation of our mission to provide a top-notch track for fans and racers,” said Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. “As the only motorsports stadium in Ohio, we’re committed to providing race fans with the best professional and sportsman drag racing show in the world.”
A special ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned at 7:00 pm to officially open the season. The ceremony will include the surviving family members of the first pair of race car drivers to ever run down the racetrack back in 1963 at what was then called Norwalk Dragway. Back then, Jim Edwards, Sr. and Neil Archambeau, both childhood friends, were the first two drivers to ever race in side-by-side eliminations. Edwards’ son Jim Edwards, Jr., and Archambeau’s son Mark keep the tradition of racing alive and both are still drag racing. As part of the special opening ceremony, both sons will race side-by-side in the first official competition at the newly-named Summit Motorsports Park.
“Tradition is incredibly important to us,” said Bader. “When these two head down the track Saturday night, it lets us remember where we came from, and also passes the torch to our future as Summit Motorsports Park.”
Other attractions include a wheelstanding school bus, “Just like the one you went to school in!” said Bader. “Except this one races down the track on its rear wheels.”
Admission to the Annual Norwalk Reflector/Ohio Lottery Season Opener presented by Donald M. Graham & Associates is $15.00 for an adult and $7.00 for children 6 to 12 years old—children under six are admitted free. Special seating in “Club Norwalk” is just $25.00. Gates open at 9:00 am, with time trials beginning at 10:00 am, and the opening ceremony is at 7:00 pm. The track is located two miles east of Norwalk Ohio, at the intersections of State Routes 18 and 601.