A need for speed on the track; It's a different story getting in

Cary Ashby • Aug 30, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Steve Barrett was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As Barrett drove to work Thursday morning, he got caught up in a traffic jam caused by racers lining up to get into Summit Motorsports Park.

The earlier you get in, the better of a spot you get in the pits. This weekend Summit is hosting the Ten Grand Nationals with action slated for Friday, today and Sunday.

"It was a freaking nightmare," said Barrett, who lives on Laurel Road in Hartland Township and was trying to get to work at New Horizons Bakery.

"It was about 7:15 (a.m.) and it took 45 minutes to clear it up."

Barrett was on Laylin Road, trying to turn left onto Ohio 18.

Nobody let him in because they couldn't. "It was bumper-to-bumper cars from (U.S.) 20 to the racetrack," he said. "They couldn't move forward or backward.

"This happens every time they have a big event. It always happens on Thursday mornings."

Barrett said he took that route Thursday morning to avoid the train tracks, which can also slow him down.

"I had a gentlemen call me and I apologized to him," Summit president Bill Bader Jr. said. "We had a very pleasant conversation."

Bader estimated he spent 20 minutes on the phone with the caller.

A trooper with the state Highway Patrol's Norwalk post responded to the intersection of Laylin Road and Ohio 18 to handle traffic control. When asked about the back-up Thursday, a patrol spokeswoman said the trooper didn't spend long near the intersection and referred further questions to Summit.

"We have scheduled events," said Bader, which often causes traffic to be backed up.

"I don't know how to solve it," he added.

Another area motorist who was a few minutes late to work Thursday due to the congestion declined to comment.

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