2023 Mike Cummings H-Production Invitational

Jason Stine

Well-known member
The 2023 Mike Cummings H-Production Invitational will be held at Mid Ohio on August 12-13 during the OVR regional race weekend.

Once again, the event will feature an extended Sunday feature of 20 laps (or 45 min if there's BFA/FCY). We will also get a Sunday victory lap, a group photo on the track, Sat night BBQ, dedicated paddock spot, etc. The only difference from this year is we won't be able to do a back straight start... And I can not guarantee the paddock grass receives the professional manicure again this year :D

There will likely be a test day on Friday again, and new for 2023, we will be giving away a free entry to someone who registers before the early entry deadline (details TBD).

Hoping to get 40+ H Production cars to the event, and if anyone wants to help with the planning, coordination, or execution of the weekend, please let me know! Thanks to Larry Savage for already stepping up to help!
With the 65th anniversary of the bugeye next year, I really want to have a strong contingent of "Spridgets of Lore" at the invitational... Vickerman is carrying the torch on the Valvoline spridget, Troxell has Canfield's old car, Savages have Weber's, Wright has Hussey's, Yergler's and Purgason's cars were recently purchased and are being redone... would be great to see them all make the invitational, and maybe we can even get Cat Kizer or Ray Stone to show up with their cars too...
We will be giving away a free entry to the race if we get 30 cars registered!! All that register prior to 6/30 will be eligible for the drawing. Stay tuned to MSR, email, and the upcoming HPNPC website for details.
Jason, I hope you enter that pretty blue #37 in the Cummings Invitational. Even though it had a "best result" of only 6th in the Runoffs (Topeka, KS, 2007), it ran against him many times. The first was 1985 when the San Francisco Region hosted a Regional Invitational at Sears Point (Sonoma, CA) with sponsorship from the haircut chain Supercuts. Top drivers from San Diego, Cal Club, Oregon and ? were invited, and there we met Mike Cummings. The blue #37 won that race. The next year we came back, but got sabotaged by a free set of tires which proved to way too hard for an HP Sprite... still had mold lines after the last qualifying session and the race...
We met again several times at Mid-Ohio Runoffs in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and Topeka 2006, 2007, 2008. It was always fun to see Mike and his dedicated crew. Pretty sure we beat Mike at most of those events, (my records are few) but I do know that in 2000 I/blue 37 finished 14th behind Mike's 13th - but ahead of notables John Salisbury Sr., Rob Hussey, John Salisbury Jr., Greg Feller, Randy Canfield, and Adam Malley. In 2003 we were 9th. So your car has rubbed shoulders with Mr. Cummings (but not fenders.) Joel
Thanks for the history Joel! Not sure I'll be driving myself, but #37 should be entered in the event...

Who else has a great Captain Mikee story??
The Intent to Register form is open. To help with the planning of the event, please take 5 minutes to fill this out. It will greatly help not only the HPI race committee, but the OVR host region for the divisional race weekend. The form will close on 6/18.

Each entrant gets a free t-shirt commemorating the event. Additional ones can be purchased for $20 (S-XL), or $25 (2XL and up). Kids sizes available as well.

Update on the Mike Cummings HP Invitational:

We are now over $5k in prize giveaways for the event! This is an event you don't want to miss!!! In no particular order, the following goodies are up for grabs:

- Free entry drawing for everyone who registers on MSR prior to 7/2
- Free twilight test drawing for everyone who registers on MSR prior to 7/2
- (2) Goodyear racing slicks
- (2) Hoosier racing slicks
- RaceKeeper camera system
- 200 MPH ride in the two seater IndyCar at IMS
- Cash prizes for Sunday's podium (amount based on # of entries)
- Longest Tow, Hard Charger and Hard Luck awards
- Captain Mikee Spirit Award for highest finishing Spridget on Sunday
- Summit Racing gift cards
- Sunoco Race Gas gift card
Registration should be going up soon!!!

NEWS: We will be giving away (3) $50 Summit Racing gift certificates to those who register on opening weekend, ie. prior to Sunday, 6/18 at 11:59 EST.

In addition to the opening weekend giveaways, we will be giving away a free entry fee and a free twilight test day (for Fri 8/11) for those that register prior to 11:59 PM EST on 7/2!

We had 38 people fill out the intent to register!! If this is any indication of the actual entries we will get, and that life, work, and mechanical issues don't get in the way, this is going to be one epic event!

Up to 19 cars entered! Last week for the free entry giveaway. We also won't be guaranteeing event shirts if you register after 7/2. Please register this week if you plan on attending!

