Cody Sommer: “I haven’t been in a race car in eight years and most people don’t even know I’ve ever been in a race car.”
You can watch the video of the Cody Sommer test session at the Gateway Dirt Nationals below
On Tuesday ahead of the 2016 Gateway Dirt Nationals, Kenny Wallace and Kevin Gundaker suited up to turn the very first laps around The Dome. After months of speculation about the quality of the race itself, that test proved that it could be done and that everything would be just fine.
On Tuesday ahead of the 2017 Gateway Dirt Nationals, Landon Simon unloaded a full blown sprint car and a dirt midget. That was a test for what you’ll see this weekend. Dirt midgets have been added to the ticket.
On Tuesday of this week, event promoter Cody Sommer jumped behind the wheel of a race car. Casey Shuman Racing unloaded thier dirt midget and Cody Sommer zipped up the racing suit. It was his first time behind a wheel in eight years and he’s never raced a midget or sprint car before.
The car was previously driven by Landon Cassill in the BC39 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It was a blast,” Cody Sommer stated after climbing from the car. “I haven’t been in a race car in eight years and most people don’t even know I’ve ever been in a race car.”
Sommer previously drove dirt race cars before grabbing the hat of dirt track promoter. He was also a former crew member for a NASCAR team.
“The most fun I had was actually driving. But, part of the fun was just seeing everybody’s facial expressions. I ain’t gonna lie, it took me a minute to get used to it.”
The 2018 Gateway Dirt Nationals track has been modified slightly. In previous years, there was a gap of concrete between the track and the inside wall. This year, the tracks surface goes all the way to the inside wall.
At the center of the corner, the track is a bit narrower than previous years. The tire barriers now rest on top of the dirt inside of on the concrete.
“I think it will be very wide and racy for these guys. For a midget, we would have expected that anyway. But, even on the late model side, my guess is we’ll have a pretty racy track.”
“I can’t even imagine a pack full, 20 of them. It’s going to be exciting to watch.”
“This was about testing several things for us and we just decided to have some fun with it. I think we learned what we needed to learn.”
“It was a lot of fun. It definitely gets your blood flowing and makes you want to do more. My focus is on this event and making it the best that it can be. Not with the helmet on. Do I think I maybe would do something down the road? Sure.”
Watch the video of the Tuesday dirt midget test below.
Cody Sommer tests on midget at the Gateway Dirt Nationals
Landon Simon discusses the 2017 open wheel test at the Gateway Dirt Nationals (Test videos)
Cody Sommer shares his thoughts following the open wheel midget and sprint car test inside The Dome (2017)
Mansfield Motor Speedway: Cody Sommer explains why he picked the Ohio track
The economic impact of the Gateway Dirt Nationals
St. Louis wasn’t the first location choice for the Gateway Dirt Nationals
First laps at the Gateway Dirt Nationals – Track Test Video (2016)