Family and patriotism set the stage at Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

NORWALK, Ohio – The future of McCormack family racing stood on the back deck of a golf cart Thursday and watched their dad Jason McCormack race his 1966 Plymouth Belvedere.

McCormack competed in the Stock class at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, part of the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Jason McCormack, a 20-year racing veteran, and other Sportsman racers return to the staging lanes at 8 a.m. Friday. You don’t want to miss these sweet cars and superb racing!

Sometimes a car is meant for a certain person.

The Belvedere pulled into Jason’s garage about 12 years ago, a gift from Steve Atwell.

“He gave it to me as long as we built it into a race car,” Jason McCormack said. “It took two years.”

Carla McCormack, the children’s mom, said Emma, 8, and twins Abigail and Jacob, 5, enjoy watching the races.

“This is a blast,” said Carla McCormack, Columbiaville, Mich.

Jason McCormack works at his father Jack’s business, McCormack Motorsports, in Oxford, Mich., Carla McCormack said.

Jason’s sister, Jennifer McCormack, lines up in a black Dodge Dakota and also works at the family business, said Carla.

The age factor disappointed a third racing member of the McCormack family, Jennifer’s 17-year-old son, Steven Dziorny, who could not race in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals because he is not yet 18 years old.

Steven races an orange Dodge Dakota, a truck with family sentiment oozing from every nut and bolt.

The cousins’ late grandmother, Judy McCormack, enjoyed the power and thrill of drag racing, too.

“They gave Steven his grandma’s truck,” Carla McCormack said, “And he won the Jegs Sports Nationals in Columbus, Ohio a month after she passed away. It’s really a family thing.”

* A fan, Nick Ranallo, Eastlake, Ohio, decorated his three-year-old boxer, Dutchess, in a red, white and blue scarf to match patriotic decorations on his own hat, then settled down for a day of Sportsman racing.

“We’ve been here every year for the six years they have had it,” Ranallo said.

* Friday admission for adults is $42; and for children ages 12 and under, admission is free.

Spectator gates open at 7:30 a.m.

Some highlights in the schedule include:
  * 8 a.m. -- Sportsman eliminations.
  * 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
  * 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. – Top Alcohol qualifying: Funny Car and Dragster.
  * 3:30 p.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
  * 4 p.m. – Pro Stock qualifying.
  * 4:55 p.m. – Unveiling of Mystery John Force Die Cast Car on the racetrack.
  * 5 p.m. – Nitro qualifying: Fuel Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster.
  * 6 p.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
  * 6:30 p.m. – Pro Stock qualifying: Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock Car.
  * 7:30 p.m. – Nitro Qualifying: Fuel Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster.
  * 9:30 p.m. – Bob Motz Jet Kenworth, Jill Canuso Queen of Diamonds Jet Dragster, Ernie Bogue the Beast from the East Jet Dragster.
  * 9:45 p.m. – Bader family signature fireworks!
  * 10 p.m. – Entertainment: Cleveland’s Breakfast Club, Jim Beam Oak Barrel Tavern behind Summit Grandstands.
  * 10 p.m. – Alcohol drivers meet and greet, Jim Beam Oak Barrel Tavern.
  * 10 p.m. – Entertainment: Drenalin, at NorthField Campgrounds.

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