Anderson Aims to Get Back on Topeka’s Winning Side
Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson is in the midst of another solid season. Six races into the 2011 Full Throttle Drag Racing season, he is second in the championship standings, with a win in Charlotte and three final round appearances to his credit, which by any measure would be considered a good start to defending his 2010 Pro Stock title.
Ironically, the only person to have defeated him in a final round this season, and the competitor he trails in the points is one quite familiar to him, his KB Racing teammate Jason Line, who pilots an identical Summit Racing Pontiac. Although naturally pleased with his partner’s performance, the four-time champion nevertheless would like to turn the tables at this weekend’s NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, KS.
“I have to find a way to beat that guy,” joked Anderson. “Seriously, I am very happy for Jason’s success. They have their Summit Racing Pontiac running really well, and he’s doing a great job behind the wheel. Although I never like to lose, it’s a little easier when it’s your teammate.
“Between the two of us we’ve won four of the first six races, and have already had two all-Summit finals, which is great for Summit and great for KB Racing. We’ve also had Ronnie score his first No. 1 qualifier in Houston, so things are certainly going well. I’d just like to add another pewter Wally to my collection, and I can’t think of a better time or place to get one than this weekend in Topeka.”
One of the primary differences between the KB Racing teammates has been their race cars. Although Line is running the same car with which he has competed in the last several seasons, having lost his championship-winning ride in his transporter fire last November, Anderson was forced to acquire a replacement. Although the two are of a similar design, the subtle changes between chassis have forced the team to experience a learning curve with Anderson’s Pontiac as they learn its performance envelope.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my car, we just need to learn how to make it as happy as Jason’s,” said Anderson. “One of the keys to his success this year is that they have been very consistent, making good, clean runs, going down the track every time. Once we’re able to figure out what my Summit Racing Pontiac needs, it should be just as fast as his. Our goal is to have three fast Summit Pontiacs including Ronnie’s (brother-in-law Humphrey who is running the Summit/Genuine Hotrod Hardware-sponsored GXP in conjunction with KB Racing) at every race, and I don’t think we’re too far from doing that.”
Another challenge for the KB Racing brain trust will be figuring a way to regain their winning form at the Kansas quarter-mile. In the five-year period from 2003-2007, Anderson was nearly untouchable at Heartland Park Topeka, winning four races and qualifying No. 1 three times, while in the three years since, he has one semifinal finish to his credit. However, led by the championship-winning trio of crew chiefs Rob Downing, Tommy Utt and Jeff Perley, Anderson is confident a Topeka turnaround is imminent.
“I’m not really sure why, but in the last few years the racing surface in Topeka has not been well-suited to the way we run our cars,” said Anderson. “However, we’ve been going over the data, and I believe we’ve identified some areas that we needed to change, so I believe you will see a much better product from the Summit Racing team this weekend.
“One of the strengths of this crew has been their ability to adapt to the situation, so we should be in good shape. After putting both cars in the final last week in Atlanta, I know Jason and I will have targets on our back, so we’ll have to be ready for whatever the competition throws at us, but I’m confident our guys will be up to the challenge.”