Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio was alive with horsepower at the 18th annual NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals. Pro and Sportsman racers delivered on the famed Bader family drag strip producing heart-pumping action as fans enjoyed the sounds, smells, burnouts, wheelies and 330-plus mph top speeds.

big red camaro at summit racing booth during 2024 nhra nationals
(Image/Evan Smith)

In addition to the on-track excitement, Summit Racing Equipment helped fans kick up the fun with a huge pit-side display that included RJ Gottlieb’s world-famous “Big Red” 1969 Camaro and enthusiasts enjoyed exceptional discounts, too.

The highlight NHRA event featured four days of sportsman and professional category racing that created quarter-mile (and 1,000 foot) magic.

This included several popular Team Summit drivers, like Clay Millican, who was flying a special Summit Racing Rewards Program wrap on his Top Fuel entry, along with Greg Anderson who also had a unique Summit Racing Equipment livery on his Pro Stock Chevrolet Camaro.

Clay Millican's NHRA Top Fuel Dragster in Summit Rewards Livery
(Image/Evan Smith)

Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta made the fastest pass in track history, picking up the win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge and cementing his No. 1 qualifier position. In addition Austin Prock (Funny Car), Richard Gadson (Pro Stock Motorcycle,) and Summit Racing Equipment driver Greg Anderson also all won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge.

Kalitta stayed red-hot in the loaded Top Fuel ranks, picking up his first specialty race win of the year, going 3.703 seconds at a track-record 337.16 mph in his 11,000 horsepower dragster to defeat Antron Brown’s 3.755. Friday’s track-record run of 3.692 held up as well at the home track for Kalitta Motorsports, handing the veteran his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season and 57th in his career.

“This just gets you ready on Saturday to go racing, and we’re having fun. I think all the drivers – and definitely me – we enjoy having the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty race and the format,” Kalitta said.

As the lone John Force racing driver, Funny Car’s Austin Prock won his third straight Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, this time over Bob Tasca III with a stellar, track-record pass of 3.853 at 330.55 in his 11,000 horsepower AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS. Tasca left the starting line first and delivered a strong 3.882, but Prock drove past him for the win.

“This feels really good, and we’re very blessed to be in this situation,” Prock said. “It’s a lot of hard work that goes into making these race cars run like this one has this year. I’ve said it all year, hats off to my guys, they’re making it easy on me. I can go up there and I believe in my car, and they’re giving me opportunities every weekend. It’s definitely helped my learning curve.”

Greg Anderson's Pro Stock Camaro in Summit Racing Livery
(Image/Evan Smith)

In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson, driving his Summit Racing Equipment-backed Camaro scored his second straight Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge after going 6.595 at 204.94 to defeat longtime rival Erica Enders in the finals of the specialty race. Anderson also qualified No. 1 for the third time this year with a 6.592 at 207.69 mph pass.

“This has been a great week. I got here on Wednesday morning, spent all day at Summit Racing and got to chat with all the great employees again. It was great to see them all and it fires you up, it makes you feel good,” Anderson said. “To come to Summit Motorsports Park with the wrap I have on my car, it’s just a proud weekend for me. The car ran great, and we found our way to another Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge win.”

Summit Motorsports Park Sign & Staging Lanes at Dusk
(Image/Evan Smith)

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Richard Gadson nailed his first win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty after going 6.819 at 196.87 on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki against John Hall, who beat the seemingly unstoppable Gaige Herrera in the opening round. Gadson took down Hector Arana Jr. earlier in the day, getting past Hall’s 6.857 in the finals.

“That round right there, that was big for me, to avenge my teammate. That was big. Before I walked out of the trailer, Gaige said to me, ‘Go do what I couldn’t do.’ That was a little booster,” Gadson said. “I’m having a blast and I just want to thank Mission Foods and NHRA for having this. It gets the juices flowing before Sunday. I love it. 

Summit Racing logo on top fuel dragster engine butterflies
(Image/Evan Smith)

Come Sunday, the temperature chilled down and the track was ripe for incredible performances. Three-time Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown defeated Doug Kalitta in the final round to win his 76th title.

“This is the best one right now, but your best one is always your next one,” Brown said. “We’re going to celebrate like rock stars tonight because this class is unbelievably tough. You can be on the outside looking in really quick. Coming here, we really felt we had a package that compete and run with anybody.

“The fans here live, eat and breath drag racing and you could tell the way the fans showed out. To be part of that and go rounds, come out the victor–my hat is off to my team. I’m in awe of how we got this done. It’s truly a blessing to be part of this team and get this win and John Force, this win is for you.”

Top Fuel Driver Antron Brown in NHRA Winner's circle
(Image/Evan Smith)

In Funny Car, Bob Tasca III drove his Ford Performance Dark Horse Mustang past Ron Capps with a 3.908 at 330.47 mph. The win goes down as Tasca’s second for the season and the 17th in his career.

And along with hoisting the Wally, the veteran set the track speed record, going 336.82 mph!

“Hats off to Todd Okuhara and Aaron Brooks. Leaving Bristol, we were disappointed,” Tasca said. “They’re about as aggressive of guys as I’ve ever seen, and I’m an aggressive guy. But we have to go down the racetrack. I think we’re like 14 out of 15 runs since Bristol going down the racetrack, and that’s what it takes to win. They just did an incredible job this weekend.

“Friday, Saturday were some of the most challenging conditions that we’ve ever seen and the car runs 0.88, 0.89, like a bracket car. This is a really special group. This morning when I woke up and I heard the positive news about John Force, it was like a weight was lifted off our shoulders. This place is special to John and I dedicate this win to John Force. He will be back and he’s the toughest guy I know.”

bob tasca III In NHRA Winners Circle with funny car
(Image/Evan Smith)

In addition to making it to the Holley EFI Factory X final where he took a runner-up, Aaron Stanfield won his second straight Pro Stock race taking down points leader Dallas Glenn in the final round with a run of 6.539 at 208 mph.

“[Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park] is awesome and it’s been on my bucket list to get it done,” Stanfield said. “My hot rod was flying this weekend and I’m glad I’m the one that’s behind the wheel. It feels great to get back-to-back wins and get this ice cream scoop here. Racing Dallas, we both come from the same background. He’s a tough competitor and it feels good to turn the win light on. We’re both hardworking people, and we’ve really grinded to get in the position we are. It’s cool to get to race against him and he’s bad to the bone, so I know I’ve got to be on my best to beat him. It’s just a cool moment.”

Summit Racing display tent aerial shot at NHRA Nationals
(Image/Evan Smith)

And speaking of records, Gaige Herrera masterfully won yet another Pro Stock Motorcycle event, extending his NHRA record with an 11th straight victory. he defeated Matt Smith in the final round on his RevZilla/Mission Foods/Vance & Hines Suzuki with an impressive run of 6.704 at 200.77.

“I have an awesome team behind me, and they deserve more of the credit than I do. I get the spotlight but all in all, it’s them. It shows their hard work. It’s just been a lot accomplished in a short time and it’s really hard to take it all in, but I’m enjoying it. It’s unbelievable but it makes me feel like all my hard work is paying off. I’ve always wanted to be here since I was a little kid.

“I actually grew up one city over from John Force. You grow up watching John, hearing about him, to have my name in that same area–it’s still John Force, you can never compare yourself to anyone like that, but to have my name mentioned in the history books like that, it’s incredible. I never would have dreamed anything of it as a kid and I still don’t believe it.”

Big opening festivities crowd at Summit Racing NHRA Nationals
(Image/Evan Smith)