Sheldon impresses over 50,000 fans at the Night Under Fire USA

Sheldon impresses over 50,000 fans at the Night Under Fire USA

Summit Motorsports Park, Norwalk Ohio August 13th 2011

The stands were packed at the Summit Raceway in Norwalk and with the pits filled at the same time the attendance was estimated at over 50,000– more than the average amount for NHRA National Events. This came as no surprise as the Night Under Fire has been recognized as the largest single-day Drag Racing event on the planet! It is an exhibition drag racing show open only to invited racers. Our very own local Sheldon Bissessar was specially invited to make some passes with three of the fastest Top Dragsters on the planet today including previous IHRA World Record holder Troy Stone.

Sheldon at Night Under Fire Ohio

Racers selected are the best in their field, representing each major type of Drag Racing machine that ran since drag racing first became popular– from gassers all the way to the Nitro Funny Cars with everything in between. Drag Racing megastar John Force along with 19 other top racers including Frank Hawley, Robert Hight, Elaine Larson, Jim Head, Doc Halladay, Jeff Arend, Jeff Miller and Larry “Spiderman” McBride were all ready to blaze the quarter mile at Summit Motorsports Park. One of the main highlights of the evening was an autograph session open to members of the public with all 20 star drivers. We are confident that Sheldon certainly broke his personal record for the most autographs signed in a single day as hats, T-shirts, hero cards and almost anything else fans could bring including themselves were graced with celebrity ink. Some two hours later all the drivers emerged with their writing hands exhausted but ready to rock the racetrack as another main event, the Parade of the Stars began. Paired off, all the cars were towed down the racetrack for all the 50,000+ cheering fans, racers and organisers to see including Sheldon who proudly displayed the Trinidadian flag on his car and the team golf cart. Bill Bader, of the Bader family, owners of the Summit Motorsports Park introduced him as the Trinidad Rocket to all of the fans who were all fascinated that anyone would travel so far to compete in US-based Drag Racing meets.

The PTRT team was required to make two exhibition passes in the carefully planned show put together by Bill Bader than managed to pack over 10 classes of cars from at least four decades of racing in the USA. In this way the crowd was able to appreciate the history of each type of racecar, thanks Bill’s excellent commentary. In an interview with crew chief Aaron Sipple of ASE/Ironman Chassis, he highlighted Sheldon’s IHRA World Records of the 5.68s e.t. and 243mph top speed, calling it the fastest Top Dragster in history thus far. The Outlaw Dragster class ran eighth-mile exhibition passes with Sheldon running in 3.8-second range. Midway through the runs all of Norwalk lost electrical power, rendering the event in darkness and without commentary. Fans waited patiently and without incident for over two hours as backup generators were activated in the pit area. When the power came back at around 11pm, fans literally jumped in unison making their own thunder in the stands and racing resumed in full force– such was the passion and outstanding good behaviour at this event.

After all the racecars made their passes including the Jet dragsters, Nitro funny cars, Nitro motorcycles and the Jet truck the crowd was treated to over 30 minutes of the best, biggest fireworks display ever held at Norwalk in the 34 years of the Night Under Fire. When this amazing show came to a close the fans were invited onto the racetrack as the 20 star cars and drivers were towed in for a final meet and greet, complete with autographs and photos! Sheldon Bissessar would like to thank his sponsors for this meet– Total Lubricants, The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Mojo’s Restaurant & Lounge, RJB Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, PSTL, Arrive Alive, Zorce Racing Magazine and and the thousands of fans whose enthusiasm made this an overwhelming experience for the team!

Check the video by Rodney Granado!

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