Anderson Ready to Rekindle Old Time Magic in Topeka
Mooresville, N.C., May 15, 2012 – Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team are looking for history to repeat itself this weekend at the Dollar General NHRA Summernationals in Topeka, Kansas. During the period from 2003 to 2007, the Anderson-led crew was virtually unstoppable at Heartland Park Topeka, with three No. 1 qualifying performances and four wins, one shy of the all-time Pro Stock mark at the Kansas quarter-mile held by Warren Johnson. Although they have been in contention in their subsequent visits, the four-time champion heads into this event hoping to experience a little déjà vu.
“We’re heading into this weekend looking to rekindle some of the magic this Summit Racing team had with Heartland Park Topeka in the past,” said Anderson. “We seem to have misplaced it over the last few years, but we’re ready to get it back and return to the form that saw us win there four times.
“The first few years we went there, we considered it one of the super tracks and saw numerous records set there, especially in the fuel classes because the surface was so good. It’s got some age on it now, and the track has become a little more finicky, putting it in the hands of the crew chiefs.
“It’s a real challenge, a lot like Darlington Raceway in NASCAR, in that it’s very tough to tame, which is the way it should be. They shouldn’t all be perfect surfaces that are easy to tune for. When the heat comes on that Topeka track, as is forecast for this weekend, it becomes a handful, turning it into a tuner’s race, so we’ll need to be at our best starting with the first qualifying session on Friday.”
A look at his season to date supports Anderson’s optimistic outlook for this weekend. Seven races into the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, he leads the Pro Stock category by 72 points over his teammate Jason Line. In addition, he is the only competitor among the “factory hot rods” with multiple victories, having scored his third win in Atlanta ten days ago. However, as the self-proclaimed perfectionist admits, unlike previous years, this season’s success is mostly due to the grit and determination of the KB Racing crew rather than their race car’s performance. Although naturally pleased with the final results, he knows that maintaining their position atop the standings must include a return to form.
“I have no idea how we have gotten three wins and five final round appearances this year,” joked Anderson. “Who knows, maybe because we seem to struggle in qualifying, no one expects a lot from us in final eliminations, but somehow this Summit Racing team keeps getting the job done on race day, more than holding our own with what we have to work with.
“We just seem to have a love/hate relationship with this particular car, and we continue to work on swinging it more into the love side. She’s a feisty one, fighting us every step of the way, but this KB Racing crew is also a bunch of fighters, throwing everything we can at her. So far I’d have to call it a draw, and as long as we keep finding ways to win races, I’m good with that.
“As I said after we won Atlanta, I think our success this season comes down to our making fewer mistakes than our opponents. Even though we haven’t always been the baddest dog on the planet, somehow the people we’ve raced have made mistakes, which you cannot do in this class if you expect to win. The bottom line is that we keep racing tough, focusing on every little detail and finding ways to capitalize on our competitors’ mistakes.
“Of course we know we need to have the proper performance to keep being successful, which is why we are constantly digging, trying to improve every aspect of our program. The good news is that we’ve been able to win races when not at our best, and that things could turn around on any given run. But no matter how fast our Summit Racing Pontiac is, we need to keep that same tough attitude, never giving up and always finding ways to win, with Heartland Park Topeka next on our hit list.”