If you’re looking for an event to attend that gives you the full drag racing experience, then you must attend the Night Under Fire at Summit Motorsports Park. From the second the show begins, you’re immersed in a non-stop drag racing display put on by Bill Bader Jr. and his staff that you won’t forget, ever. There’s a reason the Night Under Fire has been going strong for 42 years: it delivers great racing, nitromethane, and fireworks in a weapons-grade dose.
Bill Bader, Sr. brought the Night Under Fire to life as a drag racing spectacle filled with entertainers to give fans something special. Over the course of the event’s history, it has earned its reputation as the greatest one-day drag race in the world, and it backs that up each year. Bill Bader, Jr. proudly hangs his hat on this event as the cornerstone of Summit Motorsports Park’s schedule.
So what exactly does Bader look for when he’s planning the Night Under Fire each year? According to Summit Motorsports Park’s Mary Lendzion, Bader strives to book racers who, more than anything, are willing to put on a spectacular show for the fans.
“Bill, Jr. considers the Night Under Fire to be a production that we’re putting on for fans, and he considers the drivers and pilots to be entertainers. The more elaborate the production and the entertainers are, the better. That’s why he invites the likes of John Force, Bob Motz, Ron Capps and others who are known for putting on a show. Before each Night Under Fire, Bader, Jr. holds a meeting with all of the drivers, and he tells them that the evening is all about the fans and making sure that they are engaged with them and everything they’re offering. And the entertainers always hit the mark.”
If you took a look around during the opening ceremonies of the 2019 Night Under Fire, you would have seen Summit Motorsports Park filled to capacity. With over 40,000 fans looking on, Bader introduced the drivers and had a little fun with John Force as he honored his 150th career victory. You could tell Bader was enjoying himself and that spills over into the type of experience he wants his guests to have.
“The Night Under Fire is the event that put Summit Motorsports Park on the map. It’s very special to us, and we want it to be just as special to fans who join us. Everyone who works at Summit Motorsports Park is committed to exceeding expectations, literally in all areas. We want fans to be wowed from the moment they enter the park to the moment they leave the park, and every person in every department does whatever it takes to ensure that, whether they’ll selling a ticket, a pound of Velvet ice cream for a dollar, or showing fans to their seats,” Lendzion explains.
Putting the fan experience first is how Summit Motorsports Park became one of the premier drag strips in the United States. The Night Under Fire is the Bader family’s way of giving fans the most entertainment for their dollar. Every year the goal is simple, make this year’s Night Under Fire even better.
“To know Bill Bader, Jr. is to know that each year, he wants the Night Under Fire to be more entertaining, more enthralling and most of all, more explosive than it was the year before. He seems to really have a thing for explosives, and flames, and fire. For him, the event has to be unimaginable and unforgettable, and it has to leave fans fascinated and flabbergasted. We all want fans to be feel like they just experienced something that they have never experienced before, and we want them to commit to coming back the next year,” Lendzion explains.
If you’re a fan of drag racing then the Night Under Fire at Summit Motorsports Park absolutely needs to be on your racing calendar each year. No other drag racing event can legally give you more entertainment in one day.