Summit Motorsports Park, home of the annual NHRA Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, will undergo a $1.6-million track reconstruction project that will make it the sixth all-concrete racing surface on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
New concrete will be poured guardwall to guardwall from the staging lanes through 100 feet past the finish line, where it will meet new asphalt from that point to the sandtrap at the end of the track.
"Our track surface has worked well, but since we became part of the NHRA in 2007, I've been thinking about ripping out the track and starting over so that we have an all-concrete surface rather than a concrete and asphalt surface," said Bill Bader, Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. "We really got aggressive about it three years ago, and we've been researching it and talking with Jim Head, who races a high-horsepower car and is a concrete paver, so he has an understanding of what's needed to ensure a high-quality track."
Armed with information, Bader, Jr. and Summit Motorsports Park project manager, Matt Welsh, chose to work with Miller Brothers Construction.
"They're a very reputable company, and we've already met with them several times," said Bader, Jr. "They brought the Ohio Concrete Association into our most recent meeting, and we cut giant squares out of the track so that they could see what we did in the past and assist in the design of the new mix, which will be nine inches thick."
Reconstruction is scheduled to begin in February and to be completed in time for the track’s 37th annual Spring Warm-Up, April 28-29, which is the official start of the race season at the park.
"We could have cut a lot of money out of this project, but I'm not interested in doing that," said Bader, Jr. "I want one track surface with no transition from concrete to asphalt. I want it to have the crown that had been lost in the current track from being profiled, which will allow it to shed water and dry more quickly. I want it to be aesthetically pleasing and absolute perfection, and I want it to be fast."
Other tracks on the schedule that feature an all-concrete quarter-mile are Texas Motorplex, Bandimere Speedway, New England Dragway, Maple Grove Raceway, and zMAX Dragway.