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Thunder festival signals start of Nationals

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM

It was a foot-stumping good time Wednesday night in Uptown Norwalk.

Despite the threat of storms which thinned out the crowd early, Whiskey Falls entertained listeners on Main Street for the annual Thunder in the Streets event, which returned after a one-year hiatus.

The event is sponsored by Summit Motorsports Park, which is hosting the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals beginning today and running through Sunday.

Excitement was building already in the afternoon as drivers and crews from around the nation got to strut their stuff.

Willard's Don Graham, who drives for the Navy, is a regular at Thunder in the Streets.

"I'm really excited for the Bader family and the community of Norwalk, and proud to race with the NHRA," Graham said.

"This is our home track."

Dragsters are the favorite of 11-year-old Nathan VanWagnen. He and his friend Spencer Urig, also 11, came to Thunder to see "all the cars and the drivers" with plans to visit the raceway on Friday night.

Bill Edmunds and his son, Billy, are driving up each day from their home in Columbus to be a part of the festivities in Norwalk.

"This is the most awesome thing. It just brings all your senses to life," Edmunds said.

Norwalk residents enjoyed the activities as well. "I've been here every year since third grade," Shane Marchyshyn said. His brother, Jimmy Marchyshyn, added, "I love the racing atmosphere and the food."

Pro motorcycle driver Karen Stoffer said she's heard great things about the community and the track. "I've heard it's really nice and that they have good ice cream," Stoffer said with a laugh.

Marc Denner, crew chief of Murray's Auto Stores, said: "We're happy to be here. Norwalk is a very friendly place."

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