We had 37 people fill out the intent to register, so I'm expecting at least 10 more cars to show. Let's try to get to 35-40 this year!!
Non-HPNPC members are welcome to join us for this race! There's a $20 weekend membership surcharge, or you can officially join for the $50 annual membership fee. Would love to have new faces!
Shirt design for the 2023 HP Invitational is revealed!!!

Each registrant gets 1 shirt free. Additional shirts, or for those who can not attend and want to celebrate the life of Mike Cummings with a shirt, can be purchased for $20 (S-XL), $25 (2XL and up). Kids sizes available. Orders/sizes due no later than 7/24!

Reminder - only 12 days left to register for the HP Invitational and get your free event shirt. We have some really awesome giveaways for this event, including Goodyear Tires, Hoosier Tires, a Race-Keeper camera system, kick ass custom made live-edge wood trophies (just ask Schaafsma how cool his is from last year!), Summit Racing bucks, Sunoco bucks, HPNPC merch, and cold hard cash. Register today!

Sitting at 33 entries as of this post writing. Who else wants to come be part of the biggest H Production race of the 2023 race season?!? Ogren? Schultz? Banha? Oleson? Buehler?

Still holding out hope for 40, but super excited and proud of the HP community for showing up with 30+ cars for the second year in a row!

We have $5,000 worth of prizes to give away at this event. Both podium prizes and door prizes are up for grabs! Tires, Entry Fees, Race Keeper Cameras, Two Seater INDYCAR ride at IMS, and more!! You don’t want to miss this!!

Spectators welcome! Sunday will be our 20 lap feature race, complete with a missing man tribute to the late Captn Mikee Cummings. Can’t wait to see all the hard work come together in this pinnacle event of 2023!
Well that was a wild, but successful weekend.

Q1 was the first time I drove the car at all on the big wheels/tires and brakes, so it was all tire scuffing, brake bedding, and feeling out if the brake balance is even close. Then as I started leaning on it a bit, getting ready to turn a real lap we got a black flag all for a rolled over rabbit. I think everyone was yet to turn a good lap because somehow I ended up 3rd on grid.

R1 we were all watching the weather, wondering if I should get the rains mounted up. In the end I, and 90% of the others, rolled to grid on slicks. So naturally it began misting as we rolled off grid. I got a strong jump on a pretty slow rolling start, and LaManna and I split Brannon’s pole sitting Fiat into T1. I had the inside line, and came out ahead. Which just meant that I got to explore unknown grip levels entering every corner with Jason on my tail. It was dry enough to run the dry line, but grip was a bit off. We had a pretty fun dice for a while, and he capitalized on a mistake I made in 9 to work his way around me in the carousel, after we slithered through 10 side by side. I was able to get back under him at 1, and we continued running nose to tail. Jason ran wide exiting the keyhole, which gave me some breathing room, while the rain picked up and the line transitioned over to a wet line. Wow so many different grip surfaces on that track. I came out with a win in the 3rd dry to wet race I’ve run in the past 11 months.

Then the skies opened up, the sideways rain came, the sideways rain switched directions, the tornado sirens went off, the sun came out, and we got the announcement that all remaining sessions were cancelled. Since Sunday was run on the pro course we were unsure what would set grid if Q2 was cancelled (it was). I had the 3rd Q1 lap time, the 2nd R2 lap time, and 1st finishing position, so would start in one of those spots.

After looking around for information on the new schedule/plan for about an hour on Sunday morning we heard an announcement at 7:45 that “closed wheel hardship” was called to grid. Found an email at 7:30 with an updated schedule showing a 15m session at 8:00. We put tires on, and I suited up because our whole goal was to test this new setup, and we hadn’t really learned anything in the shakedown/qually, or the slick (fun) race. I was able to take few laps to get things hot, and then lean on it a bit for a few laps on a drying track. It felt good, and I was able to focus on a few details I noticed on our Sat night track walk to do better. I made me a lot more confident for the race.

R2 was gridded by R1 finishing position, so I was on pole despite not running the fastest lap in Q1 or R1 (though my warmup time was better). It was 80 and sunny for the 20 lap race. I was able to get away at the start and just pounded out 20 push laps, focusing on four spots on track where I was losing time. I worked my way back to a good T1 on the same lap that I finally nailed 9, and improved on an already strong 10. That knocked 3/4 sec off my lap time for a 1:42.1 (so still 1/2 second slower than last year). There was still some time out there, but that was decent. I continued exploring different options, and pushing brake zones until we completed 20 laps. Unfortunately a teal CRX found the wall on the back straight, and suffered a big hit on the penultimate lap, so there was no victory lap due to lots of equipment rolling on track.

Super fun weekend with the HP crowd. I really would have learned more about the setup with 4 proper dry sessions, but will look at the data this week and decide if we run the big tires at VIR, or swap it back to 13s.