Tag Archives: summit motorsports park

A New Guy at the Summit Motorsports Park Awards Banquet

The 2012 racing season was the first year that I’ve had a chance to work with Stevand Racing. Before welcoming Stevand Racing to the More Than a Fan family, my motorsports experience was a show at the old Norwalk Raceway Park when I was still young enough to think I didn’t need earplugs and watching NASCAR on television. Since the beginning of last race season, I’ve learned a ton about bracket racing, been rained out at the track and met the great group of people that are associated with Stevand Racing. And Saturday, January 27th was the perfect cap to an eventful season.

Andy, Steve and Matt Obertanec invited me to join them at the 2012 Summit Motorsports Park Awards Banquet. I let a few guys from More Than a Fan know about the invite, and Damien Bowman decided that he wanted to meet the team and see what kind of show the Bader family can put on for their racers. (If there was going to be a Cliff’s Notes of this column, the answer to what kind of show I saw Saturday would simply be, “Holy Crap.” It actually wasn’t going to be crap, but this is a family show)

We arrived at Kalahari for the conference at a little before 1pm and were immediately whisked to the Bill Bader, Jr.’s State of Summit Motorsports Park talk. Not only did I learn a lot about what’s going on at the track in 2013, it was impossible not to notice the rapport that Bader, Jr. had with the room full of racers. No matter the class, the car, the win/loss record or the hometown, the man at the very top of one of the most impressive drag racing tracks in the country knows almost every one of the local points drag racers by name. There is a lot to be said about smooth marketing and promotion, but none of that matters without being genuine with your base. I’m still new to the scene, so I’m not going to run around saying that Bill Bader, Jr. is perfect, but I can vouch for my gut reaction from that first seminar and confidently say that he knows his base and that he works hard for them.

Directly after Bader, Jr.’s talk Drag Racer Bingo started up. At this point, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to play bingo, it’s just that I wasn’t expecting the people throwing hats and t-shirts into the crowd, or the excitement over some of the bingo prizes. I’m not sure what I would have done with a set of Mickey Thompson Tires racing slicks or a big package of prizes from Wiseco Performance Products, but once I got hit in the head with a t-shirt, I started to get pretty excited to win something.

Alas, winning wasn’t in the (bingo) cards for me Saturday, but watching the racers play the game and being in the middle of such a huge group of people that all seem to feel like family was pretty fantastic.

After some down time and boring business type talk with the Stevand Racing boys, it was time to put on the suits and head down to the ballroom for the Mr. Gasket Banquet of Champions, the 39th Annual Summit Motorsports Awards Ceremony.


The Mr. Gasket Banquet of Champions was promotion and production at the highest level. At any given time, there were almost 600 people in the ballroom spread between the 68 guest tables and the Champions Tables that were actually on stage with the Bader family and the huge structure showcasing the night’s trophies and awards. The night was such an amazing showcase of the racers at Summit Motorsports Park that it was easy to get caught up in thinking that these guys were the same dragsters that we see on television every weekend.

IMG_20130126_130607From the junior racer awards to hearing the acceptance speeches of the Track Champions to the show choir and marching band to the banter between Bader, Jr. and his father Bill Bader, Sr., the whole banquet was filled with the kind of entertainment that one would expect from a national showcase. That all that class and entertainment was built on the foundation of drag racing in Norwalk, Ohio and the points classes at Summit Motorsports Park is truly amazing. (It was so awesome that I didn’t even mind the last name on my credential packet)

The Bader family did a fantastic job entertaining and showcasing their drag racing family Saturday, and I’m looking forward to spending some time at the track this summer with Stevand Racing and enjoying the show at Summit Motorsports Park. Keep an eye out for our event calendar and come visit us in the pits.

Stevand Racing Podcast with Steve Obertanec

This is the first ever all Stevand Racing podcast on the More Than a Fan Podcast Network.

I (Josh) recorded the  inaugural episode in the More Than a Fan Basement, but Steve makes his appearance via Skype, so he could be anywhere. He even told me he was naked. Luckily, we had the video turned off.

(I wasn’t wearing pants, either)

We talk about Steve’s time in Indy, Matt winning the Dragway 42 Championship, and the guys weekend at Pittsburgh Raceway Park.

Here you go, let us know what you think!



Week Update July 30th-Aug 5th

Lets change this up a little. This past week has been a challenge to say the least. I had phone issues, computer issues, and email issues. Matt has been sick since Thursday. They say food poisoning and I can only hope they are right. So with all that I’m doing the week review instead of a couple of blogs last week and a weekend review.

As I reported last week, Matt took a weekend off to support a friend tying the knot. They all had a blast! It was a wedding like no other. Just a few items off the beaten path; the wedding was in an old movie theatre and all the men in the bridal party – including the groom – wore Scottish Kilts. I’d say different but that’s whet you get from racers. Matt was also absent from this weekend’s race due to illness. I have not heard how he is this morning. I’m hoping well enough to return to work. Continue reading Week Update July 30th-Aug 5th

Weekly Update June 16th: Adversity at Summit Motorsports Park

The first sentence of the weekly update email that Steve sent me this week was so good I had to use the quote.

Saturday looked like a beautiful day when it first started. Nice and cool, sun peaking past scattered clouds. A perfect morning to finish up my transmission and load the old Gremmie for some of what it was built for; Drag Racing!

