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Collectible Die-Cast Cars Celebrate John Force, Summit Motorsports Park & Cornwell Tools Night Under Fire

Photos by Summit Motorsports Park

Many moons ago, Bill Bader Sr. formed a friendship with NHRA Funny Car competitor John Force.

In addition to sharing a passion for motorsports, the beloved men shared a passion for pushing the envelope. For Bader Sr., that involved wowing race fans, and for Force, that involved winning races.

Before long, the bond between the two friends extended to their families, and in addition to racing at the annual NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, Force became a featured performer at the park’s annual Cornwell Tools Night Under Fire.

The stories about what Bader Sr., and eventually his son and current park president Bill Bader Jr., would ask Force to do in the name of entertaining a capacity crowd at the annual Cornwell Tools Night Under Fire are as fabled as they are fantastic.

In celebration of that perfect partnership, the Baders and Force years ago began collaborating on the production of collectible 1/24th scale die-cast cars specially designed to look like Funny Cars piloted by Force at the annual Cornwell Tools Night Under Fire, and fans have purchased them with pride.

This year, the twelfth and final die-cast car in this very special series is being offered, and it Is especially meaningful since it is the park’s 60th anniversary and the Bader family’s 50th anniversary of owning it.

While the sparkle paint die-cast cars are sold out, a limited number of beautiful blue die-cast cars remain for purchase, but they are expected to sell quickly with the holidays approaching. They are especially appealing to nostalgia-loving fans, as they feature a Norwalk Dragway logo, in addition to an American flag, fireworks and the words “America’s Racetrack.

“Our family, which includes our guests, is fortunate to share such a special bond with John Force,” said Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. “He is simply one of a kind. He is an outstanding competitor and entertainer, and his name has become synonymous with Cornwell Tools Night Under Fire. John’s passion for what he does comes right from the heart, and it is both infectious and inspiring. We are proud to have partnered with him to produce this series of die-cast cars for 12 years. They will serve as pieces of history, especially this final one, which is offered in the year we are celebrating the park’s 60th anniversary and my family’s 50th anniversary of owning it.”

The cost for each die-cast car is $119 plus shipping. To order online through the park’s Quarter Mile Clothing Company, click, and to order over the phone, call the park’s office at 419-668-5555.

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Summit Motorsports Park is at 1300 State Route 18, Norwalk, Ohio.

This story was originally published on September 15, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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