From the very beginning, there have been two keys to the success with Summers Racing – having fun, and family values.
Rob Summers got involved in motorsports at a young age, racing in motorcross until he wrecked his knees. Despite the shortened career, his passion for speed was passed along to the kids as they wanted to get involved themselves.
“(My son) Robert wanted to race motocross,” Summers recalled. “I said, ‘Nah, but let’s see about a caged kart,’ and we started from there. I bought him a flat go-kart, and Robert got in it, and then Kelly wanted one, so we got two flat karts, and they ran them around the yard.”
The children would then begin competing at various speedways, including Lone Star Speedway, Milton Grove Speedway, and Ohsweken Speedway. They’d eventually be led down the path of the Hurricane Midgets when Kelly was 16.
No matter what they did, the core values have always remained the same, along with hard work within their own shop. While many competitors reach out to others for cars, Summers is one of those rare few who still build his own cars. An extra chassis around the shop was actually how Summers got back behind the wheel, with the team putting it together and having not stopped since then.
As the Living Lighting OSCAAR Pro Sprints enter their fourth season of competition, Summers is one of those who has been there since the beginning and will once again be on the grid this summer.
“Its progressing good, I think,” he spoke of the series. “It’s a great series. It’s got a long ways to go, but a good bunch of guys.”
As someone who watched the series grow, he notes one of the things he finds surprises people is the speed that the Pro Sprints are capable of on a weekly basis.
“I’d say how fast they are, and how safe they can be for such a little car,” he said. “They’re pretty quick; most people don’t realize it because they look at them and see a small car. But the lap times prove it. There’s not many more series that are quicker than these cars in Ontario.”
Entering the year, he says he’s looking to go out and have fun.
“Fun is the main thing for us,” he commented. “If we can be competitive, that’s good, but fun is the big thing.”
Out of the various tracks the series will visit, it’s not a surprise to see Summers has Peterborough Speedway circled on his calendar. It’s one of his favorite tracks, and it’s also a place where the team has seen success.
During the inaugural season, Kelly Summers became the first female OSCAAR Pro Sprint feature winner. Her victory during the season marked the perfect culmination of hard work, as it was the debut night for that chassis on-track.
“There was a lot of smiles,” Summers reflected back to that night. “It still puts a smile on her face as she just loves being in the car.”
As much as he loves driving himself, Summers admits that watching both his daughters Kelly and Katherine race gives him a thrill.
“I get a big kick out of it. It’s what we’ve always done,” he commented. “Kelly is 30 now, so she’s been in a car for 20 years. Katherine is the rookie; she’s the one with the least amount of experience. They’ve all done it.”