Of course, Steve also points out that AMC didn’t build Gremlins for drag racing, but he built this one to haul ass, and that’s what he intended on doing. Continue reading Weekly Update June 16th: Adversity at Summit Motorsports Park

Weekly Update June 9th & 10th

Saturday 6/9

Since Summit Motorsports Park didn’t have a points event Saturday, the beginning of last weekend was slow for the Stevand boys.

Steve spent Friday night and Saturday morning out in Wooser, OH for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraiser and car show. Last weekend was the first ever Relay car show in Wooster, and it kicked off a new ACS program called Road to Recovery. Special thanks to Alyssa Ferguson, who co-chaired the event, and all the other volunteers and organizers for putting in so much effort and hard work. Whatever you do, always take some time to give back. We all applaud Steve for taking the time to show off his AMC Gremlin for a good cause.

While Steve was off galavanting around Wooster, Matt was putting the finishing touches on his cam bearing fix to get the oil pressure in his AMC Spirit back to normal. After a morning of hard work, Matt shot out to Mt. Vernon, Ohio to Pacemaker’s Dragway to get a few passes in during their E.T. points session. The car was back to normal, and Matt did a great job adapting to the weather. When the track is hot and getting sun-baked, it’s very hard to keep rubber on the track. When there’s no rubber on the track, it’s very hard to keep the tires from spinning at the start.  Continue reading Weekly Update June 9th & 10th

Just When You Think

As most of you know with anything in life, it always seems like once you get yourself on track and pointed in the right direction – when it finally looks like smooth sailing ahead – *BOOM* the wheels fall off once again!

I’ll come back to that in just a minute.

Saturday was another points race at Summit Motorsports Park. I’ve enjoyed a lot of positive momentum so far this year there and have been able to go a few rounds every week. Those kinds of weeks have gone a long way to keep me near the top of the points race. With the car in good shape, I finally got to revert back to my old habits of sleeping in and showing up to the track late. Continue reading Just When You Think

Weekly Update June 2nd and 3rd

Remember last week when I said this, “Usually, Steve O sends me weekend details and I post a big old Weekly Update. The email I got about Memorial Day weekend was so good that it doesn’t need to be rewritten. So, this week’s update is brought to you by Steve O himself. Some day we can all say we knew him when he was grinding away on weeklies.” Just pretend that I said it again.

Saturday 6/2 @ SummitMotorsportsPark

This weekend’s weather was looking a little bit sketchy, but we ended up with two perfect days for racing. On Saturday we had a stiff cross/tail wind but it was steady so it didn’t pose the same issues we ran into last week. Unfortunately, there were plenty of other issues for us to overcome that were more serious that a little wind.

AMX Dan replaced his starter during the week and all seemed well… until he got to the track. Boy did that new starter start making some awful noises. W tried our best, but we just couldn’t overcome that issue. Continue reading Weekly Update June 2nd and 3rd

Weekly Update May 25th-27th

Usually, Steve O sends me weekend details and I post a big old Weekly Update. The email I got about Memorial Day weekend was so good that it doesn’t need to be rewritten. So, this week’s update is brought to you by Steve O himself. Some day we can all say we knew him when he was grinding away on weeklies.

Talk about a long, HOT weekend!

Friday we made the trek down to National Trails Raceway in Columbus, Ohio for the 11th annual Great AMC Day (GAD). Matt went into the event with three consecutive class wins. There was a total of six racers from our clan that made the journey. It is a fun event mostly because its low pressure and it is way cool to race with a bunch of AMCs that we don’t often see. The track was in great shape for a club type event, so kudos to National Trails for providing a great track on such a hot day.

Our group did rather with Matt winning his 5th GAD race, Steve O with the Runner-up, and AMC Dan with a semi-final finish.

Saturday at Summit Motorsports Park was a hot one, too, but it was a little better than the day before in Columbus. A nice breeze kept the day bearable, but made racing interesting.

As I said in Big Money, Big Pressure, I had a big run-off before the main part of eliminations, then I got my first time run with everyone else. The car went 10.27 seconds with a great .007 seconds light. I thought I was set. The second time run I made was called specifically for the Super 64. This time I finished in 10.36 seconds. Something just wasn’t right.

My care has been very consistent this season, so that is a huge loss in esitmated time (E.T.). That loss in time can be attributed to that breeze that was making the day livable. That made for an interesting first round of the run-off. We were all second guessing our dial-ins for that 1st round. Continue reading Weekly Update May 25th-27th

A Breakthrough Weekend

Matt and Steve finish first and second at National Trail Raceway on May 25, 2012

Its about time! After almost a month of chasing our tails we finally figured out what was wrong with my car and fixed the darn thing.

On my way into town on Thursday night, Steve sent me a picture of  an intake rocker arm that was completely backed off of its adjustment. That pretty much means I’ve been running on 7 cylinders so far this year. That’s a big deal and we kind of came to the conclusion that being down a cylinder would be the leading cause of why my car just wouldn’t run.

It gave no real indicators that something was wrong other then the car being as slow as it was, but with changing everything under the sun this past winter its hard to tell what the car was supposed to run anyway. So, no harm done once I tightened the rocker arm back up to its recommended spec, just go out and tear the track up.

Well, that’s exactly what we did!

Friday took us down to National Trails in Columbus, Ohio for our AMC race and it was a good day to say the least. From the first burnout, I could tell I was dealing with a new machine now. My car had a lot more pep then it did the weeks prior. On the first start it spun a little, so I rolled out of the throttle and made an easy pass down the track. I roll up to the ET shack (where we get our time slips with all our information from the run) and it shows an 11.15 seconds.

Continue reading A Breakthrough Weekend